The Dog Who Rescued Me – Buddy the Rescue Dog
Are you a dog parent too? If you are, then you understand the special bond between a rescue dog and its family.
For two decades, my husband and I were looking forward to launching our children into their careers and their future. And then it happened. We were overjoyed for them, but the quiet at home was overwhelming at times. We didn’t anticipate was how much we would miss their presence, their friends, the mess, and the busyness that was once the cornerstone of our lives.
We debated the pros and cons of adopting a dog for several months, and we would list all the practical reasons why we should not. One particularly quiet Saturday, I said to my husband, “let’s just go to the adoption event and look.” We agreed we would not come home with a dog.
The woman in charge of adoption sized us up and said: “meet Buddy, why don’t you take him for a walk?” She handed the leash to my husband and off we went. When we returned him after a few minutes we exchanged phone numbers and told her we were really interested but needed to go home and talk about it. We knew the risk that Buddy could be adopted that day.
On the drive home, my husband was quiet. He suddenly turned to me and said: “I think we should call the lady right now and adopt Buddy.” He was right, we were smitten and our lovefest began.
Buddy is an adorable white Maltipoo who had a wounded leg. He’s a little needy and wants to sit on your lap all day long. He will bury his head in your arms and nudge you for attention until you comply. I work at home all day and Buddy is my happy companion. He’s an energetic leader on his daily walks, and a joyful tail-wagger when daddy gets home. He’s just what I needed. Buddy is the dog that rescued me.
We didn’t know one person in our neighborhood until we got a dog. Now we know all of the dog people, not by name, but by their dog’s name. Now we socialize every day with our neighbors and their dogs. It really has added richness to our lives.
Last night I Face-Timed with my sweetheart. He cocked his head to one side and his ears perked up when he heard my voice. I’m away spending time with my mom this week and I really miss my little fur baby and I know he misses me too.
A few nights after we got Buddy from a rescue group, he got into a wrapped box of chocolates that was under the Christmas tree. I didn’t know what was in the package but Buddy did. My husband and I rushed him to the pet emergency room. They kept him overnight and we stayed up all night worrying about him. We were parents once again.
At my vet, I learned about protecting Buddy from all 3 parasite groups:
I knew from a friend who also has a fluffy white dog, that fleas love them and they can be hard to spot. I brought up flea treatment to my vet and left with prevention tips for the 6 most common parasites in dogs. Any one of these can be awful for your dog (and your home). I was determined not to end up back in doggy ER, so I was ready to learn about prevention.
Buddy’s vet did an exam and a heartworm test. It was a simple blood test and we got the results the next day. When the vet’s office called to let me know Buddy did not have heartworms, not only was I relieved but I was determined to keep him that way.
1. Heartworm – nearly 300,000 dogs in the U.S. contract heartworms each year from infected mosquitoes, causing lack of energy, weight loss, and breathing problems. If left untreated, then heartworm disease can cause heart and lung damage and even death.
2. Intestinal worms – roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm. These are worms that invade your dog’s digestive system and can cause serious health problems.
3. Fleas – I did not know that where there’s one flea, there could be hundreds more waiting to hatch. Fleas on a dog are only the tip of the iceberg. Only 5% of fleas are adults, the other 95% are eggs and immature fleas living in the environment.
I also learned that hookworms and roundworms can be transmitted to people. And parasites aren’t just gross, they can give dangerous diseases to your dog.
For many of us, our hearts go out to shelter animals but we are just not in a position to adopt any. Until I read this article in Redbook, I was not aware of all the different (free) ways to lend a hand and help shelter pets. According to the article, there are roughly 6 million pets in shelters each year.
Here are some free ways to help animals in shelters:
1. Donate pet food to Petco’s Food Bank Collection Program which helps owners would have fallen on hard times find participating locations at Petco.com/Petco foundation.
2. Supply shelters with cozy bedding. Pets often sleep on the cold concrete or in cramped cages as they await adoption.
3. Answer the daily trivia question at freekibble.com and the pet food company Halo, Purely for Pets will donate 10 pieces of three kibble to one of more than 50 shelters nationwide. Since the site launched in 2008 the nonprofit has fed over 5.6 million meals to dogs and cats.
4. Like Petango.com at Facebook.com/petango . They featured currents pets available for adoption. You can “re-post” your favorites on your Facebook wall.
5. E-mail a free “adopt-a-gram” to animal-loving pals. It’s a low-pressure way to remind them that they can find great pets at their local shelter. Go to the adorable website www.theshelterpetproject.org and click on the Boston Terrier (you’ll get it when you see it) and send one.
6. Visit the animalrescuesite.com. Every time you click the”Click Here to Give – It’s Free!” button. The site’s sponsors will donate money to animal charities nationwide. To date, they’ve donated enough cash to pay for more than 404 million bowls of pet food.
7. Volunteer at a shelter in your neighborhood. To find one close by entering your zip code at ASPCA.org/adoption/shelters. You can play with the animals and help adopters find the perfect match for their families.
8. Tweet and spread the word about shelter pets that need loving homes. Log onto adoptapet.com/twitteracritter, pick an animal that you want to help, then post a Twitter message to all your followers to see. You never know who you could motivate to adopt!
Find your own furry friend and adopting a pet, especially a special needs pet if you can. Find them at www.petfinder.com. They have a directory of more than 13,000 shelters.