Top 10 Reasons You Should Consider a Rescue
(A more amusing look at a rescue dog vs. a puppy)
10 In a Word--Housebroken. Housetraining a puppy can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them to. An older dog can "hold it" much more reliably for longer time periods, and usually the Rescue has him housebroken before he is adopted.
9 Intact Underwear. With a puppy, you can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the "rag bag" before he cuts every tooth. And don't even think about shoes! Also, you can expect holes in your carpet (along with the urine stains), pages missing from books, stuffing exposed from couches, and at least one dead remote control. No matter how well you watch them, it will happen--this is a puppy's job!
8 A Good Night's Sleep. A puppy can be very demanding at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.. He misses his littermates, and that stuffed animal will not make a puppy pile with him. How about a little peace and quiet? How about an older rescue dog??
7 Finish the Newspaper. With a puppy running amok in your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work? Do you think your kids will really feed him, clean up the messes, take him for a walk in the pouring rain every hour to get him housetrained? With an adult dog, it will only be the kids running amok, because your dog will be sitting calmly next to you, while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet him.
6 Easier Vet Trips. Puppies need a series of puppy shots and fecals, then a rabies shot, then a trip to be altered, maybe an emergency trip or two if they've chewed something dangerous. Those puppy visits add up (on top of what you paid for the dog!). Your donation to the rescue when adopting an older pup will get you a dog with all shots current and already altered at the minimum.
5 What You See Is What You Get. How big will that puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an older dog from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy. The rescue and its foster homes can guide you to pick the right match. (Rescues are full of puppies who became the wrong match as they got older!)
4 Unscarred Children (and Adults). When the puppy isn't teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and yourself. Rescue Groups ask questions and usually find out the dog is teething or actually biting. A growing puppy is going to put everything from food to clothes to hands in their mouths, and as they get older and bigger it definitely hurts (and will get worse, if they aren't being corrected properly.) Rescue dogs are carefully evaluated and the 'teethers' are retrained so they don't chew on their people. Biters are not accepted into Rescue.
3 Matchmaker Make Me a Match. Puppy love is often no more than an attachment to a look or a color. It is not much of a basis on which to make a decision that will hopefully last 10+ years. While that puppy may have been the cutest of the litter; he may grow up to be superactive (when what you wanted was a couch buddy); she may be a couch princess (when what you wanted was a tireless hiking companion); or he may want to be an only child (while you are intending to have kids or more animals). Pet mismatches are one of the top reasons Rescues get "give-up" phone calls. Good rescues do extensive evaluating of both their dogs and their applicants to be sure that both dog and family will be happy with each.
2 Instant Companion. With an older dog, you automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you NOW. There's no waiting for a puppy to grow up (and then hope he will like to do what you enjoy.) You will have been able to select the most compatible dog: one that travels well; one that loves to play with your friends' dogs; one with excellent house manners that you can take to your parents' new home with the new carpet and the new couch. You can come home after a long day's work and spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride or swim with your new best friend.
1 Bond--Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again. Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions.
* by Mary and Doug Clark, Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc as seen here: http://www.lrr.org/reading-room/why-adopt.html