Monday, January 29, 2007

Don't Judge A Book...

This post is specifically geared toward the potential dog adopter out there.

My advice is simple, and is something that is echoed on the homepage of the BRC site. Don't judge a book by it's cover. I have learned this valuable lesson from experience - twice.

We all have different reasons for wanting a dog. Some might want one because they're cute (especially when they're puppies!). Others because we dream of all the fun we'll have with them...playing catch, wrestling on the grass, playing tug-of-war. Maybe we want to teach the young minds in our home about responsibility. Or, some of us, are just lonely without a dog.

But one thing I believe we are all looking for in our dogs, is a unique relationship. A relationship that is so deep, so intense, so pure that we know we hardly deserve it.

But what if that special relationship was hidden in a dog that was missing a leg? Or an old senior who had developed large tumors that were neglected by a previous owner? Would you turn it down? Would you look that dog in the eye and say 'Sorry Bud. Not good enough."

Well these were questions I had to ask myself at one point.
I remember meeting 'Angus' for the first time. My husband and I were picking him up from the house of a BRC volunteer. We had signed up to be a Foster Home, and he was our first foster.

We walked in, and there he was. I was, in a small way, horrified. He was everything I used to think about Boxers. Homely and mean looking.

He was overweight, he was panting and drooling and his eyes were bugging out of his head (all due to stress). His body was covered in tumors, one was the size of a large orange.

I couldn't believe we had to take this guy home.
Well, our attempt at fostering ended (only for now!) with us keeping this precious animal permanently. He is an amazing dog and I always think back to that initial reaction and how I almost missed out on one of the most deep, intense, and pure relationships of my life.

The photos at the top show Angus when we first brought him home, and now, 10 pounds lighter, no more tumors and a new twinkle in his eye. Doesn't even look like the same dog!


kal said...

Nice post. I love it. I'm a boxer fan through and through and through. I am on my second and he is an amazing animal. Love the breed. If there's anything I can do to help - please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. I'm in Winnipeg.

kal said...

Oooops. Should probably ad contact info.
That should do it.

Marta Nettelfield said...

What a wonderful post Amanda. Thank you so much for contributing.

And - thank you and Warren so much for taking Angus into your hearts and home.

Amanda said...

Thanks guys.

When Warren read my post, he wasn't too happy that I called Angus 'Homely and mean looking'.Haha.

But I was just being honest...that's what I thought when I first saw him. (Let me be clear - I no longer think this at all!!!)

So I just hope that people out there looking for the perfect pet, realise that the outer shell doesn't mean a darn thing.

Amanda said...

Oh - I also wanted to say how important it is to realise that dogs that are in Rescue, aren't always at their highest potential.

They might have come from a bad place, they might be scared, they're most certainly stressed...How would we feel if our worthiness was judged while in that mental state?

I'll never forget what the BRC volunteer said to us as we took Angus away..."Let's not set him up to fail."

Give one of these dogs a fair chance, and they won't fail you. I promise.