I did not purchase my dog
because her breed is known for their hunting abilities. I rescued her so that she would no longer have to hunt for a safe, dry place to sleep at night.
I did not pick my dog out of a litter because she was good with my kids. I brought her home because she was being mistreated by her kids and did not lash out at them.
I didn't pay good money for my dog because she was hypoallergenic. I intervened when her owner took her to the woods to dispose of her because her new boyfriend was allergic.
I didn't choose the dog that was well mannered and potty trained. I pulled my dog off the euthanasia list because she was well mannered. Who cares if she is incontinent?
I didn't bring home the dog that best suited my lifestyle. I liberated my dog from a lifestyle without a roof over her head or food to eat.
I didn't fall in love with the puppy that was so cute and cuddly. I fell head over heels for the old lady that was covered in tumors and scheduled to die because she was unadoptable and the shelter needed the space.
I didn't pay a breeder for a dog that was good with children and loves water. I paid the adoption fee for a dog that has been breeding for that breeder and has never seen water.
I didn't pick out the dog at the pet store that would travel well in a car or airplane. I salvaged the dog that was thrown out the window of a moving car.
I didn't pay for the dog that I was told was cheap to care for. I recovered the dog from the streets knowing full well she needed much medical care.
Please, the next time you see an unruly dog or an owner who seems a little overwhelmed, remember: that person may be in the process of rescuing that dog. Rescue dogs can be hard to socialize because they have been mistreated, abused, abandoned, and let down. They want to trust humans but are fearful to do so. This makes simple obedience and training hard to achieve.
Also, please keep in mind that rescuers have little to no choice in the matter. We are doing what is right by our dogs, no matter the struggle. We may not have the cutest, most well-mannered, socially acceptable dogs, but what we do have are the most grateful, loving, and compassionate dogs!
Snoose was covered in tumors, 12 years old, and scheduled to be euthanized. I brought her home and she gave me two and a half years that will forever be the best of my life. She pooped in my truck, wrapped her leash around anything stationary, and had to be let out to go potty every three hours.
I gladly accepted all of it because when she decided to trust me and let me love her, she forgave the human race for the treacherous 12 years she had endured. That is a lesson we must all learn.
That is the heart of a rescuer.
Kristin Regan is a busy professional and rockstar in animal welfare. She loves a good beer and an old dog, rollin' in her '92 VW VR6 Corrado, and her fur family: Chuvian, Lou, Finn, Bom Dilly, Big N' Tasty, and Mufaletta.