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.

7 thoughts

  1. Nice article. As usual my dog jumps the wallfence to welcome me at the gate on the sound of the car. Today i found him with another dog at the gate. On opening the gate, he entered with his visitor, this dog visitor was so youthful n friendly. My family was so terrified by this strange male dog that was climbing our yet of the same sex. Dog wouldnt leave, on one beating, he hid under the car. It was such drama. Is it normal for same sex to climb each othr in a mating style? Do you think its ok to adopt this sturbon dog?

  2. Adopt! Don’t shop! I will never go back to anything else. There are so many lovely dogs, cats, horses, rodents etc needing a home. I know so many people who have the same reservations about adopting not understanding what they’re missing out on. It always fascinates me how these animals after having had such a hard life (not all rescues had one, of course) still want nothing more than a human to trust and love. You get a lot more than you give when you adopt. Is it hard work, sure. Can it be overwhelming, hell yeah! But the rewards are manifold. Great blog!

  3. Wonderful post and yes I would hug you in person if I could. Mine are all rescued and would never ever have it any other way

  4. I Loved your story it made me miss my dogs (and I’m only at work) I will go home today and look into his eyes with a little more appreciate of the bond that we share. Thanks for reminding us that adoption is the best option to help with homelessness and suffering of our companions.
    I’ve been lucky to have found two wonderful dogs at shelters here in Chicago Anti Cruelty and PAWS (Pets are worth saving)

  5. When you adopt a shelter furiend, you save 2 lives. The one you adopt, and the one that takes it’s place.
    My huMom found me at a shelter when I was 9 months old.
    She’s said that she couldn’t have imagined how I have changed her world.

    Nose nudges,
    CEO Olivia

  6. I don’t agree that rescue dogs love their people more than dogs from breeders do. If you love your dog, your dog will love you, regardless of where you got him/her. I wholeheartedly support adopting, but I don’t support any kind of “my dog loves me more than yours loves you” attitude. Any dog from anywhere will love you to the ends of the earth if you treat them right.

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