In this world of material goods and fancy dinner parties, my sweetie and I were given a very thoughtful gift this year. It was quite literally the gift of giving.
On our end, the transaction was as easy as could be. We were given very specific instructions (literally step-by-step) as to how to log onto the website, enter our gift card number, and begin the not-so-easy process of selecting a charity.
I’ll be honest, we could have been there for months – there are, after all, 9000+ charities. And while we did not take this lightly, we knew it was going to be an animal charity, which thankfully narrowed it down a bit. However, there were still hundreds of charities to choose from.
We ended up choosing Rosie Animal Adoption, a non-profit animal organization that coordinates the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of dogs and some cats in the Montreal area. They are not a shelter and rely completely on the generosity of the public and its volunteers. They strive to educate the public on the not-so-easy task of being a pet owner, and try very hard to match their animals to a ‘forever home.’
Why Petucation (Pet Education) is Important
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for animals and Rob shares this, however, we have both had some pretty big wake-up calls when it comes to our own fur babies.
Starting off with Daisy Duke…
I got her when she was 11 months old. I had heard of Boston Terriers before and knew that they were exactly the dog I was hoping for. I found a breeder through a friend and went to meet the puppies. They had three 12-week old puppies, and one 11-month old left over from a previous litter – Daisy.
The puppies were kept in a barn – in a pen big enough for them to run around and warm enough that it was acceptable. However, this meant that they were not taught some extremely important house-breaking manners. Regardless, the bundles of energy made me quickly forget all of that. They were SO cute.
The breeder obviously wanted to part ways with Daisy because at 11-months old, she was already much bigger than a puppy and therefore harder to find a home for. She encouraged me to play with her. To be completely honest, I was far more drawn to the 3 puppies. Cute and affectionate, they contrasted Daisy’s skittish poop-eating behavior in the worst way.
Long story short, I ended up with Daisy. And for the next month it was a nightmare. She peed on my friend on the way home, after which she peed and pooped EVERYWHERE. She would not come to me – EVER. She looked at me as though I was going to beat the living daylights out of her at every second of every day. She went into heat almost immediately, which means that she bled EVERYWHERE for about 2 weeks. And worst of all, there had been zero cautioning to any of this from the breeder. It was awful and I thought about returning her almost every day.
However, patience and kindness, love and affection won out in the end. She is the best dog and eventually we developed a bond that I have never experienced before. She is the most loyal creature I’ve ever seen. Preferring me to absolutely every single human being on this planet. That is an amazing feeling!
And then there was the Jimis…
Little Jimi Hendrix came from a very loving home. He came with papers and has a very distinguished blood line. And yet, he is the runt of the litter in every single way. He is tiny. He has a concave chest (the main reason why his owner chose not to keep him). He soon took to humping everything in sight, AND his wee winky leaked a horrible substance known only as the most foul word in the English language, smegma. It stained everything and smelled HORRIBLE. He would not leave Daisy alone and she seemed to hate him.
And then there was guilt. The guilt of changing Daisy’s life. The guilt of making a hasty decision and assuming raising a puppy would be easy. The guilt of wishing our lives were simpler again. And the guilt every time we thought about returning him.
In the end we worked through it. We did make a hasty decision. We did rush into it. However we did commit to raising this little bundle of mischief & poop. It took convincing and support from a lot of people (including the breeder), but in the end we stuck it out.
It was certainly not easy then and there are still days when it isn’t easy. Unexpected vet bills, like the time when the Jimis sprained his ankle from sheer addiction to his Chuckit ball, can easily set you back hundreds of dollars.
But, if you ask me, it’s totally worth it.
What I’ve Learned
Obviously it would be a way-better story if we had adopted our dogs from a place like Rosie’s, and perhaps next time we will. However, if you love a certain breed of dog – which we obviously do – I think it’s just as important to research the breeder and make sure they’re reputable and supportive, even after the adoption.
And, of course, there’s the spaying and the neutering. Trust me, you don’t want the bleeding or the smegma. It’s pretty awful and there are far too many unwanted puppies and kittens out there already.
Thank you Di & Michael for your wonderful gift. Thank you to Rosie’s for doing your amazing work with animals. And thank you to you for reading my blog!