Just last week we were down in Fort Lauderdale, FL for a vacation. We stayed at an Airbnb at a pretty darn nice apartment complex. Every morning before hitting the music festival we were there for, we would go to the pool. It was here we met Rex, and Rex’s parents.
Rex was a rescue dog.
And every day around lunch time they would come down to the pool and he would lay in the chair, or on the ground, whatever felt right that day. Just like he and his owner do every other day of the week. And he would just watch the commotion around him and take in the sounds of the dripping water.
Rex, they assume, used to be a bait dog. Although they can’t be sure. His ears were chipped and clipped, a trait seen on bait dogs. He also had scars on his body.
Yet, he was always smiling. He would lick everyone’s face with the most aggressive and loving kisses as if he was licking spoonfuls of peanut butter off your face. He was so freaking happy, and so freaking grateful.
Rescue dogs know they’ve been saved. You can see it in their eyes, in their demeanor, in everything they do. Even the ones who are skiddish because of the internal scars from their previous lives, you can still tell how grateful they are to be where they are now and not where they used to be.
Rescue dogs are a breed all of their own. And I think everyone needs to experience it.
Me? I’ll admit, my two Goldens I got from a breeder, which I am not regretful of, nor am I ashamed. That’s a blog post all of it’s own (and coming soon!) However, I work, or I should say, volunteer, in animal rescue. Since November of 2017 I have dedicated over 200 hours of my personal time to helping dogs who are less fortunate. But boy, they turn out to be the most fortunate dogs you could come across once they find their forever home.
There’s something about seeing a rescue dog realize that their life has forever changed. It could happen the moment the kennel door opens at the shelter, or when they settle into their foster home, or when they meet their forever family. Something, somewhere along their timeline, it sparks. And they beam from the inside out.
(My rescue cat – we LOVE him, he’s a character, clearly- and my not-so-rescued dogs)
I wanted to prove my point to you even further, so I took to Instagram to ask people to share with me their stories, feelings, and thoughts on their own personal rescue dogs. Here’s what they said:
What has been the best, and more rewarding part of rescuing?
- Watching her bloom from a terrified of everything dog, to a full, bouncy, loving dog- it’s beautiful.
- Seeing a once scared pup blossom into a goofy, loving dog. the change in personality over time is the best
- Knowing that I got them out of whatever hell the were living in before. Knowing that I gave them a much better life and love them better than anyone else ever could.
- Knowing that he has a safe home- with me!
What has rescue taught you?
- Rescuing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
- That people suck sometimes BUT there are also a lot of really awesome people out there that dedicate their lives to helping animals. See the good in the world
- So many dogs lose their life each day because not enough people rescue (and I will add because people also suck, and put these dogs in the unfortunate situations, that is also why so many lose their lives).
What would you say to someone thinking about rescuing an animal?
- It is literally that, you’re rescuing them. To watch my girl grow and become a loving carefree dog, that’s my favorite part. To see her settle in to bed or next to me knowing she’s now safe. She’s HOME. More animals deserve that feeling.
- If you are ready to put in some work DO IT, its life changing (for you and the dog).
- You will always know you saved a precious life.
And my most favorite, full of heart, full of passion and love, message that I got:
“It was the most rewarding and love-filled experience we (as a family) had together. The best part of rescuing is knowing that your dog’s life could have looked so different if not for you. You’re able to provide a home, endless love, and a sense of security and community for this beautiful animal who is totally dependent on the actions of others for her quality of life. Rescue taught me to be humble, it taught me about myself and the capacity I had to be a mom, and it reminded me of the absolute most joyful purity that dogs bring to the world. If I had the chance to adopt 100 more dogs, I would rescue 100 times out of 100. For someone considering rescue, they should think about the potential they have to change a dog’s life. You will not regret that extra family member. I miss mine daily.”
(Photo courtesy of Mikaela Hammes and her rescue pup Cooper)
And with that…
April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
If you’re ready to add a 4 legged love ball to your family, then consider taking action on this day!
But do your due diligence first. Research now what it takes to raise a dog- the costs involved- monetary, physical, emotional, etc cost. Know how much time and patience it takes. Most importantly, be familiar with the fact that different types of breeds have different behavioral traits.
Then, when your due diligence is done. Take a trip to your local shelter. Be a dog’s hero today (or on April 30th 😉 ). And share this with a friend– allow them to be a dog’s hero too.
(Pictures courtesy of Jessica Stricker and her rescue pup Bella)
Follow me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_ Notable animal rescue Instagram profiles, follow them too! @theasherhouse @primaldomain @bestfriendsanimalsociety
And the picture that hit me in the gut so hard this week while scrolling Pinterest.
Bless the rescuers, curse the abandoners