Adopt, Don't Shop: Welcome Home Mani!

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Adopting a puppy is something that I’ve always wanted to do. This is not a very popular thing to do in Venezuela as it is in the U.S. Maybe because of our culture beliefs? Maybe because there’re not as many animal shelters or at least there are not as well known? Maybe because there’re not as many puppy mills? I really don’t know what the reason is but my cousin just told me that apparently more people are starting to adopt now, including her!

When I was 9 I got my first and only dog, a golden retriever named Chopin. He was a present from my uncle and he was with us for 13 years. My parents believed that one dog was more than enough so I didn’t have the possibility of adopting. Because of that I never looked into what the options were in Caracas where I grew up. To be honest I don’t even know of a single animal shelter there and I didn’t even know puppy mills existed until about a year ago.

I always wanted to adopt a dog because my heart felt that it was a way to give love to a creature that needed it. If there’re so many puppies in the street or living under inhumane conditions why go get one that has everything he/she needs? Didn’t seem very fair to me.

This was my original thought until I learned the cruel reality behind puppy mills. I want to make this a happy post so I don’t want to be very graphic with this but I do want to invite you to do your own research. Just think about heartless people breeding thousands of dogs just to make money while having them in the nastiest, unkindest and most inhumane conditions. They literally jam 10 puppies in a crate for 1. This is happening right now as you read this post. When you buy you may be supporting this industry, an industry that shouldn’t exist. Those puppies need to be rescued and these businesses need to be shut down.

When I moved to the U.S. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally go to a shelter and get a dog. Soon enough I realized that with school I didn’t spend any time at home and felt it’d be unfair for the puppy. Then I moved to Chicago and the ad agency I worked for had an animal shelter as a client; If you adopted a puppy from them you could bring it to the office… This was my chance!

When I started considering this my relationship with Bobby got pretty serious and again I felt that if I was going to move to a different state it was better to wait.

A year into our marriage I told Bobby how much I really wanted a dog, a rescued one. He hasn’t had a dog in years and the house was just renovated so he wasn’t very convinced with my idea. I always dreamt of having a house with 3 big dogs running in the yard. We fostered two dogs with the intention of keeping them but it didn’t work out, and by that I mean that we didn’t have enough patience with them, and they shed… A lot! A non-shedding dog was the only true condition that Bobby had so I had to respect it and now I’m thankful for that. After months of asking him for a big rescued dog I told him that I didn’t care what type of dog we got, I just wanted one.

That Christmas he brought home our sweet little Coco Deen, a havanese. She’s not a rescued dog but she’s one of the biggest blessings that have come into our marriage and I wouldn’t change her for anything in the world. She came from a certified breeder so technically she came from a good place with decent conditions. Over the years Bobby and Coco have bonded to a whole different level. Their love for each other is endless and he couldn’t be more thankful to have her home.

I love Coco and she definitely is a ball of sunshine but my desire to adopt was still in my heart. I brought the subject again to Bobby a few months back and he agreed that we could foster a dog for the third time.

Now I knew. In order for everyone to be happy I needed to find a small dog with minimal shedding.

I looked into different shelters online and decided to go meet a few puppies at Coastal Pet Rescue… These people do an incredible work! I was a bit nervous of walking in there because I knew it was going to be a sad experience and that I’d want to bring all the puppies home but after talking to Lisa Scarborough (Founder and Director of the shelter) I learned that they have a no killing policy so all the puppies were safe. This gave me huge amounts of relief.

When I walked in I locked eyes on this little Shihpom (Shitzu-Pomerenian mix) called Gator. He’s 2 years old, very cute, extremely playful and loving. Seemed like the perfect fit to me so I brought him home. At the time he was battling fleas and had some knots on his hair. I couldn’t take him to the groomer because he didn’t have the rabies shot so I just gave him a second flea treatment (he got the first one at the shelter)

He was with us for 3 days and it didn’t take long for Coco and Bobby to fall in love with him like I did.

I’ve heard a lot of things about how rescued dogs are the best because they’re extremely thankful and would do anything to please you. He’s the living proof of this. He came potty trained, knows a couple of commands, is good with the crate and won’t leave our sight… We are so thankful he came into our lives! Bobby already loves him and is very happy that he’s here.

When I look into his face I believe that all these years I’ve waited to adopt have been worth it. If you want a puppy please adopt, you may need to wait longer and be patient if you have specific needs to fit for your home but if you contact different shelters in your area it’ll all come together at the right time.

P.S. If you are looking for a dog or cat in the Savannah area contact Coastal Pet Rescue. They have over 80 animals that need a forever home and where extremely nice and educative in the process.