Are you on the fence about adding a pup to your family? Let me tell you our story of how we rescued a dog we have never met, but I just knew she needed us and we needed her...and its safe to say she is now my best friend. Being home with the kids all day everyday can get isolating and at times well a little depressing, but I really believe that having Molly at my feet all day long improves my day and mental health. She is always there to lay her head on my lap when she knows I need a hug or at the door when I'm working hard to get the baby down for his nap. She sits in the kitchen with me while I wash dishes and follows me up and down the hall when I put endless amount of laundry away, she's always right there to talk and keep me company when I feel like I will never get through the day and when I do make it to the end of the day she's right there to keep my feet warm while I relax, blog, watch Friends, or just sit quietly. She never minds what we are doing as long as I'm there and she has a spot....So here is her story!
We always knew we wanted to add a dog to our family, and we knew we wanted to rescue a dog who needed us as much as we needed them. It was decided we did not want a very young puppy, but a dog that was around 1-2 years old would be ok and we knew we wanted a Golden Retriever. Early in the pandemic is when we started searching for our Molly, but dogs in general were in such high demand let alone a Golden Retrievers because they are known to be the best family dogs they were no where to be found. We searched all around California for a rescue Golden Retriever and many places were not even taking new adoption applications, our hopes were starting to diminish. One day in a Golden Retriever group on Facebook I came across this family who lived in Santa Cruz and just picked up their rescue Golden Retriever giving credit to a company for helping them match with their new Golden...I reached out! and I was able to connect with this small team that rescued dogs from overseas and mostly Goldens. Shortly after we were added to their waitlist and shortly after that they posted a picture of our Molly (at the time her name was Summer). Her story was she was found on the streets and recently had puppies, but her puppies were kept by whoever abandoned her. She was in ok shape and tested neg for any major health issue....she was on the next flight to San Francisco!
When Molly joined our family I was 7 months pregnant with Oliver a very interesting time to add a dog to our family, but I wanted her to have time to adjust to our home before we had our hands full with a baby, and boy did she adjust so well. I don't know if it was because I was pregnant and she knew or if we just had a unbreakable bond from the get go, but we took to each other like peanut butter and Jelly. She was also so gentle with the kids and patient with them it was amazing to watch it was like she was meant to be in our family.
Although our rescue experience was so positive and Molly was such a wonderful addition to our family I know that not all experiences are not like this and I want to share some take aways from our experience so that if you choose this route this can be a start to help you decide and prepare!
1) Do your research! I did not grow up with dogs and I have only had one other in my adult life so this was all a learning experience for me, but I searched so much about companies, pros and cons to rescuing, researched and compared costs, I read stories from others, and read everything I could about owning a Golden Retriever.
2) Prep your house. This one is very important especially when your rescuing a pup. They need their own space just like we do. We purchased a crate, a bed for the crate, a bed for outside of the crate, balls, toys of many varieties because every dog likes something different, treats, food, a collar, leash, poop bags, and basic medical supplies. Additionally, you want to dog proof your house we were fortunate that Molly didn't destroy anything, but now that I think about it I literally got on the floor and looked for anything she could get into and I moved it to higher grounds so that might of helped as well. I got everyone used to closing their door, just until she was settled and adjusted I didn't want her in any rooms without someone there and I went around the yard to make sure she could not get out or eat anything that would make her sick.
3) Prepare the kids. At the time I had 2 boys and we took time to speak to them and make sure they knew what it took to bring a dog into our home and how they also need their space especially when when she is adjusting to the home. What made it easier is everyone had a role: Liam was to feed Molly twice a day and Finn was to watch her at the window to make sure she goes potty when she is out and give her a treat when she comes in, this also helped them bond with Molly on terms she can handle.
4) Prepare yourself. Its a big change! and it might not be love at first sight. Although me and Molly had a connection there were still some training aspects. In fact we sent her to a 2 week training program ( I worried about her the whole time) but it was so important for her to interact with other dogs and learn the basics so we can continue to work with her.
5) Remember to show lots of Love! sometimes we can get caught up with training and forget to stop and hug and love our new pups this is also how they learn to trust you and the environment.
Bottom line I encourage anyone considering it to rescue a dog to do it, its such a wonderful feeling to help a dog in need. It will be an adjustment, but once you get to know each other the fulfillment and love is endless.
I don't know what I would do without my Molly girl she shows unconditional love every day. It doesn't matter what my mood is or how tired I am is she is still there to lay her head on my lap, make me go outside to throw her ball, or lick my pants because I wiped baby food on them.
She is there for the whole family and we are there for her.
With love and Lots of Bunnies,