Everyone who is following my blog for a longer period of time might know that I adopted a chihuahua from an animal shelter few years back. I was still in my previous long-term relationship but the dog, Bucky, stayed with me after we broke up with the guy. If you remember it correctly, I made a video (actually my very first video on YT) about the adoption. Yup. That was more than two years back.
Now, as I already had many days to think about that adoption and about difficulties and joys of being around this extremely vulnerable yet tough and relentless creature, I would like to share more about my experience and explain why I would always go for the option to adopt a dog from a shelter instead of buying him or her from a dog breeder as a puppy.
So grateful for the care you give them
I guess it must be a thing for pups saved from bad conditions or those who spent many years in the shelter, waiting for the proper masters to show up. They can be so grateful for every pat and hug and kiss you give them, even though they might be still scared because of their PTSD. As we used to have another chihuahua, who stayed with us since she was only two months old, I have someone to compare Bucky to.
And yes – this dog, Elinka, who stayed with my ex, was a prototype of barking and super-mean little dog with a huge Napoleon syndrome. She was well house-trained but other than that, she was an embodiment of evil. Stubborn, uncontrollable and truly mean. She has even bitten me several times and used to pee in our bed after we adopted poor Bucky.
On the other hand, Bucky has still some problems with his personal hygiene, yet he is the nicest dog I know. So gentle and sweet, afraid of everything yet super-curious. He would never bite anyone (even if he still had some teeth left), he let the vets to do their thing and never complains.
Health issues and resilience
Bucky has been rescued from one puppy mill in Czech Republic, taken care of by wonderful people in the Dogpoint animal shelter and here, he was adopted by me and my former partner. When adopting a pet from a shelter, you expect they will require more care, they will have more health issues and generally, it won’t be as easy as with the dog you have since she was a puppy. Yet it can still surprise you, even after some time.
During this Christmas, Bucky had an accident, fell from the stairs and broke his jawbone. We spent several days riding from one vet to another, trying to ease his suffering as much as possible. The dog was so brave, braver than us, that it crushed us with amazement and fresh wave of love for this little creature.
The vet specialist we took him to eventually had to remove all of his remaining teeth and told us that the fracture should heal itself naturally. She told us he has generally really weak bones which is probably a result of him being mishandled in the first years of his life. Surprisingly enough, the hardest part for our Bucky was when he started to come back from general anesthesia.
With some drugs still left in his system, he felt so confused like if he couldn’t recognize the place where he was staying – our home. When we called his name, he seemed to look for us, like if he didn’t know we are right next to him. He was so anxious that we thought he is reliving some of his past traumas from the time in the puppy mill. It is still breaking my heart when I try to imagine what he was put through in that place.
It is more than two weeks after his surgery now, and I must say I have never been prouder to be his family. We saw and experienced the resilience with which he suffered the pain from the surgery with only one goal in his mind – to be with us. He even waved his tale the second day after the surgery, just to show us how happy he is. Despite the pain, despite the suffering.
In our eyes, he remains the bravest and toughest boy we know.
Money vs. the joy you inflict
Everyone can say – okay, that must have cost you a fortune! It always does, yes. But even if you get yourself a dog from a certified dog breeder, you won’t have a 100% certainty that the dog will be perfectly healthy. I won’t even start here on getting a dog from a puppy mill because – first of all, you never EVER should do that, and second – I am planning to do a separate article about that. And if you get yourself a dog from an animal shelter, you can make a huge difference.
You can change the whole world for one fluffy soul who has been through a lot throughout his or her short life and deserves a second chance. You can make one dog happy and proud to belong to you and in return, he will change the whole world for you as well. You can become the two friends, the family of creatures who has lived their deal and yet refused to give up on a happy and meaningful life.
Inflict joy and you will be surprised how much your life can improve!