Adopt don't Shop (where you can)
Unless you've been living under a rock (and hey...there is nothing wrong with that) you have probably heard the term "Adopt don't Shop".
Getting your next family member is an important decision and you need to make sure that the decision you make is right for you and your family. I've been lucky in that my 2 previous dogs have been gifted to me by friends (the most precious adorable gifts a girl could ask for) so I've never actually had to go hunting for a breeder or do research in the area of dog breeding. Puppy farms and reputable breeders have never been on my radar so I have been happily living my life with my gorgeous babies blissfully ignorant of the fact that puppy farms exist and that there are breeders that are unethical and therefore not reputable.
My furbabies (pictured above) are Paris, a 14yo Staffy and Taz, a 6yo Staffy x Bassett Hound. Everytime Paris goes to the vet, which is quite often now she's getting older, poor Taz pines.....badly. He may have the markings of a staffy and a lot of the mannerisms but my goodness he has the HOWL of a Hound. One day Paris had to be at the vet all day for a minor teeth cleaning procedure and he howled and he howled and he howled.....all...bloody....day. I kid you not. I'm surprised the neighbours didn't call the police on me or something.
Anyway, that was when we decided that we should start thinking about getting another dog. Our thought process was that with Taz never being an only dog before, he would get distraught and depressed when Paris finally leaves us (hopefully not for a long time yet) and we just didn't want him to go through that.
I had just started photographing animals and we decided we would adopt a dog when the time came, probably after christmas (we had this conversation in Oct).
In November, I came across a post on Facebook from the Queanbeyan Pound that a gorgeous staffy x was due to be euthanised, and my heart exploded. I just couldn't let that happen so made arrangements to go out and meet this gorgeous boy. Unfortunately, he was an entire male and wouldn't have been a good fit for our family considering we had a male dog already (don't worry, he was adopted by someone else so he went to a forever home) but whilst there, I spotted this skinny, timid, scared little darling in the back corner of a cold looking concrete cage (cue heart explosion no.2).
After a little coaxing she came out to see me and soon was happy to be cuddled. I then organised with QP to bringing my other dogs to visit the next day to see if they would get along with her...and thankfully they all hit it off straight away. Due to paperwork and a busy weekend schedule we had to wait until the Monday to take her home (the meet and greet was on the Thursday afternoon and QP have very limited opening hours). All Thursday night, all I could think about was that little concrete cage and how I just couldn't wait to get her out of there. Come Friday morning, I went pet accessories shopping and I was at the QP as they opened to pick up my "Georgie Girl". This is her in the car as we left Queanbeyan....such a happy face!
She was a totally different dog within hours of being at our house with our other dogs. She had obviously been abused by a tradie as Sean couldn't come near her with workboots or his high-vis gear on and forget him picking up a hose or a broom. Any of those things sent her into a barking/cowering mess. My heart broke again. How anyone could hurt this gorgeous girl is just beyond me. She hoovered her food down like she has never been feed before and was constantly jittery as if we were going to take her food away from her at any moment. Slowly she settled and now, only a few months later, we've fattened her up, Sean can wear his work gear around her and she has learnt all the basic commands including stay when food is put in front of her (that was a HUGE achievement!)
As you can see....she has made herself quite at home. We still have some work to do, she doesn't like walking past construction sites and gets spooked very easily but gradually she's coming out of her shell and she is just the most adorable thing ever!! Yes, I'm probably biased :-)
I will one day photograph her like I do my client animals however she is too wary of everything at the moment too push the matter. Its all about getting her used to new and different things and letting her know daily that she is safe and no-one will ever hurt her. She's found her forever home. I may have rescued her from the pound, but she has given me so much in return I couldn't imagine life without her in our brood.
Have you rescued an animal? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on your fur babies. Feel free to leave comments below or even head over to this post on the Facebook page and show me your rescues!