Puppy Love

Impulse purchases, rash decisions, uttering words I wish I hadn’t – these are each apart of my everyday existence. I’m not the type to sit around contemplating and dwelling, wondering if I should have bought it, if I should return it or whether I should do this or try that. This is a character trait that both haunts me and delights me.

There’s no denying that my most recent decision was spontaneous, leading me to alter my daily schedule, my sleeping pattern and any future travel plans. Of course, all sense of practicality vanished when I laid eyes on a small pup locked behind a tall cage, whimpering at the possibility of freedom, and clearly restless from an overdose of time spent in a concrete cell.

A shy little guy with white fur, save for one brown ear, had waited just a few weeks for his new parents to find him. He was dropped off by an ungrateful, aggressive owner, who certainly didn’t treat him like the innocent, harmless dog that he is. So there he stayed, at Toronto Animal Services, patiently undergoing tests and procedures to ensure proper health. At three years old, he was no new kid on the block, not a spry pup like so many adoption-hopefuls long for.

I’ve visited my fair share of animal shelters, and sad as they are, it’s so comforting to watch young children find their new playmates, or elderly couples retrieve their equally senior pets – similar to watching families reunite at the airport à la Love Actually. It warms my heart to see once abandoned fur balls find people who will show them how to trust again, and convince them they aren’t destined for an imprisoned life. For those reasons, I’m proud to say the newest member of the Curtis-Pare household is Henry the chihuahua (mix?), who doesn’t go a day without showing just how much he appreciates his new home by way of cuddles, tricks, licks or cries. Although he is sweet as can be to most, he is easily frightened by loud noises or drastic movements, which is why it is our job to bless him with that sense of comfort that will put him at ease. There will always be challenges to adopting mature animals from shelters, but it’s my thought that those additional efforts are worth the extra-appreciative love these animals have to give.

If you’re thinking of adding a kitten, a rabbit, a guinea pig or a dog to your family, please be sure to visit your nearest SPCA. The Toronto Humane Society updates their website everyday and there are plenty of Animal Services locations around the city. A common misconception of shelters is that they only have mature animals, but truly, they are brimming with pets of all ages, just waiting for their saving grace. The staff at these places have a genuine adoration for animals, they get to know each new arrival individually, matching them with the best fit for a forever home. What’s remarkable is that they are not looking to unload their pets, they have a strict screening process to ensure all families are prepared for what’s to come. Larger dogs are generally not given to people living in apartments, and personalities that don’t deal well with small children, will not be sent out to hectic households.

Sometimes, impulse purchases are those that pay off the most. While I’ve certainly had to adjust my lifestyle, I do not long for a life without Henry in it, and most comforting of all, it’s clear that the feeling is mutual. In a nutshell, I encourage you to visit your nearest shelter, it may just be that the companion you’ve always yearned for is awaiting you patiently.

Home at last (and smiling!)

Toronto Animal Services
Toronto Humane Society
Ottawa Humane Society
Montreal SPCA

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