I've had pets throughout my whole life. Mainly cats, but we had a few dogs, too. We always adopted our pets from shelters. It may have been because it was cheaper to do so. But now it is my preference. I don't vehemently oppose breeders or anything. I understand why there are purebred dogs, and why many people want to buy them. And I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the fact that there are soooo many homeless pets out there. It breaks my heart. If I could, I would adopt several animals. (Although Sadie really wouldn't want to share my attention!)
When I was younger, it seemed like stray animals found me. They would always come to me, let me take care of them. This happened everywhere, even when we were on vacation. And this is how we got many of our cats, actually. My mom found a cat abandoned at the post office one day. She took her home. Unfortunately this cat was sick, but we cared for her while we could. The cat I had for most of my life, Stormy, came to us in a tornado. Literally. She flew through this tornado and landed on our neighbor's screen door. They had two dogs at the time, and couldn't keep her, so they gave her to us. She lived a long, long life. She was almost 16 when she died. I had her from Kindergarten until College. The dog I remember most was a Christmas gift from my aunt and uncle one year. They adopted her from the pound. A husky/german shepherd mix with piercing blue eyes. Unfortunately, she did not live a long life. She had seizures, and became very ill once we moved out of our house. I'm pretty sure she was beaten as a puppy, before she was adopted by our family. This is another thing that makes me so very sad. I sometimes think I want to work for the ASPCA, being an animal cop. But I think it would kill me. It makes me sick to my stomach when I think about how people abuse animals. They are so helpless, and they don't understand. It's so cruel.
Now, I don't know if Sadie was abused. I don't know what happened to her at all in her previous life. I have a feeling she was abandoned though. Perhaps her family just couldn't take her with them when they moved. I'm not sure, but I know she has abandonment issues. Sometimes I think she may have been abused, just because of how she reacts to certain things, like yelling, and loud noises. It rips my heart out to think she was hurt in the past.
When I decided to adopt a dog, I was originally looking for a Pug. I really love Pugs, and was hoping to find one I could adopt. However, I expanded my search to all small dogs, and Sadie popped up. And I fell in love. It was meant to be.
Something I've noticed about rescue dogs...they are so very grateful. It's like they know they were rescued. They know life is better now. Sadie was scared when I first got her, but she settled in quickly. Something interesting though...she didn't bark, or growl, or make any kind of noise for over nine months. She was even scared of squeaky toys. I always think it's because she was trying to be the best dog, so I wouldn't get rid of her. She was scared to do anything wrong. But then she realized she was stuck with me, and started to be herself. Her loud, bratty (and very lovable) self!
Sadie still gets nervous if there is yelling. And beeping noises really frighten her. (For example, the fire alarm beep that warns when the battery needs to be changed.) It seems she has some kind of PTSD reaction to this sound. I wish I knew her history, so I know why she does certain things...but then again, it's probably better I don't know the details. I have a feeling it would kill me to know.