My Experience Adopting a Rescue Dog
When I moved out, I admit I was feeling quite homesick. I was missing my mom, my dog and just the overall feeling of familiarity. It was a weird thing to be out on my own and away from the family I’m always used to being around. The feeling eventually went away but as I worked from home, I had this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. My roommate worked in an office and I basically didn’t see her all day until 7pm. This was such a change from when I was at my mom’s and she would come home around 2pm everyday.
As time went on, my roomie got a lovebird, Chiqui. This little, colorful bundle of joy definitely kept me company. Helping to take care of her gave me some much needed breaks from the computer screen. Eventually, my sister urged me to get a dog. I have only been living in my apartment for about four months and I thought the idea was crazy. Never had I envisioned myself getting a dog right now. I always saw myself settling down with someone in a house and then get a puppy soon after. Once I told my sister that, she insisted I at least look at dog rescues and shelters.
I looked here and there for a rescue pup. I was kind of picky going into it, I know I had wanted a golden retriever hands down. Of course, every golden I saw was already adopted or way too expensive for me to afford. So, I started loosening my standards. After all, every sweet dog deserves a loving home. My sister found a dog that needed a foster home and I felt like that was probably the best idea since I wouldn’t be committed to the dog. The dog, Ryder, had ultimately found a foster home and I was back to the drawing board.
I started to get impatient in my search and was looking every day on pet finder, local dog rescues and shelters. Each time I saw a pup that drew my interest, I submitted an application. I ended up applying for about 10 dogs. Then, a rescue got back to me about fostering a puppy. I looked at the pups (that were absolutely adorable) and wondered how good of an idea it would be since I already had a ton of applications out. I would end up with two dogs, which wouldn’t work.
So, I decided I should probably call the rescues where I already submitted applications. The first one I called, Tri-County Animal Rescue, told me that I needed to come in to adopt and that the specific one I was looking at would get adopted quickly. His name was Gadiel, and they believed he was a flat-coated retriever. I told them I was working and I wouldn’t be able to come for a few hours and they insisted I come ASAP.
On that Friday, while working, I drove 30 minutes to Boca to meet this pup. When I got there, they told me someone else was looking at Gadiel and there was no knowing if they will adopt him or not. Within minutes, they let me know that the person was skeptical and wanted to call someone for assurance. In the meantime, they approved my application so I could see him. Ultimately, the person ended up leaving and never adopted Gadiel. This was my chance to meet him.
He came out being carried by one of the volunteers and I immediately realized how scared and shy he was. He barely wanted to come up to me and stood like a statue staring into the distance. Yet, for some reason, he caught my heart. He was a three-year-old stray dog from Puerto Rico and only about 23 pounds. They told me he would probably open up and just needed some time.
As I pondered the adoption, the volunteers let me know that other people were waiting to see him and I needed to decide at that very moment. You might say I made a hasty decision, but I went on with the adoption. Shortly after, Gadiel was in my arms and on our way back home. Driving home, I thought about a new name for him since he had only had the name Gadiel for a couple weeks and wasn’t responding to it. I ended up at Bailey…you know for the liqueur of course.
The first day with him was rough. I quickly learned that he knew nothing of being a house pup. He wasn’t house trained, didn’t know how to walk on a leash, and did not respond in the slightest to treats. I had to pick him up as we walked around outside so he could relieve himself. My family and I went to pick up some stuff for him at the store so he could start his life with me comfortably. That night, I started getting worried about it all. I thought in my head about how hard it would be to teach him all these skills and even be sociable overall. How could I give him his best life?
Fast forward only 6 days and Bailey has made IMMENSE progress. He has finally started eating breakfast and dinner regularly and will sometimes indulge in treats. Walking on a leash has been a breeze except he still gets distracted pretty often, so I will end up outside with him for 30 minutes at a time. He had an accident in the house the other day, but then did all his business outside the next day. I am starting to realize how rewarding it will be to have taken in a rescue that needs a bit of “work.” I smile every time now that he approaches the leash without me having to chase him or he happily waits as I pour his food into his bowl.
I highly encourage anyone looking for a dog to go to shelters or rescues. Whether they need a bit of work or not, these are dogs that truly need loving homes. It is such a rewarding experience to be able to be that place for them and I can’t wait to see how much farther Bailey goes in his journey!