Moxie Monday

Moxie Monday: Adoption

Before there is any confusion I am talking about animal adoption. As a dog lover myself, I have owned pure breeds, mutts, specially bred dogs as well as adopted dogs that had no information about them. I currently own two wonderful dogs at this time.

Nike is almost 3 years old and he is a Belgian Malinois. He is a highly active, smart and lively dog. I bought him from an awesome breeder in Southern California and I couldn’t be happier. He is so active that I take him running often but then I will bike ride with him because I just know he has more energy than I ever will. I clocked him running at 27 miles an hour then my legs could pedal no more, I have no idea of all that he is capable of but it sure would be awesome to find out. Along with his strength, stamina and agility he is great with all sorts of commands as well as being an outstanding defender. He is a strong determined dog but he is also the most loving animal I have ever met. He is near and dear to my heart because I have had him the longest and he is truly my first dog that I have ever trained, raised and hand selected. He is PERFECT!

Tango is a small fuzzy black dog who is roughly 3 years old as well. He has had a long journey and I am proud to say that he is adopted. We went down to Las Vegas to an animal shelter and just fell in love with this little guy. Tango seemed to be mellow, attentive and well mannered. We knew he needed a home and we were willing to give him a try and meet Nike. We had a few other dogs before Tango and Nike got along with all of them, unfortunately they are all gone due to sickness, inoperable conditions and behavioral issues. We had a rough go with dogs over the last few years so you can understand that it was difficult to try again with Tango. We reviewed all the history the shelter had on him but it wasn’t much, everything was an approximation. We did find that he had been abused by previous owners and they dropped him off for no reason at all. Every time we went to pet him he instantly cowered and rolled on his back anticipating being hit. He had his quirks for sure.  We got Tango home and he instantly became over protective, possessive and aggressive towards Nike. When I would start to pet Nike, Tango would run over and start to growl and nip at him. Mind you, Nike is over 70lbs and Tango is 16lbs soaking wet. Still this habit had to be stopped. I did not force the dogs to be together but I did work with them and took them on walks together. Nothing seemed to make things better.

One morning I had this great idea, why not get a third dog that is a medium size in hopes that it might being the two together. I got in my truck and drove to the shelter in Vegas and met Zulu. He was a street dog, He had been homeless for 3 years which is about his age and he was a mess. You can’t see from the pictures but the back half of him was so matted that I took him home and had to shave him down to the skin. He was so snuggly and affectionate I instantly fell in love. Adoption number two was a success. Zulu came into our house and we slowly introduced the dogs to each other and instantly Tango went up to him and started playing. Nike joined in with the other two and it was settled, we had the perfect combination of dogs. As time passed unfortunately Zulu starting having many issues that led us to putting him down. We were nervous that Tango would revert into his old and grumpy self but we really worked hard to keep him and Nike engaged with one another. It worked!!! They love to go on walks together, they go check out any sounds around the house as though they are SWAT team searching one room at a time. They even sleep near each other and share toys. I no longer have to struggle with Tango being over protective around Nike, they share great and know that I am the pack leader.

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Even though adopted dogs may come with history or baggage, they still need to be loved, taught and trained because then you can truly see what a wonderful dog and companion they are capable of being. Nike has been my dog since he was a few weeks old and I was able to train and work with him everyday. He has been a blast to go on adventures with and just to snuggle with. Tango has been a lot of hard work and routine. I know to reach slowly towards him when I go to pet him so that he doesn’t get scared. He has a few quirks but they are getting few and far between now days. He even will go up to a stranger and get in their lap which took him a few months just to do that to my husband or myself. He is truly coming out of his frightened shell and starting to flourish as an inquisitive, cuddly, rambunctious and happy dog. I highly recommend that you adopt your next animal, don’t shop for them. There are so many pets that need a home and you can be the person to change their future the question is, will you?

Do not adopt an animal if you are not able to properly take care of it. That is a selfish move on your part and harmful to animals. If you want interaction with perts but aren’t sure you can take care of one, donate your time at your local animal shelter or walk your neighbors dog, offer to cat sit for a family member. Do not give an animal as a gift. The owner needs to make sure they are ready and able to handle everything that goes along with being a pet owner as well as making sure that specific animal is the right fit for the home. If you ever see someone mistreating an animal call the police or animal control immediately. People that do harm to animals are some of the lowest humans walking this earth. Animal abuse is life altering, just working with Tango I have seen how much time and effort it takes to undo something that has been engrained into a dog’s life. Please give your animal to a local shelter before you do anything to it that would harm them. It isn’t shameful to tell someone that you can’t go on caring for an animal, you might beginning them an even better life as well as a second chance.

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