So you have decided to share your home with a new companion, a dog! If you chose to adopt a dog, there are numerous options available. You can visit your local shelter and pick out a dog that strikes you as your potential friend. This can be an adult dog or a puppy, as shelters often have both puppies and adult dogs available. Or you can pick a breed that you are interested in and find out if there is a rescue group in your area.
There are rescue groups for almost any breed, and many of these can be found by contacting the AKC or the national breed club for that breed. A greyhound is an example of a breed that most people acquire by the adoption of an adult dog, usually 2-5 years old. There are literally hundreds of greyhound rescue groups out there, and numerous ways to adopt these loving friends. If you live near a racetrack, there is often an adoption service right there at the track. Greyhounds make great pets because they are very quiet, docile, caring and gentle dogs.
Before adopting a dog or bringing any pet into your home, you need to make sure that you are committed to caring for that dog for the rest of his life. Many dogs wind up in shelters because their owners did not properly evaluate the level of commitment that is required in sharing your home with a dog. Make sure that the dog you select is right for you and will fit your lifestyle. There are numerous questions that you should ask yourself before making the commitment to a new pet.
Be sure that you and all of the members of your family understand the commitment you are undertaking in adopting this dog, and that there are certain jobs that must be done with this dog every day. Some of these jobs include: feeding the dog, letting him out for the bathroom, walking him, and playing with him (not really a job!) It is a good idea to get to know the dog before bringing him home. Visit the shelter a few times to play with your potential friend and make sure that this is the right companion for you.
When adopting an adult dog, you should be prepared to spend the first few days at home making the dog feel comfortable. Many dogs who are available for adoption can be shy, and will require extra love and attention before they really open up to you. Often, an adult dog will already be housetrained and may have some obedience training as well. A puppy of course will need to be housetrained, which will require some more work. All of these types of decisions should be made before you begin the hunt for your new friend. But you will be rewarded in the end with a loving, faithful companion!