Do Shelter Dogs Really Make Good Pets?

I’ve always wanted to adopt a dog. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, considering how most dogs in the animal shelter have complicated histories.

I told my plan to my friends, but they encouraged me to buy a pup instead. From their perspective, rescue dogs take time to adapt, which would mean “more work” for me.

But no matter how many times my friends talked me out of it, I still felt like the perfect dog was in the shelter, waiting for me to take it home.

I’m glad that I stuck to my guns. If I had followed my friends’ advice, I wouldn’t have met Eugene. And I wouldn’t have known that shelter dogs can make great pets.

He’s the Boston terrier that changed my life. The dog that made me smile my best smile. He made my life even more meaningful.

A-One-of-a-Kind Dog

I’ve had some dogs before, but Eugene was far different from them all. When I first brought him to my house, I thought it would take a while for him to bond with me. But I was wrong.

Eugene quickly adapted to his new environment, and I felt like he appreciated my home like no other dogs did. Perhaps, it’s because he knew what it was like to be homeless.

I appreciate how the staff briefed me about Eugene’s background. They told me that Eugene’s first owner initially wanted him for dog breeding. Since Eugene had a crooked tail, his first owner thought he wasn’t purebred. So they abandoned him when they moved out.

Since then, Eugene has lived virtually everywhere until a 79-year-old man named Angelo found him one day. Seeing the poor dog eating from a pile of garbage broke his heart.

Angelo might have felt a sense of connection with Eugene. So the man adopted the pup and took care of him until his death.

Angelo died of natural causes one snowy evening, and Eugene never left his side. For months, people from the nearby cafeteria noticed how Eugene refused to leave the spot where Angelo died.

They tried to call him and feed him. But they still couldn’t get the little pup to budge. Then one day, Anna, the staff from the animal shelter, found Eugene roaming around and decided to bring the dog to the shelter.

Anna and the rest of the volunteers in the shelter helped Eugene to cope. Though it took some time, they never gave up until they saw a change in Eugene’s demeanour.

The staff and volunteers trained the dogs in their care, which I didn’t know shelters did to rescue dogs.

They taught Eugene basic tricks like sitting, lying down, and walking nicely on a leash. Eugene, like all the dogs in the animal shelter, was house-trained.

In addition, the staff provides rescue dogs with up-to-date medical care, including physical examinations, spay and neuter surgeries, and advanced diagnostics. So adoptive paw parents get to save money on vet bills if they adopt dogs from the shelter.

A Meaningful Friendship

I wanted to have a Boston terrier. So when I saw Eugene for the first time, I knew that he was the perfect dog for me.

As I patted him, we instantly connected. The next thing I knew, he was already in my house, curled up on my bed in a tight little doughnut.

Eugene seemed to know the value of his new home, and I noticed how territorial he was towards it. I was told at the shelter that rescue dogs are usually like that.

My adopted dog made an excellent guard animal. I felt like he added a new layer of safety for me because he was always ready to scare away anyone who might threaten me.

Eugene also taught me selflessness. When I adopted him, I knew that there was a possibility that his history had scarred him in more ways than I realised.

So every time Eugene felt troubled, I constantly made sure to put his needs over my own. When Eugene felt anxious, I would massage him using essential oils or tinctures for pets to help him relax. I followed Motherhood Community’s guide to essential oils for pets – if you’re interested, be sure to check them out here.

Though it wasn’t always easy, the rewarding feeling I got afterwards turned me into a much kinder person.

My special bond with Eugene also became the catalyst that convinced my formerly adamant friends to adopt a shelter dog.

They saw how happy and pleasant Eugene was. Eugene was enough proof to quell the fears they had regarding adoption and its drawbacks.

Until We Meet Again

Eugene was eight years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. When my vet told me about his condition, I felt like my whole world crumbled. I cried myself to sleep, fearing the possibility of him leaving me.

I was so attached to Eugene that I hoped for a miracle. Unfortunately, he became weaker as days passed.

My vet told me he couldn’t do anything about Eugen’s condition anymore. So he offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for my beloved dog in our home.

As the vet prepared for the procedure, I hugged and kissed Eugene for the last time. He seemed so calm and at peace.

Eugene looked straight into my eyes and gave me an assuring look as if he was telling me that everything would be okay. Within a few minutes, my old dog slipped away peacefully.

It’s been a year now since Eugene’s passing, and I miss him terribly. I know he’s not going back, but his memories will surely stay with me forever.

Eugene’s passing may seem like a sad ending to a story. But not to me and those who knew about my bond with Eugene.

Eugene was a testament that shelter dogs make good pets, and they’ll stay loyal to you as long as they live.

By Matthew M. Gable

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