While dog parents understand that having a dog is obviously not exactly the same thing as having a two-legged child, most dog people feel that their dogs are just as much a part of the family as any human. We share in their joy of the simple things like laser lights, we comfort them when they have bad dreams or are scared, we feel their pain when they are injured, we feel their happiness when they are running like the wind.
In return, dogs offer us far more than just their slobbery, dog breath kisses and destroyed electronics. They are little stress-reducers; many studies have shown that just petting a dog increases production of stress-reduction hormones. They offer comedy relief with their silly antics, chasing tails and tossing toys up in the air. They are in tune with our emotions and know when we are feeling unwell, and they offer us comfort. They protect us. We can be gone for only five minutes but when we return they are just as excited as if we had returned from been gone for days. They love us unconditionally.
Being a dog parent is not for everybody, but those who open their hearts and homes to a dog (or many dogs!) are rarely disappointed. Whether you are the original owner or you have a new-to-you dog, purebred or Heinz 57, boy or girl, big or small, it doesn't matter. We love them all the same. Luckily for those of us wanting to expand our families, there are great organizations like Indy Humane who provide adoption services for animals in need of a loving home.
When I adopted my first shelter pup, I already had dogs who were older. Knowing that our beloved pets do not live forever (despite all of the wishing on falling stars that they would at least live as long as we do), it was my hope to add to our family to help ease the pain of losing Jack and Audrey when the time came. I started thinking about breeders, as so many people do when they are ready to welcome another animal into their life. Luckily, something made me think back to another family member who was very involved with the Humane Society, which led to thoughts of all of those animals in need of a second chance in a loving home. Realizing that that puppy mills are nothing more than a business transaction for breeders, I knew that adoption was the only route for me.
The first pup came in the form of a spunky little guy named Winston. He was 11 or 12 at the time and had a heart condition, the combination of which made placing him difficult. I knew right away that he was going to fit right in with us. Not terribly long after that, I decided to foster a sweet little guy named Herbie. He was around 10 and had health issues as well, so he had been up for adoption for quite a while. Daily eye drops and a heart murmur made him less attractive to potential families, which is why I thought to foster him until he found his forever family. As it turned out, we fell in love with him quickly, so we became his forever family.
My third adopted family member was in desperate need of an understanding and caring home. Scout had been tied up outside in heavy chains his whole life, resulting in terrible neurological damage. IACS, a city service that will pick up animals being abused or not cared for properly, took him in despite knowing he would be nearly impossible to adopt out. At only four years old, I knew this pup needed my help and love. Now this second-chance dog snuggles right in with us, runs around the yard freely, and loves to get treats and ear scratches!
Each of the dogs I have taken in has shown how grateful and happy they are to have a loving home. It is so rewarding knowing I can provide for them and give them a life they deserve, and to receive their love in return. This is why I love working with the Humane Society. Being tenacious dog people, we at We Are Recruiters are proud to support such a worthy cause by donating a percentage of every fee to their Medical Sponsorship Program, which helps prepare dogs and cats for adoption. The Humane Society also has an ongoing wish list of items that they need on a daily basis, to which we donate monthly.
As a no-kill shelter, they often find themselves caring for animals that are difficult to adopt out. In addition to providing shelter to unwanted animals and adoption services to help those animals find their forever homes, they also offer positive reinforcement behavior training and public outreach programs to help educate people about animal welfare. For more than 100 years they have been putting animals first. And we want to be right there with them! So this holiday season if you are looking to add a furry friend to your family, please consider looking at a shelter first. Please ADOPT and don't SHOP!