October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month

26 Oct

The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory. Since we got my first dog, Lucky (tear), when I was just a tot, my  family and I have always adopted all of our dogs from shelters. This past July, I decided it was time for me to take the plunge. I scoured Petfinder for hours daily, wanting to adopt all of the dogs listed on the website. And then I saw my little doofus, Bailey, who looked like a miniature hybrid of Lucky and Roxy. I knew he was my souldog. I was right.

Our first encounter at the shelter

Bailey is a Corgi/Basset Hound (or something) mix around two years old. He began as a stray in rural Georgia, was picked up by Animal Control, and was brought to a nasty “high kill” animal shelter. This means that the shelter kills the dogs after holding them there for three days. THREE. DAYS. Can you imagine being the person whose job that is? Thankfully, a wonderful woman in Tennessee heard about this and took Bailey, a golden retriever mama and her six puppies in to stay with her. For a couple of months, Bailey lived outside during the day and would sleep indoors at night. Then he was shipped to his last shelter in New Fairfield, Connecticut. That’s where I got him.

The dog has been through a lot. He has scarring on his nose, which he passes off well for freckles, and it recently came to my attention that he’s missing a pretty significant sliver of his ear. I don’t know what he’s been through, but he hasn’t had it easy. Needless to say, he has some issues. But so do I. Like I said, souldog. (Quick shout out to my roommate, Jess, for being so amazingly patient and understanding with him…and me!)

The joy and love that Bailey and I have gotten from each other is truly fulfilling and slightly disgusting. I think, in part, that our bond is so close because we both know that we came to the 0ther’s rescue. I literally rescued him from the shelter, and now he understands what love and family mean. And, prepare yourself for the corniness, but he also saved me. The three months between my father’s passing and Bailey’s adoption were some of the darkest and most desolate days of my life. But adopting Bailey gave me a reason to feel happy again; it also gave me the responsibility of taking care of a living creature.

Hi, there.

I’m sure I would’ve been happy with any dog, but adopting a shelter dog whose life literally depended on me provides an unparalleled sense of fulfillment and love. Nearly 4 million animals are put to sleep every year because no one adopts them. Even a greater number suffer from the tortures of puppy mills. Adopting a shelter dog means that you are saving an innocent animal, striking a blow to puppy mills, and bringing immeasurable amounts of love into your life.

Rockport, MA

If this is the only time of year that we promote shelter-dog adoption, then every month should be October.


2 Responses to “October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month”

  1. Roxy Fialkow October 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    so when is my cousin Bailey coming to visit in New York again? I miss him and he has a lot to learn from an experienced, alpha dog.

  2. Phil Goldstein October 27, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    I am not Alpha! He is Alpha…ohhh.

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