Oct 19 2010

Are You Ready to Adopt?

When you start thinking about adding a pet to your family, it seems like all signs are pointing to ‘yes’. You see a car go by that has a dogs head sticking out of the window. You can’t get in enough cuddle time with your friends’ cat. Before you make googly eyes at the first available pet you see, stop and ask yourself if you are fully ready for the commitment, time and cost of a pet.

First, I know it’s hard to by pass puppies and kittens. They are so cute and small- what’s not to love? But you have to think, “Am I ready for the responsibility that comes with owning, not only a pet, but a young pet?” Owning a puppy or kitten is a lot like bringing a 2 year old toddler home. They don’t fully understand right from wrong yet. They don’t know not to chew on the carpet. They don’t know not to scratch on the couch. Everything is a learning experience for them. If you don’t have the time or patience to handle a toddler, you will probably have a hard time handling a puppy or kitten.

Are you in the right financial area of your life to afford a pet? You would think this would be the first thing people think of, but typically, it’s the last. Pets can be expensive- some more than others. You need to consider the cost of annual vet visits (and the possibility of an emergency vet visit), the cost of food, the accessories (leashes, collars, bowls, toys, etc) and, if you live in an apartment, the cost of having a pet in your home.

Do you have the time for a pet? If you go to work all day and then stay out all night you might want to reconsider if you have time. If you balance your life with kids in one hand, job in the other, and extracurricular activities are barely balancing on the tip of your nose then you should reconsider if you have time. And before you start thinking “well, I probably don’t have time for a dog, but a cat will do!” re-think! Yes, cats tend to take care of themselves but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy social interaction with their human. They’re not devoid of all feeling (c’mon, they hold grudges better than some humans, of course they have feelings).

If you’ve gone over all the details and have decided that you are ready to add an addition to your new home then head to your local shelter! There’s animals of all sorts (in the last year at Wayside we have had bearded dragons, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, bunnies, a pig and a chicken) to choose from. Every animal has their own personality, so take your time getting to know them. It’s a big decision adding a new addition to the family, and even a bigger decision having to choose one that will fit!

Lastly, have fun and take your time. You will be excited but don’t rush into a decision! This new addition will be apart of your life for quite some time to come so you want to make the best match you can. Don’t be afraid to adopt an older pet. Typically, shelters have more information on older pets and you also get to see their true temperaments instead of having to wait a few years for them to grow into one. Also, try and set up house before you pick up your new pet. The transition can be less scary and easier on them if everything is already in place! Are you still unsure if you are ready? Feel free to speak to one of Wayside Waifs adoption counselors. They are here to help and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Ready, set, adopt!

Written by Alyssa Willet
Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs

Jun 15 2010

Rufus’ Way at Wayside Waifs

Ruffy's Family


This year at the Wayside Waifs Fur Ball, a new item was added to the live auction.  Each year, the drive leading up to Wayside Waif’s beautiful shelter will be named by the winner of the Name Waysides Drive auction item.  This first year, Wayside Waifs board member Vicky Whitney won naming rights!  From now until June 2011, our drive will be called Ruffy’s Way, after Rufus.  

Here’s is Rufus’ story. 

“Eight years ago,  we brought home a 2 year Maltese (Buddy) who had spent his short life in a puppy mill.  We had no clue as to what to expect, but we soon learned that Buddy had virtually no pet skills, didn’t know a thing about people or how to interact with them and was often scared of them, hated being on the ground or grass, had no idea what a treat or a toy was.  Trying to house train Buddy couldn’t have been more difficult.  

A month or so later, we brought Rufus home.  He also came from a puppy mill, but because he was still a puppy, he didn’t have all the inhibitions that Buddy had and he just charged through life like it was no big deal!  Rufus virtually house trained Buddy, taught him to use the doggy door and the ramp to get up on bed.  Rufus and Buddy were the best of friends and did everything together.  Whatever Buddy knows today, it is because he learned it from Rufus.  

Everyone who ever met Rufus loved him at first site.  That included my family and friends as well as strangers on the street.  He was very precocious and fun loving, excited to spend time with all who came to the house, loved watching out the window and keeping track of the neighbors with Buddy, constantly going to his toy box to drag out something to play with or cuddling up on my Mom’s lap everyday to take a nap.  Not only was he very smart, but almost intuitive …. Sometimes I’d swear that he knew what I was going to do or say before I knew it!   

When Rufus was only 3 years old, he started suffering from severe pain in his neck due to a degenerative nerve disease.  We worked with a neurologist to find a cure, but in a very short time, the pain became uncontrollable even with the all drugs the doctors could administer.   We were all at a loss after Rufus was gone from us, but I look at his picture every day and I feel blessed that we got to spend even those few short years together.”

Vicky Whitney

Wayside Waifs is very grateful to Vicky for her generous gift to purchase this item.  The unveiling of Rufus’ street sign was celebrated with a fabulous breakfast paw-ty of Vicky, her family and Wayside waifs staff, pictured above. Be sure to notice Ruffy’s Way sign and remember Rufus the next time you come visit, which we hope will be soon!

Written by Marla Svoboda
Director of Development at Wayside Waifs

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