In honor of Adopt-A-Dog Month®, our guest blogger and author of Life with Forty Dogs, Joseph Robertia, shares the joys of opening your heart and home to rescued canine companions.
“Where do I sit, Daddy?” asked my daughter trying not to be swept away in the sea of dog bodies – more than 20 in all – ebbing and flowing all around our living room, leaving a high-tide mark of shed fur on every piece of furniture.
“Anywhere you can,” I said, preoccupied with protecting my camera, getting almost continuously bumped and precariously teetering on its tripod, as I tried futilely to set up a shot to promote my book Life with Forty Dogs.
People who’ve read my memoir know our kennel is – like the subtitle states – made up of numerous runts, rejects, retirees, and rescues, and with Adopt-A-Dog month here once again, I thought it would be fun to post a picture with our cast of canine characters – or as many as I could fit in the house.
An hour later and more than a hundred photos that were either blurry, of anuses, or unusable in some other way, I was beginning to question my definition of fun. But in defeat comes wisdom, and I was reminded once again of what life with forty dogs is: an unbridled adventure.
Sure there are those times when I make a sandwich, turn to put away the mayo, and turn back to an empty plate. I’ve had my fair share of chewed up shoes, T.V. remotes, and my daughter’s stuffed animals. And there is no escaping the occasional pee puddles, especially in their golden years. But these occasional comedic calamities aside, the vast majority of my family’s days with our dogs have been an epitome of pet-owning perfection, and we wouldn’t have known any of it without first adopting them.
I’ve come home from work days almost too tough to bear, and had my whole outlook on life turned around by their wagging tails and smiling faces. My wife and I have enjoyed pristine wilderness and encountered wild animals we would have never witnessed had we not been traveling behind our dog-team, moving together as one entity in soundless silence through the snow. And as I detailed in my book, I wouldn’t be writing these words right now if not for the humbling experience of having one of my rescued dogs intervene and save my life when a brown bear wandered into our kennel late one night.
Forty may not be for everyone, but opening your home to one or two canine companions is a worthwhile endeavor, for you and the dog you choose to open your home and heart to, so consider making the commitment this month, or in the future.
Want to know more about adopting a rescue dog? Check out the American Humane, Petfinder, and YourDogAdvisor websites, connect with rescue groups in your area through Facebook, or visit your local animal shelter.
American Humane link:
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. How Can I Help?
Follow the Robertia family and their furry friends on Facebook @RoguesKennelFanPage.