Thursday, September 27, 2012

Well, It's not Wednesday: Dozer, Dogs, and Adopting

As you may have noticed, today is not wednesday. Furthermore, Wellness Wednesday was not yesterday. Fear not, wellness wednesday is on thursday this week. Yesterday was the first day Dozer came home after visiting my parents while Anthony and I went backpacking, and having a minor surgery. Dozer had  a small bump (smaller than a time) removed, but now has 23 staples on his side. He is healing just fine, and is only sad that he can't play with his puppy friends (he has tons) until his staples are removed. 

To brighten his spirits a little, this weeks Wellness Wednesday Thursday we're talking about adoption. 

If you've never read I Rescued A Human Today, by Janine Allen, you really ought to: 

"Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today."

Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog's professional dog trainer. Janine's passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2012 Rescue Me Dog;

Now Dozer isn't a rescue dog. Anthony and I came across him when a neighbor at our cottage had a litter. Dozer was the runt. He was slow to develop and not likely to survive. At four weeks old I picked him out of the litter and told the owners they had to take care of him because he was going to come home with me when he grew strong. At eight weeks old, just as we were entering our sophomore year of college, he came home with Anthony and I. 

As any of you with dogs know, your puppy is part of your family. Well, Dozer has a big family. I have four roommates, each of whom Dozer claims as his own family. He also "owns" my parent's family, Anthony's family, and most of our friends. In turn, these people love Dozer as if he were their own. 

The joy, comfort, and companionship that comes from a Dog is astounding.  Beyond this, the physical and emotional benefits of owning a dog are outstanding. Did you know Dogs can help you reduce stress and even live longerPet owners also report increased physical activity.

Now owning a dog isn't all puppies and sunshine. There have been many times when Dozer has made me want to rip my hair out; and he's a well trained, well mannered dog. Part of Dog ownership is researching what breed is right for your family, their problem areas, and how to train your specific dog. (Different breeds should be treated differently, in some areas). For example, Dozer is a  Doberman-Lab hybrid. Both of these breeds are fairly large and active. They are also loyal, eager to please, and Dobermans are prone to separation anxiety. Dobermans can also be intimidating dogs, so it is especially important he be polite around people and other dogs.

Activity level also plays a big role in the life of a dog and owner. If you are not an active person, a Doberman is not the dog for you. If you are a extremely active, a dog that isn't may not be the best fit. Anthony and I knew we wanted a large, active dog to go hiking and camping with us. (He has previously owned Rottweilers, and I had a shepherd mix). Beyond this, you'll want to think about how much time you have to train a dog, and how much you know about training. There are breeds that are easier to train, while some aren't.

You can check out Animal Planet's quiz to help pick a breed for you. 

While adopting and raising a dog is a big decision, and must include everyone in your household, a puppy can be a great addition to your household. 

If a dog isn't for you, you can enjoy some of the same health benefits volunteering to walk dogs at your local shelter, or even playing with a friend's puppy! (You're welcome to take a plane, train, bus, boat, or llama to my house and play with Dozer anytime)

Do you have a dog? Give us the best selecting, training, or general dog tip you've got?

p.s. Did you enter the Giveaway? You'll want to!


  1. aw very cute! i just adopted a shepherd mix that i named Kina (pronounced like Tina). she is 1.5 years old and only 30#. she is sooo sweet, but i definitely understand your "moments when you want to rip your hair out!" if only it was easier to communicate with dogs! ;)

    1. haha, if only! Shepherd mixes always seem to make great dogs :)

  2. This is so sweet. We don't have any animals right now, but we both really want a dog someday. I love the idea of walking dogs from your local animal shelter! I want to do that! Awesome post girl!

    1. Thanks, Ali! I know most of the shelters around here allow volunteers to come in and just walk dogs for an hour or so a week without committing to any of the other volunteer duties or schedules :)

  3. He looks like such a sweetheart (:

    xoxo Grace
    I'm your newest follower, found you through BBN

  4. Thanks for following, Grace! Great blog, love your autumn photos :)