Tag Archives: cats

Adopt a dog and change your life (for the better)… October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

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A year ago this month, I crossed off an item on my bucket list and adopted a 2 year old toy poodle. He had some health problems but his most serious problem was that he needed a home.

Little did I know then, by adopting him my life would change forever (in a good way).

I’d never had a dog or even taken care of a dog before. I had always adopted cats. I was completely clueless! I had no idea how often he might need to go out, or how to tell if he wasn’t feeling well.

When I adopted Jack, he looked much older than a 2-year old dog. During our initial visit to the vet, I learned he had juvenile cataracts (breed-related) and severe allergies. Thankfully, we have a great vet who monitors Jack closely and helps me ensure he’s doing well. I’m also thankful for friends with dogs who helped me learn what I needed to know to give him a good home.

What I didn’t realize when I adopted him, was how great an impact he’d have on my life.

  • I now know *all* of the neighbors who live within several blocks of my house. Going out for walks with Jack daily has cultivated my sense of community. I’ve made some wonderful friends, and it’s so gratifying to see Jack connect with other people and dogs. He’s a sweet dog and people seem drawn to him.
  • When I get home, it’s always an event! The cats might sneer, but Jack is always thrilled to see me come in the door…. even if I only left 5 minutes before.
  • Because I adopted him as an adult, I had no “raising a puppy” issues. He was already house trained and understood how to tell me he needed to go out.
  • He is very sweet and also very smart. What a great combination! He learns quickly and is very affectionate.
  • It feels great knowing I gave a sweet dog a safe and loving home.
  • I gained a loyal friend. I never really understood why dogs were called “man’s best friend” until I bonded with Jack. Now, I know I’ll always have a dog in my life.

Don’t take my word for it. Go to your local shelter, rescue group or visit petfinder.com, and meet a new friend. He/she will change your life as well!

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How I met my housemates (and how you can meet some, too!)

I live with three furry, affectionate little housemates: Nick, Lucy, and Hubert. All three were rescues: Two were adopted from a shelter, and one had been abandoned to spend the winter outside alone.

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I met Nick at a shelter in December 2000, a month after my beloved Siamese, Simone, was euthanized. Nick was a year old, energetic and very handsome. He has been living with me for 8 years and is a great “big brother” to our new kitty, Hubert, with whom he likes to romp & play.

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I met Lucy in mid-September 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Watching the horrific images of suffering on TV made me want to do something, anything, to make the world feel like a better, more positive place. So, I went to the Connecticut Humane Society. There were so many deserving pets, I wanted to take them all home! Lucy was a lovely but timid seven year old Maine Coon who clearly needed a quiet, loving home. She’s a sweetie and wants to give kisses to every human and feline she meets.

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I met Hubert in late November 2008. I wasn’t planning to adopt another pet but he’d been abandoned and the weather was beginning to get cold (in fact, it snowed the next day). So this sweet, little cat joined our household. He is very mellow and loves to chase around the house with Nick.

What does this mean to you, dear reader? When I adopted these three, I gained more than sweet, wonderful housemates (although I gained that in spades)! I was honored to give three very deserving homeless pets a safe, warm, loving home. That small but very meaningful act has benefitted not only Nick, Lucy, and Hubert, but has also benefitted me by providing the gratification of knowing that I’ve made the world a better place for them.

If you are planning to get a dog or cat, please adopt from a shelter.

(This post was inspired by a Pet Connection article about Maddie’s Fund partnering with the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Ad Council to encourage Americans to adopt cats and dogs from shelters.)