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Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really care what color coat is, what sex it is or how many pounds it weighs?
If so, you really want a puppy from a breeder, not a rescue. Rescue dogs rarely conform to an exact type.
- Am I looking to save money?
You may not save money buying a rescued dog, even though initial cost could be $700 or $800 less than from a breeder. Rescue dogs often need more medical care because of abuse and neglect they suffered before.
- Is my life relatively stable and my household relatively quiet?
All abused creatures, whether dog or human, crave and need an unusually organized household. Many people can be good parents to a rescue dog. But perhaps best potential parent of all is an older person or couple whose children are grown, and who has time and patience to devote to dog's mental and physical healing.
- Can I provide regular medical care and regular grooming?
The deepest wish in heart of Dog Rescue folks is each of their dogs never has to go through another minute of hunger, discomfort or pain again.
When dogs are starved, they sometimes have incontinence problems that heal only slowly. They may need more regular teeth cleaning than a continually cared-for dog. Some need a house training refresher when former owners didn't bother. Most were never clipped or groomed, even in non-shedding breeds. Do you have time and resources to keep your dog totally safe and comfortable?
- Can I consider need and adopt a boy rescue, or an older rescue?
For reasons not entirely clear, many potential adopters go for girl dogs. There's no logic to this: all rescue dogs are spayed or neutered, and boys are as intelligent, witty, loyal, well-behaved and loving as their female counterparts. Perhaps it's just that rescue impulse leads us to think of "damsels in distress"!
At any rate, that adorable boy that needs a home really deserves your attention. Someone less educated might pass him by for reasons they don't fully understand.
The upshot is, a rescue dog can make best pet you've ever had. He understands exactly what you're giving him, since he didn't have it before. Your newest family member will offer you an overabundance of loyalty for rest of his days.
*How can I help with Dog Rescues?
Dog Rescues are always looking for help. Of course, they need financial contributions, and kennel and medical supplies. They also need 'foster moms' who perform difficult task of patiently rendering a dog adoptable, then giving it up to its final owner! So if you have skills in this area and want to help, contact small and amazing group of volunteers that make up your local Dog Rescue.
Blake Kritzberg is happily Mom to a rescue dog, and proprietor of Poodle-oo: Fashion for the Toy Dog Breeds. http://www.poodle-oo.com/