Friday, October 30, 2009

Adopt a Shelter Dog

So, let me 'fess up at the beginning of this blog. I totally stole the idea for this blog from Caitlin. I know the month of October is pretty much at an end, but any time is a good time to adopt a rescue dog. I got my first dog, Christi, from the animal shelter in Florida.
Christi was an awesome dog. She put up with anything (as illustrated by the princess outfit) and was even the flower girl in our wedding. I try to not compare Christi to Rana and Chris reminds me that Christi wasn't really perfect until she was six so we have time for improvement with Rana. I still miss my yellow dog.
However, while she is very different than Christi we were able to find another great dog, Rana. We adopted her from the Okinawa American Animal Rescue Society. While technically it's not a shelter because of all of the dogs are in foster homes, it's a great place to get rescue dogs while living in Okinawa.
We had a few years between Christi and Rana and we came to the island knowing exactly what we wanted. We wanted a full grown, 2-3 year old dog, weighing no more than 40 pounds with short hair. The only thing we stuck to on that list was the short hair! Oops! With Rana we wound up adopting a 16 week old puppy that grew into a 57 pound beast! And we love every pound of her.
Following Caitlin's great blog example, here are some fun facts about Rana:
1. We adopted Rana before we even had an apartment rented in Japan. We knew we were going to get a dog and the ones we liked online kept getting adopted so when we saw Rana's picture we called her foster parents immediately. They were kind enough to bring her to our billeting room on base and the rest is history. I mean, seriously, who can resist that face and those spots!
It was love at first sight for me and Chris.
2. She might look sweet, but she's a killer! Rana goes through more soft toys than any dog I know. We've spent big money on the toys that say "17X stronger" only to see Rana destroy them in an afternoon. We also give her the hard chewy bones and kongs, but she really just wants a soft toy so she can eat through its face and distribute fluff all around the apartment.
Those are the remains of her poor duck. After she annihilates an animal she'll bring you a scrap of the carcass so you can play tug of war with her.
3. She's a health nut! Ok, maybe not really, but she does love her apple cores and stretching with daddy after he's been running. (Side note: be careful when giving dogs apple cores. I've heard that the seeds have cyanide which can build up in their systems. I'm not sure if it's just an old wives' tail, but I take out the seeds.)
4. This dog has got spots everywhere! Seriously, from her nose to the inside of her mouth to her tummy - this dog is covered. We jokingly say that she gets a new spot every time she's naughty. :) My favorite spot is the almost perfect circle above her rear end. When we first got her we'd walk her and the locals would touch the spot and say something in Japanese that I couldn't understand. I made up fantastic stories in my head that the circle means wealth or good fortune. I thought maybe it was a good sign for the Japanese - you know since they have the big, red circle on their flag and everything. Well, one day we were walking her and some locals pet her, talked in Japanese, and then said to us in very clear English "big chocolate chip". So, maybe I was wrong with the good luck thing, but you can't go wrong with chocolate.
5. Rana loves the beach! Rana's favorite outings are to the beach. She loves running on the shore and swimming in the water:
But she especially loves digging!

6. Rana has quite the wardrobe, but hates getting dressed! I would like to say in my defense that all of these pieces are functional. What dog doesn't need a backpack, raincoat, or life jacket? I'm pretty sure they are all dog essentials. I really want to get her booties because the coral she runs across is so rough, but I'm pretty sure she'll just chew them off of her feet. We'll see...

So for anyone thinking about getting a dog, please check out your local shelters. There are plenty of great dogs out there that might not be pure breeds, but are adorable, sweet, and loyal! Remember, dogs are for life.


Charity said...

I love this post! Maybe you'll inspire someone to adopt a shelter dog rather than buying a purebred.

Mandy said...

This should work. How could people resist when you show them all the cute things you and Rana have done. I hope all rescue dogs get a home from it. Well, maybe a few at least.
I miss you loads.

Courtney said...

OMG that little face!!!! And that spot!! So freaking cute. I think you made a great pick with that dog!!!! LUVS

Adventures in Tri-ing

Mary R said...

We're thinking of doing this our last year here. I really want a dog now, but we've got some travel plans for the upcoming year that are incompatible with taking care of a pooch. I love the idea though!

Anonymous said...

She is a cute little thing. Especially the big old chocolate chip on her backside. Monica

Liza said...

I love the part when you said, "she gets a new spot everytime she's naughty"! LOL!

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