How My Dog Rescued Me

I adopted my dog Cam in 2017.

He is a what they call a Doxle which is a Beagle/Dachshund mix. My son, who volunteered at a local dog shelter, had suggested that I consider adopting him.

I had wanted a dog for years and my son thought he would be great dog for me. My husband was not completely on board, but I knew I could convince him. I brought him home for a few days on a trial basis and that was it.

I knew he was meant to be a part of our family.  My husband had dogs growing up and knew what a commitment and lifestyle change it was going to be. I was raised with cats and had no experience with dogs.

My idea of having a dog was a bit naive and romantic. I imagined that we would be best friends and he would come at my command, ride in the car with no problem, and never bark or chew things up. Ha! How wrong I was.

The day the adoption was final I realized there was no turning back.

I was completely committed to this precious pup. There was no way he was ever going to see the inside of a shelter again as he had a forever and loving home with my husband and me. I meant it too.

However, if I were to be completely honest, at first I regretted adopting Cam and considered re-homing him.

It was too much of an adjustment and commitment. I was blindsided by it.

Cam required constant attention as he was only 4 months old. He had to be house broken. He needed to go to obedience school. I had no idea what to do with a dog. My husband, bless his soul, was not going to be much help.

The agreement was I was in complete charge of taking care of Cam and all that went with it. I agreed. So I got to work learning all I could about dog behavior and how how to train him to be less hyper around strange people and other dogs.

He is the kind of dog that barks at other dogs so taking him to a dog park was a nightmare. Even going to PetSmart for obedience training was overwhelmingly stressful because he loathed it and would cause such a scene if he saw other dogs. I dreaded taking him anywhere.

I knew failure wasn’t an option so I decided that I was going to love and accept Cam as he is and relax and enjoy him. Barks and all.

It’s okay that he is reactive around other dogs and hates PetSmart. We no longer go to those places. He has tons of room to run around on our 100 plus acre property and I groom him myself.

I could no more give away Cam as I could one of my kids or grandkids! The truth is I loved him the first day I saw him and with my loving guidance he has turned into a mostly obedient and totally amazing dog. He even loves other dogs once he gets to sniff them! My husband also adores him. I think he is Cam’s favorite person. I’m his second favorite.

Rescuing Cam has been one of the most meaningful things I have done.

I gave a homeless dog a home. I became committed to something other than myself which made me less selfish. I became more compassionate and empathetic. I have had the privilege of sharing my life with the most devoted, loving, and spunky dog in the world who is also one of my best buddies. I would do it again in a minute and recommend others do the same!

Contributed by R. Cristine