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'One' reason you should adopt/rescue

November 16, 2011 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
Today, ( is dedicating its fourth annual Pet ‘Net Event to pet adoption awareness. According to a recent poll, nearly 85% of people who have adopted pets say it was a positive experience. To drive awareness of adoption and its positive effects, the day-long 2011 Pet ‘Net Adoption Event will feature a hub page of related content from a consortium of the web’s top pet-focused bloggers and a social media donation campaign in partnership with Iams© that will make it easier than ever to support local shelters and pets in need.

Go ahead, Ask me. Why adopt a rescue pet? Aside from the millions of homeless animals that are euthanized each year because someone: A. decided they didn’t want a pet any longer, B. weren’t responsible and didn’t take the time to have their pet spayed/neutered or C. didn’t care enough to help their community to rectify A or B – rescue pets are simply the most loving, fulfilling, grateful creatures you could ever have become a part of your life.

As of this moment (it could change in another minute), the Oakster is my only Golden Retriever, which is odd when I am used to having 2 or 3 shedding machines galloping around the house. Then, again, Oak is a tad odd and requires a bit more attention than most… dogs. But, he’s worth it. We rescued him at the age of 2 from a breeder who never socialized him. For the rest of his and our lives we will deal with his fear and distrust of humans. Oak, like most every Golden on this planet is the most honest dog you’ll ever meet – a true gentle giant. He’s kind, submissive, would have made an excellent therapy dog (if he wasn’t fearful of people) and provides a load of comic relief without even trying. I asked my assistant Elin to describe the ‘good’ qualities in Oak. It took her a while but she hit the mark, “He has all the Golden qualities but in a ‘backward sort of manor”. True, Oak is a Golden Retriever “in reverse”. Even when he has me at wits end by ignoring my call to come in from the yard by racing in circles chasing his tail or ignoring my request to come over to see me for a pat when I’m watching TV by standing in the other room with a completely blank stare on his face, it’s hard to not love the big, wrinkley oaf. He’s 100 pounds of sad sweetness and I wouldn’t take back the day I agreed to be his rescue mom for anything. Not even this morning, when he threw up two times on the carpet before I could get him outside. I figured that was his way of wishing me a “Happy Pet’Net Adoption Event Day”.

My sadistic payback to Oak, however, is the four rescued felines I have brought into our home. Bo (Bo Teak, Bo Bo) is my gi-normous 14 lb. alley cat who just adores Oakley and follows him everywhere – much to Oak’s dismay. Gracie Louise is my little black “Broad Ave. hussy” who is a total mama’s girl with a MAJOR attitude. Grayer is my sweet ‘lil boy who also came from the city streets and was rescued along with his mom and sister by one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Sally, my co-worker, has rescued countless stray cats and kittens, spaying/neutering and feeding every single one of them – all on her own dime. She is a true rescue angel – the most altruistic of people who you don’t even realize are out there because they work quietly behind-the-scenes. I have Grayer because of her.

And, now, we have Milo – my 10-year-old miracle boy. Thanks to another co-worker, we rescued him last month from an abusive situation where the owners decided they not longer wanted him so decided it was easier to discard him in a closet and starve him. Thank goodness, we got him just in time. He has a long road ahead but thanks to the amazing generosity of my vets, family, friends and co-workers I am able to provide all the care and love that he could need to mend. (We’re still accepting prayers/good wishes if you’ve got any to spare…)

Some days I do feel overwhelmed and wonder ‘what was I thinking’. But, I can’t imagine not having all these special souls in my life. They fill so many crooks and crannies in my heart and provide so much love, companionship and laughs – as well as life lessons. My world would be so self-absorbed and one dimensional without them.

That’s why I am support pet rescue/adoption so much. I can’t think of any better reason.

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