Fact: Saving a Dog Won’t Change the World.
Truth: But for the Dogs, the World Changes Forever.
People, specifically my Dad, thinks I’m nuts, nuts for my dogs. “I can’t believe you let them sit on the couch! You let them sleep in the guest bedroom? Under the covers!!”
Since moving back to Maine, family members, specifically my Dad, have gotten a first hand glimpse of what it means to have dogs as “part of the family.” The year I rescued my two brindle “mutts” (Boxer Lab? Boxer, Lab, Pit? Pit Boxer? Boxer, Lab, Mastiff some Great Dane? The list could go on) my life has changed forever. Atticus (the Boxer, Lab, Mastiff, Dane mix) was my first rescue. He was born into one of those disgusting puppy mill factory-like environments. For those of you who are not aware of such a thing, puppy mills are large-scale puppy breeding operations where profit is given priority over everything, including the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills treat dogs like products, not living beings and usually house them in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, socialization or even food and water. Here are some photos of puppy mill conditions (I did not want to subject you to the horrid conditions frequently found in puppy mills, so here are some “tame” images. A simple Google search can reveal the horrific conditions puppies face in puppy mills).
Atticus arrived covered in fleas, but as little and as sweet as could be. He was perfect aside from being neutered way to young as well as tattooed on his belly! The newest addition to our family had arrived.
Ava, our sweet Pit Lab, was rescued on a whim at a very disgusting Kill Shelter in Denver, CO. She was emaciated, malnourished, scared, covered in her own feces, and had a sign on her cage that indicated she was up next to be killed. If her conditions were not bad enough, I had learned that she had been left by her previous family in their foreclosed home to die. I was not in a position or looking to rescue a second dog but I could not leave such a face behind. Her sweet little eyes looked up at me and pleaded for me to take her home. Her little paw was wrapped around my ankle and I knew in my heart she was supposed to be mine.
At this point I had rescued Atticus a little over a year ago so I was hoping he might find room in our life to accept Ava and share his toys. Atticus was a mama’s boy coming to work with me daily, playing in the park and lounging on me while watching TV. He was my first “fur baby” whom I loved more than I thought possible. He was part of the family.
The night I brought Ava home he was so sweet to her, he licked her face and shared his food, he let her play with his favorite toy and made room on his fluffy bed for her. She was home. To this day Atticus and Ava are the best of friends. They are two peas in a pod, that were rescued in Colorado, trekked across the country with me to NYC where we resided for about 3 and a half years until we made our last and final move back to my roots, Portland, Maine.
Still sharing toys, Atticus and Ava have a life full of love, warmth and a place they know is a forever home.
When deciding to get a pet, I strongly encourage you to think about rescuing and changing a life. There are puppies, as well as older dogs, available to be rescued, that need better situations and homes. Dogs go homeless everyday, dogs are abused everyday. Make a difference, change a life and adopt.
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