by Elise Phillips Margulis
Hello. My name is Elise and I’m a dog-o-holic. You’re reading Fido Friendly so you must be one as well. I just survived 9 ½ months without a pooch. We adopted Bandit (an Akita) when he was 4 and were extremely fortunate to have him with us for 9 years. He had lost his vision at the age of 6 but was always brave, sweet, smart, devoted, loving, gorgeous, and my favorite walking partner.
My pet loss policy is to grieve for a few weeks and then start looking for a dog because life isn’t worth living without one. Petfinder has revolutionized the pet search. For months my husband and I spent evenings comparing dogs on our respective laptop computers–talk about online shopping! I completed dozens of adoption applications for rescue organizations desperately bragging about volunteering for the Jersey Animal Coalition Shelter; participating daily in animal protection e-mail campaigns; and having portraits, caricatures, and photo mugs of all my pets. I’m sure those impressive attributes propelled me above the other applicants.
Looking at the beautiful canines out there and wishing I could take them all was emotionally draining. It seemed superficial, too–analogous to perusing a Mail Order Bride catalog.
Many dogs we saw online were in Southern states, and we couldn’t commit to having them transported to us in New Jersey unless they were good with 5 year boys and not planning to chase our cats around until every table was overturned and all our belongings were shattered. Many rescue organizations and shelters in the South are exporting their dogs up North and have had great success finding good homes for them.
One night my husband handed me his iPhone with the Petfinder App displaying a Great Pyrenees named Beauty. Great Pyrenees Rescue had pulled her from a kill Shelter, and she was living with a nice foster family in Texas. The next day they approved our adoption and told us that Dog Runners Pet Transport had scheduled a road trip with 40 dogs the following week.
At the rendezvous point Beauty hopped out of the van looking as adorable as her Petfinder picture (which I had posted in my office and on our refrigerator). I heard myself telling her I loved her and proceeded to smother her with kisses. Imagine meeting a human and behaving like that! She has a sweet disposition and is great with everyone. I feel whole again! Ironically, she was the only dog we met in person during our search! Modern technology…
Research shows that having a pet decreases blood pressure. I just need a canine to adore, play with, walk, & give treats to. Just as my beloved Bandit helped me heal from his predecessor’s death, adopting Beauty was incredibly life affirming after losing my Bandit (and two cats just before!). Some people say they can’t go through the loss again and won’t adopt another pet when theirs passes. So many animals need homes and you can’t replace your departed fur child, but loving a new one gives you someone to enjoy and distracts you from grieving.
Now we can visit places featured in Fido Friendly and buy some fun products in the magazine, too!