Every morning I wake up to those same brown eyes. His breath might stink and he is pretty hairy, but his big smile makes up for all that: my heart is his. And with a big kiss, he lets me know the feeling is mutual. “You’re my favorite,” I whisper to him.
“I heard that,” my husband, Ryan, jokes next to me. But I know he’s thinking the same thing: in our house, Sarge is number one.
In case you haven’t read all the other posts about my baby, here’s some background: Sarge is our two-and-a-half year old bull mastiff-boxer mixed breed dog. Ever since he came into our lives in the summer of 2010, our world has centered around that little guy. I’ve come to know what it’s like to ask yourself multiple times a day, “What did I ever do without you?”.
When conversations about getting a dog first started, I let Ryan know one thing: I don’t buy pets. I know and love many people who do, however, it’s just something I do not do. While I adore all animals, my heart longs to help those that are having a hard time being given away for free, let alone bought for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. So, we turned to a local rescue and found our Sarge.
Rescuing animals can get a bad rap, but the truth is, there are many advantages to getting a pet from a rescue. First, it’s easier on your wallet: rescuing is usually much less expensive than buying a pure breed dog. This is especially true if the dog is older and has already been neutered or spade. For example, we paid $200 when we rescued Sarge ($100 to get him neutered, plus a $100 donation to the rescue), however, pure-bred bull-mastiff puppies sell for anywhere between $700 – $2,000 each. Boxer puppies can cost as much as $1,200. Sarge did not come with any official papers, but we have no plans to show or breed him, so those papers aren’t worth the extra $1,000. And Sarge is so cute that the photographer we hired to take his pictures two years ago used his sweet little face on some advertising materials:
I might be biased – but this proves it: mutts are adorable!
Secondly, if you rescue a dog, you are not supporting puppy mills. Puppy mills are evil, “factory style” facilities that care more about making money than they do about the actual dogs. These dogs live in poor conditions, are not given the proper medical care and are deprived of human companionship. Sadly, many of the puppies sold from puppy mills have health and behavioral issues, which cannot always be treated. When you get a dog from a rescue, you know they are coming from people who love and nurture them. And because they are loved…
…Rescue dogs will unconditionally adore you. Dogs are pack animals, and when they do not have that bond with an owner, they are very eager to deeply and completely get that bond. According to the Humane Society of the United States, most animals in shelters are not from abusive homes or haven’t done something “wrong”. Usually the reason these animals are given to shelters is for “people” reasons – a move, divorce or financial hardship. The result is dogs from rescues are more than ready to have a family again.
We are so thankful this Christmas (and every single day) that Take Me Too dog rescue gave us the best gift ever: Sargie. He has brought so much happiness, so much love and so much laughter into our lives. So much that ever since we rescued him, we often wonder “Who rescued who?”