There are many benefits to adopting an older dog– by they come your way, they can sleep through the night without crying, they’re potty trained, and they have less of a propensity for chewing on your stuff (though lord knows both of my adopted-as-older-dogs have chewed PLENTY of my stuff). But one major drawback of adopting an older dog is you don’t get to know them as puppies, don’t get to see what they look like when they are small and fuzzy and cuddly wuddly, all chubby bellies and slightly out of control paws.
We adopted our second dog, Olive, what we believe to be a lab/border collie mix, the Christmas before last. She was less than a year old, and had been found in the woods near my parents’ home by a family friend, so starved they initially thought she was dead. I don’t know who left her, or if she ran off, or how she ended up in the woods. I see hints that someone must have been mean to her– the way she is terrified I’m going to hit her with a broom when I sweep the floors, the way she thinks every raised object might be used to strike her, the way she cowers and sometimes pees on herself if I use too forceful of a voice with her.
I sometimes wish I could go back in time and find her as a puppy, save her from ending up starved in the woods, keep her from the harm that clearly still haunts her as she cowers while I’m sweeping up. But instead, I’m left with sweet, lovah-girl Olive as she is now, a pogo-stick jumping, tennis ball snagging, ambulance-howling (it’s the cutest sound ever when she lets out a little howl as sirens scream by), attention-loving, best friend to Bessie.
Still, and I think most parents of adopted mutts do this, I look for her face in every little black puppy. Wondering if that one looks like Olive did when she was a baby. And this week, I met her. Baby Olive. A student brought her into my office, and I immediately exclaimed, “She looks just like my Olive must have as a baby!” I snuggled and played and petted that sweet baby, and I sent a picture to my husband titled “Baby Olive.” What do you think– do they look alike?
I’ll wrap up by saying that you should always adopt a pet, never buy one from a breeder! Even lil Luna, above, was adopted from an animal shelter, so adopting a dog doesn’t have to mean missing out on puppy cuteness.