I have been wanting a dog for years. But for several of those years, our living situation didn’t make that possible. When we finally moved into our own apartment, my desire to have a dog was renewed, although my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea in such a small space. However, last week, he revealed to me that he planned to give me a dog for my birthday, which is next week. I had always wanted a Yorkie, but it was more important to me to adopt a dog than to buy one just because it was a purebred.
We wound up with the sweet little ball of fluff you see above and below, who we named Shiloh. We adopted him, though not from a shelter, and we couldn’t be happier.
- We live in an apartment, and there are restrictions on the type of breed we can have.
- We also wanted a smaller dog for this reason.
- We wanted a medium-energy dog who would be able to live happily even without a yard to play in.
- We have a four-year old, so we had to have a dog who was good with kids and wouldn’t bite.
That wish list, small though it may be, proved to make our shelter search really difficult. What we found is that most of the rescue dogs were larger breeds, required a yard or had behavioral problems and weren’t recommended for kids. We did find one option, a Chihuahua mix named Laverne, but several other potential adopters had already filled out applications for her.
While we didn’t find our forever dog at a shelter, it wasn’t because we didn’t find dogs who were lovable. Their stories will tug at your heartstrings. There was a Chow puppy whose eye had to be removed because it was ulcerated. There was another mixed breed puppy whose owner threw him out of a moving vehicle and who, as a result, was very timid and didn’t get along well with people or other dogs. Seeing, and in some cases holding, all of them was a really heartwrenching experience.
They all really made me wish that we owned our own home so there would be fewer restrictions on the kind, and number, of dogs we could own.
We found him!
Later that day, fate would intervene though. We were on our way to go grocery shopping at Walmart, and spied a little boy holding up a sign for puppies. We headed over to him and his dad and little brother. Their dogs had six puppies, and they were trying to find a home for them. They had already found takers for three of them before we arrived, and I kept thinking I really wanted to adopt from a shelter. But when I saw the little puffballs he pulled out of the kennel, I was instantly smitten.
The puppies were Doxie-Chons, which means they were a mix between a Dachsund and a Bichon Frise. I cared little about his breed once I held him in my arms, though my husband did think to ask how big he will get (7-8 lbs. full grown). We want to be responsible dog owners, so once I got over my delirious happiness, we asked all the questions we could think of.
Was he a breeder? Are the puppies healthy? Are the puppies good with kids? Would they require a yard? Did he want an adoption fee, and if so, how much? And about a dozen other questions that escape my mind right now. Once we were satisfied that we would be doing a good thing by bringing home one of the puppies, we agreed to take one of the males, who they had dubbed Moonie for his habit of walking backwards (he looks like he’s doing the moonwalk).
Do I have any regrets? Not really, though I’d still like to go back to the shelters and perhaps become a foster parent until we’re able to own another dog permanently. But at the end of the day, I’m happy that we were able to give a dog a home without going to a pet store and who didn’t come from a puppy mill.
So next time you decide to get or give a pet, head to a shelter first, or adopt from a family who can no longer care for them.