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Give Shelter Pets a Chance When Adopting a New Pet

Aug 7, 2008
And, while some shelter animals may need a little more attention and care, many make great pets. After the death of the last of our three beloved dogs (one St. Bernard and two Rottweiler's), decided to adopt a dog from a shelter. Spent weeks making a list of requirements for our 'perfect' dog: medium size (under 80 pounds), housebroken, between two and five years old, good with children, and leash broken.

Spent hours combing through pet finding sites and local shelter sites. Each day, printed the photos of possible dogs and took them home for review. Thought we found a shelter that had five dogs that would be good fits. Then, printed the photo of Bruno of a local rescue site. We found one dog picture, we knew he was the perfect dog for us.

He was 82 pounds, two years old, good with children and other animals, housebroken, and leash broken. Made an appointment, gathered my niece and her then two year old son and made the 45 minute drive to meet him. He had been with three families before finally being left at animal control. The rescue group had gotten him on his final day. He had worms and was in need of a bath, but they took him to the shelter. They were told he was destructive and was not housebroken.

However, after his bath and an exam (where the worms were found), they determined that he was really just bored, was housebroken (but the worms caused accidents), and would be a great pet. He was at the rescue shelter for two weeks before meeting up with him. It was love at first site. He immediately went to the baby and let him tug his ears and pull his tail. He was gentle, easy to walk, and just a great dog. The next week, the shelter brought him for a home visit. The decision was made to keep him, and to surprise, they let him stay that day (we were told it would take another week at least).

Everything was going fine, told he was crate trained. Apparently, he was in process of being trained. He easily destroyed two crates, a wall, and a chain link fence on a dog run (and breaking a tooth). At wits end, called the shelter. They suggested putting him on medication for separation anxiety. The medication generally takes two weeks to begin working, so I had to leave him a day-board kennel (he was fine if other dogs and people were nearby).

After visiting my normal vet for a follow-up, we discovered that he was also quite a bit younger than we thought; he was really only slightly over a year. We've had him now for about a year and a half. He is still on medication, but able to leave him in the dog run without him trying to get out.

Dog has also grown to 105 pounds. But, despite everything, he is the most loving and gentle dog we could have hoped to adopt. He recently completed training and testing to be a therapy dog and has patiently withstood two great-nephews under two staying with us.
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing author of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and views visit Jetfly Pets & Animals Blog now. Also, for the best up-to-date related online products, check out Jetfly Dog Training Video & Books Shop for todays current online deals.
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