Be the Change

This is Shiva before she was Shiva. The photo was taken by the volunteer staff at the Metro SPCA shelter in Dartmouth. Her name back then was Tessa. (A sweet little name, I think, and we debated keeping it. But that’s another story.)

A few people have said, “sometimes you don’t get the dog you want; sometimes you get the dog you need.” While I don’t recommend everyone choose their new companion the way we chose ours – under pressure and kind of on a whim – Shiva was absolutely the dog I needed. I’ve talked about it ad infinitum around these parts. Adopting a dog saved me in a million ways. Shiva is the real hero in this house, not me.

Here are some other future heroes, waiting for those who may not even realise they need saving.

This sweet-looking lab-mix is Smokey. He’s around three years old. They say he’s a little shy but very gentle with everyone he meets. He doesn’t have any separation issues when left alone. He also likes cats – not an easy trait to come by. Smokey would be super happy in a home with children over 8 years old. I could gobble up his cute little white paws.

 

   This is Bella. She’s just a baby. Bella is an Amstaff mix who adores other dogs and people. They say she is very well-mannered for her young age. She would be happiest in an active home with older children. If I had the energy, I bet she and Shiva would be instant buddies. 

This gorgeous husky is called Fenrus. He’s ten years old, fully trained, and very well-behaved. Fenrus is also special because he has one blue eye and one brown eye. He’s also unique because, unlike most huskies I know, he tends not to be a runner when off lead. His foster parents say he is very affectionate and gets along famously with other dogs. If he isn’t scooped up soon I would be very shocked. Actually, I kinda want to take him for myself. Think the husband would freak out?

 

This lovely girl is Shandy. Isn’t that a happy face? Shandy is a 5 year old rottweiler mix. She is calm and easy-going but they report she is a little timid until she warms up to you. But when she does, you’ll be best friends forever. Those floppy ears look super soft. I think she’d be an expert cuddler.

 

 

 

 

All of these dogs – and too many more – are available for adoption at the Metro SPCA. This shelter is not unique. There are organisations just like this one all over the country, filled with dogs waiting to meet their lifelong friends.

According the the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, almost 37,000 dogs were admitted to shelters in 2008. Out of these, around 29,000 were either adopted or returned to their original owners. Is that a fantastic improvement? Absolutely. Could we do better? Obviously. In 2008 19% of dogs admitted were euthanised.*

Petfinder.com – a serious addiction of mine – is the ultimate place to go for anyone even thinking of adding a dog to her life. The website is full of useful information on choosing the right pet, tips on preparing one’s home and family, and advice for any problems one may encounter along the way.

If you decide you’re not quite ready yet I totally get it. Dogs are a huge responsibility. Adopting one should never be a rash decision.  But, you can still help. Shelters are always in desperate need of bedding, food, and medicine. Donations of money or time are always enormously appreciated. Shelters couldn’t run without volunteers willing to clean up after the messy buggers. You never know, you could be cleaning up the poop of someone’s future life-saver.

Blog the Change

 

*For a really glaring number, in that same year 54% of all cats admitted were put down. Fifty-four percent!! It’s a subject for a future post but I had to share immediately. That is just way too freaking high.

12 thoughts on “Be the Change

  1. yup…the dog you “need.” i’m all about the rescue. tho i think some day i may buy a breeded GSD or belgian for a variety of resons too complex to post about here, but I may also just rescue within that breed. I will always have a rescue or two. always.

    re: raw diet. it’s easier than you think in the US. Look into The HOnest Kitchen. it’s dehydrated raw meat, veggies. you just add water. i used to serve it with Nature’s Variety meat patties. also easy to buy and store. i’m not a “cook” either…especially meat since when I learned to cook i was vegetarian. so i never really learned properly about cooking /handling meat. but i’m learning now. and i even in Switzerland, i’m still able to find a vendor who has prepackaged meat/bones sausage that i just open and serve (well, i add in veggies and some crushed bone for extra bulk)…but it’s pretty simple now. once you have the “go to” part down (the staple thing you can always serve, such honest kitchen) then adding Raw meaty bones, recreational bones is simple.

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    • Me too. One day, I would love to own a pure-bred JRT, that’s kind of my dream dog. But other than that, I’m sure I will always have a rescue.

      Thanks for getting back to me with more raw diet information. I actually live in Canada, not the US but I’m sure there are companies here I’m unaware of. I will look into Honest Kitchen, you never know, maybe they ship here as well. One of the reasons I’m really curious about it is we are having problems keeping Shiva’s weight up. Everyone comments on how thin shalways looks. I know a large part of that is just her genetics but I am a little concerned she’s not getting enough healthy fat in her current diet. Anyway, I really appreciate the advice. Happy Friday!

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  2. I would absolutely love to adopt Fenrus. We are going on a trip and won’t be back until Mid-November. I’m sure he will have found a great home by then, but if not we are hoping to go to NS to adopt him.

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  3. Delighted to say that we returned from our overseas trip to find that Fenrus hadn’t yet found a home (don’t know why – he’s gorgeous!). Anyways, we are just back from the 11 hour round trip down to Dartmouth to collect him. He never stopped wagging his tail from when we picked him up until a few minutes ago when he laid down at our feet for a snooze! He’s just a big love-bug – all kisses and cuddles. He’s very smart and can already recognize us and respond to us. We feel very lucky to have him and will give him a great home in his senior years, although he seems to have the energy of a young pup rather than a 10 year old!

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    • That is the best news I’ve heard all day! I’m so glad. I can’t believe he was still there either. I’d been following him on Petfinder. Heh. I really wish I could have taken him myself but we just don’t have the time or the space right now, which broke my heart.

      But knowing he’s found a wonderful home with you, where he will be appreciated for the sweetheart he is, makes me so happy. Thank you so much for the update and congratulations!!

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  4. Thanks Kristine! He’s settling in very well, a bit of separation anxiety but that’s only to be expected. He doesn’t seem to want to let us out of his sight at the moment. It’s been too cold for the nearby beach, but he’s loving his walks in the woods. This is a great place for him as we are semi-retired and work from home, so he’ll have constant company. I saw you mentioned raw food in Canada, we’re thinking of trying Fenrus on the ‘Nature’s Variety’ brand of frozen raw food which is new in our pet store.

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    • Nature’s Variety, I will have to look into that. Thanks for the recommendation!

      I’m glad Fenrus is coming along. Seriously, it makes me so happy to hear these little updates. Unfortunately, separation anxiety seems to be a common trait among rescues. It sounds like he is in a home where all of his little quirks will be understood. 🙂 I hope you all have many long years left together.

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