Now that I have Facebook, Twitter and countless pet bloggers to “keep me company” in my home office, not a day goes by that I don’t read at least one adoption tale. In the last few years I have read so many wonderful adoption tales, and they all warm my heart. Sometimes we search for a certain pet and find them, and other times they just seem to fall into our lap. I wrote about that last year in Do We Find Our Pets, or Do They Find Us? It’s all good either way, right? No matter how or why these precious animals find their forever family, it’s just such a special thing.
In the pet blogging world, the day we decide to adopt an animal is called their “Gotcha Day.” This day is celebrated with much fanfare on the pet blogs, as it should be. A big deal is made of a pet’s Gotcha Day because it’s a life changing day… for both the pet and their new family. This momentous day deserves a pawty!
I must confess, though, that I don’t actually know the exact day I adopted my three cats. Mickey’s Gotcha Day was more than 13 long years ago, and back then I didn’t even know about such things. I do remember every detail of how he came to be in my family, but the exact day? Not so much.
Rocky and Annabelle were rescue babies, and when I took them in I only intended to help them get well and then find them a forever family. I have no idea what day I suddenly realized these two beautiful souls were right where they were meant to be.
It doesn’t really matter to me, though, whether I know their exact Gotcha Day or not. What matters most is that I have three sweet furry friends to share my life and home. Adopting them was the right choice. It always is; at least, that has been my experience.
My dad has extreme cat allergies, so we were never able to have a cat when I was growing up. As a young adult, one of my best friends had a cat. When I was at her house for more than an hour, my eyes would get red, swollen and itchy. Then my throat would start to feel scratchy. After one or two times, I came to the conclusion that I had cat allergies like my dad. From then on, if I was going to hang with anybody that had a cat, it had to be somewhere other than their house.
Fast forward to the time my husband and I decided to extend our family by taking in a dog that was in dire circumstances. Probably because of my limited exposure to cats, I’ve always been what’s known as a dog person. On the other hand, my husband has always been a cat person; in fact, Julia included him in this article: Real Men Do Love Cats! 7 ‘Cat Guys’ Tell All. Being a dog person, it was fixed in my mind that we were just going to rescue this one specific dog. At the time, my husband was in complete agreement.
At the shelter, we met the sad pup and were preparing to bring her home when one of the shelter workers ran up to us and shoved a ball of fur into my husband’s hands. Obviously this was a wily woman who was great at her job because she pegged us as suckers almost immediately. My husband looked up at me (don’t tell him I’m sharing this part) with tears in his eyes and said “He looks like Rudy.” He loved all the cats in his life but as a young boy he had a particularly strong bond with a cat named Rudy. What was I going to do?
You know the rest of the story. That little ball of fur came home with us too, and now I’m completely under his command. He gets the best of everything including FELIDAE cat food.
At first, however, I was concerned about my allergies. According to Unleashed Magazine, approximately 15% of the population is estimated to be allergic to cats and/or dogs. The statistics go on to reveal that about one third of the people who are allergic to cats are currently living with at least one cat in their household. I love it; only one in five people avoid cats because of allergies. What they do instead is try to minimize the symptoms.
Most animal shelters are run by kind and responsible people who love the pets they care for in their facilities. Their main goal is finding the perfect owner for the pets. Without these caring individuals, dogs and cats would have no place to live while they wait for their forever home. However, some shelters are thinking outside the box to give pets a better environment to wait in.
Adopt-A-Dog animal shelter in Armonk, NY is manned by an army of dedicated and committed volunteers who help insure each pet living at the shelter receives all the love and attention they need. The animal shelter, sanctuary and rescue began in 1981, and sits on two acres of land. This shelter is unique in how it’s run, and proudly touts a 95 percent success rate in adoptions with practices that include educating potential pet owners about responsible pet ownership, how to properly care for pets, and making a lifetime commitment to adopted pets.
The shelter is run more like a sanctuary. Volunteers walk the dogs, take them for car rides, take them swimming, and play ball and other games with them in the exercise yard. During office hours, cats and dogs are allowed to wander in the office area where they get to spend time with the staff, sack out on a bed or watch TV. The office is in a house and has two people who live there, so someone is always available to tend to the needs of the pets. In order to give all of the dogs in the shelter access to the home, they are rotated on a daily basis.
The adoption process is taken slowly at the shelter. Their goal is to make sure a pet is a good match for someone’s lifestyle. Multiple home visits are made when there are children or other pets in a home. The first step for any shelter is to find someone to adopt a pet; making sure the pet remains in the home and isn’t returned to the shelter can be a harder task to accomplish. This is where Adopt-A-Dog stands out from other shelters by using a program they incorporated to educate potential adopters, and taking time to make sure a pet fits into a potential owner’s lifestyle.
When my chocolate lab Wuppy first came into our home three years ago, I had one ultimate fear: What if my dog doesn’t like me the best? That may seem like a strange or small thing to worry about, but it was a very real possibility, given that my fiancé is a dog magnet. We already had a dog that was “his” and every dog that comes across him gives him an enthusiastic happy tail/face licking woof of approval. I missed that special bond of being an animal’s favorite person, so I took steps to make sure we were bringing home a puppy that would love me as much as I already adored him.
1. Meet Often Before Bringing Home
I had the opportunity to get to know my Wuppy before his owners couldn’t keep him any longer. I already knew that he liked me, because he would follow me around their home. That played a huge part in our agreeing to add him to our family.
Always try to visit and interact with a dog before bringing one home, so you know how they will respond to you. You never know what a dog has been through before you adopt them. You could resemble someone they are afraid of, or maybe they smell another dog and don’t like it.
Also make sure to introduce the dog to everyone who lives with you, so you can gauge who they will bond with the strongest. It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker if they go to one of your kids or another family member more often; you just want to make sure they feel comfortable coming to you. That’s enough to start a relationship.
2. Be the Sole Provider
We all know that the quickest way to the canine heart is by being the person with the tastiest dog treats. If you want your new dog to consider you his #1 human, you’ll have to be the one that feeds them their CANIDAE and hands out all of the TidNips and Snap Bits. It’s not a job you can shove off on another family member, and it means you will have to be there when they need to eat. It’s a commitment to take care of their needs.
Of all the great mysteries of life, “love at first sight” is one of the most puzzling. If you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon – whether with a person or a pet – you know it defies rational explanation. Nothing about love at first sight makes sense to our logical human minds. There’s no scientific evidence for how it can happen, and it’s nearly impossible to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. I’ve experienced it twice: once with a person many years ago, and more recently with a beautiful kitten named Kimber.
The best description I can give is that there is a very strong “pull” combined with intense emotion and a feeling that you’ve known them forever. You also know without question that you love them. You might not understand how or why you could love them given that you just met, but you absolutely know you do.
I’ve loved many pets deeply throughout my life, but I’d never fallen in love with one at first sight. It happened while I was casually reading the Facebook posts of friends, acquaintances and pet rescue groups. I certainly wasn’t looking for a cat to adopt; in fact, that was probably the furthest thing from my mind. Yet all of a sudden, there she was – the most beautiful, long-haired calico kitten I’d ever seen.
So what, right? It’s not like I don’t see dozens of beautiful cats every day on Facebook, all in need of a good home. I don’t linger, because although I have room in my heart for a thousand cats, my small home is full with three. I definitely didn’t “need” another cat, especially one that just happened to be 1,300 miles away!
But I couldn’t look away. I stared at the photo of this lovely little kitten, and I was smitten. I didn’t know a thing about her other than her name. I guessed that she was about three months old, and she had the sweetest, wisest, gentlest face. I knew without a doubt that I loved her, and wanted her to join my family. I didn’t know how I’d make it work, but I knew I would do everything humanly possible to see that it did.
If you were a homeless puppy or an adult dog living in Northern California this summer, your chances of finding that furever home you deserved were pretty darn good, thanks to the Puppy Party Palooza.
Puppy WHAT? Puppy Party Palooza is an interactive adoption fair run by the CANIDAE-sponsored Special Achievers Team of Rocket and Ashley Hoskins, with help from the K-9 Comets, their talented team of Frisbee Dog Stars who wowed the crowd and inspired them to take home their own furry four-legged athlete.
Puppy Party Palooza takes place every year at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, California. This hands-on, fun-filled learning exhibit and entertainment extravaganza was designed with one thing in mind: to bring people and adoptable dogs together. And as we all know, when a homeless dog finds his family, it’s a huge win-win for both!
At Puppy Party Palooza, potential adopters could learn all they needed to know about dogs and view demonstrations on dog grooming and health care. They could check out the popular “Pup-E-Harmony” to help match their family with the perfect dog. Puppy Party Palooza also offered training tips and a space where fairgoers could play games with the dogs.
Every dog adopted at Puppy Party Palooza was sent home with a CANIDAE goodie bag that included can lids, coupons, a Frisbee, TidNips treats, armbands, and of course a free 5lb. bag of CANIDAE dog food to get them started on the right nutrition track with their new family.
Congrats to all the families who found a new four-legged friend at Puppy Party Palooza this year!
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.