October may be “Adopt a Shelter Dog” Month, but we got an early start last August.

It had been just over a year since we lost our beloved Foxy to Valley Fever and we were finally ready to bring a new furry friend into our lives. While adopting a homeless pet was always typical for most veterinarians and their families, the idea has caught on everywhere. There are so many good animals available; potential owners can pretty much find just the type of pet they want.

Our wish list included a dog that is:

  • Small enough to easily carry
  • Not aggressive toward our resident parrot
  • Careful around our pool
  • Not a puppy
  • Friendly toward cats

We also decided not to get a dog that looked like Foxy. Then, it was just a matter of visiting local shelters until we experienced that “Intangible, Unspoken Connection” that takes place when they put that special pet in your arms.

It happened at Ghost Town Dog Rescue in Mesa. And here she is:

What is she? Who knows! Probably some kind of poodle mix. How old is she? Maybe two years. Did she have a rough start? Yes, like most of the dogs at the shelters.

But now, with a stable, predictable, loving routine, her own bed, and her own “turf,” Truffle is getting more confident, knowing she has a safe place with familiar people and surroundings.

So, when you get your shelter pet remember:

  • Consider the criteria that’s the right fit for your lifestyle – no Great Danes in studio apartments
  • Be patient- they may come with emotional baggage
  • Be consistent – predictable routines makes pets feel safe
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations – they are not like your last dog
  • Problems? Consider a professional trainer or training classes- before you consider giving them back