I’m just going to diverge a little bit from dental concerns into something that’s not related to teeth, but I believe is a factor overall health.
A while back, my husband and I decided to open up our house to a dog. The kids were old enough and we liked the thought of the all the good things a new furry family member could bring to all of us. I had several friends that had adopted from local dog rescues with good results, so I was pretty sure that we would follow suit.
In doing a little research, I was shocked to find out how few dogs ever find a permanent home. 70,000 dogs and cats are born in the United States every day, with about one out of ten taken in by a family.
With this on my mind, we picked out a small Chihuahua-mix from a local dog rescue. We named him Obie Juan and he immediately bonded with us and especially with my son. Obie is a smart little guy and is the first dog I’ve had that I could take on my runs in the park without a leash, and he won’t leave my side. I wondered how many of the homeless dogs that we had seen were just euthanized without a chance, and I knew that the truth was, probably most of them.
A few months ago, my daughter wanted a dog of her own so it didn’t take us long to pick out a Chihuahua-Pug mix that she named Yoda. Because he actually looks like Yoda. And there’s an added benefit at work here, the dogs are teaching my kids responsibility. They feed, walk and clean up after them. They are learning what it is to have something that depends on you to make correct decisions for them.
Dogs are pack animals and they want to be a part of a family. Being alone disorients them. Like many rescue dogs, Yoda and Obie Juan seem to realize that they’re now part of a home. They appreciate it. We don’t have the best looking dogs on the block, but what they lack in pedigree they make up for in sweetness and personality. They’ve become such a part of the family that I can’t imagine ever being without them. We feel better with them in our lives.
The rescues are full of loving, soulful dogs and cats just waiting for a chance to prove themselves. They know isolation. They know fear. They want to be a part of your family.
Adopt. Rescue. It’s the best way to go.
And don’t forget to brush and floss.