Adopting a New Rescue Dog
Meet Lucy, the new addition to our home. We adopted Lucy through Animal Friends Society of Tampa in June 2009. I call her Miss Happy-Pants because she never fails to wag her tail and appear genuinely thrilled when any of her new family members come into her orbit. Lucy is a mixed-breed pooch who appears to have a hint of Chocolate Lab and a good bit of some sort of terrier in her. She is about one-half Frankie’s size, weighing in at 40 pounds. And at approximately a year old, she probably won’t get much bigger.
How We Came to Adopt Lucy
When Frankie passed the one-year mark, we started thinking he needed a canine companion. Even though he was getting a three-mile walk every day and occasional outings such as trips to doggie day camp, it still didn’t seem to be enough. There would be many evenings when his pent-up energy would just have to be expended, and he would race through the house at breakneck speed, narrowly missing household items we’d rather not have smashed by an 80-pound canine missile. Having a furry friend around the house would help him burn off all that excess energy. It was time to think about adopting a new dog.
Pet Adoption: Rescue Dogs are the Best
We pondered our options, but there was really no question that our new dog would be a rescue dog like Frankie. We believe that, for us at least, rescue dogs are the best. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Rescue a dog and you’re saving a life. We rescued Frankie from the “mean streets” of Dayton, Tennessee in April 2008. We were visiting my family at the farm there at about the same time someone decided it would be a good idea to just abandon a three-month-old puppy out in the country to fend for himself. Fortunately, my niece took him in and fed him. Then my husband and I decided to give him a permanent home. I knew he would grow up to be a fine dog, and I was right. Moreover, by bringing him into our home, I know we saved his life.
- Getting a rescue dog means you’re not supporting puppy mills. A depressingly large number of pet stores sell dogs that come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is a horrible, hopeless, miserable existence where dogs are crammed into cages and “fed and bred” until they die. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Adopting a dog instead of buying one is the surest way to strike a blow against puppy mills.”
Animal Friends Society
Animal Friends Society is an all-volunteer no-kill orgainzation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of homeless, abused and abandoned animals. They often hold adoption events at locations such as our local PetSmart. Having considered the idea of adopting another dog, we decided to attend one of their adoption events, with Frankie in tow. We looked at several dogs, including a couple of much younger puppies, before we spotted Lucy.
Although she is almost a solid dark brown, Lucy looks like a smaller version Frankie in practically every other way. And from the moment she and Frankie met, it was clear that they would be instant best friends. We spent several minutes observing the interaction between Frankie and Lucy and learning more about Lucy’s background.
Lucy was abandoned and was found starving and terrified. The kind man who found her could not get her to come to him at first. But with patience, persistence and scraps of food, he was eventually able to lure her in. He fed her and fattened her up and gave her the affection she had been missing. Ultimately, though, he was unable to keep her so he turned her over to AFS.
The Pet Adoption Process
At AFS, Lucy was given a vet check-up and all her vaccinations. She was also spayed. The adoption process involves filling out an application form, which is fairly simple, but at the same time requests enough information to allow the AFS volunteers to assess the would-be adoptive family’s commitment to taking on the responsibilities of bringing a new pet into their lives. Once the adoption application is approved, a tax-deductible fee of $150-200 for dogs is requested and your new pet can come home.
Life with Lucy and Frankie
Lucy arrived home on June 17, 2009, and there hasn’t been a dull moment since. She and Frankie are well-matched for temperament and energy. They chase and tackle each other and generally tumble around in the back yard for several hours every day, burning all that healthy, youthful energy. When they’re hot and tired, they come inside and cool off in the air conditioning and drink plenty of water.
Then, after they’ve rested a bit, they start all over again. And they couldn’t be happier.