Six years ago on Sunday I adopted Rosie, my little mixed breed pup. She came from SHARE, an adoption agency that doesn’t seem to be running any more.
When I’m with my dogs I sometimes wonder what their pre-adoption days were like. I think that their experience as super young puppies shaped their behavior as adult dogs. Porter, for example, was found in a cardboard box with his littermates. I think that his tendency to want to be up against someone at all times is reflective of that early experience. Pearl spent more time in the Washington Animal Rescue League shelter than
our other dogs did in foster care, so I wonder if her desire to be alone more than the other dogs is reflective of her time in a kennel by herself.
And then there’s Rosie.
I can’t pet the other dogs without her finding out and wandering up for attention. It doesn’t matter if she’s asleep, on another floor, or both. I can be loud, I can be quiet. It doesn’t matter. She knows. She is always pushing the other dogs out of the way so we notice her. Her “voice” comes out at bossy and demanding, and now she identifies our tone as “her” and that of course makes everything more intense.
I remember picking Rosie out; she was my only dog where I got to really see her with the rest of her littermates. I got to meet three of Porter’s siblings, but it wasn’t the same as being around Rosie’s entire family. There were a lot of them, and they were all anxious to get attention. I wonder if having to be assertive in that environment shaped her more than Porter or Pearl.
As usual, I’ll close this post imploring you to adopt instead of purchasing a pet. Not only are you giving a good pet an opportunity, but most shelters and rescue organizations demand that the pet be “fixed” to prevent breeding a new wave of potentially unwanted animals. Help to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.