Frederic the Great nailed this one for sure, dogs are a man’s best friend. But I truly believe they are everyone’s best friend!
On top of being loyal, smart, and protective, they are also proven to reduce stress. Of the 135 million pets in homes across America, 60.2 million are dogs. In our home, we have two rescue dogs that have brought us so much joy and a feeling of never-ending love. It’s a true joy to walk through our front door each and every time we get home.
A dog is like having really hairy kids who don’t talk back. Dogs are simple. Just like us, they need to move, be loved, cared for, and fed. A few things our dogs do that I wish my kids would do too:
- Get excited for a Zumba Zoom call or an impromptu dance competition.
- Pee and poop when they’re asked to poop. We use the phrase, “Do your work.”
- Get excited to go outside, no matter what.
- Stop, drop, and SLEEP.
- Not talk (kidding…sort of).
Our older dog is so soulful looking. Mickey, after Mickey Mantle, is an all-black rescue lab and hound mix. He turns ten this month. All we know is that he came from Tennessee and ended up at North Shore Animal League out on Long Island. He was so cute when we first saw him. Just a sweet looking little black dog sitting at the back of his cage next to so many others. He spilled his entire water bowl as he clumsily came over to greet us. We held him and knew he was our pick. At that moment we filled out the paperwork and waited for our names to be called. We felt anxious and annoyed to be waiting so long but nervous as to what the end result might be. After checking our two references, they called our names, and we were asked so many questions before actually getting him into our arms.
Mickey is so sweet and actually listens. He won’t run away when off the leash because he knows how good he has it! No matter what move I make, he’s there. He has some tummy trouble, our vet once called him anxious, so we’ve been using pumpkin mixed with his food to coat his belly. He loves it too!
Even during some of the hardest times in my life, my dog has been right there with me. There are so many great memories we all have with our sweet dogs. When I was down and broken from all the fertility treatments I underwent, he just came over and laid right on me. Like he just knew he needed to do that. Another time when I was pregnant, I had a horrible bloody nose in the shower, and as I screamed for my sleeping husband to come to save me, my dog started to bark to wake him up. He stumbled into a bloody bathroom and saved me from fainting (I can’t stand the sight of blood) only because he heard our hairy child barking in his face. They just know we need them just as much as they need us.
Our youngest and newest dog is Winnie, a blonde long-haired dog. All we know about her is that she is from Puerto Rico and was brought to the United States as a safe haven due to category five Hurricane Maria in 2017. On her way to Brooklyn, the airlines lost her and recovered her days later. She apparently slept for a week straight when she got to her foster home through Rescue City. They soon realized she was a country dog and didn’t like city sounds. So she ended up being fostered next door to my mom’s house in Connecticut. We have no idea how old she really is, although we made up that she turned three this year. She also has an eye injury that we hope was naturally inflicted during the storm. Her left eye’s tear duct doesn’t work, so she needs daily drops.
Since the pandemic started, the “Pandemic Puppy” has gone viral. Adoption rates across the United States have driven up to 90%. Some shelters have cleared out their entire inventory in 30 minutes. It’s so great that so many people are adopting dogs. We are all home safe, so we have the time for bonding and, most importantly, training.
But please keep in mind that there will be older dogs out there. When I spoke to Gina, owner of for The Love of Luna, she mentioned she was soon getting surrenders from people who could no longer afford the care of their dogs since the COVID-19 outbreak. After the pandemic is over, let’s hope the adoption rates stay up. Gina continued to explain to me how she vets every single person she talks to, only to figure out if they’re ready and right for the major responsibility a puppy brings, “They’re exactly like a newborn and need so much attention.”
Getting our dogs was the easiest decision we have ever made. I grew up with pets and wanted my kids to grow up with pets as well. It made the decision easier when I found out my husband was allergic to cats. Think hard and long about getting a dog. Get a dog only if you’re ready to open up your heart and house to a new, hairy-best friend.
Local Adoption Agencies: