This is a picture of my dear little Susie Bell. After a long happy life, we had to let her go yesterday. She was my constant companion (and I do mean constant. I never went anywhere in the condo without her at my heels.) I miss her terribly.
But I don't want this post to be sad. I want it to be hopeful. You see, Susie was a rescued dog. We found her at the pound and nursed her back to health. She rewarded us with years of joy and uncritical love.
If you are considering adding a pet to your family, let me encourage you to by-pass the pricy purebred. There are thousands of homeless pets waiting to be adopted at local shelters. Puppies are fun, but let me also urge you to consider adopting an adult animal. There are far more of them available and they are less likely to be placed in a home. Susie was at least 5 years old when she came to live with us.
Another source of "found" pets is puppy mill rejects. Meet Mack, an Irish Jack Russell. He was born with a surgically correctable defect, but the breeder was going to put him down since the defect rendered him unsell-able. Instead, Mack came to live with us. His problem was fixed and he's been a happy, healthy addition to our family for the last four years. He's a natural clown and so smart we suspect he can both spell and count to at least 3.
If your heart is set on a specific breed, another place to look for a "found" pet is among rescue societies dedicated to certain breeds, like retired dog track greyhounds.
If you do bring a dog into your family, you open yourself to heartache, but the love and laughs they bring to their owners' lives far outweighs the eventual sadness.
Do you have a "found" pet? Please share your story. Someone else may be moved to save a little life.