When I adopted my first Golden Retriever back in 2001 I was like most people. I wanted a young, healthy dog and paid little heed as the rescue adoption counselor explained the benefits of adopting an older dog. I wanted what I wanted and that was it. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that as there are many healthy, young dogs that need homes. But I had no idea of the changes to come when I started volunteering at Homeward Bound.
I remember wondering during my first weeks there how we were going to get all these older dogs and special needs (!) dogs adopted. I soon found find out that they either all got adopted or found their homes at Homeward Bound. All of them. I discovered there are all these special people out there who were more than willing to take in an old or imperfect dog and provide a home just as wonderful as any dog could hope for. Turns out there was another way of looking at how to choose a companion animal that I hadn’t considered. I was humbled … once again.
Burney was a special dog to me and I wanted to make sure that he home with the right people. So I asked potential adopters what they had done in their lives to deserve a dog like Burney. A surprising question, I’m sure. The awesome folks who did adopt him pointed to their own adopted children as their response. Good enough for me. But what I learned later is that they came to Homeward Bound wanting to find a dog that wasn’t perfect. That’s about the best answer they could have given to my question. Read Burney’s story to find out why he wasn’t perfect, and why he also was.
How we look at things makes all the difference. I now look forward to the day when all I do is care for older or sick dogs. It’s selfish of me, I know, but I want what I want. We recently received a precious gift at Homeward Bound that I want to share. I’m not the one to tell Emmie’s story because Ogee of Gardens for Goldens has already done that as beautifully as anyone could. But do please go read Emmie: A Gift from the Universe as that is my gift to you.