Things You Learn By Adopting A Dog
And How It's Different From Buying A Dog
I come from a family of buyers. I had never experienced the adoption process before, but I had decided that, when I was ready, I was going to adopt a dog. Everything fell into place quickly. I got a job that meant I could afford a dog, I got a new roommate who wasn't allergic to dogs, and I felt ready. It only took a couple weeks for me to find the perfect dog to adopt. Her dopey face and the sweetest one eye I've ever seen won me over instantly. I had her in my home a few days later. Now, it's been over a year since that day and I've loved every moment of it. When I adopted my dog, I knew I was ready for the responsibility, but I didn't anticipate how much she would change me. And she changed me a lot.
I always thought the term "dog mom" was cute, but I have fully taken on this role like an official title. I always told my family I was never going to be a mom, but I lied. I am my dog's mom to my core. I love her so very much. I take her on playdates with her friends. I take her to her classes where she learns tricks and obedience. I talk to her like she's a human and I spoil her rotten.
But that's not what I mean by change. My dog came to me with some major issues. Granted, not all dogs that you adopt come with issues, and not all dogs you buy come without issues, but my dog came with a heavy history. My dog's adoption bio didn't mention anything of past abuse, and I think that's because they didn't know. She was found on the street. And her past with abuse doesn't affect her sweet personality, nor does it make her aggressive, so I don't blame them for not saying anything.
I realized within the first couple days I had a dog who had been treated poorly. My roommate, a man, came in and she cowered. It took about a month of love and gentleness from him for her to trust him. She would approach strangers with the full intent of happily making a new friend, but then cower and run away when they would go to pet her. I would move quickly around her and she'd shake. If I got a broom out, she'd cry, and one time I shook a container of nuts and it made a clanking sound and it made her act like I hit her.
She was a very sweet, soft, and timid girl. She changed me because she taught me about vulnerability. She looked at me with her one big eye and I could tell she was trying to trust me. Because of that, I had to be vulnerable and trusting of her too. I immediately started to do research, and I immediately started working on her.
My dog made me more patient. She took a lot of work. I dealt with some very frustrating moments, both for me and for her. One time, her collar got hooked to another dog's chain collar and had a major freak out. She hurt herself trying to escape, scared the other dog, and my neighbor and I cried for hours after. My dog would scream when she saw the dog or that neighbor after that, not bark or whine, scream. It set her back months of training and confidence building, and took months to recover. But it was worth it.
I would now describe my dog as goofy, sweet, and friendly. She is almost a completely different dog now and I am a completely different person. She taught me patience, vulnerability, and what it truly means to sacrifice for another being. I wouldn't change a thing.
If you are debating on buying or adopting, I would encourage you to adopt. This is for so many reasons, but especially because of how much your future dog will change you. You will receive a dog with an unknown history. We don't always know what they've been through before they became our furbaby, but they will most certainly be the most loving and trusting furbaby you will ever have.
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