Calling all dog lovers!
Backstory about me real quick. The pup pictured above is my rescue dog, Sophie. My friend found her in an overrun yard with 5+ other dogs. All the other dogs were pups, but I lucked out and got a totally trained, cuddly, senior dog. Sophie was between 6 and 8 years old when I got her. We're going on 3 years together now and we couldn't be happier! So, before you ask, yes we're from the South (Alabama) where much of Rescue Road takes place. The idea behind the book was to get the word out about Rescue Road Trips, run by Greg Mahle. His rescue dog transport picks up dogs in the south and moves them up north to give them a fur-ever home. There are so many neglected, abused, abandoned dogs in the south. The exact statistics are in the book, but it's far more than the rest of the country. What Greg and countless other rescue pet organizations do for these dogs is far beyond what is expected of them. They spend THOUSANDS of dollars a year on a single dog just to make sure he has a better life than the one he was leading. Many of the vets administer vaccines and spay/neuter for free or discounted, just so the stray population has a chance to survive. Not to mention the countless hours they spend actively searching and feeding strays all while hoping they can find foster families for the dogs they're pulling directly off the streets and from the high-kill shelters.
Now, if you're thinking of getting a dog I urge you to do a few things first.
1) Think of the commitment you're making. Essentially you are growing your family and your new pet is going to be family. Pets are not property and need love, attention, room to play. Not to mention they're going to need vaccines, grooming, nail trimming, and who knows what else. (My pup came to me while I was in college, stayed with me after I got married, and made a 14 hour journey to Korea where we currently live. Gotta be in it for the long run.)
2) Read this book. Learn what these pups have gone through; find out as much about their journey as you can because they're going to be living with you until they cross the rainbow bridge.
3) If you're uncertain if you can handle the responsibility or the commitment, consider fostering! You could open your home to a dog (or a dozen) from time to time until they can find their forever homes.
4) Adopt, don't shop. There are so many strays that still need homes, and so many puppy mills that just need to be done away with.
One last thing!
Don't be afraid to adopt the shy dog, the black dog, the senior dog, or the special needs dog. These dogs are often overlooked because of those specific traits. My rescue literally meets 3 of the 4 criteria I just listed and I am 100% in love with her.
Looking for other books by Peter Zheutlin?