This is our Jimmy, aka The Dogness. We adopted him nearly six years ago, after the loss of our beloved lab mix, because even though we had three cats at the time the house just didn’t feel right without a dog.
Jimmy would have been easy to overlook. Unlike most dogs at the shelter, he didn’t come running up eagerly when we passed by his cage. But that day, a still-little Cassidy wasn’t feeling well, and she gravitated to the quiet dog in the corner. When we brought him home, he slept in her bed at night, finally breaking the cycle of night fears and wakings. He was middle aged when we adopted him, and six years older now, but he is my faithful companion, my shadow, and he is loved by every child who has crossed his path.
I hate to think how close we came to adopting a different, more “fun” dog. And I hate to think about how long that more “fun” dog that we left behind because it was a little too high energy had to wait to find her forever home. Currently only about 20% of adopted pets come from shelters.
If you’re thinking about adoption, now’s the time! Adoption fees (which cover the spaying and neutering of all the animals that enter the shelters) will be waived at nearly 30 shelters across the region on August 15th, thanks to NBC10 and Telemundo62.
In Delaware the participating shelters are the Delaware SPCA on 455 Stanton Christiana Rd in Newark (near the mall) and First State Animal Center & SPCA at 32 Shelter Circle in Camden. These are dogs with an expiration date and desperately in need of homes.
Dog shelters can be overwhelming for humans, especially kids, but even more so for the poor animals who are staying there. Remember to take that stress level into account when visiting the dogs; some may be more keyed up or skittish than they’d be in a home environment, and some like Jimmy may retreat into a corner. Be patient and take your time. A dog that is adopted out and then returned has lesser odds than a first timer.
But everything about owning a dog is worth it. It’s difficult knowing that we got less time with Jimmy than we would have with a younger dog, but I’m so glad he’s a part of our family. There’s always room for more love in our hearts.
More details and a full list of participating shelters here. Follow #ClearTheShelters on social media for updates.
Need a little extra motivation to adopt? Check out the benefits of pet ownership for children.