If you recognize this dog, you probably feel one of two things – relieved or guilty.
Relieved because she is safe and looks just as beautiful as you remembered? Or guilty because you neglected her and didn’t take care to look for her once you knew she was lost? I don’t know you, but I would believe you if you said she escaped from your backyard, even a nice, fenced in and secure backyard, because girlfriend is a wandering woofer. Well, she was. Now she’s at the Rainbow Bridge and she will never get lost again.
Chloe came to use in the summer of 2000, her ear still healing from what looked like a run in with the dog version of Mike Tyson. The vet estimated her to be about two years old. She was a bit thin, but otherwise sweet, calm, healthy and unbelievably friendly. My son, who was crawling and grabbing at everything in sight, would climb up onto her back and she would lick him until he was dripping with doggy drool.
Lucky! It was a smooth and easy transition, which was NOT the case with our first rescue dog.
Not- at – all.
In 1998, my husband and I adopted a beagle mix named Mona. She was not sweet, calm and healthy. Holy mother of GOD the dog was insane. But we were committed to taking care of her and it didn’t take long before we fell totally in love with her crazy ass (That story is in my book, which you should totally buy. My mom thinks it’s really good).
Not a smooth transition. And Ka-pow expensive too! But I still felt lucky.
Mona had anxiety, epilepsy and was afraid of men. She needed medication, training and constant mental stimulation. And OYE VE did this mutt have issues with her butt and gut! She was a nervous puker and she was always nervous. If I had a dollar for every pile of stringy bile colored vomit I stepped in over the course of her lifetime, I’d have at least a thousand dollars. Taking care of a pet is expensive, even if they don’t have special needs. Damn I wish I got paid for stepping in her yellow yak.
Chloe’s arrival on the scene changed Mona’s life. Chloe acted as a mother to Mona, socializing her and caring for her as if she was her own. It was meant to be, I think, these beautiful creatures coming to us and making our family whole.
With rescue dogs, you have to be willing to take a leap of faith and commit to doing everything you can to make it work. Some people think it would be easier if dogs could speak, if they could tell us their story. I think they do speak. They just don’t use words and if someone doesn’t speak dog, things can get messy.
This dog? Her name is Holly.
Holly is puppy mill rescue that came to use from an Indiana foster home in 2009, just after we said goodbye to Mona. She’s a miniature pinscher/dachshund mix and she has this problem with nervous pooping. She prefers to hunker down under the piano bench and squeeze her nervous turds out there. She loved Chloe and Chloe loved her. When we said goodbye to Chloe this past November, Holly got depressed. I’m not kidding. Girlfriend was bluer than blue and bored. So I asked the people at Midwest Dachshund Rescue if they would let us adopt one of their rescue pups.
They said YES! Meet Brody (Previously known as BB)
His sweet nature rivals Chloe’s, but he’s naughty and needs training. If I let him at an entire bag of dog food, he would eat himself to death. He’s also as bow-legged as a rodeo cowboy. I’m sure we are looking at some back surgery in the years to come, but dammit, we are all in. We made a commitment to love and care for this guy and he makes it easy. Holly likes him too.
So here’s my PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU BUY FROM A PET STORE OR ADOPT A RESCUE list of things I hope you will share with others and keep in mind for yourself if you are thinking about getting a pet.
1) Having a pet is expensive. They need regular checkups, heartworm prevention medicine, shots to keep them healthy, grooming, training, healthy food, treats, toys, stuff to chew and LOTS of exercise. If you can’t swing this, don’t get a pet. Last year, including Chloe’s euthanasia, caring for our dogs cost us over $2,000.
2) Please read #1 again. I’ll wait. And yes, that number is accurate.
3) Buying a dog from a pet store often supports the worst of the worst: Puppy Mills. Do you know where the local pet store gets their supply of animals? I once had a neighbor that had a phantom bitch. Yep, he pretended to have two female dogs and over-bred the only one he had. The puppies had problems. He let his cat die of heartworm. The dick made Pinocchio look like an honest boy. If you think watching that horribly sad commercial with the abused dogs with Sarah McLaughlin singing “In the Arms of the Angels,” is hard to watch, well, that’s what some puppy mills and kitty mills are like. Bad news, people. BAD.
4) If you plan to adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue organization, understand that you are going to have to deal with not only adjustment issues, but most likely behavioral and health issues. Pets get lost, yeah, but many are abandoned and neglected. If you think you are going to get an adorable fur baby that seamlessly blends in to your life, think again. It’s like having a newborn baby. You are starting from scratch with no instruction manual.
5) If you are one of those people who doesn’t think animals have a soul, that they don’t need all the preventative care and proper nutrition that you would provide for a living human, then you don’t deserve a pet. You don’t. Please don’t get a pet. Get a stuffed animal.
6) If you have never had a pet, you need to know how to care properly for a pet and there are many resources out there to help you learn. Please learn before you buy or adopt. BEFORE – NOT AFTER!
7) Spaying and neutering, providing heartworm prevention medication, and micro-chipping your pet are all, unfortunately, not required, but they should be. You suck balls if you don’t do all those things for your pet, unless you plan to breed your pet, but if you plan to do that, then you better also be ready to find good homes for the animals and that’s not always easy to do.
8) If you don’t think you are ready for a pet, you are not ready for a pet. I suggest that you start volunteering at a local shelter or rescue for a month. Spend some time helping and getting familiar with the world of animal care. If after a month, you think you have what it takes, by all means, get you a pet!
9) My dogs are cuter than yours. I am a girl and I love telling people that I have that I two wieners. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right!
10) Please share this blog and in the comment section, I encourage you to share your local animal shelter information, rescue organization or any other information you think will help our furry friends.
Thank you to Midwest Dachshund Rescue for trusting us with the care and keeping of Brody (B.B.) and for loving him until we could take over. Some things are just meant to be.
P.S. Here is a totally unrelated picture of a snack with a name that makes me laugh. Mostly because I’m immature, but even so, I know how to care and love animals and I hope you care enough to do the same.