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Are you a good candidate to adopt a dog?

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So, let’s talk about adopting a dog.  One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that rescues and shelters will just adopt out to any willing body.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  When I am working a pet adoption site we do have to tell people from time to time that they are not a good fit to adopt a pet at this point in their life.  If your idea of giving a dog a good home is to just leave it in the backyard all day and all night.  Justifying it by saying well I go out there to feed him and play with him for a little while… “He’s getting fed and has shelter”.  I really need to communicate this to all the folks out there that really believe that….dogs are domesticated animals.  Which simply means they can live as humans do and are similar in needing to be social.  They are not cows or goats that graze all day and are content doing so.  Dogs need human stimulation.  So if you don’t want the responsibility of raising a dog in the house or dealing with its shedding etc. than you are probably not a good candidate.  And that is fine.  You are being honest.  We like that!   

We also get a lot of pregnant couples that want to adopt a dog.  Why would you want to bring another life to take care of when you are going to be consumed with the life you just created?  I know this from first hand experience.  Don’t bring that kind of stress on to yourself and the adopted pooch.  Or, well I want to adopt a dog so my child can learn responsibility.  A child cannot raise another child.  Because that pet is a child itself that needs a parent to raise and nurture.  If you are not ready to make a pet an equal extension of you or your family than you shouldn’t adopt.  I realize this thought comes very natural to me because I have always had a better connection with animals than people.  I have very few people that I truly let into my life but any animal is always welcome. :)  But trust me I have made my share of mistakes in adopting a pooch when I had no place in doing so!  You live and you learn.

Another reason a person may not be a good fit is obvious.  If you are out of your house more than you are in it, yes you  are not a good fit.  Once again dogs are social animals.  Probably the most social.  So they are unhappy when you leave them alone all day and nights in the house.  Once in a while is okay but not all the time.  I have a lot of college students that want to adopt, the last thing a college student needs is a living four legged creature to take of!  If they are anything like I was in school my day consisted of ….classes in the day,  which party am I going to tonight or who am I hanging out with and what do I wear!  And doing it all over again the next day.  Since I had such a love of animals, I really wanted a dog when I was finally on my own in school.  I am a Miami native and we always had dogs growing up in my house.  They even went out on the boat with us on the ocean.  So, I yearned for that same kind of companionship.  How selfish was I??  Basically, I wanted a dog around when I was home because I couldn’t find anything else to do.  So I just wanted companionship on my terms which is wrong on every level.  For that matter we are also guilty of doing that with people also.  In saying this, yes I should have never even thought about taking in a life to take care of when I was so self-absorbed with my own life.  I thought well I can help out my friend and adopt her puppy since she isn’t around much to do it.  Wrong!  Really?  Why did I think I can do it when I was with her every time we went out and got home late.  Just because you get to college doesn’t make you smart! :)  I realize there are exceptions to every rule.  So I am sure there are college students that are responsible pet owners.  

I know most of us come from a very good place and want to adopt and help.  But just remember you are taking in a living creature, making a commitment to always give love, medical care, companionship and finally make sacrifices because that living thing cannot live without you.  So you really have to be in a very unselfish place in your life because taking care of another living thing is just as important as taking care of yourself.   Ummm….come to think of it….it’s a lot like when I was pregnant with my baby girl and I had to make a lot of lifestyle changes, sacrifices and get in a very unselfish place in my life! :)


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1 Comment

One thought on “Are you a good candidate to adopt a dog?

  1. Jackson Bush says:

    It’s good to know that if you aren’t at your home often then you shouldn’t adopt a dog. My wife and I are wanting to adopt a dog but we aren’t at home every day because of the work we do. I’ll let my wife know that we should be at home a lot more if we’re serious about adopting a dog.

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