Rescue Your Next Best Friend
Story & Photos Contributed by Cristina Gregory, who adopted Elsie at the Ruffwear & Best Friends Animal Society RAD Adoption Event, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
The amount of love and fulfillment that comes from being a companion to a furry friend is something that can’t be described until you own the role.
Throughout my young adult life, I was always wondering why people were overly passionate about promoting adoption and shelters. Even after spending my high school years volunteering at the local shelter, I didn’t feel the need to put bumper stickers on my car or hug strangers in parks after learning their dog was adopted. Yes, I’ve seen it happen numerous times.
I was actually terrified of adoption! As much as I wanted to help animals, especially dogs, I wanted to play it safe and stick with breeders. The reasoning behind this was very justifiable for me. I knew a handful of friends who had to return their adopted dog because it was a poor fit, or worse, because it bit someone. My logic was this: Even if I trained an adopted dog as best I could, I couldn’t possibly know what to expect. Every dog is being adopted out for a different reason, and not knowing a dog’s history scared me.
What I didn’t know was that those nightmares were far and few between the happy realities of adoption. A couple years ago, adoption fell into our lap, when we met a dog in need of love and a home. It was then that I learned why others were so passionate with their bumper stickers and hugging of strangers.
What I learned was just how much your life changes after an adopted dog enters it. You learn this the moment your new pet looks at you with happier eyes, somehow knowing it’s safe with you. You learn this when your new pet doesn’t want to leave your side, because you’re the first to give it such genuine love. You learn all of this when your adopted pet somehow loves you even MORE than any other has ever loved you… and that’s saying a lot.
Adoption is more than it seems. It’s truly saving an animal and giving it a second chance at the love it so badly deserves… You rescue it. What’s best about that? Your new pet somehow understands all of this. The love and loyalty you’ll feel with the pet you’ve rescued is enough to change you for the rest of your life.
If you’re looking to adopt a dog, Ruffwear & Best Friends Animal Society’s RAD Adoption Program is a great place to start! The RAD Program will have 5 dogs available for adoption at the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show this week (Days 1 & 2, 11am-3pm, Ruffwear Booth #34081). If you won’t be at the show, check out the RAD Dogs currently available on the Ruffwear website.