November and I are some of the biggest animal people alive. My parents weren’t always big on having real pets in our house; we had some fish and my dad had birds, but they never really wanted a dog or a cat. Almost my entire life, they have gone on about how people who care for dogs are dumb and have said things like, “why would anyone consider an animal part of their family?” Meanwhile, November has always had some sort of fuzzy animal in her life.
I’m sure most of you have read about how November and I live together, also how we live with my parents. Almost two years ago, the topic of having a dog came up and my parents just said “absolutely not, not as long as you live in our house,” like always. Over time we got more and more persistent. We needed a puppy in our lives, and it was the perfect time.
As you might have read in our Puppy in a Tote Bag : Storytime post, the day before we adopted our current puppy, Lucy, we woke up at some ridiculous hour, like 5:00 AM. Don’t get me wrong, it was for a great cause and I would gladly do it again, but still. On April 24th, 2016, we adopted Lucy. I will always consider this day one of the best days of my life. We weren’t even planning on adopting a dog that day, we were just going to shelters to look at puppies and see what kind of dogs were out there. She was wiggling with excitement and was so happy to see us. I was so hesitant at first, saying things like “oh she’s too hyper, I don’t know if she’s right for us” to November. Man, I had no idea how wrong I was. She is so perfect, I don’t know what I would do without her.
Having a dog has taught me so much about being responsible for another living thing. Being an only child with no siblings, in a small family with no other relatives my age, and no other real pets in my life I never really had the opportunity to take care of something like that. Puppies are a lot of work, though. If they’re not housebroken you have to wake up every few hours throughout the night to take them outside, you have to bathe them and keep them out of trouble, you have to make sure they don’t eat something that will kill them. They’re basically hairy toddlers that can’t talk yet and try to eat your garbage… actually that’s not far off from some human children either. I don’t know what I would do without a puppy to take care of. I also appreciate having November helping me take care of Lucy, it is so nice having someone to share all the experiences with.
Anyway, back to what this post was originally supposed to be about: rescue animals. I was reading about puppies on random dog blogs when I stumbled upon a project started by photographer Theron Humphrey which he calls, “Why We Rescue.” Basically the idea is that Humphrey, alongside Purina One, are randomly selecting people from all across the country in order to compile one rescue story from all 50 states. I think this project is a great way to raise awareness of shelter animals and why people should rescue.
If you go to the project’s website, you can view all the different people that have been interviewed so far. Each person has a story, as told by a series of photographs as well as an audio recording of the interview where you can hear about all the owners talking about their experiences with the animals they’ve adopted and how they have affected our lives. Below are some excerpts from the interviews as well as some corresponding photos from ones I found particularly interesting.
“I was at a low point in general and was just not feeling that great about life and someone had the idea that I should get a dog because it’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning and I love dogs so much.” – Kathleen, Montana
“We’ve talked about starting a family and we kind of wanted to get through the growing pains of training a dog without having to raise a child as well. And it’s a really good way to see how one and other parents in a way. I mean, a dog is somewhat like a child: there’s discipline, there’s a structure, there’s play. – Luke and Marissa
I think it’s an incredible project and anything that helps spread awareness about rescue animals is a plus in my book. If even one person sees this post or sees the project and it helps convince them to go out and get a pet from a shelter instead of a breeder, that would be a success to me.
We rescue regardless of the challenges. We rescued Lucy, we’re about to rescue another puppy, and we don’t regret any of it.
Catch you later – E