I can hardly look at this picture without crying my eyes out. We lost this little guy last year. I have had a really hard time looking at pictures of him since. It is still extremely painful that he is gone. If you have ever considered rescuing an animal…do it. I would say yes…go for it…because of this guy. We have rescued 2 dogs now and I very much believe in rescue. Do rescue dogs have their quirks? Yes…like all dogs do. Does it take a period of adjustment? 100% yes. But it will be well worth it…I promise. Once a rescue dog feels like part of the family, they are extra loving. Somehow they know that you rescued them and you will have a loyal partner for life.
I met this little guy while I was out with friends. We were at Winter Games…a festival outdoors in the snow. His foster parent brought him out in a little winter jacket so she could show him off in hopes of finding him a home. I saw him and immediately fell in love. I had a Pomeranian growing up. I cuddled him awhile. The lady with him said that his name was Chubs (weird name I know) and that he was available for adoption. I couldn’t believe it! But I was on a girls trip and it was 10:00 at night. What was I going to do about it at that point?! I went about my business and had fun with my friends that weekend. I remember on the ride home I was still thinking about this sweet dog so I decided to look him up. I found him! I decided to fill out the paperwork to adopt him. What did I have to lose?! Sure…I was single in the city and worked a lot. But I made good money and I knew that I could figure it out. My brother had just gotten a dog. If he could do it, I certainly could:)
The people from the rescue organization called to interview me to see if I would be a good match for Chubs. This surprised me! I previously thought that if you wanted a dog and filled out the paperwork then they would be yours! But no…they had to make sure I would be a good home for Chubs. I now know that this screening is extremely important. These dogs have all ready been given up and they want to ensure the best fit possible so that it doesn’t happen again. Well, the lady from the rescue (Diane) asked me a million questions about my life, and at the end decided that I worked too long of hours to be a good fit for Chubs. I worked 12 hour shifts as a nurse at this point in my life. I was so upset! I sat quietly for a moment then I said, “Diane? Have you ever felt like you were meant to be with an animal?” And she paused and said, “Yes.” I said, “Well, that’s how I feel about Chubs. I feel like we were meant to be together. I promise you that I will do everything in my power to give this dog a good home and a happy life.” She sat there for a minute and then said, “Ok…you can have him.” I was thrilled:) That weekend, I made the 4 hour drive again to pick up Chubs:) And they even gave me the coat:)
The ride home was interesting. I was naive in thinking he would just know that I was his rescuer. He barked at me for 15 minutes straight. Good thing I had done a little research. I completely ignored him while he was barking, but when he stopped to take a breath I would say “Good boy!”. We did this for a good half an hour straight. Then, all of the sudden, he stopped. I opened the kennel and petted him. From then on we were good! He somehow knew that he was mine. We were inseparable from that point on. Like I said, I worked 12 hour shifts as a nurse. Long days, but it also meant that I only worked 3 days a week. The first few months, I would get up at 4:00 in the morning so I could play with him a bit and work on training before heading in to work. I set him up in a little area in my entryway (tile…easy to clean) until he was fully potty trained.
Note here: He was 6 months old when I got him. The family that relinquished him had 3 other dogs. They were moving and could only take 2 with them (for some reason). He was the newest member of the family so they gave him up. But since he was 6 months old, he was all ready potty trained. He just needed to figure out the routine at my place. This is a HUGE bonus and in my mind one of the many reasons to get a rescue dog. Many of them are all ready potty trained! They will still need to get used to your home and routine, but in my experience, there was no need to get up all hours of the night to go outside to potty train them. Huuuuuge plus!!
Were things perfect with Chubs?! Absolutely not. I figured out his quirks. For one, he was not good with kids. This was very hard because he was about the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. Kids were drawn to him like a magnet. But the kids in his previous home were apparently not great with him and so he growled at kids. He did not want to be around them really. I think he felt that they were too unpredictable, too chaotic. This was not a problem when I was single, but it did become a problem when I met my now husband who had 3 kids. It was a bit of a learning curve. It was difficult because he was so adorable and they really wanted to play with him, but learned quickly that they just couldn’t really. He wasn’t going to be that kind of a dog. He was MY dog…and he made that pretty clear. I learned that this is something common with the breed. Pomeranians are very loyal to their owners but don’t really care for other people or pets much. My Pomeranian I had growing up was different because we were all there when he was introduced into our family. He loved all of us. In all of the literature I have read about rescue dogs, it always talked about how important it was to have all family members present when the new dog comes home. I have found this to be very important. Especially with our second rescue dog. I will discuss this more in a future post.
Well, life with Chubs was completely different than life without him. When they say that “I rescued the dog, but it is the dog that rescued me” they were correct. I was single in the city and living on my own. I have always been independent and this did not often bother me. But once I had Chubs with me, I found that I felt very lonely without him. He filled the void that I didn’t realize was there. I had many relationships in that time period, and no matter what happened with them, he was my constant. I took him wherever I could…road trips, flights, etc. That is what is so great about Pomeranians…they are happy to do whatever you are doing! You want to sleep? They will sleep. You want to go for a walk? They are going for a walk. You want to travel? They want to come also. Chubs probably flew more than most people. He was so easy to bring along!
Chubs was with me when I was single, with me when I was dating, with me when I met my husband and with me when I got married and had 2 kids. He was my little guy…he was always there. I just can’t even describe how much this dog meant to me. He was like therapy. Dogs sense your emotions. He knew when I was sad, or not feeling well…and he was always there, snuggled up next to me. Until he wasn’t…and it was heartbreaking. I am pretty tough. I don’t often show my sad emotions much. My best friends and my husband would be hard pressed to remember a time when they had seen me cry. For about 2 days straight I was a mess. I cried off and on for those days. I couldn’t think straight. I kind of walked around aimlessly. It was rough to say the least. Nothing felt right without him. I remember thinking, “How do I even sit on the couch and relax anymore?!” He had always been there. My hand was always petting him when he was next to me. It just felt so wrong and lonely without him. I had never really grieved like that before.
Even though I was completely wrecked when he was gone, I knew that it had been 100% worth it. People asked me if I would get another dog. I knew I would eventually, but I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to own another Pomeranian for a very long time. He was the best. I just felt like another Pomeranian wouldn’t be able to live up to him.
We did get another dog…another rescue. I am an animal lover…I knew that I would want another one soon. Once you have a dog, it is hard to be without. I know it sounds silly, but before we went to the shelter to look for a new dog, I said a little prayer that Chubs would guide us to find the new pet that needed us as much as we needed them. And we found her:) We decided on a big dog this time…completely different. I will discuss Ms. Cleo in a post to follow…stay tuned.
Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart.Unknown
Sincerely written on this day,
2 responses to “Dabbling in dog rescue…(Chubs)”
Oh boy I am in tears reading this! We have always had rescues, we are on our 3rd! The first one, Bella, was perfect for my noys growing up! The second was a character, but smart! I still miss her😢. Gracie is our 3rd, just my husband and I now. She is not the smartest tool in the shed but in her defense we dropped the ball in the training department
kind of like your last kid gets by with more than the first!
But not a day goes by that I don’t think of Bella and Shelly!
We have their ashes and their pictures in our family room, they are always with us!
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I love this! I have his ashes too:) Yes…I like the feeling that he is still with me in a sense. Thanks for the comment! You are so wonderful for rescuing so many!