Save A Life, Find A Friend

Recently, we ran a contest that gave our clients and followers the opportunity to share their love for their dogs by posting a picture via social media. We had a wonderful response and the best part was the beautiful pictures and lovely captions that went along with them. One thing became obvious — we all love our dogs! They give us the love and loyalty that we deserve and so rarely receive.

All of the dogs that entered the contest were winners in my book, but the dog that got the most votes was a Corgi–Hound mix named Bella Sofia. Bella’s owner, Karina, adopted her at a local animal shelter. We don’t know the story of Bella’s background, but we do know that she now has a loving home. Karina has no regrets and she and Bella have now signed on with Michael’s Pack and are members of our latest beginner group class.

There are so many dogs looking to be adopted that are currently in rescues or shelters. More “unwanted dogs” are definitely not needed. Six to eight million pets end up in shelters each year; half of those will probably not be adopted. Also remember that breed-specific rescue groups always have purebred dogs and puppies looking for new homes.

The decision as to what type of puppy to get is yours to make, and it would be presumptuous of me to suggest one type over the other.



Our “My Canine Valentine” contest winner, Bella Sofia


If you are still not sure about whether to adopt or purchase a purebred dog, please consider the puppy up for adoption at your local shelter. These dogs all need homes with loving families and they make awesome companions. Another consideration when adopting is an adult dog. There are a lot of great dogs out there that don’t have homes, and an older dog can be a great companion.

Do your homework and figure out what kind of pet will best fit your household. Explore your local shelter. There may be more than one, so make sure you do your research. Although picking a dog at a shelter can be impulsive, remember its okay to wait for the right one. Shelters and rescue groups get new animals everyday so keep checking back if you have a specific breed in mind. Some rescues and shelters have waiting lists as well, so get your name on it.

Know how to pick the right dog. Again, ask questions and explore your options. Mixed breeds are generally healthier. Because of what is known as hybrid vigor, a mix-breed is the healthiest of all dogs. This comes from the idea that the more breeds in a dog’s genetic mix, the less likely it is that the genetic problems of purebreds will manifest themselves. Of course, there are always exceptions but this “mix” seems to be the common trend as there is rampant surge of newfangled mixes, such as the cock-a-poo, golden-doodle, and she-poo, just to name a few.

Let go of the myths about shelter dogs: they are too old, they may have a disease, and they aren’t purebred. You will never know their true history and it doesn’t really matter. Dogs don’t dwell on their past, and neither should we.

Avoid puppy mill dogs, although they desperately need to be rescued. If you do go this route, then bless your heart — you’ve given this survivor a new lease on life, and I am sure it will be rewarding for both of you, if handled correctly.

Finally, adopt a dog that is the right fit. This can be hard to do when you are rescuing, but now is the time to ask yourself some really good questions: Are you a homeowner or are you renting? If you rent, does your landlord allow dogs? If so, are their restrictions to size or weight? Do you have allergies? Do you have children? Are you planning on having any in the next 15-20 years? Are you able to afford the extra cost of a dog? The last thing you want is the dog to end up back in the shelter because he didn’t suit your lifestyle.

Shelters and rescue groups provide a great service by actively looking to provide homes for unwanted and or neglected dogs. Please consider these organizations when deciding on bringing home a dog to your family.

Karina, Bella Sofia's proud owner does not regret getting her from a local pet shelter.

Karina, Bella Sofia’s proud owner does not regret getting her from a local pet shelter.

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Long Island dog training serving Mineola, Garden City, Hicksville, Syosset, Great Neck, Westbury, New Hyde Park, Hempstead, Floral Park, Bethpage, among others.

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