Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Guest Post: Going to the Dogs

Hey there!

A little intro- I am Kayleigh, one of Anna's oldest friends.  As in, we used to wear realllly awesome bathing suits and scope out boys on the lake where our families both still have cottages.  Over 10 years later (omg!!!) we are still in touch, however don't see or talk to eachother nearly as much as we should.  It's weird how conversation with someone you grew up with but don't see for months or years can fall right back in to place- witty comments and biting sarcasm included ;) Anna is my inspiration for starting my own blog, but I don't write nearly as many posts as I want to!  In the new year, I am trying to pick back up and explore more topics!  My favorite one, you will see, is dogs!!
Us, our hubbies, and Mr. Eric Church! :)

 I am a little bit of what you would call a dog fanatic.  Probably the kind of person you might avoid in social situations, thinking, “Oh God, if she comes over here all she’s going to do is talk about her dog like it’s her child.”  That may be a bit of an exaggeration- but I definitely know those types of people, so I try my hardest not to be one myself!  Having a great love for dogs lead to me getting my own dog as soon as I could :)
I lived in an apartment with my husband and had been patiently waiting until our life, finances, and housing prospects aligned, like stars in the sky.  Our dog was born 2 days before our wedding reception, and we waited like kids on Christmas Eve for the 8 weeks to pass. In the back of my mind I kept feeling a pang of guilt, that I wasn’t rescuing a dog, but I kept telling myself  “a lot of people have breeder dogs, so what if there’s one more?”  I figured I more or less “deserved” a puppy, as much as I hate to admit it, and would take great care of it and there would be no way it would impact others.  I sure did change my mind in the next year that passed!
I purchased Remington from a breeder in Michigan, and I will not be doing that again.  I did NOT do my homework.  I didn't even think about getting a health clearance or anything like that from the breeder.  Nor did I FULLY know about all the animals that die in shelters every day, many of them just as gorgeous and fun and loving as my Remi!  This is not to say I think all breeding is morally wrong... responsible breeders and responsible owners that buy bred pups is one thing.  They work very hard at confirming their dogs, keeping standards high and furthering the breed they are very committed to!

Angie from Illinois Shorthair Rescue - Before
she had shelter, but no constant supply of food
unless naighbor came over, and the straw she was in gave her welts :(

However, what I did was wrong, and I definitely know it in my heart.  Since moving into our new house, I have strived to do all that I can do in order to make it up to the dogs that died the day that I purchased Remington.  I've helped in transports, doing home visits, fostered, donated, etc.  The money I spent on Remington could've pulled another gorgeous pointer puppy out of a pound or foster home and given the rescue much-needed funds.  
Angie - After!
So happy in her new home, you could tell her
new human 'brother' really adored her!

Let’s go through the application and adoption process.  First, someone submits an application; if they are approved they have a home visit done.  I have done only 3 home visits so far, but they are fun!  You get to meet new people that are as crazy as you are about dogs and get to make sure their home is safe and secure enough for a rescued dog.  This is important, because we don’t usually know much about rescue dogs’ backgrounds.  They could be fence jumpers, chewers, need to be house trained, or they could be super obedient, trained hunting dogs, and let little kids jump all over them- that’s why they go to foster homes first.  Foster homes help rehabilitate, medicate, resocialize, and do so much more for dogs that were pulled from dangerous situations in shelters or worse.  Once the home visit goes through, transport is worked out to bring the dog to their new furever home!  I have been involved in many transports- one from all the way in New Orleans to Canada! It's super fun and distracting to have 7 puppies in your backseat, but wonderful at the same time!
Helping dogs on their path to being rescued is super fulfilling.  Rescues always need more volunteers, especially fosters.  You get the perks of having a dog, pulling it from a dangerous situation, and nursing it back to health- most rescues pay for all the vet expenses, and fosters typically pay for food.  If adopting or fostering is too much for your household, rescues always need qualified drivers for transporting animals and people to help pull from shelters!  Find your nearest animal rescue via Google or Facebook and contact them to see how you can help!  I foster for pointer rescues because I am used to their exuberant energy and characteristics, which often make them a little too much to handle for some people, and in turn makes them too often shelter pups.  I hope that if anyone sees this they will think twice bout buying a puppy off the street and more about contacting their local rescue!
Robin from GSP Care of OH

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post! I hope you come visit me at The Zupi's Do It Better for more dog and everyday life action!
xoxo kmz <3

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