The photo on the left was taken on Jackson’s first hiking trip (about five months ago) and the photo on the right was taken on a recent hiking trip.
On February 10, 2018 I received one of the best gifts I have ever gotten: a dog. For a few months prior this this I had been searching for a four-legged companion. I had visited Pet Smart and the Humane Society several times, and had also been searching online. For a while, it seemed like I would never find the right dog for me, and especially one that didn’t cost over two hundred dollars. However, I continued to search. One day, I visited Pet Smart and found a small, black and white speckled Chihuahua. He was adorable. I had made up my mind — I was going to adopt that little dog the next day, even though I didn’t really have the funds to spend that much money.
The next day, my mother sent me a message to look online at a post she had tagged me in on Facebook. A woman had posted a picture of a dog who had been found wandering the road and needed a good home (a ‘forever’ home). Immediately, I contacted the woman to learn if the dog was still available. Indeed, he was!
It only took a week before this little dog, who is now known as Jackson, was mine. As he was a rescue dog, we encountered some small battles along the way. He was terrified of men. My best friend is a guy, and Jackson would not even let him be in the same room without growling. It took about two weeks before he would let my friend near him. Soon, however, he overcame his problem with men. Another problem that continues to persist is his dog aggression when he is on leash. It can be embarrassing when you are walking your dog and he starts growling at other dogs as you pass by. And honestly, it can get a bit frustrating and make you feel defeated when you don’t see quick improvement. While you may experience these feelings, it’s important to remember that dogs are not people. They behave differently and for all sorts of reasons. There is no point in getting embarrassed or frustrated with your dog. You simply need to continue training them and maintain the hope that the behavior will improve. I have had Jackson for five months now and he still struggles with a bit of dog aggression (on leash), but I can definitely say that he has improved.
My whole point with this blog post is that rescuing dogs is so important. There are so many animals out there that have been abused and neglected, but by rescuing them, we can provide them the opportunity for a better life. It’s important to keep in mind that although they are animals (or just animals, as I have heard people say), they have feelings and they feel pain.
While there are many challenges that you may face by adopting a rescue dog, like the ones I mentioned above, it’s also so rewarding. For example, when I first got Jackson he was far too skinny. He clearly hadn’t been eating well. But over the course of the past five months, he’s gained a good amount of weight! Some even say he’s fat, but I would argue that he is simply well-fed. If you’re interested in adopting a rescue dog, it’s important to understand the time commitment that is necessary to help the dog adjust and to provide him or her with the comfort that will be needed upon adoption. But I can tell you from my experience that it is one of the most rewarding things that you can do. The best moments are when you see them play for the first time, or the first time they trust you enough to lay beside you (Jackson used to sleep on the floor every night, but now you cannot keep him off the bed), or when they start to become friendly with others, rather than cowering. Witnessing these moments will make your heart feel so full of joy.
If you are interested in adopting a rescue dog, but still have concerns, please contact me! I would love to offer you any advice that I can. And if you’ve been searching for a fur-baby, but haven’t had luck yet, just keep searching. You will find the perfect companion for you!
Let’s make the world a better place by blessing abused and abandoned dogs with a new, happy home.