Big news! Nick and I have adopted a dog. A few weeks ago we were told by the complex we live in that they were having an adoption drive. Our ears perked up and we discussed how nice it would be to get a small dog (Nick is a huge dog person, me not so much, but we have two cats and I thought it would be nice for him to have one). So after we talked about it for a little while, we approached the people at the office about the possibility of us getting a dog and since they didn't seem to mind we started looking for one.
I love Cavalier Spaniels and Nick is a Golden Retriever kind of guy. Having never owned a dog before and since we live in an apartment I was not ok with a big dog. I told him maybe one day, but for now I'm not ready for that. So we compromised and said we'd go with a young (1-5yrs) Cavalier (Nick does like them, he's just a big dog person). Because I have a lot more time than Nick, I began to do some research into where to go to get a dog. We adopted our cats from a high kill shelter, so we're definitely into the rescue option rather than buying from a breeder. But when you're looking online for something specific it is really heartbreaking to see all the pictures of the animals who need help and may be passed over and put down.
About a year after we got Batman Nick told me that he was on the list to be put down had he not been adopted by the end of the week. Knowing that devastated me. Batman is the most loving animal I have ever had. He is a big mush and purrs at the sight of us. I had a hard time believing that he had been returned before we adopted him (we had even been told that he was crazy and not to take him), and it upsets me so much that such a sweet boy would have been put down.
I am way too emotional and the process was difficult. Every time I found a dog I liked, it had been adopted already (sometimes literally that day) or we were told we were too far away from the shelter (some do house checks). It is so hard not to get attached to pictures of lonely animals. And seeing URGENT SAVE ME!!!! on some was horrible. I felt like I was watching those commercials about the abused animals (which makes me cry if I keep it on). I may not be a dog person, but I could not help but want to adopt all of them. I can only imagine how some people feel going through the adoption process with a baby. I admire how much strength those parents have; I don't know if I could do it.
After 4 unsuccessful attempts (including phone tag which resulted in missing the dog by a few hours), we found Charlie. He's a 10 month old Cavalier Retriever mix. Could that not have been more perfect?
Charlie is the sweetest little thing and even though I know the cats will not be thrilled when he comes home, I can't help but think it is all going to work out in the end. I know it will take some time, but our cats are generally so mellow and loving; I hope the pup transitions well. I always joked that one day Nick and I would have a dog, a cat, and three kids that would all live in harmony. Maybe we're on our way there?
Next time you want to get a pet, regardless of whether you want a specific breed or not, please consider adoption. If you MUST have a pure-bread, even they are available through Petfinder.com and there are many rescue organizations (just type in the breed and rescue and tons of websites will pop up). You don't need to get a puppy mill dog from a pet store or through unhealthy breeding practices. Save a life instead, you'll love them just as much.