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Is the Timing Right to Adopt a Rescue Dog?

A key to any successful dog adoption is timing.

When Marina’s health took a turn for the worse in November 2016, I was mourning the unexpected death of my brother two weeks earlier.

Having to make the brutally difficult decision to help free Marina from her pain just about broke me. We knew it was the right thing to do. It wasn’t the first time we’ve had to make that decision, but it never gets easier.

After that, I felt numb and knew I needed time to heal.

The following May, I received approval for a total hip replacement. Like some of my previous companions, I have bilateral hip dysplasia. The surgery on my right hip took place in August 2017.  The surgery and recovery exceeded my expectation.

It was during my physical healing that the first twinges of the search for a new companion started. My body still needed to recover, but my heart was getting closer.

My husband stayed home with me during the first week of surgery. I felt good about where I was in the process by the time he went back to work.  Accepting help from others isn’t one of my strong points – something I’m working on.

There were humbling moments along the way like getting used to using a walker while making three trips to get coffee, yogurt and fruit, to the table.

This was when I missed Marina’s companionship the most. When she entered her golden years, she laid by my side while I wrote. Her presence was always calm and soothing.  As soon as I could sit longer than 15 or 20 minutes, I was looking through dog rescue sites.

It wasn’t until November 2017 that the timing felt right to move from looking at companions online to meeting them. My birthday was just around the corner when I booked an appointment with The Barking Lot (TBL) to view potential companions.

Two things in particular I like about The Barking Lot is that they make home inspections before you meet any dogs. If you pass the home inspection, you’ll schedule an appointment to meet potential matches. The beauty of this is the ability to leave with your new companion on the same day.

For rescue groups, this weeds out people that may not be the best fit and attracts people that understand the process,  time, and commitment required for success.  Rescue organizations like TBL work hard to make sure they’re putting dogs into the best environment possible when they’re adopted. To stay around and find forever homes for dogs in need, they have to run a tight ship.

The application, interview and inspections can be a turnoff for people that in the past may have walked into a local shelter paid a $40. fee and left with a pet. I’ve always been an advocate of saving a life, however it happens.

For our family, adopting through a rescue organization has been the first choice. The organizations we’ve worked with have always given us valuable insight about the companions we were considering. When they were young, they took into consideration the ages and activities of our children and how it might impact a particular dog’s temperament. Now that our children are adults, the suggestions for a good fit are based on our lifestyle.

When we adopted Petey, we forged a bond with the wonderful people from Forte Animal Rescue. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, even after Petey’s passing. I’m sure it will be the same with TBL.

It’s that level of caring and commitment that creates success stories. It brings absolute joy to create a safe space that allows your companion to flourish.

Yes, it’s hard work and a commitment and it’s a lot easier when you know that it’s the right time in your life to do it.

I’d love to hear your success stories – leave us a comment below.

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