There was no doubt that when I adopted my dog, his life would do a complete u-turn. When he was just a puppy, Milo and his family were cruelly left to fend for themselves in a parking lot. Nowadays, Milo only finds himself in a parking lot when we’re getting him a puppaccino at Starbucks. Being a catalyst in this rescue story has been the most heartwarming experience. But what about all the other animals who are in need of a loving home? Milo’s adoption did not just result in my giving him a better life – it inspired me to do as much as possible to ensure that others would have a similar “pupgrade.”
By no means was I previously a careless or heartless person. I just felt powerless to have a substantial impact on the causes that were meaningful to me. For the longest time, I wanted to adopt a dog but did not have much time to offer. When I finally found myself in better circumstances to be a pawrent, I knew I wanted to rescue a puppy. Thus, I began perusing PetFinder. When I saw a listing for one particular scared and solemn little guy who, at that time, went by a different name, I knew I had to at least meet him. If for no other reason than to cheer him up, the next morning I was off to Abandoned Pet Rescue to meet the dismal doggo.
Upon my arrival and initial meeting with Milo, it was evident that he was just as scared in person as he appeared to be in his photo. I sat with him in an enclosed area outside, but he kept as much distance from me as possible, constantly gravitating to the perimeter of the kennel. When Milo was finally handed to me, his demeanor shifted, and I could see he felt safe in my arms. Of course, I completed an adoption application immediately – I wanted the opportunity to make Milo feel safe and loved every day. I learned that I was not alone –fourteen other applications were submitted for Milo. This was no saving of the underdog – it was an episode of The Bachelor, and I needed to have the final rose!
After several days of praying for and willing the shelter staff to choose me, I got one of the best calls of my life. “Your application has been approved.” I felt like I had just won the lottery. In a literal sense, I had not, but that didn’t stop me from spending like I did! To celebrate the great news, I rushed out to buy the plushest dog bed, cozy blankets, and next year’s Halloween costume (Milo as a bumble bee). When Milo came to his furever home, I shamelessly went over the top.
Nearly two years later, Milo continues to live the life that every dog deserves. Whether traveling by plane to visit family, or making a quick coffee run, I always take my four-legged amigo with me. A nice accumulation of dog toys is spread around the house and continues to grow with each passing holiday, birthday, or impulsive purchase from Chewy.com. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide all this and more for Milo, and it has moved me to help other animals in need, even if my impact is minimal.
What I no longer take for granted is that a little goes a long way. I am unable to rescue all the dogs who are looking for families, but I can make donations to local shelters who rely on such gifts to save animals from desperate situations. In times when money is tight, I offer my time through volunteering. A few hours of my weekend is a marginal sacrifice when I think of the impact it could potentially have. Animals give us so much more than they ask for. And the best part? Most of us, whether we realize it or not, have something to offer in lifting up the underdog!
Milo’s mom, Heather, is now an APR volunteer. She is the newest member of our writing staff and a member of the volunteer marketing committee. Volunteering doesn’t mean just walking a dog and we are grateful that Heather has stepped up to offer her support to Abandoned Pet Rescue. Watch for her stories here in the APR newsletter.