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For this couple the pros outweigh the cons with rescue dogs

Dakota and Nahla, saved, rescued and now part of their forever family.
Dakota and Nahla, saved, rescued and now part of their forever family.
Jessica Hill

Jessica and Steve H. decided to adopt a dog instead of going to a breeder. They just wanted to save an animal. They thought about a Lab, but were not picky about breed. Jessica had a soft spot for animals needing help. The first shelter with about 200 dogs made them sad since although lots of the dogs lunged at the door to say ‘Hi,’ others would not even try to impress you so you would pick them. It made Jessica cry as she thought about those animals that had given up.

No matter how hard shelter’s try and how much you use your discretion as to where you find that new pet, there are bound to be a few problems. It would be lying to say that any new pet could be trouble free. You should prepare yourself for the fact that your new family member comes with some built in’ baggage’ such as training problems.

Owners, Jessica and Steve H. brought home their first rescue pet from a Florida shelter. They were checking out a shelter that advertised a Golden retriever mix. They found it and decided to cross the street to another shelter to see what they had before making a choice. At that shelter, she was handed this darling 6 week old baby, who in fact was a Golden retriever mix. The shelter told her this puppy was too young to be away from her mother. Jessica and Steve did not want to let them put her back in her cage. That was the dog chosen; the beginning of a new family member named Dakota.

The first and unexpected problem was when they got her home they realized she had fleas. Though this was their first time taking care of an animal and they felt a bit scared and unsure, their experience was a good one. Potty and command training happened quickly. They used the method of kennel training and that was only necessary for about a month.

Jessica and Steve decided some time later to adopt another dog. It came from a shelter in Alaska where this military couple was stationed. This one was 11 weeks old. It was an Alaskan Husky mix. They named her Nahla. She had never even been started on potty training. It actually took about a year to train her since she would do well for months, but then relapse.

Another problem was this dog wolfed down her food, being very protective of it. She would worry Dakota would get it. This dog even showed aggression when you removed her food and Steve and Jessica knew that problem had to be resolved.

Jessica and Steve think it was all worth it and are glad they got a rescue dog instead of using a breeder. Jessica wondered if rescue dogs were more thankful and that may be so since often they have had bad experiences with humans and have not always received kind treatment at their hands.

Jessica says,” Now we have two very well- mannered dogs. They are so enjoyable. They each have their own personalities and likes. They both listen to commands so I feel we are the alphas.”

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