Things To Know When Rescuing A Dog
First thing’s first, my name is Elizabeth, or Liz. I’m the daughter of “Life With Heidi” and I’m trying out this whole “blog” thing. I recently got married to my high school sweetheart, Austin, and we live in a small town in Northern Missouri surrounded by family and of course our loyal chocolate Labrador Retriever, Grizzly. Our lives were perfect, always having “Ole Griz” to come home to after a long day at work. But, a few weeks ago, that all changed.
Austin works at a local farmers CO-OP and had noticed a black Lab roaming around work for a few days and she looked like she hadn’t been fed in weeks. He mentioned this pretty girl to me one night and I insisted that he bring her home. Days later, I came home to one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. We decided that we would feed and house her until we got the OK of health from our local Veterinarian and after would gift her to the home of Life With Heidi.
Once Doc said she was “healthy as a horse” but needed some loving attention and food, we couldn’t give her up. Austin and I decided to keep her and make our family of three a family of four. Now, our black Lab Lucy and chocolate Lab Grizzly are living the dream of chasing squirrels and their tails without a care in the world.
Now that you know a little about me, here’s the list of things that happen once you rescue a dog.
- You CAN teach an old dog new tricks
With our black lab, we were very lucky. She knows how to ask to go outside and to not beg for food at the table. But, she does not know the common “tricks” that Grizzly learned as a puppy. We’ve taught Lucy how to fetch, how to shake hands, how to sit, and how to lay down. We’ve even taught her a name, Lucy. I’m not saying it will be as easy for every rescue dog, but with some perseverance and dog snacks, anything can be done.
2. It’s normal for them to be shy/ timid
A lot of times, stray or sheltered dogs have been abandoned and hurt. They have a good memory, and will be scared it will happen again. You have to earn the dogs trust, which doesn’t happen over night. Give it time, keep crowds low around them, your dog will learn to adapt.
3. Your new dog will have its own personality
Even if you’ve had the same breed of dog before, this dog will be totally different. Just like humans, each dog has its own personal characteristics. Your new dog may love laying around the house all day being alone while your old dog might be very energetic and a people person. Don’t think your new dog is unhappy just because he/she is different.
4. There’s no such thing as a free dog
Dogs cost a lot of money. Vet bills aren’t cheap. Neither are dog food, treats, bedding, kennels, shampoo, or toys. Having a dog is like having a child, make sure you are financially stable before taking on this big obligation.
5. Dogs require a lot of attention
You need to spend time with your fur babies! They crave attention as much as humans do. Before getting a dog, make sure you can spend time with them playing fetch and cuddling every day. Would you like to spend all day in bed with nobody to talk to?
6. Discipline and Praise
Dogs need praise as much as they need discipline. But, remember that they were probably mis-treated and that’s why you have adopted them. They need to know that you love them, but they also need to behave. Using a stern voice to punish them will work better than using a hand on them. But, don’t hold back on belly rubbings when they do something good!
7. Your new dog needs to see a Veterinarian
Since you are rescuing your new dog, you probably don’t know much about him/her. Before you introduce them to other dogs, you need a doctor to check them out. Dogs carry diseases like Rabies, Parvo, Influenza, Lyme Disease, Heart worms and Intestinal Worms that can all be deadly if not treated.