About 29 percent of Americans have enriched their life with a rescue pet. Any dog owner will tell you how special their pooch is, but as a rescue owner, you can’t help but feel, well, your dog is “special-er.” Here are a few more things only owners of rescue dogs will understand:
You have to be an incredibly patient person.
Many rescue dogs come with heavy pasts filled with abuse and neglect. When you first brought home your rescue one of two things happened: Your pup was terrified and refused to leave the refuge of the underbelly of the couch, or he was off-the-wall excited and turned your living room into his personal parkour course and toilet. If there’s something rescue dogs are known for, it is not coming completely potty trained and properly socialized.
You know this dog is worth it, though. You put up with the nervous growling, constant accidents, and torn-up underwear. Slowly, he begins to trust you. He starts to learn the commands and overcome his fears. Adopting a dog and seeing him blossom into a silly, loyal, wonderful companion is one of the most rewarding parts of adding a canine to the family.
You can’t help but love telling your dog’s “story.”
When you first got your new dog, you would relish the chance to tell anybody the precious pup’s story. You would get into every gritty detail, like how one of his ears was matted down to his head or the exact measurement of the open cut he had when he was first brought into the rescue. You may even have sent out for a DNA dog test, just so you could tell everyone exactly how much Springer Spaniel he is.
You would think telling the same story about your dog over and over would wear out, but it doesn’t. And neither does taking photos of your dog and posting them on every social media platform daily. This is one of your best friends, so you can’t help but show off how far he’s come.
And whenever you do tell your dog’s story, it is always followed up trying to convince your friends to adopt a dog.
This dog changed your life and you now believe that every single one of your friends’ lives would also benefit from adopting a pooch. You start sending them adoption listings and not-so-discreetly pointing out dogs on the street. You may come off as slightly crazy, but you know once your friend finally caves and agrees to go to an adoption event, not only will they get a dog, but they will join you on your holy crusade to get every single dog adopted.
They rescued you.
Any dog — rescued or not — will fill your life with love and slobbery kisses. But there is an intangible quality that comes with a rescue dog. How many times have you looked at your rescue pup and felt an almost sacred bond with him? Or how often do you catch yourself talking about how your rescue came into your life at the perfect moment? Once you’ve adopted a dog, you realize there’s some cosmic force that brought you two together…and your life is much better because of it.
Maggie Clancy is a writer and animal lover living in Los Angeles. When she isn’t snuggling with her pup and watching horror movies, she is sending photos of adoptable pets to all of her friends. She shares her apartment with a roomie, two dogs, a cat, and the occasional foster pup.