Join Date: Feb 2008
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As you know, I have rescue dogs. My opinion, and of course it's just my opinion, is that whether you adopt from a breeder or rescue a dog, there's a chance of having health problems, differences in personality, etc.
I think Tess and Cody are great examples of the differences you can get in adoption. Cody is a very outgoing, easygoing, happy dog with no (known) health problems. Tess is much more skittish and withdrawn with many more health problems.
I think a big factor is the age. The older they are, the more issues they'll have.
In terms of putting Cazzie at risk for health issues - from my experience the majority of rescue organizations are very good about making sure the dog is healthy before allowing it to go to the right furever home. I went through the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society for my last dog and we waited almost 2 months after her spay before we could pick her up because they were concerned about her health.
I also took both of my dogs to my own vet within 24 hours of picking them up, just to make sure. (Tess had tapeworm but the doctor reassured me it could be treated without Cody becoming infected.)
Are you looking at an older dog or a puppy? The puppies are usually neglected, and definitely living in miserable conditions but can recover more quickly - mentally & physically - when placed in a good home.
And maybe it would be a situation where you could have the dog meet Cazzie. The foster mother brought Cody to my house to see how we meshed before making her decision.
I don't remember if you said you had adopted dogs in the past? My experience has been that the things you miss out on (puppyhood if you adopt an older dog) or have to overcome (lack of socialization) are offset by watching the animal blossom in a joy-filled, love-filled world. Some don't agree, but I swear every dog I've adopted realizes they've been given a second chance and show their appreciation.
Lots to think about (I'd talk to my vet about it too!). Good Luck!
Jill - Tess & Cody's mom