Friday, August 15, 2014

Adopt don't shop

Tomorrow, August 16th, marks a very special day in the Dallas/ Fort Worth Metroplex {and surrounding areas}.

Saturday, August 16th, is Empty the Shelter day. 

Now, typically, I do a Five Faves Friday post, but I wanted to share with each of you something so special and near and dear to my heart. I wanted to share our story of pet adoptions. You see, we have several rescued pets. They are our world, our everything, our {fur} babies, if you will.

They have brought so much joy and special meaning to our lives, and I could not imagine living life with our our little "Pet Pack".

We began a long time ago in the early 2000's. B was off at college and I was living it up in the burbs {not really}. We each wanted/ needed a special companion.

Brian rescued a shelter dog and he named him "Oscar P" - aptly named after our school's founder's pet duck.

Oscar has been with Brian throughout his entire college career and is one of the smartest and best doggies around. He can even get a beer out of the fridge... now tell me how many designer breeds can do that! We don't really know what breed Oscar is, and we love him regardless.

Next, I got my little Chihuahua, Chip. He has been with me through various stages of life and has always shown me unconditional love and protection.

Chip enjoys laying in the sun and being the "big" dog of the house. He loves snuggles and sticking out his tongue.

When B, completed his first degree we rescued three shelter cats with the intent of providing them a "foster" home until we could place them in a loving environment. We already had a cat and I wasn't completely on board with the whole cat idea. Needless to say, we both got attached to them and now I will never not have a cat {or a couple}.

Cats are truly a special species and if you've never owned a cat you'll not have the slightest clue what I am talking about. Cats, in my opinion, get a bad wrap. However, people who own cats will have an instant connection with you because you both "know" what it's like to be a cat owner. Cats are self sufficient and a ton of fun. They can do all sorts of crazy tricks, flips in the air, and makes thousands of different noises. They like to sit in the most inconvenient places and stick their rears in your face (which sounds horrible), but they are seriously the coolest pets. The will protect you form bugs, rats, snakes and other rodents (simply because they will kill them so you won't have to). The love of a cat is like that of none other and when they give you that "look" your heart instantly melts. We've had our cats since they've been itty bitty kitties and I must say having a kitten is crazy and fun all at the same time. What other animal do you know that can clean itself?

Pico is my special man. We have a very strong bong and he knows it. He likes to "bop" the other cats on the head to let them know who's boss and he loves to lay on his back all legs spread. When we first got Pico he was very sick and we were unsure if he would make, much less turn into the beautiful man that he is. He has bright blue eyes, and a gray-ish white coat. When Momma calls, he always comes running. He's my man!

Raul is the baby of the family and enjoys singing and "talking" to me. He's a feisty little thing that loves his Momma. He enjoyes sitting in the sun and watching squirles out the window.

Nala is the only other girl in the house and has some very sassy "catittude". She enjoys sitting under the covers and loves her Daddy very much.

Smokey is my handsome yet shy boy. He and Nala are very close and do almost everything together. He's the sweetest cat and has never had a temper. He's super laid back and enjoys when Nala licks his head.

Baby Kiki (above right) is my crazy cat that wakes me up every morning at 7 am. He loves his treats and loves to get us out of bed so he can take over. He and Pico are BFF's and they spend most of their days together. I love his little pink nose and he looks like he has a mask due to his markings. He's very eccentric.

A few years ago, we also rescued a Pekineses... Get this, a lady at Walmart was just giving him away, or she was going to surrender him to be euthanized. {Who does that!?} We took him in and realized he has very special needs. Again with the intent to find him a home, after a few quirks and a million and one bouts of laughter later - we couldn't part with him. He's one of those dogs that only a parent can love. I'm convinced he is a product of bad breeding practices, and we love him none the less.

So now, almost 10 years later we are left with a small heard of cats AND dogs. They truly are our EVERYTHING.

Gizmo and Chip helped Daddy when he proposed to me. Oscar has protected us. My cats have killed several (small) snakes that I have slithered their way near our house. They have comforted us when we are feeling upset or hurting. They have allowed us to love something other than ourselves. And, most importantly, they have allowed us to provide for them. Something that brings us both so much pleasure day in and day out.

Regardless of where you are in the world, I encourage you to adopt or rescue a shelter pet. If you must have a specific breed PLEASE PLEASE look into the rescue groups that are available before shelling out hundreds (even thousands) of dollars. Please do not shop. Many breeders do not properly breed their animals (i.e. inbreeding) and typically these are the dogs that end right back up in a shelter and eventually killed.

You also must know that having an animal is a HUGE commitment. It's a commitment to yourself and more importantly to another being. Pets have souls and feelings. They need love and attention. Along with food, adequate shelter, and lots of care.

If you've been thinking about getting pet, this weekend is the perfect time to get one. Check out Empty the Shelter Day. Adoption fees are waived and you are bringing joy to an animal that so desperately needs love and a good home.

I know that our rescues are on the side of extreme and some people think we are out of our minds, and that's okay. But until you rescue a pet of your own, you'll never truly now the positive impact a rescued pet will have on you - and them.

So if you have a pet or if you're thinking about rescuing one...

I leave you with a few of my pets tips I've learned over the years:

  1. Establish a routine (especially for feeding).
  2. Never EVER leave you cat or dog in the car during the summer (or spring) months. Don't do it! And if I see it, I will call the police and will try to rescue that pet from a hot car. It's just wrong.
  3. Please do not let your dog chew on rubber toys (chocking hazard)
  4. Always take your pet to the vet for an annual exam
  5. Provide a safe place for your pet (a comfy crate, area or room)
  6. Talk to your pet - they like that
  7. Provide plenty of safe toys & use them to play with your pet
  8. Do not leave little dogs or cats outside at night 
  9. Establish your dominance (you might need a professional's help)
  10. and, lastly, Enjoy your pet!  

So, please, Save a Life and visit your local shelter.