Wednesday, July 1, 2009
My husband Mark and I recently began considering getting a playmate for our two-year-old half-Pug/half-Corgi, Diesel.
Diesel’s been a member of our family since he was two months old.
Right around the time we started talking about getting a new dog, I heard on Southern California radio station KLOS that there was going to be a Pet Adoption Day at spcaLA in Long Beach on June 16.
Mark and talked a little more and decided against another new puppy. It made sense to get a more mature dog since neither of us are home during the day, plus the first year costs of caring for a puppy are more expensive with all the extra shots and vet visits.
So we embarked with Diesel in tow to El Dorado Park with hopes of finding him a new brother or sister.
There were three or four rooms at the event. In each room there were 15 to 20 dogs inside kennels. We walked through each room a few times to familiarize ourselves with Diesel’s would-be companions.
The first potential playmate was a Pit Bull mix named Lena. We took her outside to the “play area” to observe her behavior and see how we’d get along. Unfortunately Lena paid us no mind at all, instead demonstrating her skills as an escape artist. As she wriggled under the plastic fence of our play area we determined that Lena was not the dog for us.
There were other dogs we liked; my 7-year-old daughter favored the Chihuahuas. Cute… but not for us.
I sensed we weren’t going to find a friend for Diesel and started getting discouraged. My husband took my hand and the three of us walked by each kennel again to see if there were any dogs we missed. That’s when I noticed a little Daschund Mix named Jake.
We led Jake to the play area to see how he would get along with Diesel and my daughter. Jake was shy, but not too timid. He rolled on his back to let my daughter rub his belly. She then picked him up for a hug. He was a real sweetheart.
Now, for the moment of truth: it was time to see how Diesel and Jake would get along. Two staffers led Diesel and Jake into a larger play area to see them interact. Once they got there though there wasn’t much interaction going on. In fact, other than acknowledging each other’s presence, they showed little interest in being best pals. Certainly not love at first sight. The staffers assured us that while they may not be best buddies at first, it was clear they did not dislike each other.
We liked Jake and felt confident he and Diesel would become better acquainted over time so we decided to proceed with the adoption. We were able to fill out the paperwork on site and take him home the same day.
Jake made himself at home almost immediately. Turns out he wasn’t very shy after all! He enthusiastically explored our backyard, happily wagging his tail. After getting to know him better we thought the name Jojo better fit his personality.
Adopting Jojo was a wonderful experience and things at home have been great ever since. I encourage others interested in getting a dog to adopt from local shelters, like the spca (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International). I had doubts about adopting an older dog but now I know first-hand that there are many benefits. I hope others interested in getting a dog remember that all puppies eventually grow up, so don’t immediately rule out getting an older dog. Plus you just may save a life!
-- Courtesy of Kira Cartier, PetStore.com Staff