Rescue Animals: Expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed

By Adam Romsdahl CPDT-KA

Congratulations! You’re taking home your new best friend and cherished family member!
Once your initial excitement wears off and you’ve successfully depleted the entire stock of bones and squeaky toys the pet store has to offer, let’s chat.

I don’t know how to delicately say this, so I won’t sugar coat. You have your work set out for you. Now, if your new pal just walked in, curled up in his brand new bed, ( that took 30 minutes to choose green or blue) this article is not aimed at you. However, if your buddy ran in, knocked over the trash while pulling out that leftover pizza crust (that your kid didn’t eat ‘cause they’re monsters!), barked at the plant in the corner for 10 minutes before pulling the throw pillow off the couch and shook/destroyed as if it was his sworn enemy…. You may want to pay attention.

I hate to break this to you, but the dog you just met and spent time with at the rescue or pound is not the same dog you should expect to experience going forward. It is very safe to assume that this dog was surrendered because of some sort of issue that the previous dead-beat decided was too tough to deal with before condemning this creature that relies solely on humans for their lives. And again, bad news, it’s on you to deal with and/or fix it.

Most of the time it’s going to be separation anxiety. And fair enough. They’ve been abandoned before and the moment you walk out the door, they assume you’re walking out forever. “Hey! I thought we were BFF’s!”

A lot of the time, it’s going to be “potty” issues. So stock up on Nature’s Miracle® and have your “happy place” locked and loaded, you’re going to need both.

Barking is going to be up there. Though less damaging to the couch, it can certainly build a chasm between you and your neighbors.

Walking on the leash… they’re more than likely going to suck at it.

Aggression, or more aptly “conflict”, can be a very common reason for people surrendering their dogs.

Basically, let’s put it this way: They don’t know your rules. How could they? Take it easy on them and don’t beat yourself up because it’s not being fixed right away and certainly because your dog doesn’t stop these behaviors, even though you asked nicely. Most, if not all, of these issues, can be worked on and solved. It won’t be easy. It won’t be immediate. And you WILL get frustrated. Period.

Trust me when I say this, it’ll be worth it. The love you will feel for this animal will amaze you. The value that they are going to add to your life, you’ll wonder how you lived without companionship like this before.

So, congratulations and Godspeed! You truly are an amazing example of a human being!

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