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adopt a dog

The Adoption Process: Questions to Ask Yourself

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The Adoption Process: Questions to Ask Yourself

Are you ready to add a pet to your family?

It can happen to the best of us. You see a cute, tiger-striped kitten with white paws and green eyes, just begging for attention. Or maybe it's a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tails seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.

If you're like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder!

Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day's work.
But adopting a pet is a big decision. Dogs and cats require lots of time, money, and commitment—more than 15 years' worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

Ten things to consider

The fact that you're thinking of adopting from an animal shelter means you're on the right track; homeless pets in your community are counting on people like you to give them a chance. Here are some things to think about before you make a commitment:

  1. Why do you want a pet? It's surprising how many people don’t ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting an animal because of a chance enounter at the shelter or because the kids have been pining for a puppy (without buy-in from mom and dad) often ends up being a big mistake. Don't forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.
  2. Do you have time for a pet? Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in the shelter are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them.
  3. Can you afford a pet? The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly.
  4. Are you prepared to deal with the challenges that a pet can present? Flea infestations, scratched furniture, accidents from animals who aren't yet housetrained, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
  5. Can you have a pet where you live? Many landlords don't allow pets, and most rental communities have restrictions. In addition, certain types of dogs (e.g. pit bulls, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers and other imposing breeds) are often excluded from homeowner insurance policies, or the owners aren’t allowed to renew or continue their coverage. Make sure you know if and how you are limited by housing-related policies before you bring a companion animal home.
  6. Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet? If you're a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, for example, waiting until you settle down is wise. If you have kids under five years old and you’re thinking about adopting a small mammal like a hamster or gerbil, you might consider postponing this decision since many small mammals present a risk of Salmonella.
  7. Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind? Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active—they require a great deal of exercise to be calm, and they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting a pet, do your research—surf the Internet, talk to pet-owning friends and neighbors, and use shelter staff as a resource. That way, you'll be more likely to choose an animal who fits your lifestyle and living arrangements.
  8. Will you be a responsible pet owner? Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible owner. Of course, giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are also essential.
  9. Do you know who will care for your pet while you're away on vacation? You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
  10. Are you prepared to keep and care for your pet for the long haul? When you adopt, you are making a long-term commitment to care for an animal. That said, good people sometimes find themselves in unfortunate circumstances that prevent them from holding onto their pets. If this should happen, be prepared to take a proactive role in finding a new home for your animal companion.


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How one little rescue dog is helping a grieving family heal

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On, October 29, 2013, Long Island was bracing itself for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. For us, it all started with excitement the night before, as my 2 boys, Liam (age 16) and Colin (age 13) were doing the “happy” dance that school would most likely be closed the next day. We all said our goodnights and went to bed awaiting Sandy’s arrival. The next morning our lives were forever changed and our hearts forever shattered, dwarfing any physical/environmental damage soon to be left behind by Hurricane Sandy. You see, that morning, my beautiful, healthy son, Liam did not wake up. Sometime, during that night he passed into the arms of GOD from an unknown heart condition. It is all still so surreal, even 14 months later as I write this. As the weather took a turn for the worst so did our lives. Hurricane Sandy left us in the dark for 5 days, and Liam’s passing will leave us in the dark for an eternity. We were so broken, especially my son Colin as he lost his best friend too as they were very close brothers.

 

When experiencing a traumatic event such as the loss of a child, experts say not to make any big changes. We continued to live in the home my son was born in and passed in.  Needless to say the joy and happiness no longer was present, as our home became just a house of sorrow and extreme grief. We couldn’t look at or enter Liam’s room. It also didn’t help that Liam’s room is located in the front of the house where we couldn’t even look up at upon entering and leaving the driveway. The one change we made to our lives, in the end is the one vital change that is helping to save us. We rescued Cooper from Little Shelter, 10 mths after Liam’s passing. This little pup has truly been a miracle and gift from above. It is he, who has truly rescued us with his playfulness and unconditional love. Cooper has brought smiles, laughter and positive energy back into our home at a time we couldn’t imagine it ever coming back. We all look forward to coming home again and having him greet us. His kisses and addiction to cuddling, help ease our pain every day. I am most grateful for the change Cooper has brought to my younger son.  Colin did not like being in the house alone anymore and coming home from school was the worst as my husband and I both work. Now, Colin comes running in the door with such energy and excitement to see Cooper. They keep each other company until we get home. They play, wrestle and chase each other around the house.

 

Believe it or not, Cooper, sits on Liam's bed looking out the window awaiting anyone of us to come home. We now look for him upon entering/exiting the driveway, smiling at his excitement in seeing us. We never thought we could look up at that window again.

 

 

We thought we were going to rescue a little dog and it turns out this little ball of love rescued us instead. Cooper is helping us through the most traumatic loss a family could go through. He truly is our Rescue Dog of a Lifetime!

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7 Reasons You Need A Dog In Your Life

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1. They help babies stay healthy by being dirty.

    We receive hundreds of phone calls a year with people telling us they have to give up their dog because they are having a baby. Yes really, it's one of the top reasons. Well guess what expecting parents a study has shown that babies with dogs are actually healthier than those without dogs. The reason is because dogs will track in dirt, mud,  thereby boosting the child’s immune system.

 So parents next time you call saying you have to surrender your dog this is no longer a valid reason. 

2. Help you stay in shape.

   A study has determined that children that have dogs are more active, than kids without dogs. With America being one of the most obese countries in the world, this is a major benefit for proponents of exercise.

3. Help you be more social.

  British Medical Journal has found dogs act as “social catalysts,” who help people get out more, approach others more easily, and overall reduce isolation. 

Now get out their and be a social butterfly with your dog.

4. Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Problems.

   The American Heart Association concluded that owning a dog, in particular, was “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease. People with dogs certainly have more reason to go outside and take walks, and their presence declines peoples reactions to stress and lowers their heart rate.

  Take that Cheerios.

5. Aid With Depression.

    "Studies show that animals can reduce tension and improve mood. Along with treatment, pets can help some people with mild to moderate depression feel better. Having a dog gives you responsibility, and experts say adding responsibility can help aid depression. Dogs add new and positive focus in your life. Dogs remind you that you can do more than you might think.

6. Help Prevent Bullying.

  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, "nearly a third of all students between the ages of 12 and 18-years-of-age reported being bullied at school in 2007." Lately programs have been springing up all over the country using dogs to prevent bullying.  Children identify with the dog when mistreated and transfer those feelings of compassion to their schoolmates. 

7. They empathize with human pain.

  Dogs may empathize with humans more than any other animal, including humans themselves, several new studies suggest. The Journal of Animal Cognition, found that pet dogs may truly be man (or woman's) best friend if a person is in distress. That distressed individual does not even have to be someone the dog knows.

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