This is a series that will post on Wednesdays touching on the various joys and struggles of adopting a rescue dog. Many people have adopted rescues or may be considering it and we thought that a look into what the process is like and the various challenges that may go along with this would be beneficial and of interest to readers. Keep in mind that this is one couple’s story and that every rescue adoption is unique. We look forward to sharing these installments with you weekly!

My husband Chris and I have, for a year now, considered adopting a rescue dog. We did a lot of preliminary research and looked into various rescue organization, their policies and procedures. The group we ended up going with required a home visit. I was a little leery of this; Chis and I value our privacy and after all, I thought, it’s not like we were adopting a child. Upon writing to the rescue contact person and explaining our situation, I still didn’t feel that acar ride home house visit should be necessary. But upon discussion with Chris we decided that we would go through with the visit, trusting that the group has this requirement for good reason. Our house isn’t unkempt but we do have the usual family clutter and I have several projects that I’m working on at all times—would this “visitor” judge us? I was anxious. The visit went really well. We explained what we were looking for and the particulars of our situation, and we were approved and began monitoring the website for potential adoption candidates.

Puppy? Maybe. Special needs? Probably not. Midsize to large? Definitely. We found a few dogs we were interested in but they seemed to be adopted so fast, before I even had a chance to inquire about them. We drove an hour to meet a dog that seemed like he could be a good fit, but during our visit he seemed protective of his foster and growled several times which didn’t sit right with us so we decided to keep looking. After a month I resigned myself to “if it happens, it happens.”

Scrolling through the rescues website one day, a 5 month old pup caught my eye. She was a lab mix. Chris had a lab when he was younger, Tex, and he loved that dog. She had a longer muzzle and tail with a lean, long body that reminded me of a hound. I shot off a quick introductory e-mail and asked if she was still available. The reply came back that indeed she was available, and would we like to visit her this weekend? We drove out to the Plymouth/Canton area and met Nymeria. She was a nice dog with a sweet disposition. Like many puppies she would jump up and lick our faces and it was difficult to walk her on a leash, but Chris and I had already decided that regardless of what dog we adopt, enrollment in a training program was a must.

To be continued next Wednesday…

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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.