One the best parts of social media has been the ability to meet other pet parents who have adopted. So, I have decided to interview some of these pet parents and ask them all about their fury family members and why adopting an animal is so rewarding.
For today’s Happy Tails feature, I interviewed my friend Erica so she can talk about about her dog, Ranger.
Please introduce readers to your dog(s). What is their name, breed (or best guess) and age?
Ranger is a two year old pitbull mix. We know his mom was a pit because she was also with the rescue where we got him.
When did you adopt Ranger?
In October 2016.
Where did you adopt Ranger from?
WAGS Rescue and Referral http://www.wagsrescue.com/
They brought his mother and her puppies up from North Carolina to be adopted out in Pennsylvania. They’d all been found in a field together. Often, conditions in animal rescue are dire in the Southern United States, and many rescues pull pups out of southern shelters to bring them up north.
Why did you choose to adopt?
It never occurred to my husband and I to do anything else. Together we have three rescue cats. When the time came for us to get a dog, we knew it would be from a rescue. My husband is one of those people whom stray animals are always finding. We are both aware of the immense need for people to foster and adopt abandoned animals. We also both work in social services with humans in need, so it wasn’t a stretch for us to seek out an animal in need.
What was the biggest challenge you faced after you adopted Ranger?
Honestly, it’s that he was a puppy! He was about 12 weeks old when we adopted him. Neither of us had experience with puppies quite that young, and there’s really no way to prepare for the time and patience required. You get less sleep overall, you get up in the middle of the night, you have to diligently take the puppy out, you have to take them out every single time they have an accident in the house to reinforce the housebreaking behavior. The first month or two of puppy ownership was WAY more work than it was reward. I would sigh in relief when I put him in his crate for a few hours or when he fell asleep.
Does Ranger have any funny nick names?
I called him “Small Brown Dog” a lot when he was a puppy. Most of his nicknames now are a play on his real name: “Rangie,” “Range,” “My Range,” “Home on the Range,” “Range of Motion,” “Night Ranger,” etc. I even incorporated him into my Halloween Costume and called it “Ranger Things” (based on Stranger Things).
What is Ranger’s favourite toy?
He doesn’t keep any around long enough for them to become his favorite! He’s what dog toy manufacturers call a “power chewer” because he can destroy anything in record time, even the toys that are meant to be heavy duty. Lately he’s really been loving an antler, probably because he can’t destroy it.
What is Ranger’s favourite treat?
Peanut butter, hands down! He also loves broccoli, which I find so hilarious because as a human, I usually have to force myself to eat it.
Where does Ranger sleep at night?
His choice! He goes through phases. Sometimes it’s always in our bed. Sometimes he starts out in our bed, and then takes himself to his crate or his own bed halfway through the night. I prefer the nights when he stays cuddled up next to me.
What’s been the best part of adopting Ranger?
I wouldn’t know where to start with this because he’s changed my life for the better in so many ways. I actually didn’t even want to get a dog- my husband did. I was always a cat lady who loved dogs, but never had a dog myself. I was afraid that getting a dog would restrict my freedom. And it has- but it’s a joy. That part really surprised me. I don’t mind going home because I WANT to be around my dog. I think about him all day!
Ranger is constant companionship. He’s so smart and sensitive. I love the way we communicate. As a woman, I wouldn’t take walks alone at night, but now that I have a 65 lb pitbull, I have a lot more freedom. When you have a dog, you have to get up and go outside more, even when you might not want to. We love taking him on vacation with us. We love meeting other dogs and dog owners. It is really fun to include him in every aspect of our lives. I just feel better when he’s by my side.
Also because of him, we’ve fostered a few dogs- one a pitbull, and one a pit/ mastiff mix. We stay connected to our local pitbull rescue, Philly Bully Team, and support them however we can- whether it’s giving money, sharing their posts, helping transport, donating, etc. I had always been fond of pitbulls before, but loving Ranger made me pretty fanatical about defending them.
Please share any funny stories you have about Ranger.
When he goes to the dog park, he likes to steal the water jugs that people bring to fill the water bowls. Even if they’re full or half full, he will grab a gallon jug of water in his mouth, shake it, spray water everywhere, and run all over the park with it, to everyone’s amusement. I call him “trash dog” when he does that. Once he ran over to a little boy with a destroyed water jug in his mouth, and we heard the kid say “That dog is DISGUSTING.” Hahahaha.
What would you tell someone who is thinking of adopting an animal?
Adopting an animal is a commitment to the animal’s entire lifetime. Be prepared to deal with that and all it entails- medical expenses, behaviour modification, training, etc. It’s not something you should do if you don’t think you are ready to handle that. Fostering before adopting is great, because you can get to know the animal and see if they’re a good fit for your family and lifestyle. When the fit is right, adopting a rescue animal will change your life in ways you can’t even anticipate. Rescue dogs are so rewarding.
Do you have a social media account that people can follow?