What does it mean to adopt

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need – Rolling Stones

It takes a special person to adopt a pet who has issues. You notice the staff doesn’t always gush over all of them, calling them perfect. Instead, you’re earnestly told what this poor soul is afraid of, what kind of support they may need, and what you can expect as they find their way ‘home’.

Pru, a hound mix, is a perfect example of what can go right when everything else has gone wrong. She was put into our Drop Room, with another hound mix, one night and no information was left about them. The Drop Room is meant to be a safe place for an animal to stay when the owner cannot keep them one more day, or for people who find strays. There is food, water, blankets and a form asking for information on the pets so as to better assess them when we get in in the morning. We understand that there are many heartbreaking reasons and situations that make it impossible to keep a pet, but it really tugs at our hearts when they’re left without any caring words as to how they’ve lived their lives up until now.

Pru it turned out, didn’t like to be in her kennel and complained bitterly. She was extremely fearful of tall men, baseball hats, loud noises and some of the other dogs. We have some pets that seem to bear up well enough in a shelter, like old soldiers. But most deteriorate both mentally and physically from the isolation – no matter how hard we try. And with a dog like Pru, it’s a roll of the dice just to have her come out of her shell long enough for a family to want to take a chance on loving her.

But boy did she show off her true colors when it counted. A nice little family came to see her. The staff explained how afraid she was, that she would need time and patience not only to learn to trust again but also to just be a house pet. We brought her out into the lobby, she sniffed around everyone and then sat next to the youngest child, as if to say, “I’ve found my place”.

This family worked hard the first three weeks with Pru, and it paid off in spades. They have a beautiful, loyal family dog. And Pru has a home where she is loved. Sometimes you get what you need.