Considering a rescue dog?

Thinking of offering a home to a rescue dog? Read this first!

I have spotted a phenomenon. Women of a certain age (mine, 55 ish) go through a change about now. No not the 'm' word.  In many cases it seems to be connected to not having children to look after anymore. For years when you walked through the front door small people were happy to see you.  The frenzy that greeted you would, day in/day out show you, you were needed! Then somewhere around mid-late teens that stops and when you walk in there is silence.

This is the trigger point for the conversation that starts with ......’wouldn’t it be nice to get a dog?’ And if you do, yes, you can be pretty much assured you will be needed again, possibly a lot.

I agree with people who argue that (unless there’s a valid reason) you should try and re-home a dog that needs one as there are so many in rescue centres. That’s exactly what we did, just over a year ago.

We seem now to have entered a world of:

 Grooming (expensive and often).

Not because we want her to look pretty or take her to shows, but because bathing traumatises her. Despite the fact she will hurl herself into any muddy puddle or stream as soon as she possibly can, she hates the bath, standing stock still, wide eyed and petrified, as if we are about to water-board her.

Dog food pre-occupation!

The debate about raw vs cooked vs dry vs wet food rages with more gusto than guns/no guns debate in America. So our first few months were spent buying copious amounts of meat and blending veg and sweet potato for our new arrival. At one point my partner thought he had steak for dinner (having seen it in the fridge) only to find out that was for the dog and he had stuffed butternut squash (which was actually very good!).

Dog behaviourists (even more expensive than the grooming).

Sadly with a rescue dog you never quite know what has happened to them in the past.  Nor do dog behaviour problems always manifest themselves when the dog first arrives. Ours became very aggressive towards my partner eight months after she had been living with us, despite the fact that he dotes on her and is the nicest one in the house to her.

Dog leads and harnesses (even these are complicated). 

You need a PhD in the merits or not, of different sorts of leads and harnesses. We have a cupboard full of different kinds.  That research is called ‘trial and error’.

Having said all of that, yes you guessed it we would not be without her. We often compare it to having a new baby, especially when you find your conversation focussed on ‘has she been today and what colour was it?’

So think hard about a rescue dog, it’s not easy, it’s not always fun, it is expensive and sometimes exasperating. But if you want something in your life that will make you laugh, loves you like you are the best person on earth and is a great companion, then I’d say go for it!