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How to adopt a dog from a shelter.
How I did it: Went to the local animal shelter right before Christmas. Our other dog had been ill some time and passed away, and we were saddened by her loss. Normally there is a fair charge for the animals as they have had a health assessment, been neutered, and, of course, there is the costs of room and board. Someone had donated a bunch of money to provide $25 off coupons for people wishing to adopt. They were also running a special - spin a wheel and win a prize - from $10 - $20 off, collars, dog bones, and such. We lucked out and received more of a discount. So our very large, wiggly pit bull teenager cost us $25. Of course, bowls, leashes, etc. cost us more! Still, we are quite happy that Happy (that's what they named him at the shelter) has come to live happily ever after with us.
Lessons & tips:
- Bring your vet's name and phone number - if you don't have a vet, look one up in the phone book
- Have food and water bowls, food, etc. at home so you don't need to stop off with a strange dog in your car to purchase them
- If you have a dog carrier, bring that - and be prepared to clean up - we had an hour drive home, and our dog got car sick. Luckily he was in a carrier and we had lots of old towels waiting at home
- Crate training is wonderful - purchase a crate ahead of time. It seems cruel at first, but once the dog knows it's their special cave, we almost never close the door.
Resources: Giant Nylabones for "agressive chewers" are great for pit bull pups with strong jaws. I wish we had known about these when our Dobie was a pup - we named her Mauly because she mauled everything in site when little.