Today is my anniversary with Madison. Three years ago I brought the little fuzzball that came to be my best friend to his forever home. I am fully aware that I can be considered part of the problem, since I got him from a pet store, but I fully believe that all dogs need good, loving homes. It is not their fault if they were bred for profit or if they came from a dangerous place like a puppy mill. They all deserve the chance to grow up and live a happy, healthy life. I've said it before; I will say it again: at the end of the day, adoption is adoption. And if you don't believe me when I say it has enriched my life in immeasurable and incomparable ways, maybe you will believe these other, from the mouths of those much more famous, words:
"There are so many animals out there...people need to take these dogs and rescue them and give them a nice home. You're actually doing something good-- you're saving an animal. At the end of the day there's just a massive overpopulation of dogs that don't have a home, period."
"I think it's really important to support no kill facilities [in general]...I think make sure you know what kind of dog you're getting and that you're set up for it. Like, if you have kids, there's certain types of dogs that aren't good to have, and a puppy is different from getting an older dog. And make sure you're not getting a dog just because you think it's cute but that you actually have an environment that's appropriate for the dog to be happy."
"It's a commitment! I think people joke that it's just a dog, and I can't tell you how many times people want to return the dog, or it ends up at a shelter...I don't think people understand that you're really dealing with adopting a child. It's so important to be aware of what that means and how it could change your life-- change your life for the better, really."
"The sheer number of dogs that are available for rescue, every day, in every city, hundreds and hundreds of dogs are being destroyed. And there's a rescue group for just about every breed, if you're looking for a specific kind. There are so many lives that need to be saved, and they'll love you and appreciate you all that much more for it."
"Learn about your breed; that's super important. My Jack Russell has a lot of special needs, and I read the Jack Russell for Dummies book, and it made me want to read more and learn even more stuff about him and his needs. Sometimes, you know, a bad dog is just a mis-cared for dog."
"It's like Cesar [Milan] says: he'll train the owners and rehabilitate the dogs. That is a huge piece of it. A lot of people give their dogs up because the dog has had issues, but if everyone just went to training..."
And Allen's fiance, Taylor, added as a joke that "if you're looking to secure your woman, it's always a good look to have an animal by your side!" But all laughter aside, he's right! It helped his cause, and it is the first thing I look for, as well. If a guy doesn't love Madison-- and if Madison doesn't love him-- he stands no chance; after all, Madison was here first and will be around for many more years to come.