Throughout the past two years we've had plenty of joy that only canine companions can offer. You may have noticed through shared photos that our grand dogs Remi (Bernaise Mountain Dog) and Jameson (black Lab) spend significant time with us. Especially Jameson, who grew up in our home. His mom is so busy, that he still lives with us most of the time. However, when we find ourselves dog-less we feel a huge void. Especially me. I get downright lonely, and feel safer with dogs around. To put it simply, I believe life is better with dogs!!
I've had mixed breeds, heinz 57, mutt's or as they are affectionately called now - rescues - my whole life. Even as a child. I began the arduous search to find the right young dog to adopt. I was looking for my favorite breed mix, a Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd. There are sooo many animals who need a home. Two common breeds, sounds easy right? Wrong!!
I applied to a local guide dog organization, because many dogs have career changes. I got a "we will keep you in mind" response...nothing more or less. One of their trainers was our reference, which apparently didn't make a difference.
I looked into a Labrador breed rescue, but they require a fenced yard. No exceptions. Say what?! I get it, but some of us dog owners are responsible off-leash owners. Something I feel firmly about. I didn't even bother applying.
I payed money to apply to a really good local rescue, who did nothing wrong. Unfortunately, the dog I applied for got adopted before we got close to getting through the lengthy process.
The adoption process these days includes a vet & two personal references, a home visit and then board approval. We did get approved, but that is as far as we got. I have yet to see another dog similar to what I was looking for, without Plott Hound mixed into it. We had never heard of a Plott Hound. I learned our area rescue's bring all their dogs up from down south. Plott Hounds are the State dog of Louisiana. I have no doubt they are wonderful dogs, but hounds are not for me. The remaining adoption process would have included requesting to adopt a chosen dog, and visiting the foster families home if selected as a potential match. If still interested in adopting after going to meet the dog, and waiting for a grace period, the foster family approves you for adoption (or not). Wow, adoption sure has changed!!
I applied at another rescue after finding a litter of lab mix puppies, two weeks before they were brought up from Texas. I heard crickets. I followed up knowing the lengthy process we had to go through again. They hadn't even contacted my references. Only after my phone call did they contact our vet. Once again I heard nothing. Our personal references were never contacted, and yet I saw a couple of the puppies from that litter posted repeatedly on Facebook as "still needing homes" weeks after they arrived and I applied. Grrr!! I guess we weren't the right kind of owners (roll eyes)...and this is where I gave up on *trying* to adopt.
After my experiences, I am left with the feeling that "Adopt Don't Shop" is pretty much the same damn thing as selecting a breed dog. A little less expensive (adoption prices ranged from $375-$475) with a whole lot of headache & disappointment. Of course I know the difference between the two, but IMO you are still "shopping" and let me tell you, rescue organizations, including humane societies, make it close to impossible to adopt!!!
I decided to try something different and was in contact with a couple recommended lab breeders. With one the pups were all spoken for, another litter didn't take. I had all but given up on owning a dog.
We recently attended a banquet, and found myself sitting next to a hunting guide. She guides for Brad, and he really likes her dogs. She contacted her dogs breeder, who happened to have one last pup looking for a home. In a matter of minutes, she found us a potential dog!
The puppy was 3.5 hours north of us. It took us a couple weeks to go see him. First the weather prevented travel and then Brad had back issues. I really wanted Brad to be part of the decision. The breeder held the pup for us, without commitment or deposit. Neither one of us can figure out why the not so little guy was left for last. She thought he would be the first to go, because of his color. It is lighter then most yellow labs. We fell in love with him instantly! He is not only a handsome fellow, but extremely sweet and smart. We met his brother, who was sold but staying at the breeders for training. We both agreed that we would have chosen our guy before his litter mate.
He was given the name Tank. It seems to fit him, so we kept it. I know it's a bit out of the norm, but we registered his official name as "Ignite Your Tank"...here is our new boy:
Photo we received at banquet from breeder
|First day home|
Tank 12 wks & Jameson 6yrs
We are all adjusting to our new lives together. Tank is keeping us more then busy, as all puppies do. With the turn of events, we believe he was meant for us. Tank has stolen our hearts!!