Used Dog

Used Dog – Free to Good Home
by Shari L. Coxford © 1999

We often hesitate to adopt a dog from the Humane Society because we figure we don’t know what we’re getting into adopting somebody else’s used dog. We assume that if the dog is at the pound, there must be a reason. He chews up your smelly shoes, he pees on Aunt Molly when she comes to visit, he rummages through the trash…. there must be something really wrong for the dog to be at the pound.

But that’s the big myth. In fact, adopting a dog from the pound, they often have some kind of record about the dog. Any training he’s had, whether he’s been an outdoor or indoor dog, plus they’ve spent a few days around him and knows if he’s friendly, aggressive, fearful, etc. Dogs don’t just appear on their doorstep. People turn them in, and in doing so, they fill out a fact sheet about the dog.

My very first dog was a dog pound special. She was a year and a half old, and knowing nothing about dogs, boy was it a tough choice! I didn’t want to train a dog from scratch, so I didn’t want a puppy. I wanted the dog to at least be housebroken and maybe sit or lay down on command.

According to their records, Gypsy was housebroken, knew SIT, and preferred the outdoors. I liked what I saw in her eyes. They were calm. She wasn’t jumping around and barking like the other dogs. There was no sign of aggression or fear. She sat calmly, looking at me with a question mark in her eyes. Today her eyes are full of joy and laughter and love. And the question mark is in my eyes.

Because I don’t understand how she came to be abandoned by two different families. Somebody, somewhere, spent a lot of time with this dog. And it shows. She knew a lot more when I adopted her than just SIT. She’s about the closest thing to the perfect dog that I could ever imagine, and it baffles me utterly that anyone would have gotten rid of her. And to think how close she was to the gas chamber. She’d been there for a week already, and I don’t know the time limit they try finding a new home before the axe falls, but I don’t think it’s much more than a week.

Obviously not all pound dogs are going to be as perfect as Gypsy. And she’s got her quirks, as do all of us. But the moral of the story is, never to assume that just because somebody dumped the dog, that there’s something wrong with the dog. Maybe it’s the owner that was the problem.

Shari Coxford is a freelance writer and founder of the All Free Spot freebies web site, which offers free pet goodies. You may reprint this in newsletters and on Web pages as long as you use it in its entirety, including this resource box with the author’s information. Author retains all copyrights. To reprint this article in traditional print media, please contact the author.