For my first Thankful Thursday post I would like to introduce Abigail. I call her Abby, Abbysmell, and anything cute that pops into my brain at the time.
I wanted a small dog. I have been a dog parent for many years but they have always been large. You see, my dogs are rescued. Shelters usually have large dogs and I just cannot resist their big brown eyes. The sadder the story, the more likely I will welcome them into my home.
My husband is an even bigger sap than I when it comes to these hairy creatures. He refuses to adopt from a breeder because he says there are too many good dogs put down every day. By adopting from a shelter you are not only saving a life you may put an irresponsible breeder out of business.
It is no big surprise he was against me adopting a Chihuahua. His argument was that I shouldn't waist good money on the purchase. He said they are yappy and always under your feet. He was concerned it would be hard to train and my other dogs wouldn't get along with one. We came to a compromise, I could adopt if I found one at a shelter.
For two years I called shelters. I put my name on a list at each local shelter and would check back frequently. It was pain staking to say the least. One day I was in a store and someone had the cutest little Chihuahua puppy I have ever seen. I asked her where she got it and she gladly gave me the business card of the breeder. I was a little disappointed but didn't give her my reasons. When I went to the register the clerk said, "Hey, why don't you go to www.petfinder.com?" I explained why I couldn't just adopt any dog and she told me they have shelters as well as breeders on the site. She happened to have a laptop there and we did a search for the breed in my zip code. Low and behold, there was one just a few miles away!!! I called to make sure the dog hadn't been adopted yet and was told, "No, but she has been here a few weeks. She doesn't like kids and is not in good health. We will have to put her to sleep if she is not adopted over the weekend."
I jumped in my car and drove there immediately. When they took me to the kennels I saw many large barking dogs. In the mix was a tiny Chihuahua. She was shaking and looked intimated. I picked her up and could see how skinny she was and it broke my heart. I knew she was the one for me. The cost to adopt her was $10. I had a $20 so I told them to keep the change for donation.
I held that dog in my arms for hours. I did my best to let her know I was now going to take care of her. She seemed to understand. When my husband came home from work he said, "What a cute little dog. Is she lost? Are you looking for her home?" I said, "She is home." He didn't put up much of a fight once I told him how I came about adopting her. The price impressed him, to say the least.
I took her to the vet the following Monday. He told me she had been used as a breeder dog and had been taken advantage of. She had too many litters and her health was in danger. She had a heart murmur and four abscessed teeth. Her hind legs were stressed from all the extra weight of pregnancy, etc...
I had a long cry after leaving the vet's office that day. It saddened me to think how she may have been used then dumped at a shelter once she wasn't of any value. Getting her teeth fixed and getting her well was expensive. The vet said she may not survive all the work that needed to be done.
I am happy to say she is doing well! Once her teeth were fixed she started to gain weight and play just like a regular dog. All the fears my husband had of small dogs where thrown out. She is not yappy and doesn't get under your feet. She rules the house over the larger dogs.
I am her ‘main' person. She sits with me, sleeps with me, greets me at the door with excitement, hangs on my every word and is the only one in my house who really seems to enjoy my singing! It has been three years now and I cannot imagine life without her. I learned a good lesson in patience and received a beautiful gift. My friends say I should have named her Lucky.
If you are interested in adopting a pet I would encourage you to check out your local shelter first. There are many animals there looking for a good home. If you are like me you just may find unconditonal love.
In this economy it may be hard to take on an extra expense. There have been many animals left in foreclosed homes. If you are afraid of the cost of adopting a new pet but have a big heart I would encourage you to become a foster parent. The animals are not well enough to be adopted but the medical cost will be paid for you. Please google it to find out what you can do to help. It may not cost you anything but a little time. Is that too much to ask?