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Adopt A Rescue Dog
Serving as a dog rescuer is one of the most rewarding parts of my life. If you love animals and want to invite a dog into your life, I strongly recommend a dog rescue group.
Although mixed breeds, or ‘Heinz 57’ pups, as they are referred to, make wonderful pets. All of our dogs are rescue dogs and are quite a mixture. George is a Beagle with a little Daschound in the family somewhere. We rescued him from the side of the road. Gracie is a Yellow Lab and Great Dane mix was one of nine puppies that a dog our son rescued gave birth to two months after he adopted her. We’ve also had a Lab and German Shepherd mix who was so beautiful, she looked like a wolf and had a wonderful temperament. So, don’t feel you must have a purebred dog for a family pet, mixed breeds are wonderful.
Pure breeds often find themselves homeless too. Pet owners become ill or infirm, must move to a place where dogs are not allowed, or have a new baby that the dog does not accept. Many people are unaware that every breed from a Toy Poodle to a Mastif has their own rescue groups. Consider adopting a rescue dog before buying one. Never buy a dog at a pet shop as they often come from puppy mills and may be ill or inbred and have multiple healthy problems or genetic defects.
Reasearch the breed you are interested in thoroughly before you adopt. Really cute little dogs such as West Highland Terriers appear to be lovely lap dogs, they are anything but. They are high energy dogs that were trained to root out vermin and need a lot of exercise! Great Danes on the other hand are very laid back and excellent family pets, however think about how much such a huge animal will eat (and poop). Beagles are wonderful, and we love our Beagle George, but Beagles are very vocal, it's part of their nature, and would not work well in an apartment or condo complex, unless all of your neighbors are hard of hearing.
Rescue dogs are given a full bill of health and all of their shots before you take them home. This also includes flee and tick treatments. Also, their personality is assessed and the shelter will tell you which animals get along well with children or other pets. An elderly person should probably adopt an older dog. My Dad is in his eighties and, against my suggestion, adopted a Beagle puppy. It was not a good match, as Beagle pups have more energy and curiosity than a room full of preschoolers. Happily, he found a good home for him before both of them ended up disabled in one way or another. Shelters or rescue groups will often be able to tell you the genetic strengths and weaknesses of a particular breed, as well as give you some idea of the blend of a mixed breed dog. The pets are clean, groomed and healthy when you take them home. Sadly, this cannot be said for many Pet Shop puppies, as they often come from puppy mills where their nutrition and over-all care has been neglected and they may have even been inbred, which can lead to all sorts of problems.
If you’re considering adopting a dog, please look through the many animals at the Humane Society, SPCA or your local shelter. Also, be sure to look up a breed that seems right for you and find a new furry friend through a rescue group. A good place to start is petfinder.com. Always have your pet spayed or neutered.