Here’s why none of my dogs came from a rescue:

Updated on April 16, 2023

Not once have you heard me call Ace, my dog, a “rescue.”

For my part, I don’t see him that way. That’s not how I look at any of my animals. In my mind, they’ve been adopted.

Many of you probably think of your pets as strays that were lucky enough to find a good home. Since it emphasises the dog’s past rather than the present, it’s just not a word I feel comfortable using. Dogs, as anyone who has spent time with one knows, have an extraordinary capacity for abandoning the past and embracing the present. Sadly, we humans do not always share that aptitude.

Take the call I received last week from a man who wanted to know if I could walk his two Lab mixes while he and his family were away.

If his dogs weren’t rescues, he’d have the kid next door do it. You are familiar with the process of rescues. An expert is required.

Of course I didn’t say that’s how “rescues” work, because I don’t know anything about them.

Sometimes I feel like the word “rescue” is used as an excuse for our dogs’ bad manners.

I don’t consider my dog a rescue, so I’ve never tried to use that term to justify his bad behaviour (and he has plenty of opportunities to misbehave).

Ace, the dog, is mine.

When I first took Ace out for a walk he was a year old, he was a terrible dog who pulled and choked himself on his chain collar.

When we were at Gooseberry Park, a man with a smaller dog walked by, and Ace was completely out of control.

The man only managed to say, “Yikes.” It wasn’t because my dog was being hostile, but rather because he was pulling so hard.

I was embarrassed by my dog’s rude behaviour.

And so I put in the effort, and Ace and I made rapid progress, with the aid of a dog backpack, a gentle Leader, and a prong collar. Six months later, he passed the Canine Good Citizen exam, which required him to demonstrate his ability to ignore an approaching dog and behave appropriately in a public setting.

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While my dog may be many things, “rescued” is not one of them.

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Therefore, I can confidently say that my dog exemplifies the term “good citizen.” An example to follow. someone you can count on as a friend.

There are a lot of things that describe my dog, but one of them is not that he or she was rescued.

It’s not fair to put that label on him. He had a relatively easy life before I had him; it was just different.

Since my dog is black and “mixed,” many people automatically assume that he is a “rescued” animal. That’s not what he is.

At a local dog event, a woman approached me and said, “Bless you.” Ace is a Lab mix, and that’s all I’d said.

Some of us have even saved animals’ lives. They were found in the streets or in shelters with a high death rate, and we rescued them.

I drove to the animal shelter, unloaded three cats, and brought them home without so much as a break for water or food. Now, a stray cat had a one-in-two chance of surviving the ordeal at the pound. Few things compare to the elation you’ll feel when you’ve helped a helpless animal.

But now, when I consider those felines, the word “rescued” does not come to mind.

My three ninjas, Ninja, Nikita, and Rita, are currently enjoying the lap of luxury with friends and relatives of mine. A meal is never skipped. Resting on beds and couches. My suspicion is that it is in charge of the household.

It seems inaccurate and inappropriate to focus on the word “rescued.”

Beamer, the cat I adopted from the humane society, is not a rescue.

It’s All About Those Beams

When it got too cold to go inside, he would hide in a window well or pay the local cat lady for shelter so he could make it through the long, dark winters of Moorhead, Minnesota.

In fact, he didn’t even have to go outside if he didn’t want to.

Most of Beamer’s “kills” were stored in a boneyard under the deck. He walked in at his own pace and on his own terms. Following that, they departed.

In spite of the fact that Beamer is now a house pet, he hasn’t lost any of his former lovability, ferocity, or cuddliness.

His ears are battered and he has a scar near one of his eyes.

Adopted? Yes.

Rescued? Absolutely not.




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