|Our first night at home with Kea. The photo is so fuzzy because she wouldn't/couldn't stay still!|
I think it's safe to say, adoption is the best route for getting a pet. There are so many animals out there that need to be saved to good homes with loving people and there are lots of organizations out there that help to just that. The SPCA, for example, not only house animals for adoption, but also offer great services to help you and your new pet make a lasting relationship. We found Kea through an organization called Big and Small. They specialize in saving dogs from high-kill shelters and all the dogs are saved from the euthanasia list. We had a great experience working with them, and sometimes think it's fate that we ended up with Kea.
In this second installment of must love dogs, I thought I'd share Kea's adoption story.
The Bf and I knew that one day we wanted to have a dog in our little life together. I think I asked the Bf if we could get a dog, every. single. day. for months and months. I would peruse different websites and swoon over all the cute furry faces, I would stop and say hi to every dog that walked by (of course, I still do this), and would pretty much whine about my cold, dog-less lap while sitting on the couch watching tv. Than for Christmas 2011 the Bf gave me the greatest gift. It was a book called "The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds", with a card inside saying "I think you know what this means". This meant the search for our new family member was to commence immediately, I don't think I've ever squealed quite so high.
The Bf is a very calculated guy, so once this big decision had been made, we talked in great lengths as to all things dog. A dog requires a lot of care, care that costs money, ie. food, medical bills, etc. So, being financially ready was really important. We discussed breeds that we like, utilizing my great gift of the encyclopedia, and what types of dogs we both grew up with. What size of dog we thought would fit into our lifestyle. Living in Vancouver, we live in an apartment (and probably will for some time), so our dog would need to be able to have enough space within our space. There were many other factors, but we were able to come to agreement that we wanted a dog in a medium-ish size, and were open to different breeds. What we cared about the most was connecting with our future dog.
The search began with continuing to look through different websites, and going and visiting dogs in shelters. We must have driven around the entire lower mainland seeing visiting different shelters, and saw lots of dogs, but surprisingly enough, we weren't the only people doing that. Every dog that we were interested in already had multiple applications for them. I remember meeting this little cutie, named Oreo, and when we got to go in the little room with just the us and her, she instantly nuzzled me and sat down in my lap. What a sweetheart. We learned later that the other couple in the waiting area (which I swear to this day gave me the evil eye) was also hoping to bring her home, and had come to visit her again and scope out the competition. Days later we got the call that Oreo went home with that other couple. Looking back now, I just know they are a happy little family.
That being said, this made us very discouraged, and after other letdowns, I definitely had moments of doubt that this was going to happen. Then one day, a co worker suggested we go to a couple of local pet food/supply stores and ask if they know of any organizations looking for people to adopt dogs. We tried Bow Wow Haus, which also happens to be a block from the BF's work, and they were super helpful and put us in touch with Big and Small. Through email, they sent us photos of two dogs they had just recently saved, and that we could arrange a meeting. It worked out perfectly that the foster for Kea also worked at the dog shop, so we were able to meet her there and meet Kea for the first time.
We just knew. The moment I laid eyes on her, and picked her up, I just knew she had to be ours.
Within a couple of days, we had our application complete, a house visit done and we were approved to adopt Kea. It happened so quickly, but after a couple of months of looking, we knew she was perfect for us.
It's hard to know the full story of your pet's history, when adopting. And that also means, there may be some unexpected things that pop up along the way. Knowing exactly what breed mixture your dog is, or what size it will grow up to be may be a bit of a surprise. Something wonderful about adoption is that from that first meeting, you're starting to build your relationship with your pet, no matter what they grow up to be.
Big or Small.
Kea was found in the desert in California. We don't know if she was born there or dumped there. We think she's some sort of mixture of Shepard, Heeler and Coyote. She's the best dog ever.