Congratulations! read the paper as I folded it and placed it in my Adoption Bag.
I lumbered out to the car with my papers, bag of goodies and my new family member wagging her tail and ready to leap into my car.
We had just adopted a new dog from the local Humane Society. The minute I walked through the door the day prior, the experience was a rewarding one. My daughter and I took on this adventure, not knowing what we would find. Out experience was incredible.
The volunteers took their time with us and graciously helped us to "meet" a number of potential pets. We knew what type of dog we needed, since we had a dominant male dog at home and the volunteers made sure to introduce the pets meeting our needs. After three hours, we finally met her and the staff patiently waited for my husband to bring in our other dog so they could both meet. Needless to say, it was a perfect match.
People who adopt puppies never know what they are getting into. The chewing, potty training, obedience training and numerous mishaps can all be overwhelming. We knew we wanted an older dog and in adopting an older animal there are the same issues as with a puppy plus the bad habits the dog may have learned in a prior home.
Our Humane Society was great. They made sure our background checked out and that the dogs we looked at matched our needs. Many animals are not good with small children or other animals, and this is noted in their records to help families to make decisions that are good for animals and potential families.
The day we brought home our new family member, the adventure began. We had to be patient and understanding as well as gentle, while making sure some "ground rules" were understood. The most basic of these being where to potty, sleep and eat.
It is never easy to bring in an older pet. Our other dog immediately exhibited his dominance and role as alpha male. The female, being naturally submissive, worked well with this role and immediately became the in house protector, while our other dog is the outside guardian.
We quickly found out that she had been abused where she had previously lived. If you raised your hand or voice near her she would almost immediately piddle and cower in a corner. Seeing this, we worked to be sure we didn't raise our voice around her unnecessarily.
As with anyone and any animal, new situations can be scary. Our new dogs way to cope was to urinate in the hallway of our house. Through time and training, we were able to get her to understand that this was not an acceptable behavior.
Every new animal needs to go through a period of adjustment. For some who had come from homes with no love to a home with lots of love, this adjustment happens very quickly. For others, the adjustment may be more difficult and full of trying times for everyone. With patience and love, however, it can be a rewarding experience.
Our new family now consists of three humans, two cats and two dogs. The cats and dogs have their moments, but only when the humans aren't watching. As for our newest, she is by my side as much as she can be. In my time with animals, I have adopted two cats and three dogs, all of which have been the best and most loyal pets I have ever encountered. Maybe the love they give us is a direct result of the love we give them and for our tenderness they are grateful, and grateful pets make wonderful friends.