Today marks the 3rd anniversary of a very momentous occasion in my life: the day I officially became the proud mama to a fur baby. Since that day, the past 3 years of pet ownership have been tremendously rewarding. I can’t even begin to describe the love I have for my dog, Louie. He’s incredibly cute, loving, and smart. … I know.. I sound like a real parent talking about a human child, but I truly do love the little furball like a child and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Louie’s adoption story is a bit unique. At the time, I was obsessed with the idea of adopting a rescue dog, which was something I’d been wanting to do since college. I felt Paul and I were finally at a point in our lives where owning a dog made sense and we could provide for him properly. I began stalking petfinder.com on a daily basis and finally came across my perfect match one afternoon. He was a shaggy little fella’ dubbed with the name “Scrubbs” living in a shelter in Louisiana. He stole my heart from the moment I saw his photos. I knew I HAD to have him, so I, along with 50+ other people, applied to adopt Scrubbs. I knew my chances of getting picked as his adopter was slim, but I tried to be pleasantly persistent so they’d know how eager (and serious) I was.
I remember the day I got the call from the rescue volunteer telling me we were chosen! I was beyond ecstatic, but also a bit nervous because our lives were about to change. And there were also logistics to figure out, including how we would get him from Louisiana to New Jersey. Thankfully, Rescue Road Trips made Scrubbs/Louie’s journey from the deep south to the northeast an easy one.
When I told friends and family members we were adopting a rescue dog from Louisiana, there were a lot of questions posed.
“Why would you adopt a dog without meeting him in person first?”
“Don’t rescue dogs have more behavioral issues than puppies from a breeder?”
“You don’t know where he’s really from. What if he was abused and it affects his behavior?”
I didn’t really have any answers. I just knew I had a good gut feeling about adopting this specific dog and nothing was going to stop me. Yes, it was a big leap of faith, but one I strongly believed in.
I think rescue dogs get a bad rap. Most of them are incredibly loving creatures who are just in need of a good home. There are so many reasons why a dog might end up in a shelter, least of which is because they are a bad dog (bad owners are more likely the case!). Sadly, many of these dogs are euthanized before they can find a new home (over 1.2 million dogs every year). Lucky for Louie (aka Scrubbs), he was rescued in the nick of time and taken to Lafayette Animal Aid. From there, he was given a health check-up and listed for adoption.
For the record, I’m not against buying puppies from a responsible breeder. I do, however, strongly advocate adopting rescue dogs. I’ve had many people approach me and ask where they can buy a breed like Louie and I proudly tell them that he’s a rescue mutt and I don’t know exactly what mix of breeds he is (corgi-terrier is the best guess). Most of the time the inquirer is shocked to find out he’s not a “designer dog.” Ultimately, my hope is each one of these interactions will persuade another person to open their mind up to adopting a rescue. Because in all honesty, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.