Why Adopting a Pet Might be Just What You Need to Perfect Your Life

We had the place narrowed down to one choice. A local shelter.  After seeing continuous news stories about this fantastic place -- the pets brought in, the pets that needed help, and the pets that needed adopting -- it was going to be easy to pick out a dog. No problem.

But first, a little truth. Finding a dog for our family, which included my two boys, was something that I had ignored. Seriously. I had ignored the pleading, begging, and groveling of our kids’ requests to get a one. There were many reasons why we shouldn’t, of course. But mainly … owning a dog required commitment. I’d grown up with dogs. There was no day off in taking care, feeding, walking, playing fetch, keeping him off the counters, only feeding him dog food (and scraps when mom wasn’t looking). I mean, the whole thing was like having a kid. It was 24/7. Especially in the beginning. 

If we didn’t pick out an older, more mature dog, (instead of an adorable puppy) this thing would be chewing everything. That meant dog –proofing the entire house. Taking care of a dog was a huge responsibility. And of course, me being the responsible mom, I would have just as much that responsibility for that dog, when the kids were at school. 

And because picking up dog poop is so glamorous, I knew they would love to do that first thing when they come home from school.

Yeah, not so much. That job would inevitably fall back on my shoulders.

But, the love. The fluff. Thefloppy ears and long or short tail. The affection and licking and short, happy barks. That, too, was exactly what they were missing out on. The idea of “man’s best friend” was more than just an idea: it was truth. My dogs had always been happy to see me. They didn’t talk back. They listened like no one’s business. And if I was stressed out –which was frequent as a teenager –man, my dog was there to let me pet him and get on with life, hormones, guys, frustrations, first loves, first kisses, secrets and insecurities.  

My dog was a furry, four-legged, non-talking therapist.  Who doesn’t need one of those? Like, even right now?

I pondered all these things as I revolved the dog-acquiring idea in my head. Which had pretty much been daily for the past five years.  So I finally decided one day to do it. Forget thinking about it anymore. We would get a dog. And we would go to the local shelter and find one.

Only, that’s not what happened. 

 What happened was an email from a cousin. A cousin who said they couldn’t keep their Goldendoodle dog. This cousin was a very short car trip down the road. She and her husband both worked full time and had reverted to keeping their puppy in a crate all day. Said cousin and husband were doing the right thing to give this dog up.

To me, this was a rescue pup. How could anyone leave their dog – a puppy – at that in a crate for hours on end? Gives me nightmares to think about it for one second.

There was no hesitating on this decision. I called my husband to (basically) tell him (not ask) that we were getting a dog. My heart was broken. All I could think about was that crate. All day? And yet, I understood completely. People work. Puppies chew. This equals crating the puppy until they get home. 

Good Lord, when was the soonest we could pick her up?

In a way, fate dropped this dog into our lives. It was destined. We were the first people they asked because they already knew we loved their dog. This wild, 9-month-old Goldendoodle puppy –named Sierra –would be adopting us! 

Sierra chewed through her leash on the short ride home to her new home. That’s how nervous and excited she was. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I wondered (for a split-second) if we had made the wrong decision.

But, the joy in my children’s faces, the happiness in Sierra’s. No, having her was the best choice, the easiest choice, and the most ethical and logical choice we’d ever made.

I’m more than happy, today. I have another girl in the house to whom I can chat with. I’m not out-numbered anymore. 

My boys are in love with her. She is five-years-old and is the sweetest, well mannered (after some bad-habit breaking lessons) dog who loves us as much as she loves her ubiquitous tennis ball.

I’m with her every day, fetching that ball with her, rubbing her belly, and laughing at her play. My husband – who wasn’t a “dog guy” – is equally in love now. Mission accomplished

Though I think, the real mission here is that she saved us. Saved us from a boring, non-dog life, that would mean no walks, no swimming in the pool in the summer, no snuggling on the sofa with a bunch of white fur. My kids don’t have to ask for a dog anymore. They have her! 

And best of all, we didn’t have to choose which kind of dog. It was pre-ordained for us. It was a simple event. Simpler and easier than it should’ve been, which makes me see how God takes care of every little detail. Even the ones we ignore until its fluffiness is in right in front of our faces.

If you’re on the fence about adopting a dog, or a cat or any animal for that matter, get off that fence!  There is a part of you missing right now and you don’t even know it. Know how to get that part back? Find a sweet pup. You’ll never have a better or happier friend, a loyal, constant companion than the furry (or feathery) pal you take home.

Take it from me: We’ve got the dog. We’ve got happy kids. We’re golden.