The Pet Mom reader Cindy is a true friend to rescue dogs in need – four of the five dogs she’s ever had were rescues, and she wants to spread the joy of adopting rescue dogs, especially the ones that “no one else wants.”
Her stories moved me deeply – and I know they will move you as well.
After reading, please be sure and check out Cindy’s blog, Life Lessons of a Dog Lover.
Here is Cindy’s story of her rescues, in her own words:
Four of the 5 dogs I have had were rescues of some sort. My first rescue was a 7 month Lab cross. When I saw him at the shelter it was his second time there. He was originally found as a puppy wandering the streets in a town north of Toronto ON. He was brought to the shelter, given his shots, neutered and was ready for adoption. After a couple of months he was adopted by a family with a young girl. Unfortunately it was not a good fit, the girl had some medical issues and became very hyper and uncontrollable when the dog was around. So back to the shelter he went. That’s when I found him. He was a handsome dog and knew a few basic commands.
At the time he was named Taco. I brought my 10-year-old son to the shelter to see if he could walk him and to ensure Taco would listen to my son.
Everything worked out beautifully, and we changed his name to Paco. He was a very loving and loyal dog. Once we managed to work through his stubborn streak, he fit into our family very well.
Unfortunately, he passed away about 4 years ago, but a lot of good memories remain including images of this black lab mix, in a bright yellow life jacket riding in the front of our boat – paws on the bow leaning into the wind ears flapping or him sitting in the middle of our canoe and almost tipping us when he decided to learn over for a drink.
(Note: Cindy lost these precious photos when her laptop got stolen last year)
Our second rescue was another Lab mix. A wonderful woman in the north end of Toronto ON heard about a dog who was living in a farmer’s field and had just had 6 puppies. This was in November and a tough time for any dog to be exposed to the elements and especially hard on a new mother with puppies.
Apparently the farmer would occasionally feed the family, but was making comments that he was tired of them, and was going to drown the puppies. So our heroine sent her husband to go and get the dogs. By time he got there three puppies were missing but three male puppies were still there. She took all four dogs into her home and paid all the medical bills to bring them back to good health. She had named the three puppies Larry, Curly and Moe. Then she set about finding good homes for them all.
We were lucky enough to pass her screening and we adopted Moe. No one had expected Moe to survive. He was undernourished and full of worms when taken to the vets. A few weeks later when we saw him his was a brave adventurous puppy.
Fast forward 7 1/2 years and Moe is a 100 lb trickster, with a personality bigger than life itself – he keeps us on our toes!
Often when my husband and I are watching TV he will come prancing into the room with a towel he has “stolen” from a bathroom. He won’t rip he will just present it as a trophy.
He has minor health issues – some food allergies and hypothyroidism – but nothing that can’t be controlled with medication and a strict diet. We are not sure if it’s a throwback to his first few weeks but he loves finding a “den” for sleeping and loves sleeping in a bath tub.
My third rescue was Taz. We first saw Taz in a PetSmart in Reno, NV, where we were living at the time. He was obviously an older dog, with a bit of a grey muzzle, and was 100% mutt. To me it looked like God had made him from spare parts.
We had three dogs already. Tasha, a Collie my husband got as a puppy and was 7 by then, Willa, a Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie cross that he got when she was 7 months old (and he found out his owner needed to give her up) and was 6 now, and of course Moe who was now about 2.
So there was no way we could adopt Taz…
Three weeks later, back at the same PetSmart we saw Taz again, sitting forlornly in his crate with no one paying attention to him. Everyone was flocking to the puppies. My husband asked the volunteers to let him out of the crate and Taz almost knocked him off his feet trying to get close to him.
That was it, he had won our hearts!
I went to the shelter the next day to bring him home. He was an older dog and not the smartest dog we had met, but he was one of the most loving dogs I have ever had. Unfortunately we lost him to cancer last July.
He was only with us a few years but he enriched our lives giving us plenty of laughs and love and memories.
Thank you Cindy, for sharing your stories with us!
Cindy is passionate about getting the message out about adopting older dogs – the ones that most people pass right on by to their way to the adorable puppies. I agree that puppies are absolutely precious, and I would never suggest people shouldn’t adopt puppies – who can resist them?
But I’d like to say, there is something immensely fulfilling and wonderful about adopting a senior dog (or cat, for that matter!). How amazing it is to know that as they live out their later years, they can know that they were truly loved and had a family they could call their own, after years of being passed by – and in some cases, dropped off and abandoned by “owners” who no longer want them because they are no longer the “cute puppy” they wanted….
“I encourage everyone who is thinking about getting a dog to check out the local shelters and rescue organizations. There are far too many dogs, including puppies and pure breeds that need good homes.
But please do not overlook the older dogs. You will not have to go through the house training and teething required by a puppy. They normally have learned the basic training (sit and come). Also they have gone through the crazy high energy puppy years and will sit quietly by your side happy to just observe what is going on around them.
They will offer all their love and will be very loyal companions”
I couldn’t agree more, Cindy. Thank you for sharing your story! Don’t forget to stop by Cindy’s wonderful blog, Life Lessons of a Dog Lover.
Has anyone else reading this ever adopted an older dog or cat? Tell us about it in the comments below! Also, if you have time, email me your pictures and/or stories to firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to share and show them off for you!