In case you missed it, last week Sarah shared her experience adopting Lou from a shelter. We adopted our sweet Annabelle a little over a year ago from a pet rescue, and it was the highlight of our year!
Since living in my first apartment in college, I wanted to get a dog. However, it just wasn’t feasible when I was single or traveling frequently for work. After Jay and I got married in the fall, we decided that we would add a dog to our family the following spring. We were really hoping to adopt a Golden Retriever because of their kind nature, active personality, and their love for water since we go to the lake frequently during the summer. We also wanted a fairly young dog, so we could train and socialize it and have lots of years with it.
We were fairly picky in our search for a rescue dog, and there were several times I wanted to give up and either pick a different breed to rescue or get a Golden Retriever from a breeder. It took several months working with three different rescues to find the perfect dog. It took a lot of patience to finally find the best one, which was frustrating at the time but worked out in hindsight.
We first worked with a Golden Retriever rescue in Kentucky. They checked our references and completed a home visit. The lady who did our home visit was a friend of the family and wanted us to find a great dog. We mentioned all the qualities we were hoping for in a dog, and one was “good with kids” because there is a chance we might have kids within the dog’s lifespan. She advised us that when we talked with the adoption coordinator to lie and say we didn’t plan to have kids because we would not be approved for a dog. That coupled with an outrageous indemnity clause in the adoption contract made us move onto the next rescue organization.
The next rescue we worked with just stopped communication. They too checked our references, and we were all set to have an interview with them and meet a few available dogs on a Sunday afternoon. I missed a call from them on Saturday morning to determine an exact time to meet and called back three times on Saturday, again on Sunday morning, and sent a couple emails. They NEVER responded.
The third rescue was a charm. They were newer and much smaller than the other two. We put in an application for Angel, a one year old Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix, within a few hours of them receiving her. They called our references, and we met her about a week later. I was so nervous to meet her and baked cookies for her host family (ridiculous, I know) because I wanted them to like us after several failed attempts to adopt a dog. After she was spayed and recovered from surgery, Annabelle (formerly Angel) joined our family. If you’re in Kentucky, I can’t recommend Paw Connections in Berea enough!
There were positives and negatives going through a rescue. The major negative was that some rescue organizations were just difficulty to work with and overly picky about future dog owners. For example, there was a Goldendoodle rescue in Indianapolis I was interested in working with, but their requirements were SOOO extreme. They would not allow couples with children under 10 to adopt, and even though Jay and I grew up with dogs, since we were considered first time dog owners, we would not be considered. The positives were that we were able to be picky about the dog we adopted and know the dog’s personality before we brought it home. Most rescue dogs live with host families for several weeks, so you can ask them about their temperament, ability to get along with people or other animals, and any other funny quirks they may have.
Like Sarah mentioned in Lou’s adoption story, there was an adjustment period. Annabelle has always been really sweet natured, but the first few months we had her, she had separation anxiety and would make messes in the house when we would leave. After a couple months, she stopped doing that and is really calm and obedient when we leave. Annabelle loves going to the lake, taking long walks, and rolling in snow. She is really laid back and loves almost everyone she meets. I’m so happy we didn’t settle for another option during our search!
If you have any questions about dog adoption, Sarah and I would be happy to help!