Self Improvement

Why Everyone Needs a Rescue Dog

Rue-Stoffer Photography 0095

I grew up with rescue animals but always preferred cats to dogs. And the dogs I liked were usually on the fluffier site. But if you follow me on instagram, it’s pretty clear that I’m obsessed with my chihuahua min-pin (mix) rescue pup, Buddy.

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On my 18th birthday, I realized that as an adult I could do adult things. No, I didn’t throw a party or buy some smokes and a lottery ticket. I went to the pound and adopted a sick kitten. I’m a sucker for the broken ones, guys.

Today, I’m here to change your life and talk you into getting a rescue dog (or cat if that’s your thing) of your own. You’re welcome.

Let’s start with this guy and how we ended up together

It’s December 2008 and I’m walking down Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles. I pass a small pet shop that happens to be hosting an animal adoption drive. I’m not sure why, but I walked in and beelined toward a sad, scrappy looking little guy with oversized ears and an oversized cast on his tiny broken leg. Let’s not forget that I’m more of a cat person and prefer fluffy dogs. And I’ll just say it. I don’t really like chihuahuas. Or min pins.

Enter Buddy. A few hours later, I walked out the door with a chihuahua min pin mix with a broken leg.

What. The. Hell.

And just like that, the rescue organization I adopted him from (Good Dog Animal Rescue, which has since closed its doors), had an open spot for a new shelter dog. A gift that keeps on giving.

Before getting a dog, consider the following.

1. The cost of food and necessities. Buddy is tiny and gets 1/4 cup 2x a day so his food doesn’t cost much
2. The cost of pet insurance which is necessary (trust me on this one)
3. Who will watch your dog when you leave town?
4. That you either work from home, can get home around lunch to walk your dog, or are able to hire a dog walker

If you have 1-4 covered, go for it. It’ll change your life in the best possible way.

Why rescue?

This isn’t the part where I tell you that breeders are terrible and that you’re horrible if you don’t adopt a rescue dog, because I’d never say that. It’s not my place to tell anyone what’s right or wrong. But I will take a stance on puppy mills and say they’re terrible.

Here’s why I rescue.

I was raised to adopt from shelters and rescue organizations and remember going to pick out one of our childhood dogs.
Look at these numbers in Chicago alone.

Allergies? There are tons of breed specific rescues. I have a friend who just rescued a 5 year old cavalier. She skipped the puppy phase which is highly overrated if you ask me, and gave a great dog a home.

Convinced that rescue dogs have problems? Some do. Some can be rehabilitated with training and others can’t. I can say the same for dogs from breeders. My friends’ dogs from breeders have done far worse than Buddy. Sure, he had a crazy health scare years ago, but a friend’s dog ate something and needed surgery. Buddy doesn’t chew anything, is really mellow, and loves babies and children.

My dog was on the list to be euthanized when he was only a few months old and had the rescue organization not picked him up from the pound, he wouldn’t be alive. There are few things better than knowing you were able to give a dog (or cat) a second chance.

Here are some of the benefits of having a rescue dog

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 7.18.54 PMYou’ll never tire of your dog’s cuteness.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.52.18 PMMost dogs don’t do this but I really enjoy that he lets me do things like this.

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The friendship.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.52.31 PMYou’ll never wake up alone again. Ever.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.51.23 PMOr sit on your deck alone.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.01.00 PMOr your couch.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.51.40 PMYou’ll basically never be alone again because your dog will always be there. Watching you. Waiting for food.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.01.34 PMYour dog will do things like toilet paper your home and you’ll think it’s the cutest.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 7.21.32 PMDid I mention the friendship?

My one regret and what it’ll cost you

My one and only regret with Buddy is not signing up for pet insurance right after I got him. Any pre-existing conditions are excluded and since he had patellar luxation. I made the mistake of assuming it was his one big thing that would need coverage and never invested in insurance. A few years ago, Buddy almost died after ending up with thrombocytopenia, which is very rare and very expensive to treat. I’ve heard Healthy Paws and Trupanion are best.

Pet insurance is around $35-$45 a month depending on the type of coverage you want (anywhere from 70-90%). I spent almost 6k the first week Buddy was sick and hundreds a month for at least a year. And no, that was not in my budget, but I never questioned spending the money. Paying his medical bills meant opening a medical credit card (through care credit) that didn’t have interest if paid off within 6 months. I got it all paid off without interest and would do it again in a second, but with his legs and immune system as preexisting conditions, he’s basically uninsurable.

That said, I’d do it again in a second. He’s the family I brought with me from LA to Chicago. My roommate, office buddy, best friend, and the classiest guy I know.

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So there you have it. Solid logic behind the importance of rescuing a dog, right?

Are you considering getting a pet? What’s holding you back? Any questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.

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