who rescued who?


  Wednesday, 2.5.14


truth be told,
i don't know much about breeders at all.

i do know a bit about puppymills (thanks to one of my bestie's, Angela, who is so knowledgeable about any subject involving our four-legged friends it isn't even funny!)...


but what i can say i know about with ALL OF ME
is the uncanny & indescribable
LOVE
that is found when ADOPTING an animal
& how it changes your life for the better,
times A MILLION.

true story.
& no, this is not an overstatement.

years before i adopted Jones,
i would be editing & continually distracted by countless neighbors walking their dog(s) outside my window. i would catch myself drift off to dream-world about having my own dog to take for walks outside, to play fetch with, to cuddle with, to LOVE on....

all of my loved ones (except for Ang of course)
thought the idea for me to have a dog was absolutely BONKERS because of how busy i was.

whereas in my heart, i knew i NEEDED that 'dog' as much as he needed me... if not more.

then one day, after countless searches on petfinder.com for a dog that had golden retriever in him
(my only requirement... for some reason, i just really wanted a golden at the time!),
Ang sent me a profile of an 8 week old puppy who was said to be "part golden retriever/ part collie".
his name was 'Zeus' & from the one photo they had of him he looked like Piglet from Winnie the Pooh ---
needless to say, i was smitten.
i filled out the online form to get approved to meet him, got a call that day & went to meet 'Zeus' the next.

adopting, although as i mentioned before is literally the BEST thing E V E R, can also be a wee bit scary, intimidating & overwhelming (aren't most good things in life, though?!). thank GOODNESS i had Ang with me that day otherwise i don't know if i would have known to make the decision to adopt.

if i can give you some GOOD, SOLID pieces of ADVICE...

ONE would be to ---
have a friend that supports you to lean on throughout the process....
ESPECIALLY one who loves animals & has been through it before.

you see for me, i met 'Zeus' inside the rescue owners home. although Zeus was actually pretty mellow for a puppy, Zeus's brother was also there (bouncing off the walls, nipping & peeing all over the place), as was the owner's toddler! and i just froze -- my eyes locked on Zeus but unable to think elsewise. that is, until i heard the comforting whisper from Ang to pick Zeus up and take him outside, to spend a little alone time with him & feel him out.

& B O Y am i glad i did.
it didn't take me much more then a minute on that porch sitting with the then 'Zeus',
now better known as Jones or Jones-ey or Jonsie-ponsie-macaronsie , in my lap to know that :

he was mine & i was his. the deal was done. our hearts were locked.

& i was officially a dog owner.

>> insert emoticon with heart eyes here please <<


which leads me into my SECOND solid piece of advice --
the first year is the toughest, yet SO ridiculously rewarding.
be sure to arm yourself with the proper training as it will make THE WORLD of difference, not just for your dog & his life, but yours, too.
i can't stress this enough!!!

i wanted a dog that was well-trained for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that one day i wanted to have kids & i wanted them to have a dog that they could be around.
at first i bought Cesar Millan's book Cesar's Way which was/is a PHENOMENAL read, but i needed a bit more than that.
i needed something hands-on.

that's when i hired Sit Means Sit & my world was changed forever! to this day we get SO many people telling us "what a great dog" Jones is, how "well-behaved" he is...

& i can honestly say i owe it ALL to what Sit Means Sit taught me.

they are the reason he is leash free & i NEVER worry about him running off or not listening to me.
they are the reason he is SUCH a great walker & never pulls or tugs.
they are the reason i can leave him at home & NEVER ever worry about him getting into something.

they are truly incredible & i say this from my heart. i can't recommend them enough.

now let's fast forward to this past summer. June 8th to be exact.
Mark & i had actually been thinking & looking for a second dog for well over a year at this point. we had actually applied for a couple different dogs at different points, through both petfinder finds & also through Petco adoption days (i mean, how can one go there AND NOT try to adopt.... seriously now?!).
however, for whatever reason, these 'tries' never panned out.

which brings me to my THIRD piece of solid advice when adopting --
TRUST the process!!!

i know this is so much easier said then done, however it is so so so true to keep in mind.
as with everything in life,
it will happen when it is 'supposed' to happen!
if one, two, ten different dogs don't pan out for whatever reason, just know that it WILL happen. your dog is waiting for you.

well, truth be told, our next addition to our family was waiting for us at the Clawson Claws & Paws event. we decided to take Jones for a walk in the park there, knowing there was the event going on & being the dog lovers that we are,
we thought it would be fun to pet & meet some dogs.
for the first time, in the looooooongest time, i can honestly say that THIS time, we had NO intention of adopting a dog. i think we had kinda 'given up' on it & let the idea rest for a bit... thinking that maybe now just wasn't the right time in general.

...that was until our hearts set our eyes upon "Prince"... i took one look at that dog & said,
"i NEED to see that dog!"
they let him out & we sat in the grass with him. he was so scraggly and boney and scared.... but sweet and grateful and just wanting LOVE.

which brings me to yet another solid piece of advice,
number FOUR --
when adopting, keep in mind that the dog you are meeting is under a tremendous amount of stress...
which means they may shed more, they may have a tougher coat (which is also from lack of proper nourishment)
& they may act more timid.

be sure to ask the rescue as many questions as you can to get to know more about the dog and also keep in mind that with
LOVE,
SAFETY,
A GREAT HOME,
GOOD NOURISHING FOOD,
PATIENCE,
TIME,
EXERCISE,
TRAINING,
DECOMPRESSION,
PROPER INTRODUCTION (to your pets & any others),
SOCIALIZATION
& CONSISTENCY

your dog WILL most definitely blossom into the dog he is meant to be.

i know this first hand with both of our dogs.
ALL of these things were true when it came to "Prince"... now our sweet Oliver.
it was absolutely beautiful to see him transition & grow, know he had a place to call home... and a family that absolutely adored him.

needless to say, we stayed with 'Prince/Ollie' at Claws & Paws until the event shut down. we were DEFINITELY nervous to adopt a second dog (neither of us have ever had TWO dogs before!)
& scared at the unknown that lay ahead with adding another family member.

on top of all this, both Mark & i were looking for a 20-30 lb dog!
never did we imagine that we would fall so head-over-heels for a 7lb yorkie mix!
just another AWESOME thing that happens when you TRUST the adoption process.

BUT -- what we did know was that
he was ours & we were his. the deal was done. our hearts were locked.
everything else would figure itself out.

& it did. and then some.

(below is a pic from the day we adopted Ollie & a few photos from his first days with us!
pics are both from my iPhone & professional camera )

our little raggamuffin!

H E A R T!

apple of our eye

at church a couple of weeks ago,
they had a guest speaker & he spoke about adopting his daughter. as it got closer to the adoption date, he happened to have a conversation with his then 4 year old son. he found out that his son was afraid that when his sister came home,
they would have less love to give him.
he said that it was at that very moment that God gave him the perfect words to explain to his son.
he picked up his glass full of water & said,

"Son, when you were born God gave your mother & i a glass FULL of LOVE just for you...
and son, this is what is so awesome about our God... because when your sister arrives,
He will give us each another glass FULL of LOVE just for her.
you understand?"

and in that instant,
it was as if someone had summed up so brilliantly how i feel about our four-legged children --
i literally LOVE them BOTH with ALL of my heart.
two glasses FULL-to-the-brim of LOVE.
one named Jones. one named Ollie.

this is where i have the absolute TOUGHEST time describing exactly what adopting/rescuing an animal does
to your heart,
to your life,
to your family....
it changes you all for the better. it heals a part of you you never knew even needed healing.

we didn't just rescue them, they truly rescued US.
they picked US, too.


they bring us joy on the darkest of days.
they bring us laughter regardless of the day!
they are healing & soothing.
they show us what unconditional love is every single minute of every single day...
and what we should ALL strive to be & give.


....and let's not even begin to talk about the cuteness-OVERLOAD that they bring!!!

not only that, but a dog that has been rescued literally KNOWS it.

they carry this sense of gratitude that is SO evident in everything that they do, everything that they are.
if you are an owner of an adopted dog, you KNOW this to be true!

it is truly one of the most humbling things.
i am constantly, constantly in awe of the love & grace that my dogs teach me.

next time you are thinking about getting a dog
(or ANY animal- cat/bird/reptile/bunny/hamster- you name it!),
i greatly encourage you to consider adopting.

as i mentioned above, this is merely my opinion,
first hand from MY OWN EXPERIENCE with adopting both dogs & cats.

i do not know much about breeders
(although i do know that unfortunately there are far TOO many puppy mills cleverly disguised as breeders -
so please, PLEASE be careful!)
& this post is not a knock to breeders or people who choose to purchase a dog from a breeder!

this post is simply to express the significance adoption & the process of adopting our animals has done to US & our lives.
it has enriched our lives and continues to do so EVERY day.

it is a gift that i would wish you ALL to have.
truly, our animals are by far one of our BIGGEST blessings.


i also know that far too many times people think it is 'easier' to go to a breeder...
in my opinion, it is SO MUCH easier to adopt!

first, let's start with the incredible amount of choices you have to choose from --
even if you are looking for a specific breed,
YOU CAN find it through adoption.
i promise you this!
sometimes, it just takes a little more patience, but it is worth the wait.

second, dogs that are mixes are known to have fewer health issues.
this to me is always a bonus because once your heart falls in love with your pup,
you will do anything you can to ensure they live a long & happy life.

& on top everything, adoption is a fun process.
it is exciting to look for dogs, meet new dogs & see which one pulls at your heart... which one picks YOU!

if you are thinking about adopting,
the first thing i would tell you to do is go to petfinder.com & start searching through dogs in your area. all in all, no matter what be sure to do your research thoroughly & ask friends who are educated in this area.

if you are on Facebook,
or watch the news,
or are on any social media whatsoever,
i am assuming you have heard & know about the VITAL importance of adopting
& helping the unfortunate overpopulation of animals that need homes,,,,
as if this isn't reason enough to look into adoption before anything else!!!

but for today,
i just wanted to give some insight that no number or stat could ever do.

an insight to what that animal that you rescue can do to your HEART,
every
single
day.

there is nothing quite like it & if i could have it my way,
i would wish for & give this type of LOVE and COMPANIONSHIP to everyone i know.

i'll leave you with a few pics to make your heart smile...

blurry but perfect.

on a rare occasion, all the siblings get together.
unfortunately, Beebs didn't care to sit long enough for the sibling portrait.

snowy hike = pure puppy joy

it's hard waking up to this face every morning

sometimes you just gotta let out some frustration & chew up a toy!
brother Ollie has to help, of course.

then there is THAT time when Mom thought you would be warmer dressed in a skull sweater. #notsomuch

i think only dog owners will understand this, but,,,
the SMELL OF THEIR FEET! absolute LOVE. grass stains & all.

doggy playdates & sleep-overs are the bomb.
...& spooning your brother is the new "in" thing.

when he does this = heart love explosion

...always ready for an adventure & a walk!

and roadtrips!

last but not least, reminding us every day to take time to 'smell the roses'
& that LIFE IS GOOD!

lastly (for real this time ),
below are some links to quizzes,
great q&a's regarding breeds and dog ages,
along with just good reads in general.
this should help narrow down the search and find a good match to fit your personality/lifestyle!


>> Dog Breed Selector

>> Decisions Should You Adopt a Puppy or an Adult?

>> 5 Quick Tests when choosing a Rescue Dog or Puppy

>> Why Mutts Are Awesome

>> Those darn rescues with all their rules and regulations - what gives?

>> Bernadette Peters & Michael Urie Helping Pets

>> What to expect when adopting a rescued dog

>> Pit bull saves family & 5 other dogs during house fire

& a few GREAT places to adopt from in Michigan :

>> Detroit Dog Rescue

>> A Hopeful Heart Rescue

>> Detroit Bully Corps

>> P.O.E.T. Animal Rescue

>> Allegan Shelter

>> Home Furever Rescue

>> Michigan Humane Society

>> Almost Home Animals

>> Last Day Dog Rescue

>> Waggin Tails Dog Rescue

>> Michigan Animal Rescue League

>> Last Chance Rescue

if you want a place that is small and not so overwhelming try the River Rouge Animal Shelter!!
>> River Rouge Animal Shelter

of course there is always
>> Clawson Claws & Paws
the event in the park where we rescued our sweet Oliver from!

and of course, as mentioned above,
for me one of the BEST places to start my search was on :

>> Petfinder!

keep in mind, though, that with the unfortunate growing population of dogs that need to be adopted,
(PLEASE have your pet spayed & neutered!!!)
it isn't easy to keep everything up-to-date on Petfinder either.
so if you see a rescue organization you like on Petfinder,
definitely research further by checking out their website & scheduling a visit!

Angela would be more than happy to support you in the process.
so feel free to reach out to her if you need any help!
you can
EMAIL HER HERE!

we both know how overwhelming this process can be,
but i can testify that in the end, it is the BEST process ever.
it is truly worth it!

there's a sweet face just like this one waiting for his/her forever home.
who knows, it could be YOU he/she is looking for!

& please keep in mind that if you can't adopt but want to help,
you could always donate or sponsor your very own pup, too!



with love, HOPE & gratitude,

ksen

ps. Ang just shared this with me last week & i thought it was too neat not to share!
how's that for TONS of info for ya?! ha!
xxoo

*JUST ADDED :

check out this awesome app that tracks your walk as many apps do,
BUT this one donates to local shelters for every mile you walk!!!

& you can even pick the shelter, too!

>> walkforadog

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