Last Thursday marked the anniversary of the day I adopted my sweet, sweet Sybil. I can hardly believe that a little over a year ago this perfect soul was surrendered to the animal shelter to face the possibility of her death. My heart aches to imagine what would have happened to Sybil if I had not decided to adopt her on that freezing, snowy night. Bringing Sybil home with me was one of the best decisions I have ever made in this life. I have never known such buoyant and blissful love as the love I share with my two fur-children.
Even though this post is a bit late, I still thought it was important to add my voice to the chorus of others advocating for shelter animals. Please, please, PLEASE do not purchase a dog or cat from a store or breeder when you could save the life of an equally worthy animal instead. It never ceases to amaze me that some people will spend hundreds of dollars to buy a puppy just for it’s breed (especially given that purebred dogs are destined to suffer from medical complications in old age due to the egregious level of inbreeding it took to produce them.)
I also wanted to bring up the seriousness of the commitment you are making when you decide to welcome an animal into your home whether purchased or adopted. When I got Sybil, I had no idea what type of personality she would have. Even though I got to spend time with her at the shelter, it’s hard to get to know a dog when they are in such a strange environment. Not to mention the descriptions of the dogs’ dispositions the shelter provides are often far from accurate. She was frozen in fear the entire meeting and was even too scared to sniff my hand when I offered it to her. After that, I knew that I couldn’t bear to leave her in that place. When I put that sweet, plump angel in my car that evening I made the commitment to love her and provide a good life for her no matter what the future had in store.
After having Sybil for a few weeks, I became even more certain that we were destined for one another. Sybil suffers from severe anxiety just like I do. She is always fearful towards new people, other dogs, and new places/situations. Due to her immense fear, Sybil can become rather aggressive. She will easily get into a fight with another dog if not watched closely until they are comfortable with one another. Yet even then, she is too afraid to play with other dogs, mistaking their playfulness for aggression. Thankfully she has never bitten a person, but her loud barks don’t make her very popular with the kiddos (or anyone for that matter). Whenever I take Sybil for a car ride or take her to a friend’s house, she can never seem to relax. She will shiver and whimper nearly the entire time. After experiencing these quirks first hand, I became even more glad that I was the one that saved Sybil from the pound that day. I knew that many people would simply return a dog who was so difficult. Most people find her utterly annoying. But I adore her for even her flaws and no matter what happened once Sybil came home with me, there was nothing that could have made me abandon her.
An adopted pet is no different than a child in my eyes. Regardless of disposition of your child (adopted or not) in no way determines your duty to care and provide for them. It would be inconceivable for someone to give up their child because they misbehave. The same standard should be applied to other sentient dependents as well.
One day I hope that humanity realizes that other animals are just as worthy of love, freedom, and happiness as human beings are. I love my babies as much as any other mother loves hers. What a beautiful world we would live in if everyone shared such unconditional love for the most innocent among us. I look forward to many more years of boundless love with my most cherished companions. Thank you, Sybil, for being a part of my life and for all the love you give.
Adopt Don’t Shop ♥