According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs end up in shelters every single year. Furthermore, approximately 670,000 of those dogs don’t find homes, meaning they face euthanasia.
Luckily, May 20 is National Rescue Dog Day. We dedicate this day to the dogs who leave shelters and find loving furever homes.
I adopted my dog in April 2017 from San Antonio R.O.C.K.S. after they rescued him from Animal Care Services. In honor of today, I decided to write a little love letter to my favorite pooch.
I knew the moment I saw your picture on Facebook that you would be mine. You looked so small and shy. Finding out that Animal Control was literally hours away from euthanizing you devastated me. The thought that I almost never would’ve met you is heartbreaking. People have told me that I probably would have just adopted another dog, and they might be right. The thing is, though, that dog would not be you.
When I met you, I fell in love instantly. When your foster mom placed you into my arms, you immediately relaxed and gave me a big kiss! I knew in that moment that you were coming home with us. We watched you play with your brothers and sisters for a little bit longer, then decided to name you Zeke.
As you know, your puppy life was not always glamorous. How I wished I could have given you a normal life in the beginning. The rescue informed us that two of your siblings died from distemper, a deadly virus that puppies don’t typically survive. Shortly after that phone call, you tested positive for it, too. I promised you that I would not give up on you, and we would try to fight this off.
When the virus reached its peak, we took you to the hospital. Your vet wasn’t ready to give up the fight and neither were we. I won’t lie to you: dad and I both cried on our way home. We weren’t sure what your future would hold, but we were nowhere near ready to say goodbye to you.
After all, we fell in love with you! You were feisty and playful, but calm and loving. Your ears were just starting to stand up, so they would flop around whenever you would get the “zoomies.” You would dream and snore so loud that we had no clue how something so small could produce such noise! Above all, you were ours, and you fit in with us like a missing puzzle piece. I told your dad that if you died, we would never get another dog.
You survived, though. Actually, you didn’t just survive, but you thrived! After your hospital stay, you never showed any symptoms again.
Looking at you now, no one would ever know that you were such a sick puppy. You still haven’t grown into your ears, and you still get the “zoomies.” Above all though, you are my best boy.
The first time you saw me experience a panic attack, you climbed into my lap and licked the tears off my face. To this day, you always comfort me when I feel depressed or panicked. You always know exactly what I need. You’re always there. You love everyone you meet, and you fiercely protect us and our home. You’re the living embodiment of unconditional love, Zekers.
I want nothing more than to give you the best life, because that is exactly what you deserve. You have a forever home with us, no matter where we go or what happens in our lives. We made a commitment to you, and you will never see the inside of a shelter again.
As a rescue dog mom and animal advocate, I am passionate about adopting rescue animals that would otherwise not be given a chance. By adopting a rescue animal, you can give a better home to an animal who was once a stray or who didn’t have a good home before being put into the shelter. From a financial perspective, adopting an animal is cheaper than buying from a breeder or pet store. You still get all of the love, perhaps even more! Above all, rescue animals are so thankful for the home and life you have given them. It might take them some time to adjust, but they will shower you with kisses, cuddles, and love!