I am not one of those people who says “Adopt, Don’t Shop,” because I think that ALL cats and dogs deserve a loving home. My family dog, Henry, who just passed away was bought at a pet store. Sarah Belle, my husband’s and my black labrador, was also purchased from a breeder. Both of their lives were beautiful, and I cannot imagine having loved them more!
But . . . have you ever been to an animal shelter, local humane society, or the pound? There are SO many animals who are begging to be brought home instead of euthanized. Many have been abused, neglected, and abandoned. These dogs and cats are just as lovable as the ones in the pet stores. Recently, my husband told me that black dogs and cats are much less likely to be adopted than any other color. I still do not understand why, but apparently that is how it is.
Almost 5 months after Sarah Belle passed away, my husband saw a sweet puppy girl on the Humane Society’s website, Lizzie. We were not sure if we were ready to invest our time and love into another puppy just yet, but decided to go visit her anyway. Our options were open and we kept telling each other no decision had to be made until we were ready.
We walked in asking to see Lizzie, and they led us straight to the kennel she was being held in. Every dog we walked by (DOZENS) were barking, jumping up, and begging for us to give our attention to them. We saw Lizzie and asked to take her out in the small yard to “test the waters.” We tried to play fetch with her and get her to run around, but she only wanted to lie down at our feet and be pet. Within probably 15 minutes, I knew we were not going to leave without her. She was so sweet and submissive and was not barking at all like the other puppies. My husband asked to fill out the paperwork, and I stayed there attempting to play with her.
Lizzie’s ribs and hip bones protruded through her black hair. She was SO tiny! After we adopted her, John carried her out to the car so we could go straight to the pet store. We went home to give her a bath and show the puppy her new yard! We went to one store in town to get a few things, then drove to Birmingham to get her holistic puppy food, then to TJMaxx for a bed and toys. Once we got back home, she still had not used the bathroom! In 8 hours! Or had she made a peep. I was beginning to worry she was scared to make sounds.
Once we settled in back home, she chugged, and I mean CHUGGED water, as if she was never going to get any water again and inhaled her food. John decided to feed her 3 meals a day for a while to get some healthy weight on her bones. Lizzie did not know the bed was for her and would not lie down in it until John picked her up and placed her in it. We had to keep telling her, “This is for you, baby girl. These toys are for YOU.” I don’t think she had ever had toys or a proper bed before.
Her skittishness did not last, and she felt right at home within a week. Within her first month, she happily went on a road trip with us (8+ hours one way), met and played very well with her kitty sister, had just a few potty accidents inside, enjoyed her first ride on the boat, and has become very comfortable. Oh and she has barked a few times, then immediately wants to be pet on her belly! She weighed about 26.5 pounds when we brought her home, and is now healthy at 32 pounds! Lizzie has so much energy, yet rests with her pregnant mom when it’s nap time. We call her “Busy Lizzie.”
Lizzie is at home and knows it 🙂