Adopt a dog or cat and put love in your life! I just adopted a standard poodle from a rescue organization and I am feeling the love! There is so much emphasis in February to design the perfect romantic Valentine’s Day. Of course it is fun to sip champagne and eat chocolates, but it’s only an evening. True love is what we all are after – in one form or another. Maybe this is the year to find that true love in the eyes of a rescued pet!

Why Adopt a Dog or Cat?

There are lots of great reasons to adopt a dog or a cat.  The website for the Humane Society gives ten awesome reasons to adopt a dog, ranging from you will save a life to adopting a pet is good for your health!  There are so many strays and abandoned pets out in the world.  If you adopt a pet from a shelter, you make room for another pet to take its place in that shelter. Believe me, there are lots of animals waiting to be rescued by a shelter and then given a home.

Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their companions. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness. And when you adopt, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need!  Think of the selfies you can post with your new pet! Think of the conversations you will start up in the elevator!  Imagine how much fun you will have walking your dog or going to a pet friendly restaurant.  Adopt a dog or a cat! You will be so glad that you did!

Why I Decided to Adopt a Dog

I had a standard poodle, Poirot, whom I lost in October. Losing a pet is one of those things that you know will happen but it is still hard when the time comes.  We thought about waiting a year for a new poodle, but I just couldn’t hold out.  I called Poirot’s breeder, but she is no longer breeding poodles.  I turned to poodle rescue sites, figuring that I would find a new dog to love there.  There were poodle rescues sites all around the country, just as there are rescue sites for most breeds and then the humane societies with a collection of breeds to choose from.  At the humane society in Rockville MD they even have fish and exotic animals like lizards looking for homes.

Arthur - Adopt a dog
Meet Arthur


Meet Arthur, Our New Poodle

Arthur was there waiting for me on the Mid Atlantic Poodle Rescue site, which is based in Baltimore.  Arthur has Addison’s and his previous family gave him up, rather than deal with his condition.  Addison’s is a condition involving insufficient function of the adrenal glands and is common in standard poodles.  My previous poodle also had Addison’s so I knew it is very manageable with a daily pill and one monthly shot.  I had no problems dealing with an Addisonian poodle. I already have a great vet, who has become a true friend through the years of treating Poirot.  I knew that Arthur belonged with us.  I knew it was time to adopt a dog.

Then there was the question of the name.  Captain Hastings, Poirot’s good friend and cohort in the Agatha Christie mysteries, is actually Captain Arthur Hastings.  The stars had aligned.  This lovely black standard poodle had to be ours.

We picked up Arthur just after Thanksgiving.  Like many rescues, he is very skittish.  He is not everyone’s friend when he meets new people – but he is much more affectionate than our first poodle once he gives you his trust.   There are moments when he is obviously anxious – like when I tried to hold a yard stick to his shoulder to see how tall he was.  Tail down, moving away from me, Arthur told me that someone had hurt him before.  Clearly Arthur needs a loving family and he has so much love to give in return!

When we decided to adopt a dog, we changed Arthurs’s life and ours. We have gotten a new best friend out of the deal. Seriously, what could be better than that?

Where to Adopt a Dog or a Cat

If you want a poodle, you might look at the Mid-Atlantic Poodle Rescue site, but there are lots of other options if you want to stay local and don’t have to have a poodle.  One of my favorite adoption organizations is Homeward Trails. Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides pet adoption in Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland. They find homes for dogs and cats rescued from low-income, rural animal shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them.  Homeward Trails even has sent a team of volunteers to Guanica, Puerto Rico, assisting the many dogs and cats that have been impacted by the recent earthquakes.

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