DJ & I have been thinking for years that we would like to adopt a dog. Last spring we finally felt ready! We saved up and started sending in applications! It took around three months for us to get approved to adopt and find a puppy who was a good fit. Then, after waiting and waiting, we picked our new family member up less than a week after seeing her picture! Overall, the adjustment has been a lot easier, but a lot more emotional than I expected.
On getting approved to adopt
DJ and I saw advertisements everywhere about adopting a rescue dog, so we figured it would be easy! However, it was not. We had no idea how much research adoption organizations do! We thought it was great that the rescues are protected, but it was unexpectedly frustrating to fill out so many forms and ask our friends to vouch for us. Halfway through our adoption process, our landlord called DJ to ask if we were adopting a kid or dog! Apparently the organization was asking a lot of personal questions about us.
The approval process took a few weeks, and by the time we were approved, the dog we had applied to adopt was already at their new forever home. That was disappointing, but once we were approved, we had a better chance of adopting incoming dogs that fit our criteria. We were looking for an adult but active dog under 50 pounds, and specifically were hoping to adopt a golden retriever mix.
On working full time
At first glance, it seemed impossible to adopt a doggie when we both worked full time. Though it might not be as easy, we feel it is totally possible to give your dog a good life while working 9-5. Since we’re away on most weekdays, it is very important to us that we spend quality time with Sierra every day before/after work and on the weekends. We even use the dog walking app Rover to have someone come by the house and give Sierra some snuggles on our busier days. We also installed a “doggie cam” in our living room so we can check on her during the day.
On puppy-proofing and shopping
We were very worried about dog-proofing our house and having enough supplies to care for our new family member. It turned out not to be such a huge deal after all. Here’s what we would recommend for new dog owners – a car cover, a couch cover (if you will be letting them on the couch!), a leash, collar, harness, trash/recycling cans that close securely, small container of dog food, a bag of treats, food and water bowls, a dog bed, and that is really it!
We got toys which Sierra didn’t play with, a few different treats she ended up not liking, and a bed she never wanted to lay on. It became obvious to us that playing things by ear was the way to go. We couldn’t really predict what Sierra would get into, like, or dislike until we kept learning more about her. Once we found out more of her quirks and preferences, we were able to adjust from there.
Before we went to pick Sierra up, we arranged to have a long weekend off work so we could spend extra time getting to know the new addition to our family. The most surprising thing about meeting Sierra was how much we both loved her right away! We met her in the yard of the rescue organization, and she ran right up to us. On the way home, DJ sat in the back seat with her so she would feel more comfortable. We spent the next few days going on long walks and hanging out at the house with our new gal. Even though we had to cancel some plans and use some PTO, that time was important for us as a family.
Since we started saving up to adopt a dog, we haven’t been traveling as much. After adopting Sierra, we definitely experienced a shift in perspective. Staying home has become a luxury to us. We’ve looked into a few different dog friendly accommodations for trips, as well as leaving Sierra with a friend or boarder.
Sierra does seem to have fun wherever she goes, and luckily she enjoys riding in the car. We have gotten the hang of bringing her essentials with us when we travel, but haven’t quite hit our stride in finding comfortable pet friendly vacation rentals. Right now, our favorite thing to do is take day trips that Sierra can enjoy with us.
On getting outside every day
We make sure to give Sierra plenty of exercise every day, so we are out at least an hour a day with her. It is so awesome getting out there with her and seeing how excited she is about the world around her! We also scoped out a few local dog parks for Sierra to run around at, and made note of a few breweries that are dog friendly. Even as the weather will be cooling off, DJ and I agree that we’re going to bundle up and take Sierra out for as long as we can each day.
Last but not least, on alone time
Sierra figured out how to open our bedroom door! It was shocking. She has been totally fine hanging out by herself while we were at work, but got very upset when we closed her out of the bedroom. Getting time to ourselves was extra tricky with the addition of our new door-opening family member. But, then we upgraded to a locking door knob, we tried our best to ignore Sierra’s yelping in the hallway, and things slowly went back to normal. She seems to have calmed down, and it is important for her to learn that she can’t have all our attention 100% of the time.
Overall, we look forward to adopting again in the future, and we love taking care of our gal Sierra! We feel so lucky to be part of her life : )
Do you have a rescue pet? What surprised you about adopting?