As I mentioned previously, I am a dog person. I’d like to think I was a dog person before I had my first dog.
As a child, my parents wouldn’t allow me and my brother to get a dog. Mom and Dad would say we couldn’t handle the responsibility, which was a fair point. We likely couldn’t handle the responsibility and most of the dog care duties would probably fall to them. Yet, we were very persistent with our wishes to adopt a dog. It took until my sophomore year of high school to convince them that we were ready to adopt a dog. My parents decision was not swayed by our faltering argument, but the emotional toll the film ‘My Dog Skip‘ placed on my mother.
My mother felt that by not letting us have a dog she had been depriving me and my brother of an imperative childhood relationship. Later that month, we took a drive to adopt the runt of an English Pointer litter. On the twilight drive back to our home, my brother gave our newly adopted friend his name as we stared at the night stars, Kozmo.
Kozmo may have been the runt of his litter, but he quickly became the head of our household.
When I was in college, I adopted Lou Dog from a local rescue. After Louie passed away this last June, I stumbled across the facebook page of the Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue. I was immediately impressed with this organization because of the community it has built. The rescue currently doesn’t have a shelter and completely relies on its good natured volunteers to foster the dogs they take in.
I immediately knew that this was the organization I wanted to adopt my next companion through. Loyalty, love, and energy are a few of the great personalities that pit bulls exhibit, but I was also drawn to this breed by its social stigma. I have always advocated for this great breed, and scorn the owners who mistreat their animals. My new shirt from the Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue says it all.
The Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue (MPBR) goes through great lengths to ensure that each dog is paired with the right adopter. The process to adopt through MPBR is extremely gratifying. I’d like to walk you through my experience.
Step 1- The Application.
In July I saw this post on facebook.
I knew right then and there that this dog belonged with me! The next day I filled out the application for adoption on the MPBR website. The next few days while the rescue reviewed the application felt like an eternity. I nervously waited for word from the organization on whether they thought I would be a suitable owner for one of their dogs. While I was waiting to hear back, the rescue named him Bowser through an informal facebook poll. Bowser is truly the greatest name for him! After impatiently contacting the rescue to see if they had a status update for me, I was finally informed that they would like to arrange a meet and greet for Bowser and me.
Step 2- The Meet & Greet.
Once my application for adoption was approved, MPBR arranged for a meet and greet with Bowser. His awesome case manager, Lynn, brought Bowser to Burnsville where I was coaching the summer traveling lacrosse team, the NorthCoast Jaxx. Bowser impressed me with his playful and curious demeanor from the get-go. We spent 30 minutes playing before I had to go back to coaching. Before Lynn and Bowser left, we talked about the next step.
Step 3- The Home Check.
The next step in the adoption process is to enter into a foster-to-adopt period where Bowser lived with me full-time. To ensure that my home is a safe environment for a dog, a person with the rescue needed to complete a home check. This is another over and above protocol the rescue does to ensure the best possible situation for all dogs it adopts out. Because most of the staff with the rescue are based out of the cities, they had a past adopter and volunteer complete my home check. Again, what a demonstration of volunteer power!
Step 4- Foster to Adopt.
Bowser started living with me on August 12th. During the foster-to-adopt period, I was responsible for his food, basic care, and attending obedience training courses. Before Bowser came to stay with me, the rescue had him vaccinated, neutered, and micro-chipped.
The foster-to-adopt time period didn’t feel like it was another procedure of the adoption process. Bowser felt right at home quickly and loved being able to be around my roommates at all times of the day. I kept forgetting that the adoption wasn’t finalized until I completed his mandatory obedience training.
Step 5- The Obedience Training.
In my opinion, this is one of the biggest benefits of going through MPBR. It is strange that more organizations don’t require adopters to go through mandatory obedience training to know how to adequately work and live with their adopted animals. My previous two dogs and I had no training, and it was pretty easy to tell. Needless to say, I was excited to have the opportunity to learn with Bowser.
I could write four more articles dedicated to the many lessons from Tiffany at the Dogue Spot, but I digress. Being able to understand the techniques that I should be working with Bowser on was valuable. The training at the Dogue Spot was the exact foundation I needed to begin a great relationship with Bowser and I’ve decided to continue working with him at Arrowhead Dog Training here in Duluth.
The journey I have taken in the last few months with Bowser has been exciting and extremely rewarding. I am honored to bring Bowser into my family and his new “forever home”. I would strongly suggest working with a rescue and adopting your next pet, and if you’re interested in a pit bull I would highly recommend contacting Laura with the Minnesota pit bull Rescue. If you have any questions about my or Bowser’s journey, feel free to ask!