Saturday, 12 September 2015

Everything My Dog Says About Me Is True

About six weeks ago, our lives became turned upside down. This was not a bad kind of upside down turning; on the contrary it was a very good kind of turning life upside down. After many years since the passing of our last dog, my wife and I decided that it was once again time for a four-legged friend to join us in our otherwise empty nest. That was a decision that we have not regretted for a second!

As with our last dog, we  once again decided that going for a rescue dog was right for us. In our way of thinking, what more beautiful thing could a dog lover do than take in a dog that was rescued because someone else either abused her, or no longer could care for her for some reason, and give her a second chance at a good life in a good home.

So when the time was right, we visited our local Humane Society and instantly fell in love with a beautiful Labrador and Great Pyrenees cross. We were offered a chance to take her for a walk, and gladly did so. When we returned to the Humane Society, I took my new best friend back to her kennel while my wife started the paperwork for her adoption. A few days later our 44.7 kg (98 pound) 18 month old toddler moved in to our home.

I was surprised to learn that, according to an article in Macleans in March 28, 2013, of all the impounded stray dogs, only 14% are put to death in Canada (in comparison to 60% in the USA). The same article actually reports on how stray dogs are actually imported into Canada, a practise that I struggle with a bit. After all, do we not already have enough dogs in SPCA's and Humane Societies in this country longing to be adopted into good homes? Do we have to import still more? I worry that such a practise may ultimately cause the death rate of homeless dogs in Canada to climb, as opposed the preferred further decline of euthanizing rates. But I have digressed. With our rescue, there's one less dog who will have his or her life prematurely ended because there aren't enough loving homes in which to place them. If nothing else, that gives me a measure of peace and comfort.

My brother once said that dogs are "therapeutic." I would have to whole-heartedly agree. No matter what the day throws my way, coming home to a wagging tail and a doggie-hug has a way of making everything OK again. As much as I may have rescued her, it's equally true to say that she has also rescued me. So let me ask you, have you hugged your rescue dog today?

Well that's about it for now; I'm off to the trails around our neighbourhood lake with my new best friend for our daily 6.5 km (4.0 mi) walk. Woof.

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