Meet Oscar – Our New Four Legged Family Member and Why We Choose Pet Adoption

Why do we choose pet adoption? Before I get into that, here’s a little background. About four months ago we lost our dog Dooley. He had liver cancer and he had gotten sick and he wasn’t able to recover although his vet was optimistic. It was hard on the whole family. After a couple months, my husband and I talked about getting another dog. We weren’t quite ready when we first started talking about it. But a couple months after we started talking about it, we decided it was time. We missed having a dog in our family.

Get things ready. It’s also okay to take your time.

Once we decided we were ready for another dog, we started checking online at our local dog shelter and adoption center. There are also a couple other adoption centers in other towns that are close by that we checked. These centers have their adoptable dogs posted online and we made a list of which dogs we wanted to visit. We also got some supplies ready so we had them ahead of time. Toys, a dog bed, food and water dishes, etc. After we adopted Oscar, we found out he loves tennis balls so we had to make sure we picked some up for him. He loves playing catch and will bring a frisby back but he won’t bring the tennis balls back. He can tear into one of those in zero point five seconds.

Things to consider.

There are things to consider before bringing a new dog home because you should never get a dog on a whim. What size house do you live in? Do you live in an apartment, do you have a yard? Do you travel a lot and do you have a someone to sit for your dog if you do travel? Another thing to consider is the care of a dog. Regular vet visits, emergency vet visits, pet supplies, grooming if necessary – you get the idea. These things can also determine what size or breed you should consider. And of course you should also make sure if it’s okay with your landlord (if applicable) if it is okay to have a dog.

One of the things that we debated on was how old our limit was when it came to adopting. We always rescue and adopt so we already knew our chances of adopting a puppy were really low. Puppies at shelters are rare. At least in our experience that always seems to be the case. We considered age because we have kids. So we really didn’t want to adopt a senior dog because we have no idea how long he would be with us. We decided a dog up to 4 years old would be perfect for us. If we didn’t have kids, we wouldn’t mind adopting a senior. A lot of the time, shelters will offer heavily discounted adoption fees for their seniors.

Visit before adopting.

Adoption centers have what they call adoption rooms. In these rooms, you can take some time with your potential new family member before making your decision. When my husband and I first went to the adoption center, the first dog we wanted to visit with was only 10 months old. She was a cutie. But she was also really scared and very timid. We were told that a lot of things scare her and she scares easily. Considering where we lived and the crazies (like our children) in our household, we didn’t think she would be very happy.

We also visited with a black lab. She was the sweetest. But we were told she has a lot of health problems and was on a few different meds. She was about 4 years old which was in our age limit but since she had a lot of medical problems we felt it was a bit too much to take on. Then Oscar came in.

Our boy Oscar.

Oscar is about 2 years old. We aren’t sure what kind of dog he is but he looks like a terrier mix of the Jack Russell and Staffordshire Bull variety crossed with a Beagle or something similar. I don’t know, but he’s a cutie. As soon as he came in the room, we knew he was part of the family already. He’s a lot smaller than we are used to. He’s sweet and loves to cuddle. Loves playing with the kids and sleeping on my legs every night. He was so excited for the ride home in the car! And boy can he run – he’s fast! We have a rather large property where he can just run. We are still trying to get him to learn where he can go and where to stay so for the most part, he’s still a leash dog even in our own yard.

So why do we choose pet adoption?

Firstly, we saved Oscar’s life. There are so many dogs that need homes. Oscar was at the shelter for 38 days. It’s also a way to fight puppy mills. We may have just adopted one dog but one dog at a time if more people did it could make a difference. Adopting a dog is also cheaper than buying a dog at the pet store. At the pet store you can buy a breed. But at the shelter, I’ll happily take my mutt over a pure breed. I also don’t want to pay anywhere from $500 – $1,000 when I can pay $140 in adoption fees. Oscar was also neutered, checked for worms, treated for fleas, had regular health checks, shots updated and was also microchipped. He was well taken care of. Even his nails were recently clipped.

When it comes to adoption, you can also take your time so that you can find the right dog that fits your family. You want to be able to find the right one because they will become part of your family. If you want an older dog, that option is very likely. It is true that puppies aren’t often found in shelters but it’s actually kind of nice not having to train a new puppy. Don’t get me wrong, I love puppies. But it was pretty nice not having to train Oscar. He was already housebroken. We didn’t have any accidents in the house. I was actually expecting to have some since he was in the shelter for over a month but nope. He’s also very well mannered. He sits when told and will also go lay down and doesn’t bother anyone during dinner or whatever meal time it is.

He’s playful, well mannered, loves us all and we love him. He’s a really great dog, it was love at first sight!

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