When I started looking for a dog I had some specific criteria right off the bat. My kids were pretty young at the time and I really didn’t want another baby in the house so I knew I didn’t want a puppy. I also don’t really care about having a pure breed dog and actually decided to focus my search on mixed breed dogs. Also after dealing with hair from two cats for 13 years I really wanted to find a dog that didn’t shed very much. Finally, for practicality sake I wanted a smaller dog, you know less food, less poop, etc.
So with those things in mind I started looking at the SPCA, on Craigslist, and on websites. This got me nowhere. This then led me to dog rescue sites. I had of course heard about pet rescue but the idea of adopting an animal that had been abused or mistreated made me very nervous, especially having young children. But as I researched the concept of rescue my view quickly changed.
Unfortunately as I continued to search for our perfect pet with my trusty list of requirements I started to become discouraged. For whatever reason finding a small young adult mixed breed dog in my area was proving to be more difficult than I thought. It was then that I started to expand my search to include the US. Right away I was overwhelmed with the shear number of dogs who have been abandoned or picked up by shelters along the west coast of the United States. It was absolutely heartbreaking to look through pages and pages on these websites of dogs looking for homes.
I soon learned that there are a number of rescue organizations that coordinate with shelters in the US to allow for some of these animals to find new homes. I got connected with a local rescue organization and was able to bring our dog out of a high kill shelter in California. Unbeknownst to me at the time, many of these shelters are so over crowded that the dogs are given an approximate window of 30 days in which to be adopted before they are euthanized. It is absolutely terrible!! I found it so emotional scrolling through literally pages of animals (300 dogs at the shelter I was looking at alone!) and trying to decide which life to save. I had it narrowed down to a couple of dogs and the rescue center got in touch with their contact at the shelter to find out which one might be the best fit for our family. As it turned out they would have both been a good fit according to the shelter but one of the dogs had just arrived and the other had been there for just about a month. With that information my decision was made for me, as I knew the dog that had been there a month was literally days from being euthanized.
Our dog was pulled from the shelter, given his shots and neutered and made his way to Canada on a long and what must have been a very stressful trip with a number of other dogs. These poor animals have gone through so much, I honestly can’t think of how hard it is on them to then have a surgery and be placed in a kennel and travel for three days. The only consolation is the life that waits for them once they finally make it to their forever families.
When I finally met Kai for the first time he was swaddled in a blanket and was just being held and loved by the rescue organization founder. The work she does is both heartbreaking and also inspiring and fulfilling. She truly loves these animals and she just wants each and every dog to feel safe and loved.
Kai was underweight, dehydrated, recovering from surgery and had clearly been mistreated by some other dogs in the overcrowded shelter he was being kept at, having some old scaring on his snout and some newer wounds on his ears. Angela, the rescue coordinator handed me this bundled up little dog and we sat down at her dining room table so she could share with me what she could of Kai’s story. As with many of these dogs there wasn’t much to tell. He had been picked up wandering the streets and from what they could tell was a Chihuahua-Dachshund cross (ChiWeenie as I love to call him) that was about eighteen months old.
Kai’s transition into our family was fairly uneventful. There were a couple of instances in the early days where he would take off or get spooked easily and run away, which absolutely terrified me! But as he settled in and realized that we were not going to leave him he developed into the amazing loving loyal pet he is today.
I honestly don’t think I could have found a more perfect fit for our family. I can’t really explain it but it’s like he somehow knows that we saved him. It’s been really neat seeing him grow in his confidence and trust as he now knows that his new life is here to stay.
This is a small glimpse into my experience with dog rescue. It was an eye opening process as well as a really life changing experience as well. Our lives have been changed in the best of ways with the addition of Kai and I would and do recommend to anyone thinking about adding a pet to their family to consider rescue.
This is a link to the Facebook Page of the Rescue Organization that helped us connect with Kai : Dachshund & Friends Rescue Team