I just adopted Kiki Lulu, a 4 year-old, female dog right before she was to be euthanized. The day I brought Kiki home she was emaciated, shaking and apprehensive. She had an awful haircut because her hair was so matted from neglect, she had to be shaved. Worst of all, Kiki had a broken tail and pelvis. I knew something was wrong with her because she walked funny, but only after we went to the vet the next day did I learn how bad it had been. That said, she’s now in no pain and manages great, but we still have to be careful.
When I adopted Kiki she wasn’t a puppy, but I got to skip all the sleepless nights of puppy-hood, and Kiki acts like a puppy, delighting in the silliest things. When she first saw a toy, she looked at it with utter bewilderment and watched inquisitively as my other dog played with it. But soon she figured out how to play, and she now finds so much entertainment in the simplest things.
I love Kiki, just as much as if I knew her from her Day 1. She looks deep into my eyes with her big, soulful eyes. She connects with me on a profound level. She knows I rescued her and she knows the other side. My other dogs have been pet store dogs. I, like so many others, did not realize the majority of pet stores (even those on the Internet and those that deny it) get their dogs from puppy mills. My other dogs have never seen a bad day. The worst they ever experienced is an annual vet check. I cannot even imagine Kiki’s worst day.
Kiki did not require much training. I was a bit lucky here, but Kiki like so many rescues is so eager to learn and please because she knows she has it good now and just wants to make sure it stays that way.
Almost any kind of dog can be rescued. HSUS estimates that one-quarter of all shelter dogs are purebred. Just check your local shelters and rescue groups. Petfinder.com is my favorite resource. It is an online, searchable database of animals who need homes in shelters and rescue groups across the country. You can search any breed of dog and specify the area in which you want to look. So there really is no good reason not to rescue.
I created WagAware in honor of Kiki and all rescue dogs. They are the purest love one can find. So many sit alone waiting for homes only to never have a chance at love. I found this so unacceptable. My goal is to raise awareness about the need to rescue, help as many dogs as I can in the process and shed as much light as possible on the tremendous benefits to all when a dog is rescued. Rescue is the best breed and the more people who know this, the more we change the world for all.