I hear the term “adopt don’t shop” quite a bit. I can’t turn back the cruel hands of time and I wouldn’t even want to. Elle, an English Cocker Spaniel, was purchased from a breeder in 2013. When I saw her photo I squealed like a piglet with excitement. She was adorable and so tiny. She had the biggest paws I had ever seen for such a small creature, they looked like big furry slippers attached to each leg. Those big brown eyes, chronic sad-face, and curly blonde locks. It was over. Sold.
I don’t know what exactly prompted me to shop instead of adopt, but I knew when I saw Elle she was meant to be mine. Her little bum wiggled with every infliction of my voice. A connection, a bond. She was always mine.
Rescuing an animal is absolutely, down to my core, something I would love to have done. I know there are many dogs in the world who have been neglected or abused and would have loved the lavish life I have given Elle. But she was the one, the missing puzzle piece to my life.
I think about Elle’s diagnosis, which some may choose not to treat. Without treatment a dog could go into an Addisonian Crisis and die within minutes. I know deep down – in a way – I saved Elle. Not “rescue” or “adopt” per se, but in the sense that another owner may not have wanted to pay for exorbitant medical bills, prescriptions and give their pet monthly injections for life. Some dogs in the same situation may not have been as lucky as Elle to live a normal, comfortable life with ample veterinary care.
Even with AKC breeding and champion bloodlines, my girl ended up with certain medical needs, yet she was special in the best possible way. She came into my life at the right time to teach me the lessons I desperately needed to learn. Elle wasn’t adopted or rescued, but she sure saved my life from a lonely, un-motherly existence. I think any animal, if given the chance at a wonderful life, is a happy ending story.