Katie’s day seemed normal. She was going to be shooting the BBB’s monthly show, The BBB Eye. By the end of the day, she suddenly had adopted a dog that would change her life in a positive way.
The TV segment Katie was shooting was with the National Mill Dog Rescue. In the interview, they told her about the cruelty that mill dogs endure – the overcrowding, filth, inadequate shelter, insufficient food, water and veterinary care. (Watch the interview by clicking here.) The dog Katie was holding had lived in a cage for five years seemingly without hope of being held and loved by an owner. This cute Havanese had been bred 10 to 15 times during those years.
On that day, the little blond Havanese with a gentle loving soul won Katie’s heart. Katie named her Cozette and took her home three weeks later after the dog had been given a veterinarian exam.
Being in a cage does not lend itself to being house trained. With a little work, Cozette learned about living like she should have been all those years. For dogs that have more difficulty adjusting, the National Mill Dog Rescue provides a trainer to assist the new owner.
- First, when you are looking for a dog, don’t forget to check with your local Humane Society or breed rescue groups. There are breed specific rescue groups for every breed of dog. My husband Marshall and I adopted Maddie, a Golden doodle, from the Humane Society about four years ago. We’ve had great dogs before, but Maddie tops the rest as the most special.
- Second, look for a responsible breeder. Never buy a dog from a breeder without seeing the parents and where they have been living. Spend some time interacting with the dog. Has the breeder given the dog the socialization it needs? How long has the person been breeding this kind of dog? Experience does count.
- Third, decide whether you want a puppy or an older dog that is already trained and obedient.
- Fourth, get assurance from the breeder that the dog is healthy. If not, what provisions will be made to help pay for the vet bills? Do the parents have any health problems?
- Fifth, be realistic about the time and money the dog will cost. Are you home enough to give the dog the time it needs? Will your budget support the veterinary care, food and “babysitter” costs?
If you are like me and you can’t imagine living without a dog, then go for it!
Do you have any tips for other types of pets?