~ Karen Davison
Today, we are joining the Be the Change for Animals Blog the Change and with October being "Adopt A Shelter Dog Month" what more of a perfect time to talk about bringing awareness to the millions of dogs that enter shelters every year. As an advocate for the ASPCA, we here at FiveSibes wish to talk about adopting a dog from a shelter, whether it's a cute puppy, a 'tween, and especially senior dogs.
My previous two angels, Sandy (above left with my daughter when she she was a toddler) and Chelsey (above right with my daughter when she was a teenager) were both adopted as puppies from our local SPCA. While I grew up in a household full of dogs and had my own as a teenager, our Sandy, a golden German Shepherd/Chow mix (I suspect a little Husky in there), was the first dog my husband and I welcomed in our home as a married couple.
Sandy was a sweetheart. A true gentleman who was quite fond of my daughter! And what a wonderful, gentle dog to teach my daughter at an early about about caring for a pet. At 13, he developed tumors on his chest, and my sweet boy was diagnosed with cancer. My husband brought him home after a vet follow-up for one last weekend with us. My daughter, just about five at the time, drew pictures and we taped them up on the wall behind Sandy and hugged him and that Monday, we helped him to journey to the Rainbow Bridge, where he would no longer suffer.
My big handsome boy, Sandy, took a piece of my heart with him...our family's first dog, the first dog my baby daughter was introduced to... my beautiful shelter pup.
Hours they would spend together out in the yard playing. When we brought home a dwarf bunny, my daughter named him Sugar (he was brown and white and my daughter said it reminded her of white and brown sugar)!
Immediately, Chelsey, Sugar, and my daughter bonded as buddies! This trio was inseparable! What a wonderful time in our lives! So many days my daughter would make herself comfy on the kitchen floor and read books to both Chelsey and Sugar. It was so special and full of love, that I have those moments imprinted in my mind forever!
Chelsey helped us welcome into our home our first two Siberian Huskies, Harley, and a year later, Gibson. She mentored our two young Huskies and on the days our aging girl wasn't bothered by arthritis, she would play and tutor the Husky pups in all things canine!
|My two girls - best buds!|
I loved that girl! Thinking of Chelsey brings me back to a time of fun-filled days spent with my young daughter, her bunny, and our family dog, who we were lucky to have for 13 wonderful years. This photo was taken on the last Christmas Chelsey spent with us. Chelsey. I hope she knows what an impact she had on our lives and how much we miss her. And to think if I didn't visit our shelter that day after missing Sandy, I would never have met and loved such a wonderful dog.
To this day, nine years later, my heart still squeezes when I
think of her. Our beautiful Chelsey - my shelter dog.
According to Olivia Melikov of the ASPCA, "We believe it’s not the size of your home but the size of your heart that matters." We so agree, and thankfully, the heart can hold much love.
"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
- Sydney Jeanne Seward
I wanted to share these two special dogs' lives to show that shelter dogs are wonderful dogs. The love they give is immeasurable. I think, even though both of ours were puppies when adopted, they somehow knew their lives were made better and they were so appreciative of it and always willing to make us happy, but then I believe that is a dog thing really...loyal, trusting, devoted. Whether you adopt a puppy, teen, 'tween, or senior dog - you and your dog will forever be thankful! And please do give a senior dog a second look - they deserve lots of love in their golden years and still have lots of love to share.
Still need a reason to consider adopting a senior dog? Well, how about 10? Check out these top 10 reasons over at The Senior Dogs Project.
As part of the ASPCA's Big Love campaign, their Adoption Center in New York City is offering a very special promotion! You can adopt a big dog and, according to the ASPCA, throughout the month of December, "all dogs over 30 pounds will have their weight subtracted from their adoption fee!" For more info on Big Love and all other Adopt a Shelter Dog Month events, visit the ASPCA website HERE.
In honor of shelter dogs, the ASPCA has joined forces with Animal Planet to launch a social media contest celebrating shelter dogs. Share your cutest photos of your shelter dog at www.aspca.org/MyRescueDog, and you will be entered for the chance to have your photo featured on the October 17th episode of Pit Bulls and Parolees and win prizes!
Also be sure to share your rescue pup’s photo on your social media channels using the hashtag #MyRescueDog and tagging @ASPCA and @AnimalPlanet! They will be posting some of their favorites!
Enter the ASPCA's #BigLove Contest! This October, tell the ASPCA why you think BIG dogs rock and you’ll be automatically entered to win a pair of Pet Pal Pillows from Pottery Barn! And if you’re already a proud parent of a bigger-sized dog, share your pet’s photo on social media with the hashtag #BigLove. Be sure to tag @ASPCA on your photos, and they will share their favorites!
***CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER - MOLLY PITCHER!***
PLEASE DROP US AN EMAIL WITH YOUR DOGHOUSE ADDY SO WE CAN HAVE YOUR GIFT PACK SENT TO YOU!