Adopt a Shelter Pet

My friend Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life, recently wrote a post called Four Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Pet. It was a great article and you can read it by clicking the link. We adopted a shelter pet and when I say “we”, I mean my son, except that I had to sign on the dotted line because he is only 17. My story is not quite as lovely as Michelle’s.

We went and picked Guster up one afternoon. Guster seemed excited to come home with us. He and Luke bonded quickly.


Guster, who was called Clyde at the Shelter, was a mixed breed. His little card said he was an Australian Shepherd/Lab/Retriever/Border Collie. He had the markings of an Australian Shepherd, and the hair resembled a Lab but the Collie part I wasn’t seeing.

We have a pretty big fenced backyard. A little chicken wire was called for, to prevent Guster from getting out in certain places. Things were going along pretty smoothly…until Guster figured out how to maneuver the chicken wire and escape the confines of the roomy backyard. It was then decided that he now had to stay in our Florida room unless someone accompanied him outside.

Guster, who was five months old at the time, liked to chew…a lot. He ate the Florida room. Yes he did. He was especially fond of the wood steps and the wood legs on the rocking chairs I was prepping to paint. It was then determined that Guster needed to be in the crate unless my son was with him. I wouldn’t want to come home and discover he had eaten the entire house. I’m not really a material girl, but I have some of my deceased grandparents’ furniture, and although it may not be valuable, it’s priceless to me.

And then the fun began.

One afternoon, while Guster’s master was away, I decided to take him outside for a little free range time. Guster was doing what he always did, running around, digging, rolling in the grass, barking at birds and eating bugs. I was sitting in a lounge chair when all of the sudden Guster came charging toward me. I didn’t think too much of it. He started nipping at my flip flop clad feet and I pushed him away. Then he came at me again, a little more aggressive this time. He kept coming for me and trying to bite me, so I jumped out of the chair and put it between the two of us. He just kept coming. He wanted to eat my legs and feet, I could tell. His eye was on the prize…my feet and legs.

I kept going around in circles, all the while keeping the chair between me and the dog until I backed myself into the door of the Florida room. I let myself in a shut the door quickly. Then it hit me. I had to somehow get Guster into the house and in his crate before he jumped the fence and tried to eat someone else!

I pushed the crate next to the door, dropped a treat in the crate and grabbed an old broom to keep between me and the man-eating dog. Don’t ask me how but I managed to get Guster into the crate.

I immediately called the shelter and asked what their return policy was. I had to make an appointment. First available? The next day at 5:00. I won’t even go into the details of how that played out. Did I mention that a vet, a friend who was a former vet tech and another dog-knowledgeable friend all said he had a bit of pit bull in him after they saw him….okay a lot of pit bull. Thanks for the heads up, animal shelter.

Although our adopt an animal shelter pet story didn’t turn out quite the way we had anticipated, or the way Michelle’s did, I still think it’s a good idea to adopt a shelter pet.

Have you adopted a shelter pet?

4 thoughts on “Adopt a Shelter Pet”

  1. Oh dear! I guess there are bad matches for sure. We have a rescue puppy and two rescue kittens, but the dog wasn’t in a shelter, I think. She was rescued in Alabama and taken to a good foster home. Either way, she hasn’t caused much trouble!

  2. Certainly there are bad matches. We’ve had some interesting pets with quirky personalities, but they’ve all worked out pretty well for us in the end. Our newest dog, who was not a rescue, but came from a local family with a litter of puppies, has been the one who has caused the most destruction. He has broken or chewed numerous things and he takes everything he can get his paws on outside, so we have to be careful. I lost an expensive external camera flash that way. He even brings the dog bed through the dog door. But he has gotten better as he has started to outgrow some of his puppy tendencies. And he is just the sweetest most loving dog! He truly is wonderful! But my husband and I laugh and say no more puppies…from now on, we’ll only be adopting dogs from the shelter. There really is definitely a difference between a dog that knows he is getting a second chance at life, and one you bring up as a puppy. The second chance dogs show their gratefulness in so many ways.

    • I love your stories. I don’t think we’ll do it again though. Luke will when he is out on his own. Dogs are like kids…a lot of work and a huge commitment. I think it’s great how well it’s worked out for you.


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