When I lost Sophie after just a year and a half, I couldn't bring myself to 'replace' her with another dog. So, I became a foster mom. I was able to care for numerous dogs that needed forever homes, love them and spoil them to the best of my ability, and then send them off to their new families. I did this for several months.
One of those foster dogs came from an 'accidental' litter. She was 9 months old, had never been outside, and hadn't even been named. I took her in like I did all the others, but she was *much* worse off than the others I had fostered (I was lucky to have fostered well-adjusted, healthy dogs up until that point.) This dog was scared of the world, unsocialized and untrained. I had my work cut out for me.
I spent that first weekend getting to know her and researching names that would fit her. I believe a lot is in a name and it can set the tone for the rest of their life. She was so elegant and ladylike, and I eventually settled on the name Ava, after Ava Gardner.
I worked with Ava for months, helping her learn to be in the world, making her understand I would always protect her, and teaching her the basics of walking on a leash and being in a crate.
The Rescue Organizer kept asking me when she would be ready to be placed up for adoption, and I kept putting her off. Everyone knew what I wasn't going to admit - she was mine.
When I officially adopted her, no one was suprised. :)
With more fosters, Izzy and Rerun.
Sharing her bed with Izzy and Rerun.
My snuggle bug.
Adoption has always been the best option for me, and I truly believe it's the best option for everyone. I don't want to anger the responsible breeders out there (I could care less about angering the irresponsible ones!), but the fact is that there are so many homeless dogs in the world that I just can't fully get behind creating more puppies that will go to families that very well could have given a homeless dog a home.
I could have bought an Italian Greyhound puppy from a breeder no problem. But what I got in a 'shelter' pet was equal to what I would have got from a breeder, AND I had the added bonus on knowing that I saved a life, I gave a homeless dog a home, and I helped the overpopulation problem as opposed to adding to it. That is a great feeling.
(And yes, Ava was still quite young at 9 months AND a purebred. Those two things are never an excuse to use a breeder.)
Next up: My other Rescue pup, Jackson!