I’m a dog lover. No offense to you cat people, but there’s something wonderful about a big wet nose and a wagging tale that I cannot get enough of. Strangely enough, I grew up a cat person, but became a convert when I met my now-husband Tony and his golden retriever mix Sandy. Sandy is such an intuitive dog, and always knew when to snuggle up close for a comforting nuzzle and when to oblige in a few games of fetch or laps around the dog park to keep us entertained.
Three years ago, we decided Sandy needed a friend. Many of our friends owned golden retrievers, so we knew that was the kind of dog we wanted to get as our second “fur baby.” Since it’s rare to find pure breed dogs in shelters, we knew we would be exploring other avenues. I don’t want to moralize, but I do not believe it is always necessary to buy a dog when there are so many little ones who need adopting. If you are willing to forgo getting a snuggly puppy, rescues are often a great resource for older dogs that need happy homes. The good news is, there are a multitude of rescues for various breeds, if there is a certain type of dog you have in mind.
We worked with Adopt a Golden Atlanta to find our second pet. They have frequent adoption days at various locations throughout Atlanta, and we decided to head up one Saturday, “just to look.” You know how that always turns out. Sure enough, we fell head over heels in love with Roxy, a shy, submissive girl of one and a half. Each dog has a story, usually posted on Adopt a Golden’s website, and we learned that Roxy’s previous owners just couldn’t handle a big dog. She was skinny and timid, but affectionate and insanely lovable. Bonus points – she was already housebroken. We put our name on Roxy’s list, and went through the relatively easy adoption process. Someone came to do a home inspection to make sure she had plenty of room to move around and to check out Sandy to be sure Roxy would be entering a welcoming home. After only about a week or so, we learned that Roxy would be ours! We did pay a fee to adopt her, with the money going towards the overhead costs of taking care of the dogs.
It was great to see so many dogs with waiting lists a mile long! Many of the dogs that Adopt a Golden of Atlanta takes in are older, some have health issues or have been neglected in some way. Many, like Roxy, are perfectly healthy and happy dogs, just needing a permanent home. Roxy is nearly five now, and she is a rambunctious, silly, licking, sprinting, eighty pound ball of love. She is my baby. I tuck her in every night on “her” couch, and she greets us at the door each evening with something (anything she can find!) in her mouth, eager to please. Goldens are extremely lovable dogs, and I am so glad we were able to give Roxy a new forever home.
(and Sandy, so she doesn't get jealous:)