I am forever grateful to FAAR for rescuing Wheaton. www.freeandaliverescue.com

I think about that every single time I look at him. He is the sweetest boy and to think what the first 4 years of his life were filled with it’s amazing he even lets me touch him.

I like to keep the FAAR family updated on his progress because they care…doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the dogs were adopted, they want to keep up to date with all their former rescues. A while back I posted a comment that adopting a rescue was a lot of work but worth every second, and I got a countering comment (from a page visitor) on my post.

I posted Wheaton’s before and after pics, on the FAAR facebook page, to celebrate his 2 month anniversary with us…..

2 month anniversary - then & now collage

And then I posted this comment, “To all the page visitors…if you’re thinking of adopting a rescue…do it! I’m not gonna lie, it’s a ton of work & you need a never ending amount of patience and you should have some dog experience under your belt to understand the process….but….the payoff is 100% worth it!!! Knowing that you’re giving a safe loving place for one of these lovely little furries warms your heart beyond words!!!
It’s been 2 months since Wheaton came to stay with us and it was the best decision I’ve ever made!! Please adopt!!”

And this was the visitors counter reply, “This is a very misleading post. Not all rescues are a “ton of work” nor do all adopters require “some dog experience”. Words like that may dissuade people from adopting.”

I felt the need to make a rebuttal, “my description of my experience with Wheaton is not to dissuade….it’s to make people think. When a rescue dog is going to a family, it should be their forever family….as mentioned, in other comments here, sometimes the family thinks their rescue is going to join their household and be a “regular” dog. The last thing that dog needs is to be misunderstood and sent back. These dogs have a history that is not pretty and misunderstanding signals a dog gives is very easy, I’m no expert but I knew enough to know there is an extra level of patience and communication necessary. Wheaton spent 4 years in a cage and humans were not kind to him. That’s not “normal” or “regular” and it leads to some special behavioural issues to work through. These puppy mill rescues want to love and they want to be loved but if people don’t know what they’re doing they’re not going to take the time. So dissuade, never…..I want every rescue to find their forever family……it’s more of an awareness.
Wheaton had no clue how to be a regular dog. The fact that I had experience with my 8 year old dog Daisy helped me because I had a stable comparison and he had a great example to follow. His “after” pictures didn’t just happen by luck. I put in plenty of time touching him, holding him, pee training him, walking him, and proving to him that I’m never going to harm him…..showing him that he can trust me.
It’s the best kind of work, but I DO consider it work…..because the more I work at loving him and understanding him the more trusting and comfortable he becomes.
If you have a rescue that came to your family household and adapted quickly and perfectly without issue then I’m super happy for you…..so far I have met many rescues that haven’t snapped into family life without their humans doing a heck of a lot of work helping their fur baby adjust and thrive.
And I believe I said it’s worth ALL the effort!”

And I stand by this opinion. Firmly. To say “work” is not a negative thing. Obedience training your dog is work. Walking your dog is work. House training your dog is work. Creating a well rounded, disciplined and well behaved canine companion takes time and effort and attention. I don’t know about y’all but that sounds like something you do for work! A puppy doesn’t show up trained….and with a puppy you’re starting from scratch! A rescue has a history. And usually the history is bad and long.  They usually don’t understand walking on a leash. They don’t understand not to pee & poop in the house. They don’t even understand friendly touch, or toys, or love.

IMG_3636

When I look at what Wheaton was like when he arrived at my house, cowering in the corner every time you looked at him, and what he’s like now, I’m proud of the work I have done…and will continue to do.

Not everyone wants a rescue dog. I have to remind myself to not judge people just because they would rather get a puppy from a breeder (reputable) and not adopt a rescue dog. My heart is in the right place of just wanting ALL shelter & rescue dogs to find a loving home because now that I have done this, I see first hand what a difference I made to this little furball by bringing him into our home!

So actually, if saying “work” dissuades someone…good. They probably weren’t the right someone for the job.  If the idea of having to put in effort to help your adopted rescue evolve to their full potential of being a well rounded dog, fulfilled by all the great experiences of being a free DOG….if that scares you or makes you hesitate…then yes…adopting a rescue is not for you!! And that’s ok.

I would recommend a goldfish. No, actually those take work too! 😉

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