Today is National Dog Day, a perfectly appropriate time to share my story of adoption. I adopted Tallulah around late May and she's become an amazing part of my life. It warms my heart when she greets me at the door or snuggles under the covers.
A while back, I house-sat my friend's adorable pup. Since then, I had "the fever," aka a total one-track mind. It was painful to hang with other dogs as I pined for one of my own. After getting my own place, I knew I wanted to adopt so I started researching rescues. I'm friendly with many animal advocates (including Debbie, Editor-in-Chief of BUST). She, along with several Facebook friends, helped me navigate the process.
Initially I wanted to go through a shelter, which I felt was a cheaper direct source. It's a $50 fee versus the $200-$400 of a rescue. It felt nearly impossible as every dog I liked was picked up or unfit for a beginner home. I had a dog as a child, but I couldn't consciously say I had more than house-sitting experience. I took the trek to both ACC shelters, but it was looking like a rescue was my best bet. My initially frugal nature was starting to wane as I got ready to pay up. I want to note that I know and appreciate why the fees are there, but dogs in general are costly and I was trying to save upfront.
I was interested in a tiny yorkie at the ACC. They told me we were unfit for each other since she exhibited food aggression and I was a beginner. Another dog I looked at was an adorably happy guy named Turbo. He had a huge benign tumor, but his smile was amazing. He ended up being a bit big for my studio space, but thankfully he's since found a loving home.
I started going to dogs fairs, but they were usually pushing puppies. I knew I wanted a senior who could chill while I was at work. I contacted numerous rescues on Petfinder and applied with quite a few. The whole process was incredibly frustrating with long applications, some that needed up to 6 references and then no response. I followed up with many, but never heard back.
One of the rescues I contacted was Rescuzilla and I can't say enough good things about them. They are a small rescue and seem super hands on with every adoption. They always got back to me very fast and spent a quality amount of time on the phone answering questions I might have. My boyfriend and I rented a zipcar and took a trip to meet Matilda. She was adorable, a total "Wishbone" dog, but also very bonded to her foster family. It didn't feel right, though I kept convincing myself otherwise. Thankfully, she too has since been adopted.
People kept telling me that I would "just know" and I did. The day I picked up Tallulah, I knew within 5 minutes that I would keep her. Tallulah (formerly Chucci) was dropped off at the ACC and picked up by Social Tees Rescue within the same afternoon. They quickly added her to Facebook asking for a foster home that night. I took a chance, knowing that if we didn't click, we'd only be together a week or two.
Susie's Senior Dogs immediately reposted and the rest of the world fell in love. Luckily, I got to there first! I was smitten and hopeful for a smooth adoption process. I recently had the pleasure of hanging with Susie and her admirable owner. You can check out that post here. It's a combo of cute fashion and doggie goodness.
At this point, I had two pending adoptions within the Social Tees rescue. They checked with my landlord and within two weeks Tallulah was officially mine. Did I mention she was free?! As part of this AMAZING charity, called Maddie's Day, all adoption fees were waived. It happens once a year and I was in the right place at the right time.
And...we lived happily ever after. I'm still Facebook friends with many of the rescues and it's tough to see so many dogs in need. If you plan to adopt, I urge you to go the rescue route. Although it was a frustrating process, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and each rescue is different. Thank you to all of those who helped me with advice or an open ear. I seriously appreciate it.
For all the dog owners out there, I hear amazing things about BarkBox. I contacted them about a coupon to share on this special dog day. Type "TALLULAH" for 10% off any BarkBox plan! [No longer available]