Adoption Story: Candi, Jake, Dublyn, and Copper

14 Jul

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Story submitted by Candi

My fiance, Jake, and I both grew up with dogs and knew we wanted one, and both liked the idea of the loyal, smart, and kind Golden Retriever. In researching, we came across the Golden Doodle and fell in love with the idea of the breed, as they are known to not shed as much (as young professionals, being able to walk out the door in the morning not completely covered it fur was a must!), have the lovable characteristics of the Golden Retriever, and the smarts of a Poodle.

We adopted our first Golden Doodle, Dublyn, from a breeder specializing in standard Golden Doodles in Cuba, Missouri. When we first decided to get a dog, we didn’t know where to begin to find a breeder. We contacted a few local breeders, and ultimately went with our gut. We ended up with our breeder because she was quick to respond, sent us as many photos as we asked for, and seemed to genuinely care about her puppies. They are raised in her home, not in a barn. Even from a quick glance at her Facebook page, it was clear that she truly cared for the puppies like they are her own.

The first few days at home with Dublyn were challenging, but amazing. Living in a loft on the 2nd floor, in the middle of winter, made potty training a challenge (and a workout!). It wasn’t just open the door and let the dog out every hour—it was put on a coat, boots, hat, and scarf, then carry the dog down the stairs (because she was too afraid to climb them herself), walk across the street to a grassy area, and finally let her out. Needless to say, it took longer than normal to potty train her. She also awoke several times during the night the first few nights, so we had to do this all over again, half asleep. That being said, I wouldn’t trade raising a puppy downtown for anything. She’s not afraid of any loud sounds, walks well on a leash, and doesn’t bark at people. She was a fan favorite on our walks, and will always be fond of people of all sizes.

Finding a breeder for our second pup, Copper, was actually much easier, and perhaps a bit lucky. (We also made the decision to bring home our second puppy in the spring!) Dublyn and I spent the day at a dog park, and happened upon what I would call Dublyn’s “Mini mMe”. We met a beautiful dog named Max. He was a mini Golden Doodle, and we instantly loved him. We asked the name of the breeder and the rest was history.

A few month’s later, we got in contact with Max’s breeder and discussed our interest in one of his puppies. Again, he seemed very genuine, and explained that he breeds puppies quite infrequently. He breeds his own dog with his vet’s dog. We are now friends with 3 other dogs who have the same parents as Copper, and absolutely love all of their demeanor.

Bringing Copper home, we weren’t sure how Dublyn would react. She’d always been the spoiled rotten only child. Miraculously, they got along like long-time friends. They instantly hit it off, and they’ve been best pals since day one. Dublyn will always be about twice Copper’s size, and she definitely let’s him know it, but never in a rough way. In fact, she’s usually the one on her back when they have wrestling matches.

Copper’s demeanor is by far the calmest of any dog we’ve ever known. He rarely barks. He pretty much follows us around the house and sits at our feet looking up at us. At puppy training class, while all the other dogs were barking and jumping and acting crazy, he just sat calmly, and eventually just laid down to take a nap. We’ve always wanted to have a therapy dog, and while Dublyn was our first choice, Copper’s demeanor and smaller size makes him a more likely candidate.

Owning one dog changed our lives in a big way. We made a best friend in someone that always has unconditional love, and we were forced to get out, explore our local surroundings, and see our city in a whole new way! Owning two dogs has been even more amazing. Jake was extremely hesitant to get a second dog, but after the first 3 months of having Copper at home, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Together, Copper and Dublyn make our lives whole.

Adoption Story: Michael, Amber, & Duncan

7 Jul

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Story submitted by Michael

My girlfriend and I moved in together in January, and decided it was time to provide a forever home to a pup in need. It was attending a fund raising event for the Atlanta boxer rescue that really set the wheels in motion. Previously, we’d discussed getting a dog, but it was never the “right time.”

A friend of mine reminded me afterwards that there is never a good time. So, we decided to pull the trigger and actually start looking for a dog. We put in an application for adoption with Atlanta Boxer Rescue, requesting dogs ranging from 7 weeks to 6 years old. We wanted a boxer because they are the breed that I grew up with and fell in love with. We love their playful temperament.

After having not heard back from them after a few days, my mom shared a picture of a dog that needed a home because he could not get along with another dog at his foster home.

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“King” was the 17 month old boxer that stole our hearts. He came home with us that very night the photo was shared. We were a bit under prepared for a dog, but did what we could to made it work the first couple of nights. We were very pleasantly surprised with his manners. He is very good about telling us when he needs to go out, does not jump on the furniture or the bed, and does not bark.

He’s been a perfect addition to our house, as he is old enough to be house and crate trained, but not old enough for us to feel like we have missed the best parts of his life. We hope to have many many years with Duncan (as he has been been renamed) filled with lots of laughs, love and sloppy boxer kisses.

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Adoption Story: Alex, Jon, and Carl

2 Jul

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Story submitted by Alex

Carl’s dad and I are both dog people, and had long debated the idea of getting a dog. We knew for sure that having a puppy at some point was very much for us, but we weren’t sure if the timing was right. We had both recently graduated college, had new jobs, and had moved into a new place that was all our own. In our consideration whether or not the timing was right for a dog, there were a lot of pro and con lists.

Pros: Unconditional love, adorable, someone to go on walks with us

Cons: We live in an apartment, both work full time, would be too tied down to travel, and what if we need to move?

We went back and forth for months, each of us taking turns either being the one who was 100% for it, or that wasn’t sure if we were ready. We couldn’t seem to get on the same page.

One of the big debates also was what breed we wanted. Overall, I would say that typically we would both consider ourselves to be “big dog” people, and there are few small dog breeds that we were drawn to. We decided that it just wouldn’t be fair to bring a Golden Retriever puppy into a 750 square foot apartment with no yard. We took all the online polls that tell you what type of dog is best, and read a bunch of research on different breeds, but really we couldn’t help but keep coming back to the French Bulldog. The mother of a friend of ours a few years back had three French Bulldogs that we were lucky enough to get to play with and ever since then, we couldn’t get those adorable little faces, pointy ears, and happy personalities out of our minds. But knowing that French Bulldogs are expensive and prone to health problems, we sure tried. It was to no avail though, we were hooked.

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In the midst of one of our many discussions on getting or not getting a puppy, fate struck. At this time, Jon was totally for it, but I was the holdout (I told you we were never on the same page at the same time!). My sister (teenaged, doesn’t live with us, wouldn’t have to support the puppy financially, and wouldn’t be responsible for feeding, walking and pooping) was 100% for us getting a puppy and it’s really due to her that Carl is here today. She negotiated big time and agreed to help us over the summer when we got him with potty training while we were at work, and to take care of him anytime we wanted to go out of town and needed a puppy sitter. Somehow she made our “cons” list look inconsequential. Then she started looking for puppies on the online and sending me photos of puppies she was finding.

We had a lot of anxiety about purchasing a dog online. You hear stories all the time about internet scams and horror stories of getting dogs that are sick or disabled. This was a hard obstacle for us. I had done some basic research on local breeders during our months of back-and-forth, and had a hard time finding many in our area that didn’t have long waiting lists (sometimes even years long). The online resources to find a breeder aren’t great, and I didn’t know where to look. So when we saw Carl’s picture on an online dog website and couldn’t get over his adorable squishy 2 week old face, I emailed the breeder. Then we waited.

We received an email back with information about how much he cost, how he would ship to to us (we are in CA and he was in MO), and what the payment process was. It was all kind of overwhelming, and even though I was in love with the pictures of the puppy I had seen, I decided that this was just too much anxiety for me to deal with. I regretfully said goodbye to my dream puppy and tried to put it out of my head.

Then, the breeder called me a few days later, just to check in and talk over the phone. She and I spent over an hour getting to know each other. She told me all about her family, her experience raising dogs, and her expectations for people who would be purchasing her pups. We discussed openly my concerns about being scammed, and she provided me with a lot of information and resources to help alleviate my stress. By the time we were done, I won’t say my anxiety was completely gone, but I was certainly ready to bring that puppy home. As I told Jon that night, “If she is scamming us, she is earning her money. She knows a ton about the breed, the process, and she honestly seems like a really nice person.” After some convincing, he agreed to take the gamble and we sent in a deposit. Now we just had to wait 6 weeks for him to come home! And let me tell you, it was the longest 6 weeks of my life.

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Finally June 17, 2014 arrived and I was so nervous! Jon had to work that day, so he couldn’t accompany me to the airport to pick up Carl. In his place, my sister, and his sister came along for the ride. We live about an hour and a half from SFO so we had a bit of a drive to get there. We were of course early and made our way to the cargo area where you pick up animals about a half hour before he was scheduled to land. I felt how I’m sure many dads have felt while waiting for their wives to give birth; I was pacing, talking nervously and overall, driving Carl’s new aunties crazy.

Even though I had a confirmation of his flight, had spent a lot of time over the last 6 weeks talking to the breeder on the phone, and had seen a ton of pictures of him, I kept running over the long list of things that could go wrong. A half hour wait with these thoughts running through my head (and out of my mouth) would have been bad enough, but it took them an additional 40 minutes to unload the cargo and get him over to us. The airline personnel kept bringing out crates and we would jump up hoping it was him, only to find out it was yet another cat. Finally, they brought out a small crate and asked me to come over and take a look. “Is this him?” the airline guy asked. I peered into the crate and squished against the back wall was the tiny puppy. Instead of responding with a “yes” or “It’s him,” my response was “He’s miniature!” Photos make it hard to tell, but little Carl was only 4lbs of adorable fur when he came home to us, which is really tiny. After a long flight he was pretty terrified and wasn’t really ready to come out of the crate right away, so the three of us took the crate out front, put it on the ground and lay down to peer in at him. (Yes, we were those crazy ladies laying on the ground outside the cargo terminal at the airport.)

We finally got him out and it was love at first sight.

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Ever since that day, Carl has been my constant companion. He was so worth the long wait and any anxiety associated with getting him. Finding a dog online is certainly not the choice for everyone, and it’s not without its risks, but I’m so happy to say that it worked out for us. Since coming home, Carl has provided us with so much joy and happiness and he brings a smile to anyone he meets. We have also joined the world of social media, and Carl is taking Instagram by storm with his antics.

There we have found an entire community of animal lovers who share their experiences and expertise. It has been such a blessing for us to make so many friends, learn from others’ experiences and, of course, just to marvel at how adorable animals can be. Through this we have also met quite a few breeders closer to home and if we ever look to get another puppy we will likely elect to go with one of these, just for convenience. For anyone reading this that is wondering about how to find a puppy (particularly a Frenchie), I would encourage you to use social media to your advantage. Reach out and overall you will find that everyone is extremely happy to help and provide insight and resources.

Adding a dog to your family is not something to be taken lightly and is a lot of work and can be a lot of expense. However, the reward you receive from having an animal in your life is truly priceless. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.