is an interesting experience, as it inspires many emotions that can range anywhere from a mix of excitement and anxiousness to happiness and curiosity. When considering inviting a pet into one's home, I always encourage rescue over buying from a breeder, in order to give homes to animals who desperately need them while also avoiding giving support to an industry that perpetuates animal overpopulation. The one thing that often worries people about rescues is that their pasts can be quite a mystery. Though shelters do a wonderful job of observing animals in order to discover their personalities and reviewing their health in order to make sure that they are well, they cannot always know where these furry friends have been and what they have experienced.
When I decided that my pug, James Dean, needed a companion, I immediately began looking at local shelter listings for dogs in need of homes. That's when I found Ringo, an eight year old "pug" who was emaciated and who had the energy of a puppy. The reason I note "pug" in quotes is that upon meeting Ringo, one immediately notices that he looks like more of a pug mixed with some sort of terrier, rather than the pure-breed that the rescuers deemed him to be. My family and I had a lot of questions about Ringo, and the rescue did their best to answer, but unfortunately, not all dogs have the luxury of being surrendered under conditions where their former lives can be recorded.
Ringo was a "dixie dog", rescued from somewhere in the south and transported to New England in hopes of a brighter future. The shelter said that his former family could no longer feed him, but after spending a few weeks with Ringo, it seemed more to me that Ringo was more likely a stray later in his life since he often turned to survival skills and defense mechanisms, especially when outdoors. When my family and I began to notice Ringo's behaviors, that's when I started to create fairy tales of his past in my mind.
Maybe he was a wild dog, running through the farmlands and living off of the land while frolicking with rabbits. He could have been a friend to the homeless or a companion to some other lonely animal. What if he were a super hero who spent his time looking after his neighborhood and ignored his own needs to help other animals and humans? He probably likes doughnut holes because that's what the baker fed him as he sauntered down the sidewalks . He licks his paws clean with the discipline of a saint because he wants to maintain his charm even when tough times call for difficult measures. He barks incessantly at cars that drive by because he sees them as monsters who have taken the lives of his friends, the squirrels, as they roar along the hot, damp pavement. He has only half of his teeth because he traded kibble for candy and enjoyed every last piece of kettle corn along the way. He's afraid to give kisses because he once fell in love with a cat who broke his heart and he never quite recovered.
Of course, I don't know that any of these are true, but then again, they may not be false. They are the stories that I have created for my little old man over the past eight months as I have come to know him. All that I knew upon adopting him was that he was at least part pug, was up to date on all shots, had a clean bill of health after being treated for some rotten teeth, and was so thin that he needed a bit of love and a lot of hearty meals to get him back into shape. Did it worry me that we didn't have an extensive biography on Ringo? Maybe momentarily... but after hearing his name, I knew that it was fate. Being a fanatic, "Ringo" was the perfect dog to come into my life. Sometimes knowing all the facts isn't needed when it comes to adoption. One must simply have a little trust in fate and a belief in fairy tales.
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