-By Liz Prevedello
Earlier this year, I had the wonderful experience of making a decision to adopt and rescue a dog from a local animal shelter. I had honestly never owned a dog before and finally felt that I was stable enough and had enough time to find a new best friend.
I spent weeks looking at shelters all around my area online and visiting with as many dogs as I could. I knew that I was making a life-changing decision and felt that I would know when I finally felt that magical connection. Then, in a small no-kill shelter in Mission Viejo California, I found Buddy (at the time his name was Bundy). We took him to a little play area and he couldn't get enough love. He was running up to us to be pet and play fetch with his toy. I immediately knew that this was a happy, loving dog, that would make a huge difference in my life. I filled out an application, drove home, and couldn't sleep that night because I was so nervous I wouldn't get him.
After a couple days, I called the shelter to follow up and express my continued interest in adopting Buddy, they told me he was mine to come to pick up and I couldn't believe it. We drove down there as soon as we could and I couldn't stop smiling from my excitement. They brought him out to us and he was mine. He was scared of the car so I had to lift him in for the drive ahead. Once we got home, he sniffed around everywhere before promptly sitting 2 inches from my face.
The next few days and weeks were new, exciting, interesting, and scary. Buddy definitely came with his fair share of challenges but over the last 5 months together, I've learned to be a better owner to him and we've grown inseparable. He brings such joy to my life and fulfillment I've never experienced before. He's changed my life and I've changed his and though that we've created a beautiful bond. He truly is my best friend and I'm so thankful I was able to give him a new life.
Adopting a dog from a shelter can come with some challenges (pulling while walking, not liking other dogs, chasing cars, etc.) but when you see how far they come and consider what you saved them from, it easily makes everything worth it.