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So you want to get a dog! How about a rescue?

Updated on December 1, 2014

First thing to know when getting a dog is what type of dog do you want, how much time you have for your dog, and what sized dog can you have and control.

First thing to know when getting a dog is what type of dog do you want, how much time you have for your dog, and what sized dog can you have and control.

Do you want a tiny dog, small dog, big dog, or a huge dog?

Will you only be around in the mornings and evening, will you be home all day, can you get home at lunch?

Do you live in an apartment that has a weight limit, how strong are you, what size dog can you walk and control if he or she suddenly goes bonkers?

Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail

— Josh Billings

You can easily go to a shelter and come home with a dog or you could go to a breeder and buy a dog, but do you have the time to make his or her tail wag? Don't get a dog if you can't take care of him or her. If you are only going to be home in the morning and evenings then a puppy is not for you. You will want a dog that is at least two years old and potty trained. So that eliminates getting a dog from a breeder. If you walk into a shelter to get a dog it will just be luck if you get a dog that is right for you or not.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

— Unkown

The best way to go for getting a dog especially your first dog is a rescue organization. There are rescues groups that are organized by breed and by size. Working with a good rescue group is the way to go they will help match with a dog that is right for you and if the dog does not work out then you can give him or her back to the rescue instead of putting his or her life in danger at a kill shelter.

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too

— Samuel Butler

Once you pick a rescue you want to adopt from you will have to fill out an application with references, personal information, and home information. The best reference for a rescue is always your vet if you have had a dog before. Your vet can vouch that your dog was safe, happy, and healthy with you. If this is your first pet you definitely want at least one of your references to be a dog owner who can tell the rescue how great you are with their dogs. If you have ever volunteered at a dog shelter then a member of the shelter staff could vouch for your experience with dogs.

From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog

— Mabel Louise Robinson

You have filled out you application, sent in your references, and told the rescue about yourself. Now what? The fun part is what comes next MEETING THE DOGS!! If the rescue has a website you can check out their dogs online and read about their personalities, just do not get attached to any of the dogs until you have them in front of you. It is very likely that the dog you may have just fallen in love with online has already been adopted and the site has not been updated yet.

Dogs are miracles with paws

— Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

For meeting the dogs several options are normally available: the dogs and foster parents can come to your house or apartment, you can go to the foster home to meet the dogs, or you can meet at a neutral location like a park. I personally recommend having them come to your house so you can see them out of their normal environment or at a park. Make sure to take each dog for a short walk on a leash so you can be sure you can handle him or her before choosing.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive

— Gilda Radner

You are with the rescue group and you have picked the dog you think you want. What question should you ask the rescue group before making your final decision?

How is the dog with other dogs?

Is he or she aggressive in any situations?

Does he or she have any fears?

What is his or her background?

Is he or she leash trained?

Is he or she potty trained?

Is he or she kennel trained?

Does he or she know any commands?

How long has the dog had his or her current name? (can you rename him or her?)

How is he or she with kids and other animals?

Has he or she been to a dog park before?

What food has he or she been eating?

How much food does he or she get?

What shots does he or she have?

When was he or she last to a vet?

When was is or her last heart guard treatment?

When was the last flea and tick treatment done?

Has he or she been microchiped? What is the number? How can you change the microchip to have your contact information?

Is he or she spayed or neutered?

Is there anything you should know about the dog that you have not asked?

Please share your own rescue dog stories below in the comments section I love reading about successful rescues!!

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    • MimiKat33 profile image

      MimiKat33 2 years ago from Northeastern NY State, USA

      I did adopt a rescue dog from a shelter and she is the most amazing dog. You can almost feel her appreciation for a good home and loving family. For future adopters I would say be very patient and expect a long and lengthy application to fill out. These rescues need to make sure the precious animal is going to a good and loving home- they deserve one after what they've been through. Adopting a rescue animal is so worth it.