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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: It’s not only the rescue dogs that are the lucky ones

September 1, 2017
By ANNOEL KRIDER , Lake Placid News

When we were looking for a rescue dog to adopt over a year ago, we signed up to a variety of rescue groups and had them alert us when the type of dog we were looking for was available for adoption.

Australian shepherds, border collies, golden retrievers, flat coated retrievers ... knowing that any of these dogs probably would be mixed breeds and that would be perfect. After months of searching, we were redirected to a golden retriever breeder and ended up, for the first time, getting a pure bred puppy and not the rescue dog we had planned on.

Adeline is a year old now and has a wonderful dog life. She has from the very beginning never known anything but love. She's a lucky dog, but we're not so sure she knows how lucky she is.

Article Photos

Arlo and Molly
(Photo provided)

On the other hand, our other dog, Arlo, WAS a rescue dog. He knew and still does know that there is another potential side of a dog's life which he has experienced. He was 8 months old when we adopted him and now he's the lucky dog. When we picked him up at the shelter in Gloversville, which had rescued him from a high-kill shelter in South Carolina, he greeted us with a happy, wagging tail. Whatever had gone on in his life prior to meeting us didn't seem to matter because somehow he knew we were there to take him home and give him the good life. When he approached us with complete trust and joy, we put our arms around him and could feel the pellets still in him from being shot by a BB gun. Who knows what incident provoked the unwarranted shooting of this dog. He was also missing two of his lower teeth. Arlo no doubt had a list of unhappy events we will never know about. Nevertheless, he's been and still is a wonderful dog.

Then there was Ms. Molly Malone, who we adopted from the Malone shelter. When she saw me, her body literally melted into mine when I knelt down next to her - getting her body as close to me as possible, as if to say, "Take me home" and "please don't leave me here." We took her home and she always, for the rest of her life, looked at us with such loving tenderness and gratefulness. She knew, too, that she was a lucky dog.

We've had other rescue dogs (and cats) in our lives, all of which had their own history. Some of it we knew about, but most of the time we didn't. It never mattered because once they came into our lives, their past was behind them. It's not that they would completely forget because I'm pretty sure they don't as remnants of those past lives will always be there.

However, the lives they had with us were happy and trusting and filled with love. Believe me, they knew the difference and were completely appreciative. They knew that we basically saved them. They knew!

Our sweet golden retriever Adeline doesn't have a clue that she was born saved.

I've often heard people suggest that they would never adopt a rescue dog because they carry with them so much baggage. Perhaps they do. All of our dogs did.

However, there was always an instinct, an intuitive feeling in us when we met our dogs. We knew in each case that they would be good additions to our family. There were a few issues here and there, but believe me none of them were as challenging as our sweet, pure bred, right from the breeder, golden retriever Adeline.

Every animal you bring into your home has its own personality, and no matter what you end up bringing home, you have to take the time and work with that animal and teach it how to live with you, whether it's a pure bred puppy or an older rescue. They become part of your family. They understand more than you think and learn the ways of your household and know what you want and if there are issues. You simply take the time to deal with them. If these issues are too challenging, find a local trainer who would be more than willing to help.

So, the next time you think about bringing an animal into your home, please consider adopting a rescue dog or cat. Visit all the local shelters. Search out the rescue sites on the internet. There are still too many perfectly healthy, intelligent and loving animals being euthanized each year simply because nobody is giving them a chance.

Who knows what wonderful gifts they could bring into your life? We know and the treasure is beyond description. Our lives have been made complete with these beautiful animals as part of our family. I think it's my husband and I who are the lucky ones.



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