Did you know that October is National Adopt-A-Dog Month? Did you know that it is also National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month? Well it is – and to help raise awareness for these two worthy causes, we’ve decided to feature a rescue group that we’ve worked with in the past.
As you know from our blog, my family and I own two (very naughty) English Setters. Well Birdy and Libby have a pretty good life with us (because they deserve it) – and we’re ever so grateful that Another Chance for English Setters brought us all together.
You see, way back in 2005, my husband and I were a bit down in the dumps. We had been trying to conceive for some time, and we had just found out that we might not be able to have kids. It’s a long story, but basically, if we wanted a shot at getting pregnant we would have to undergo a series of fertility treatments.
This news should have been devastating, but we kind of had a feeling that it was coming – so we had been bracing ourselves for it. But…bracing yourself for bad news and actually accepting it are two completely different things.
So, we decided to get a puppy. My husband and I had both grown up with dogs and we really needed the unconditional love (that only a dog can give) to help mend the hole in our hearts.
As most newlyweds must do, we bickered over the breed: I grew up with Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters, but my husband grew up with Labs. I wanted a dog with long hair, he wanted a dog with short hair. The only thing we could agree on was that it had to be a rescue dog.
So, we started searching online and miraculously found ACES, and they happened to have a brand new litter of pups available for adoption. A pregnant English Setter was dumped off at a shelter and ACES was able to place her in a foster situation down in Tennessee.
The pups became known as the “G” litter and as soon as I saw a picture of them, I just had to get my hands on the fat, little puppy named Greta. She was the most mismatched dog we had ever seen; most Tri-colors are a little wonky looking, but Birdy’s head and body do not look like they belong together!
Needless to say, ACES held our hands every step of the way and when we picked Birdy up in New Jersey, I burst into tears. Perhaps I would never get to have a skin-kid, but I was going to be able to save one incredibly, fat little fur-kid, and that was truly the next best thing.
Birdy became our little baby and came everywhere with us. She filled a void in our hearts. And, apparently, the clover on her back was one very lucky clover indeed because a few months later, we became pregnant via IUI.
A few years later, we decided to try for a second child, but we ran into complications again. In order to get pregnant this time, I would need to go on injectable fertility drugs and I was pretty down in the dumps.
We were very uncertain of what the future had in store for us; we weren’t even sure if I would get pregnant again. So after much discussion, we contacted ACES and let them know that we were looking to add another fur-kid to our family.
Again, it was meant to be – ACES had just taken in a new litter of liver-and-white puppies. The “D” litter was the complete opposite of the “G” litter – but once again, we knew at first sight that we had to have the pup named “Donut”. She was skinny, white and lovely – and we named her Libby.
Again, our hearts were filled with joy. As we watched our toddler chase his two beloved dogs around the yard, we knew we would be okay. And as luck would have it, we became pregnant again – a month after Libby came into our lives.
It probably goes without saying that the joke in our family is: if you want to get pregnant, you just need to rescue an ACES’ dog…
But, all kidding aside, what most people don’t realize is that we might have saved a rescue dog in need, but in return, Birdy and Libby saved us too. They healed our hearts, and helped us mend. They gave us the unconditional love that we needed, and they never let us down. We needed them as much as they needed us.
Our bed might be overly crowded on weekend mornings with our two kids, and our two dogs, piled in to bed with us to watch cartoons, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, if you’re thinking about welcoming a new dog into your family – consider rescue first, and stop by ACES to see who is available for adoption.
Adopt-a-Dog Month® (October)
Sponsor: American Humane Association
Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month (October)
Sponsor: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Thanks for reading,