Adopting a Shelter Dog From the SPCA, Is It Worth It? Part 2

BlueJeanStarred Page By BlueJean, 18th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Adoption & Rescue

Let’s take an inside look into my personal experience with the adoption of two forever buddies and their enrichment to our family.

My Story

In 2007, our 15 year old adopted female Springer Spaniel mix died rather quickly. We adopted her when she was 1 year old, so we had the pleasure of 14 years companionship. We were saddened by her loss, and our house felt so empty without the playfulness and lively personality she had. She was such an integral part of our lives and brought each of us much joy and company.

Our Current Adopted Dog

After about 6 months, I couldn’t stand it any longer and began to do research on SPCA dogs in the nearby areas. For many months I searched but couldn’t find the right personality of a dog. I still wanted an adult female, and loved white and black markings on a dog, so I patiently waited. One day as it was nearing December, while out doing some errands, I had this strong feeling to go and visit a certain local SPCA. With only an hour to closing, I walked in and began to search through the cages rather quickly. At the very end of the dog kennels sat this small white and black bundle with big pointed ears (see picture). She was only 10 months old, and happened to be a Fox Terrier/Border Collie mix. She’s white and has black markings on her sides as well. Needless to say, I was love struck!

I brought my husband back the next day and he too fell in love with her. She had a sweet and perky personality. I went to the shelter one more day and asked to walk her around and spend time with her; to make sure that we wanted to adopt her. I took care of the adoption paperwork and waited a few days to come and pick her up from spay surgery.
We learned that she had been abused by men and was a bit skittish around them, she needed much reassurance to overcome it. A few years later and now she’s not afraid of men, since she has had consistent love from them.

Tilly's Perky Personality

Since we have had Tilly, we can’t imagine not having her in our home! It took lot of patience for potty and crate training in those 2+ months after she came home, but worth it.
Daily, I worked on teaching her the basic commands and realized that Tilly was very smart and caught on quickly. After basic commands, I taught her to play fetch and decided that she needed to learn a new way to “speak” for food. So instead of barking when it’s feeding time, I got her food ready and began to teach her to loudly groan with her tongue sticking out randomly. When she's making those funny sounds, her eyes are big and expressive and ears perked up… When she responded, I rewarded her with high praise, a pat on the head and her food. It didn’t take very long for her to learn this! Now every time I give her food, treats, playtime or walks, she groans loudly with her tongue poking in and out. She is certainly an expressive dog with a crazy personality!

Training and Exercise

Another thing that I realized with having a Fox Terrier/Border Collie is the need for consistent exercise and learning new things. Since we have a treadmill and I couldn’t always take her on walks, I found a creative way to get her exercise. I taught her to walk on the treadmill. First few days, I had my feet on the side boards of the treadmill, holding her back legs up, with a leach tied to the treadmill bar to keep her steady; this helped her get use to walking on her front legs. She got the hang of this new way to walk pretty quickly. Now, she loves the treadmill on those days I can’t take her out, and walks on it with a fast pace. Her newest fun game is playing can soccer. Tilly has learned to “herd” the can with her paws all around the room while growling, then picks up the can and buries it in her pad; she takes her nose and knocks the can in the air and rolls it around. It’s a lot of fun to watch her in action!

In summary, I would highly encourage adopting an adult dog from the local SPCA, it’s been a great experience for our family and may be for yours as well. is a great resource to find many of the dogs in nearby shelters. You may have a few things that you want in a dog, but do be open to possibly finding a different breed of dog that just might pick you first! Mix breeds are a great choice as you have the best of different traits all in one. You never know, it could be love at first sight once you see their sunny personality. It is worth the time and patience to love on a forgotten and abandoned dog.


Abandoned, Abuse, Adoption, Breeds, Crate Training, Dog Kennels, Dog Training, Dogs, Fetch, Forever Family, Mixed Breeds, Obedience Training, Petfindercom, Rover, Shelter, Skittish, Spay, Spca, Treadmill

Meet the author

author avatar BlueJean
I am currently working my way through college towards an English degree. I love writing and the power of words, especially the written word. I will be writing on a variety of topics.

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