“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole.” ~ Roger Caras
This photo is an accurate portrayal of the love our son has for our dog, Geoffrey—a rescue from Ruff World Animal Adoptions in Central Florida. He is the fourth canine family member (and third rescue) we’ve been blessed to share life with in the past twelve years.
Our dogs—the last two (Felix and now Geoffrey) in particular—have been vital to our family. They have proven to be effective touchstones for our son—having a somewhat grounding influence on him. For me they have proven to be great stress reducers. My favorite part of the day is lying in bed at night waiting for munchkin to fall asleep. Geoffrey snoozes with his front and back legs draped over me while his head rests in my lap. The room is dark except for the soft glow of a nightlight. As I stroke the side of his face and run his velvety ear repeatedly through my fingers I can literally feel the stress of the day wash away. (Studies have shown that petting a dog can lower your heart rate.) Truth be told, if it weren’t for my husband waiting for me to spend some time with him, I could conceivably stay there all night for the inner peace I’m afforded in that sacred space.
If you are contemplating bringing a canine family member into your home I urge you to please consider adopting from a rescue or shelter. There are so many wonderful, loving dogs in desperate need of a loving forever home.
An estimated 2.7 million healthy shelter pets are not adopted each year, and only about 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters and rescues.
U.S. shelter and adoption estimates
- 83.3 million—Number of owned dogs
- 20 percent—Percentage of owned dogs who were adopted from animal shelters
- 3,500—Number of animal shelters
- 6 to 8 million—Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year
- 25 percent—Percentage of purebred dogs in shelters
- 3 to 4 million—Number cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year
- 2.7 million—Number of adoptable cats and dogs euthanized in shelters each year
~ 2013-2014 statistics according to the Humane Society of the US