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Saturday, November 25, 2017

10 Reasons to Adopt, Not Shop (Forrest's Story)

If you ask me to name my favorite things in life I'll start with Chris (my husband) and then Forrest, our lab, will be right behind him.
We've had Forrest for almost two years now and as you'll probably hear me say multiple times throughout this post-he's one of my biggest blessings.

Chris & I adopted two dogs early in our relationship that we absolutely loved; Jake & Bullet.
However Jake was hit by a car accidentally and Bullet disappeared from our yard a few years later.
After losing dogs that we so loved, it was hard to want to have another dog to love and possibly lose.

In the summer of 2016 I began to want another dog and one of our friends had a labrador retriever that was about to have puppies & Chris was planning to buy me one...until I looked at our local animal shelter's Facebook & saw a beautiful black lab on their page-I knew it was fate.
I literally drove to the animal shelter the next morning and picked him up.
 When I first saw him, he hadn't been at the animal shelter long so he was still underweight & needed a bath. I honestly was pretty overwhelmed when we first got him & was afraid I had gotten more than I bargained for.
The picture above is the day we brought him home in July of 2016-he was eating ice cubes out of a bowl at my parents house & was as happy as could be-that cute pink tongue owns me, y'all!
 Fast forward to now, we've had him a year and a half & I'm so glad I took a chance on the rough looking lab at the animal shelter.
He's my very best buddy & the closest thing Chris and I have right now to children and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 Reason #1 to Adopt:
Adoption Helps More Than One Animal
When I adopted Forrest, I opened up a kennel at the animal shelter for another animal in need that most likely would've been turned away otherwise.
 Reason #2 to Adopt:
You're Saving a Life
The shelter we adopted from is a no-kill facility, however many animal shelter's are not so lucky to be no-kill.
If you adopt a dog from a kill shelter, you truly are saving it's life.
If you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you're greatly increasing that dogs quality of life!

I truly think that Forrest is grateful that we adopted him & took him home, just by the way he treats us and looks at us.
 Reason #3 to Adopt:
Pets Reduce Stress & Can Lower Blood Pressure
Essentially, either having a pet or spending time with one can help make you more healthy!
If you're unable to adopt, perhaps you can foster a pet for a short time or just volunteer at an animal shelter-you can get the health benefits while the animals benefit as well.
 Reason #4 to Adopt:
Many Shelter Pets are Already Trained
Whether it's simple commands or being house-trained, many dogs that are in shelters and rescue groups are already at least semi-trained. This is mainly a result of owner-surrendered dogs.
When Forrest came to us he surprised us with his ability to already sit and quickly mastered shaking & staying. He also is excellent at retrieving, which could be a result of his breed or someone teaching him (or both!) He also is house-trained as well, which is great for us!
 Reason #5 to Adopt:
You Can Choose the Right Dog for You
When purchasing a dog, usually that dog is still a puppy.
If you visit the animal shelter you can have your pick of sizes, age ranges, temperaments, etc.
There are so many to choose from & you'll get to see them all.
 Reason #6 to Adopt:
Animals from Rescues or Shelters are More Well-Known
If you go to an animal shelter or rescue group, they are very familiar with the animals they work with every day and can give you a pretty accurate description of the animals activity level, temperament, health background, etc.
This comes in handy versus purchasing from a pet store because they may not be the breeders, etc.
 Reason #7 to Adopt:
Adoption Typically Costs Less
At the last meeting I went to for a local club I'm involved in, we had a speaker from our local animal shelter talk about cost of their animals to be adopted.
She said that the cost of the animal is lower than all of the money they put into the animal once it arrives at their facility, because they want to make sure it can get a home.
The fee is still substantial, but under $100 and they even run specials at times.
This insures that not just anyone can adopt, but that they don't just stay in the shelter because no one can afford them.
 Reason #8 to Adopt:
Shelters & Rescues Normally Include Veterinary Care
Going along with number 7, the value that you get with a shelter animal is incredible.
Many times, when you adopt an animal it is already up to date on vaccines, sometimes it has had a microchip put in, and is always spayed or neutered.
In Forrest's case, I was given a gift certificate from the shelter to take to my vet's office to have his procedure done (because he hadn't been at the shelter long enough to have it done).
The cost alone for his neutering would have been as much as I payed for him.
 Reason #9 to Adopt:
You'll Have a Partner for Life
Whether it's an exercise partner or a Netflix binging buddy, you'll always have someone by your side if you choose to adopt.
Whenever I want to go for a walk around the neighborhood, Forrest is always game.
When Chris and I go to get in the truck, he always wants to jump on back.
He's been canoeing with us, he always likes to go over to our friend's house with us, and he is definitely game for any trip to the lake.

Y'all, I took the picture of him below at my parent's pond last Christmas afternoon when we had given him an entire bag of tennis balls to fetch out of the water & he was insanely pleased.
He was leaping in the water & found stumps of old trees in the pond to stand on and I fell even more in love.
This year we're planning to take him again on Christmas day & he has a special toy that he'll be able to play with that I already bought him & I'm so beyond stoked!
 Reason #10 to Adopt:
They Love You Unconditionally
This is the truest and most important reason.
The love that dogs have for us is so, so pure.
I once read a quote that said, "If those with the kindest souls were awarded the longest lives, then dogs would live forever".
Isn't that so true?
When I look at Forrest & know how much he trusts me and how he loves me it just breaks my heart into a million pieces because humans don't deserve dogs-we just don't.

 I mean, how could we deserve animals like this one? All tucked in warm in his bed with his toys?! 😍
 I couldn't resist a chance to share my love of adoption and my obsession with my dog with y'all.
And it's not just me, Chris may seem like the tough cowboy type, but he's as much of a sucker as I am...I mean, he lets Forrest cuddle up in his lap while he drives.

Guys, there just is nothing like saving the life of one of God's purest creatures.
If you're thinking of getting a dog (or a cat!) in the coming year, please consider visiting your local shelters or humane societies.
You just might (and probably will) find a gem like Forrest. 💙

Until next time. . .


  1. Aww Forrest is such a cutie! These are all excellent reasons to adopt from a shelter! I'm thinking about getting a dog but my one reservation about adopting at the moment is that I've never had a pet before so I would be an inexperienced owner. My boyfriend who's had several dogs growing up told me his parents adopted many dogs in their lives and while they had a great experience with all of them, shelter dogs tend to come with a set of issues that an inexperienced pet-owner may find overwhelming. For example, they had a mastiff who was the sweetest thing but he had severe separation anxiety and would bark (very loudly) and completely dig up the yard near the door to try and find his owners whenever he was left along.

    That said, it's good to see a list of reasons to adopt. Perhaps I'll try and find a puppy at the shelter so I can grow into the role of dog-owner?

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    1. Hi Deborah!

      I can totally understand the apprehension at adopting a dog from a shelter (not knowing if they have issues or the severity of the issues), so adopting a puppy is a great option! But I would also recommend checking with your local rescue groups (if you have your eye on a certain breed, there are often breed-specific rescues, like Lab rescues or Poodle rescues) because oftentimes those dogs have been placed in foster homes for extended periods of time & the foster "parents" can better tell you about the issues the dog is facing, because many don't have any major problems!

      Best of luck in your hunt for the perfect pal!

      xoxo, Jordyn


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