Self Improvement

Why Everyone Needs a Rescue Dog

Rue-Stoffer Photography 0095

I grew up with rescue animals but always preferred cats to dogs. And the dogs I liked were usually on the fluffier site. But if you follow me on instagram, it’s pretty clear that I’m obsessed with my chihuahua min-pin (mix) rescue pup, Buddy.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.52.00 PM

On my 18th birthday, I realized that as an adult I could do adult things. No, I didn’t throw a party or buy some smokes and a lottery ticket. I went to the pound and adopted a sick kitten. I’m a sucker for the broken ones, guys.

Today, I’m here to change your life and talk you into getting a rescue dog (or cat if that’s your thing) of your own. You’re welcome.

Let’s start with this guy and how we ended up together

It’s December 2008 and I’m walking down Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles. I pass a small pet shop that happens to be hosting an animal adoption drive. I’m not sure why, but I walked in and beelined toward a sad, scrappy looking little guy with oversized ears and an oversized cast on his tiny broken leg. Let’s not forget that I’m more of a cat person and prefer fluffy dogs. And I’ll just say it. I don’t really like chihuahuas. Or min pins.

Enter Buddy. A few hours later, I walked out the door with a chihuahua min pin mix with a broken leg.

What. The. Hell.

And just like that, the rescue organization I adopted him from (Good Dog Animal Rescue, which has since closed its doors), had an open spot for a new shelter dog. A gift that keeps on giving.

Before getting a dog, consider the following.

1. The cost of food and necessities. Buddy is tiny and gets 1/4 cup 2x a day so his food doesn’t cost much
2. The cost of pet insurance which is necessary (trust me on this one)
3. Who will watch your dog when you leave town?
4. That you either work from home, can get home around lunch to walk your dog, or are able to hire a dog walker

If you have 1-4 covered, go for it. It’ll change your life in the best possible way.

Why rescue?

This isn’t the part where I tell you that breeders are terrible and that you’re horrible if you don’t adopt a rescue dog, because I’d never say that. It’s not my place to tell anyone what’s right or wrong. But I will take a stance on puppy mills and say they’re terrible.

Here’s why I rescue.

I was raised to adopt from shelters and rescue organizations and remember going to pick out one of our childhood dogs.
Look at these numbers in Chicago alone.

Allergies? There are tons of breed specific rescues. I have a friend who just rescued a 5 year old cavalier. She skipped the puppy phase which is highly overrated if you ask me, and gave a great dog a home.

Convinced that rescue dogs have problems? Some do. Some can be rehabilitated with training and others can’t. I can say the same for dogs from breeders. My friends’ dogs from breeders have done far worse than Buddy. Sure, he had a crazy health scare years ago, but a friend’s dog ate something and needed surgery. Buddy doesn’t chew anything, is really mellow, and loves babies and children.

My dog was on the list to be euthanized when he was only a few months old and had the rescue organization not picked him up from the pound, he wouldn’t be alive. There are few things better than knowing you were able to give a dog (or cat) a second chance.

Here are some of the benefits of having a rescue dog

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 7.18.54 PMYou’ll never tire of your dog’s cuteness.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.52.18 PMMost dogs don’t do this but I really enjoy that he lets me do things like this.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 7.21.39 PM
The friendship.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.52.31 PMYou’ll never wake up alone again. Ever.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.51.23 PMOr sit on your deck alone.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.01.00 PMOr your couch.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 6.51.40 PMYou’ll basically never be alone again because your dog will always be there. Watching you. Waiting for food.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.01.34 PMYour dog will do things like toilet paper your home and you’ll think it’s the cutest.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 7.21.32 PMDid I mention the friendship?

My one regret and what it’ll cost you

My one and only regret with Buddy is not signing up for pet insurance right after I got him. Any pre-existing conditions are excluded and since he had patellar luxation. I made the mistake of assuming it was his one big thing that would need coverage and never invested in insurance. A few years ago, Buddy almost died after ending up with thrombocytopenia, which is very rare and very expensive to treat. I’ve heard Healthy Paws and Trupanion are best.

Pet insurance is around $35-$45 a month depending on the type of coverage you want (anywhere from 70-90%). I spent almost 6k the first week Buddy was sick and hundreds a month for at least a year. And no, that was not in my budget, but I never questioned spending the money. Paying his medical bills meant opening a medical credit card (through care credit) that didn’t have interest if paid off within 6 months. I got it all paid off without interest and would do it again in a second, but with his legs and immune system as preexisting conditions, he’s basically uninsurable.

That said, I’d do it again in a second. He’s the family I brought with me from LA to Chicago. My roommate, office buddy, best friend, and the classiest guy I know.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

So there you have it. Solid logic behind the importance of rescuing a dog, right?

Are you considering getting a pet? What’s holding you back? Any questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.

Leave a comment
  • Such a nice post! Pet insurance is highly underrated, glad you mentioned that too. He is super photogenic 🙂

  • Awwww loved this post. I had a min pin for 10 years and can see many of those quirky min pin traits in Buddy through your Instagram. He always brings a smile to my face. Once my work life slows down and/or I’ve got a partner to help out, min pin rescue will be the first place I’m headed!

    1. It’s definitely not easy having a dog on your own and wasn’t something I planned on doing, but it’s been the best. I think he’s the reason I loved Chicago as much as I did. Working from home could have felt pretty isolating in a new city, but I always had him by my side.

  • I have Embrace Pet insurance for my Newfoundland and it is the BEST decision I ever made. They are AMAZING and so helpful. I got it a month after getting her and her massive TPLO surgery last week was just covered…. it was $4,000. They also offer wellness which covers routine shots, vet office fees, heartworm and flea and tick.

    1. Aww Hope she’s recovering after her surgery! I’m going to look into that company now. Maybe my high maintenance and seemingly uninsurable pup can get it. Ha.

  • I love Buddy, and not just because he’s the male twin of my little pup! I always read “when you rescue a pet, they rescue you”…cheesy, yes….true? 100%.

    I grew up with a puppy mill chihuahua (we didn’t know at the time- pre internet- pre breeder/mill knowledge), so I had a special place in my heart for these smart little nuggets. We found our furbaby on Petfinder. I can’t sing the praises of adopting an adult dog enough. First, Petfinder foster parents are super observant and protective of their rescues. We were able to screen for all kinds of things (potty trained, spaying, leash trained, prior illness, temperament, personality, behavior with other pets, behavior around kids, size, etc). We needed a smaller pet, preferred a cuddler, and hoped for a calmer/less barky dog. We found just that! Tasha was approx 1.5 years old, 12 lbs, quiet, calm, inquisitive, and good with other pets and kids. She was rescued from a kill shelter in TN and had also had already had puppies and was heart worm positive. Our rescue network paid for her pre-existing medical costs (heart worm treatment) and her attentive foster mom did two house visits to make sure Tasha would acclimate. It was amazing! You don’t get this type of background info or concern from a mall pet store.

    I agree, everyone DOES need a rescue dog!

    instagram @s.e.minegar #gutentash to see just how much my rescue means to me!

    1. Rescues are THE best. It can take time, but I do believe that anyone can find a rescue that’s a fit for them. 🙂

  • Love this so much! Your Buddy posts are always my favorite 🙂 my boyfriend and I just rescued a puppy, Louie, around five months ago and it’s been amazing. I can’t imagine our lives without the little guy! He brings us so much joy. Honestly, we’re those people who could just sit there and stare at our dog all day ????

  • I love this post, Danielle! I identify so much with all of this – and was recently thinking about writing a post about getting a dog. I think it’s been the best choice I’ve made during my 20’s… and I don’t see that changing any time soon. My dog Reggie was adopted, although not quite from such a precarious situation as Buddy. Anyway, I have actually been thinking about getting pet insurance in passing and now I am going to seriously look into it. I hope Buddy stays healthy and happy! I’m so glad he found you and that you found him 🙂

  • Rescuing a dog has been the greatest gift in my life. As the saying goes “who rescued who?” My sweet, soon-to-be 8 year old Golden Retriever was force bred for the value of her puppies and when turned in she was covered in fleas and matted. When she became available I knew she was the dog for me. They warned me she’d likely be a “velcro Golden” and since I worked from home, I didn’t mind. They weren’t kidding. This little cutie comes to the bathroom with me, cries when I’m in the shower because she can’t see me, won’t walk with anyone else (that’s a bad habit!) and is just my constant companion. The thing, I’m equally velcro’d to her! I’ve had her for 4 years now and the beginning wasn’t always easy but by showing them your unconditional love they give it back to two-fold. Thank you for sharing your story, it always warms my heart to hear other successful rescue stories. I too am going to look into pet insurance FOR REAL this time before I say “I wish I would have…”

  • I LOVE this post! As a fellow owner of a rescue dog, your thoughts really struck a chord with me 🙂 Also – Buddy’s collars are adorable! Where do you get them from? I’ve been on the hunt for a new collar for a few months now and his would be perfect for my guy!