I can’t imagine my life without a pet. While I’m living the student life in Ljubljana, it’s hard to find an apartment, in which you are allowed to have any other pet than a gold fish. So while I’m waiting for my perfect little apartment with a balcony where you are allowed to have pets, I can only see our family pets during the weekend, when most of the student go home. We were thinking about adopting a dog for a few months before we actually decided for it. We were still getting over the lost of our golden retriever in May, so we decided to take shelter dogs for a walk as a therapy, and we visited shelters almost every weekend through the summer. And slowly we began thinking about actually adopting one. We kept looking at web pages of different shelters, just waiting for the right moment. A week before I went to Paris, a local shelter found four little balls of fur, left in a box.
They probably had around two months and were an interesting mixture of breeds, something between a Dachshund and a Karst Shepherd, maybe they even had some German Shepherd gens, too. Well, we’ll never know :). My mum was actually the one who found the ”ad” on the internet and immediately fell in love with the most fluffy member of the family, named Britney. Because they found them, they were held in quarantine and we could only make a reservation (yes, I realize how funny that sounds:)). While I was in Paris, my parents called me they went to the shelter and adopt her. To be honest, I couldn’t wait to get home and see that cute puppy, even though it was an emotional roller coaster, thinking if we were prepared to have a dog again, but on the other hand, wanting to help an abandoned puppy and just wanting to have a dog in our home again.
But all things work out as they should in the end. Britney became Mila, got her own bed in the living room, along with a lot of (pink) toys and most important, loving family. We got used to waking up in the middle of the night to because she has to pee and somebody has to take her to the garden, trying out different dog foods because she just hates some certain brands of dog biscuits and cleaning up little puddles she sometimes make around the apartment (luckily, she almost stopped doing that:)). Just because it is so nice to have someone to wait for you when you come home and jump around because she is so happy to see you again. And knowing you have someone who loves you unconditionally in your life.
I don’t think she was treated badly, she loves people too much, compared to the fact she is still a bit afraid of other dogs. I think that the home she and here siblings were born in was probably too small and the owners didn’t know how to give them away, so they let them and hoped somebody would find them. Many ”unwanted” puppies don’t even get that chance. I don’t see why it is such a problem to castrate or sterilize dogs and cats. I realize it is not for free, but if you have a dog or a cat you should be prepared to spend some money. And while there is so many abandoned animals, I don’t really get the concept of breeding. From my point of view, it is better to give a home to an abandoned pet, who can just hope and wait for her human. Breeding is usually more about the money than anything else and it lowers the chances of people adopting shelter pets (which are usually mix-breeds). And the number of shelter pets is unfortunately increasing.
There are actually lots of ways you can help these pets, even though adopting one was one of the best choices in my life. Many shelters are offering in-shelter adoption for people who can’t have a pet in their home, but they are able to support it financially and they can also visit it anytime they want and take it for a walk. Usually more than one person ”adopts” a pet like this and it is a great solution especially for the older animals, who usually have more problems with finding their home. And then there is dog walking, an option many shelters offer. Some of them have different limitations, such as a course you must take before you start with the volunteer work, and some of them are more open and you can stop by at certain hours and walk a dog around. I honestly prefer the second one, as it is a great opportunity for people to get in contact with animals and also slowly get used to the idea of having a dog (what happened in my case:)). Unfortunately, there is only one shelter like this in Slovenia, located in a small village on the coast, so it’s impossible to get there any other way than by car. But it is definitely worth the long way and the people working there are really friendly, so I recommend a visit to anyone :).
Have you ever been to a shelter or maybe even adopted a pet? What are the shelters near you like?
P.s. I apologize for the increasing amount of Mila’s pictures on the Instagram and Facebook … but look at that face! 🙂