I do not write this to try to convince you to adopt a shelter animal, as that is your own choice. My beautiful Alaskan husky, Juneau has been with me for 10 years, and she is 11. She is a part of who I am, and that's nice.
Juneau and I meeting was serendipitous. I didn't intend to adopt an always talking, energetic, young husky. I actually was interested in a Great Dane that I learned was at a shelter for almost a year, which made me very sad, as that was way too long. When I learned that someone had just adopted the Dane, I again was sad, but happy for that patient pooch. Then there was this young husky. She looked a whole lot like the dog I already had, Kona, who was getting very old. She seemed like a nice dog, but she too had papers signed as someone had adopted her and was getting her in the next couple of days. Then that fell through. My lucky day - I renamed her Juneau.
Juneau Loved Kona For The Short Time They Were Together
She had a real rough start somewhere else. She was on the run, as I think she was dumped. She was very skinny, skittish, hungry and scared. But she didn't want to be, I could see that. She was very hand shy, and still kind of is as I feel someone(s) were very heavy handed with her as a puppy. She had some physical battle scars on her body and with her teeth, and she didn't want her paws or sides touched at all, and would scream if you did. In other words, she wasn't and isn't perfect. Good match, because neither was - or am I.
After bringing her home she laid low for a few days, and then she started talking. Juneau seldom barks, she just kinda growl talks. She was completely housebroken, and after a number of months, the rest of her that was broken all seemed to get a lot better. I am proud of her, and of the fact that so many people who know, or care for Juneau remark about how happy she is. She has her flaws, but she is a great dog, and I'm lucky to have her. She loves Windy now and she loves her life with her two little Pug friends, Luna and Midnight
Dog Train - Luna and Midnight
Juneau is getting older and I know that sadly she is creeping closer to the end than the beginning. But she is healthy, and happy and that's all I really care about. She is great company, and she makes people around her happy and that to me is the sign of a great dog. We've had our disagreements and we've gotten over them, and we remain the best of friends.
I won't use the old line of "I didn't rescue her, she rescued me" because I don't think in most cases that is a true statement. But I do believe that she needed someone to believe in her. She also has been with me through a lot of good and tougher times. And I am thankful that when I was living alone in my old house, she was there and was always happy to see me and sit on the porch with me while I had a cigar, and a drink. Or get up at 4 AM in winter and go for a walk on a snowy road with enthusiasm.
She's a good dog, but actually she's more than that. Not bad for a $65 adoption fee. I do think that shelter dogs have a better understanding of a second chance and a better life. She taught me that, and I'm better for it. Good lesson for us all.