October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and in honor of that, plus my sweet pup Sheba’s 5th birthday yesterday, I wanted to share my experience with adopting a shelter dog and how rewarding of an experience it truly is and has been! Sure, you can go to a pet shop or breeder and pay an exorbitant amount for a dog, but with most shelter dogs, the adoption rate is much cheaper and you don’t have to deal with spaying/neutering, standard vaccinations or micro-chipping since it’s already been done. Additionally, chances are most of the dogs in shelters didn’t have a good life in their home beforehand and by adopting them, you’re saving their lives. And in return, they save yours.
I adopted Sheba in April of 2012 and I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was out shopping with my mom and sisters and had NO intention of adopting a dog. When we drove by a pet shop that was hosting a Humane Society adoption day, we thought we’d just pop in and give some love to the dogs up for adoption. At this point, still, no thought had crossed my mind of bringing a dog home. But when we turned in and I laid eyes on Sheba (this was her given name by the Humane Society and I kept it), I was adamant on adopting her and found myself giving anyone who came up to see her the stink eye. So about an hour later, the process was completed, and I had officially adopted Sheba.
I’m not going to lie, the beginning was a bit difficult. Sheba’s a bit of a “free spirit” and the minute she arrived at her new home, she escaped and decided to take a lap around the neighborhood, just about giving me a heart attack. This happened on more than one occasion, and WHAT a learning lesson it was. Not all dogs are the same and it’s important for everyone with a dog or thinking about getting one to remember that.
Although spur-of-the-moment, adopting Sheba was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Yes, there’s the added expense of food, toys, treats, and the dreaded vet visits. But on the flip side, my furry child keeps me active with 2+ walks each day, is the BEST companion (she just gets me), provides protection (one day she’ll learn the UPS and FedEx workers aren’t out to get us), and is the biggest mood-booster I could ever have. With my pup, the rough days aren’t so bad. And to be greeted with a big smile, wagging tail, and “happy dance” every day, is the way to live. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Have you adopted a shelter dog? I’d love to hear your story! If not, and you’re looking for a new furry friend to add to your family, I urge you to visit your local shelter and adopt, whether it be this month or years down the line!