Tomorrow’s Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!

There are many college students that miss their family pets when they go away to attend college in another state. My daughter was one of those. When she was finishing her senior year (fourth of six years for her program), she decided she would prefer to have a four-legged roommate to keep her company for the rest of her days at college.

My daughter was different than many college students because she really understood that getting a dog would be another expense and responsibility. Not only would she have to pay for food, dishes, toys and treats, but she would also need to cover expenses for annual veterinarian check-ups, vaccinations and any illness or injuries. She would also need to make sure to find someone that would look after the dog if she wanted to take any trips — whether just a day or for multiple days. Many college students, like so many other people, don’t realize the responsibility and demand for attention when they go and see a sweet face begging them to take them home.

Knowing that our daughter was serious about getting a dog, I started to help her with the search. She decided that going to a breeder for a puppy was out of a college student’s budget, so she contacted the breed rescue. Unfortunately, none of the dogs coming into rescue were quite what she was looking for. She needed one without the expense of long-term health issues and the pup needed to be dog friendly in order to get along with our dogs.

One day I was on the Internet and spotted two 4-month-old puppies (one male and one female) that had been surrendered to a shelter just north of where she was going to college. The shelter had just gotten them in and they weren’t even on their website yet. I told my daughter about them and she asked me to call the next day since she had classes. Nice mom that I am, I called, found out the female was still available (yea! She was the one we wanted!) and told for my daughter to fill out the online application.

This was a responsible shelter because they called our veterinarian that we’ve been going to for years to make sure that we had a good history of taking good care of our dogs. They called my daughter’s landlord to make sure she could have a dog there and also called us to make sure we were on board with our daughter getting a puppy since they would be staying with us during the summer and on school breaks. Well, since I’m the one that found her, yes, we were on board! They then called our daughter to let her know that her application had been approved and ask when would she be coming to pick her up.

My daughter was SO excited! So were my husband and I since this would be our first grand dog! My daughter called from the store: “Mom, what all will I need to get for her before I pick her up? I feel like a new mom!” She wanted to make sure she had thought of everything and we went through a list. Food bowl, water bowl, leash (shelter was providing the collar and a name tag), puppy food, treats, kennel, blankets, toys, puppy shampoo, metal comb for grooming, etc.

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The day came for my daughter to go and adopt her first puppy. When she arrived at the shelter, she told them she was there to pick up Verina. “You’re so lucky! We’ve had SO many calls about her!”

They brought her out, my daughter got down on the floor and Verina came right to her. It, of course, was love at first sight. Not really caring for the name the shelter had given her and having another name that she had decided upon before searching, she renamed her Mya.

DSC_0193Mya is now 3 years old and a spoiled grand dog. Mya really helped my daughter get through the last two rough years of classes and has also become a registered pet assisted therapy dog. Although Mya isn’t the breed standard, it doesn’t matter. She has a fabulous personality and wins over the hearts of everyone she meets. She has learned to protect her house and even guard the yard from those pesky squirrels! Mya loves playing with my dogs, cuddling up on a lap, playing in the snow and chasing a laser pointer. She just isn’t a morning dog, so after going out and having breakfast…you’ll find her heading back down the hall to bed!

Many great dogs of all different ages and different breeds end up at shelters and rescues all over the country. It’s a great way to find a wonderful companion and give another chance to so many terrific dogs. If you are considering adding a furry member to your family, please consider checking with your local shelters and rescues. Do your homework to make sure that you figure out what breed or mix and age may be right for you. Don’t just rush into getting a dog on a whim — make them a member of the family and plan on a commitment for the rest of the dog’s life. You wouldn’t give up your child when you have another one or get a dog or get tired of it. If you get a dog, please make sure you’re going to be able to give it a loving, forever home. There are so many dogs out there waiting for someone to take them home and love them.

Tomorrow is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day! How are you going to celebrate?

Jill & Mya

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