October is Adopt-A-Dog Month, the perfect time to find a new companion to keep you company. You'll be a hero to your new friend by saving its life and giving it a loving home. You may not change the world, but it can make a world of difference for one dog.
According to the ASPCA, there are over three million homeless dogs in animal shelters in this country, all waiting and hoping to be adopted. That’s more than the population of most American cities except maybe Los Angeles or New York. That’s why the ASPCA has launched a campaign called “Find Your Fido”. They hope to encourage more people to adopt a furry friend rather than shop for one.
There are good reasons to adopt a dog. It can help you live longer by reducing stress. Just petting a dog lowers your heart rate and your blood pressure. You’ll have a new best friend with a sympathetic ear. Dogs are confidential listeners, and make great companions when you need someone to lean on for comfort. And you can learn a lot from a dog – things like loyalty, unconditional love, devotion, obedience, respect, patience, and forgiveness!
So, what might your Fido look like? Maybe big, with floppy ears and a long waggy tail, or small and compact, with perky ears and bright eyes. My Fido would probably be a mixed breed with the right personality, calm, friendly, not too young. But yours could be the live wire, the active dog that’s always ready to go and do whatever as long as it’s with you.
When you consider which dog might be right for you, think about your lifestyle. You want a pet that will adapt to the way you live. If you have small children at home, a calmer dog might be a good choice. If you spend a lot of time outdoors hiking or biking, you will want a dog that can participate and keep up with you.
Finding the right Fido is a good idea, but perhaps even more important is making sure you are ready for your new friend. A dog is not a set-it-and-forget-it addition to your household. Time and attention from you is what makes a great pet.
So celebrate Adopt a Dog Month by visiting your local animal shelter to find your Fido. When you adopt a homeless pet into a loving family, you will be saving a life - and making your own life better, when you’re speaking of pets.