The Joy of Adopting a Dog from an Animal Shelter

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.

Our brave boi, second day after the surgery.

Inflict joy and you will be surprised how much your life can improve!

3 Tips on Meaningful Christmas Gifts

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This year the question of where we spend our money for Christmas gifts in feels somehow more important than in the previous years. It is mostly because we can see every day the small shops are forced to close when the bigger ones are still thriving. But there can be also another aspect; we had time to reflect this year and we don’t want to spent money on impersonal items financing other being’s suffering.

I decided to try the other way around and I have some tips if you want to try it too!

1. Local (and global) handcrafters

There is nothing like handmade product when you want to give something really special and unique to your loved ones. And we have perfect tools to support skillful handcrafters all around the world. Since the Christmas are slowly approaching, I’d suggest you find someone local, otherwise you won’t ever know if the present will arrive on time, and check some of the websites made for these small online shops.

I personally have experiences with buying via Etsy.com and Fler.cz and I got beautiful items every time from each of the individual sellers. It is of course good to properly check reviews of other buyers, but you probably already know the drill.

So, just remember – when buying from a big international company, you support their shares, when buying from a small handcrafter, you support their dreams. By buying from small local sellers, you will make people happy multiple times: yourself for supporting an idea with a soul, the giftee, and the seller him- or herself. And aren’t Christmas about making people happy?

Where to look:

Etsy.com – a worldwide platform that gathers handcrafters and their shops on one place. You can find real jewels over there.

Fler.cz – a Czech platform that gathers handcrafters and their shops on one place. The site might not be that user friendly, but you can find real treasures over there, exactly as on Etsy.

You will find thousands and thousands of cute tiny shops on these sites. And if you are from another country, maybe dig deeper to find out if you have a local version of Etsy too.

2. Non-profit organizations

There is plenty of those and we all focus on different things, different problems make us go crazy or cry. Because of my background, it is always an environmental problem that makes me sick. And based on that, I support or follow on social media those non-profit organizations that focus on planting trees, cleaning the oceans or protecting animals. For other people, it could be something else – human rights, children in Africa, projects aiming at raising the quality of education in third-world countries or maybe fonds carrying about history heritage and so on.

And those organizations need funding. Sometimes, you will get a certificate, other times you can buy some cute merchandising, sometimes you can choose. I prefer support via merch, especially when it comes to giving presents because I know some people would just not appreciate receiving a certificate about helping others. But, when you find a cute merch which helps to fund a good cause, it is a win-win-win situation for everyone, again.

My personal favorites:

Sea Shepherd – an organization that aims to protect marine wildlife.

4Ocean – an organization that aims to clean the oceans from plastic and other kinds of pollution.

Dogpoint – my favorite Czech dog shelter. By buying products from their online shop, you help them to fund the shelter. Our Bucky comes from Dogpoint and I know personally that people who run the place are kind, caring and selfless.

3. Non-profit organizations that support local handcrafting

Yup, it is a combination of the first two^^. But let’s say you will find an organization whose main aim is to help seniors to have decent lives via knitting socks or handcrafting other stuff. You can buy those later and support the seniors themselves. In Czech Republic, Elpida is one of those projects. You can choose between variety of products that are handmade with love, support a good cause and have a cute, good quality product for yourself and your loved ones (because, let’s face it, you will want one pair for yourself as well^^).

I bet there is plenty of project as these, the only thing it will take is for you to do a little digging. You might be surprised how many good-deeds organizations grew around you and the only hard part for you is to choose which one to support.

My personal favorites:

Elpida Shop – knitted socks by grandmas.

Treecelet – an organization that sells bracelets and other merchandising including water bottles, T-shirts etc. The revenue from the sale is going to other non-profit organizations that focuses on protection and renewing of rain forests. Treecelet also gives a job opportunity to locals who actually create those bracelets for you. So, in this case, we can talk about win-win-win-win situation. And I love it!

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I will be definitely talking more about these organizations in the future and I hope I will encounter more of these. If your interest isn’t in the field of environmental problems, I bet you will easily find other projects that focuses on problems which you personally see as the most threating.

By supporting those organizations or small handcrafters, instead of buying a soulless item in the mall, you will give a purpose to your money, you will give means to the project you admire, and you will gift your loved ones with something that has soul and has been created mindfully with love.

Isn’t it what the Christmas are about in the first place? 🙂

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