Adopting a dog is a big decision and it’s not always an easy one either. There’s so much that goes into getting a dog especially if you don’t already have dogs. Sometimes, it’s the difference between life and death for a dog if it doesn’t get adopted.
I’ve been following some groups on Facebook that advocate for dogs that need to be adopted in shelters around Columbus, Ohio for a while now. I remember one occasion where there was this overweight beagle that was absolutely adorable. I obsessed over him for a few days but we couldn’t really afford to get a dog and he was in foster care. I figured he’d get adopted at some pointed and resigned myself to the fact that we couldn’t get the dog and that he’d find a forever home elsewhere.
However, that is not the case for many dogs.
Earlier this year, in June 2017, I spent the night at my mom’s so we could go to the lavender festival the following day. I was scrolling through facebook and came across this dog.
How adorable is he? I just couldn’t help myself and wanted to learn more about this beautiful dog. My heart sank as I learned that he was put on the kill list for that upcoming weekend if he wasn’t adopted. The reason? He was listed as an aggressive dog, especially towards other dogs, and was not available on the adoption floor. He had to be pulled from the shelter by a rescue group in order to be fostered and eventually adopted out. It was late Friday night when I saw Patriot listed on Facebook. I tagged my husband and sent it him a text.
“He’s adorable, but I’m not sure that we can get a dog.”
Saturday morning I checked the post to see if anyone had volunteered to foster Patriot. Nothing. I spent the day at the lavender festival with my mother. I was religiously checking facebook all day to check up on this dog. He was going to be put down the next day if no one volunteered to foster him. I was crouched down clipping off lavender from the bushes to take home with me when I stopped. “Mom, I can’t stop thinking about this dog.”
I got home that night and there still wasn’t a volunteer to take in this dog. Time was running out and he was going to be put down in 24 hours. Since I had shown some interest on the Facebook post I was asked if I might be able to at least foster him. When my husband got off work later that night we sat down and tried to figure out how we could make it work. I was practically in tears. I had never felt this way about a dog before. I just could not let him die.
We finally came to an agreement that we would at least foster Patriot so that he wouldn’t have to be put down. I knew I would regret it if we didn’t. We sent an email to the shelter asking for an extension and that we were interested in the dog. We emailed the rescue and submitted an application to foster Patriot. It was a long night and we didn’t hear anything the entire day. It was an hour before the scheduled executions and the shelter announced that they would give a 24 hour hold on the dogs they were going to put down that day. That Monday we drove from Cincinnati to Columbus to go get him. He was saved.
It did not take us long to decide to adopt him. It was a hard decision because my husband had lost his childhood dog the year before and we also have ferrets. Tender hearts and little souls can really really determine if you’re the right fit for a dog. However, we couldn’t see a future without him and he had already made himself a part of the family. Today, his name is Dakota and this “aggressive” dog is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. He has such a big heart, loves to learn, run, and play with his stuffed fishy.
He’s a four year old Texas Heeler (Blue Heeler & Australian Shepard mix). He is a herding dog with more energy than we know what to do with. Dakota loves to go on hikes at the park and cuddles with us every night at bedtime. I just can’t imagine why anyone would want to give up this sweetheart. He’s so precious but he does have some problems.
He’s scared of everything and wants to chase every car and squirrel in the neighborhood. He has territorial aggression towards people and other dogs. This is strongest when people are in our apartment. We don’t know what problems arose from him being in the shelter for almost a month and what problems he had beforehand. Either way, he loves to learn and get treats so he just needs some training and daily exercise.
Rescuing a shelter dog comes with its own challenges but it’s all worth it. I don’t think people realize that not all shelters are “no kill” and some are notorious for putting down dogs as fast as they receive them. Maybe some people don’t care.
Adopt, Don’t Shop!
I always advocate for adoption. Even our ferrets are adopted! Also, look at donating to local shelters and rescues. There are some organizations that pose as shelters and don’t help animals, like this one, so always donate locally! If you are looking for a great rescue to donate to, consider donating to Storm’s Angels that helped us pull Patriot from the shelter.
Do you have a rescue dog? Feel free to share below!