Happy Gotcha Day!  How Rescuing a Dog Was One of The Best Decisions I Have Ever Made. 

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Today marks one year since I brought home the newest member of my family, Cody.

Cody is a Chiweenie that was fostered from the highways of Georgia by Shelly’s Foster Babies and brought back to my home in Philadelphia, PA.  I found out about Cody from friends Mike and Stacey who were actually showing him to another friend and I became instantly interested.

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Cody Shortly After Being Found on the Highway

I wanted a dog for years but I wasn’t entirely sure I could provide the time and resources needed to properly raise a dog.  I knew a rescue puppy would need a ton of attention.

I remember Shelly coming to visit my apartment not only to introduce me to the pup but also to make sure that my home would be suitable.  I told her before she arrived that under no circumstance was she to leave Cody with me.  I wanted to make sure that I took some time to really think about it.

You can see how tiny he was the first day I met him.  It was unreal that this was a living creature.  And of course, I fell in love.  She left with him about 90 minutes later and left me with my thoughts and every bit of information I would need if I were to go ahead with the process of adopting him. IMG_1727 It was really important to me that I raised him around other dogs.  I have a family full of dog owners and I wanted him to be able to have fun with them.

I recall sitting on my couch staring outside trying to think of a name for him.  His original name was “Rudy” but I wanted something that would bring out his personality a bit more. “Something Beachy” I kept telling myself. The name Cody jumped into my head while listening to Springsteen’s Live 1975-85′ albums and I started running over to Doggie Style Pet Store to go get tags made.  (One of the items I would need to adopt him).  I couldn’t get this one photo of him out of my head.IMG_1734
I guess at this point my mind was made up.  I slept on the idea (thinking I wouldn’t get too many good nights of sleep for a while) and texted Shelly in the morning that I wanted to adopt him as quickly as possible.

The very next day I went to meet Shelly at the rescue shelter IMG_1735to sign the paper work to make all 4lbs of Cody mine forever.

Shelly was fantastic and gave me an entire grocery bag of toys and treats for Cody as a parting gift.  The night before I went on a shopping spree as well to make sure he’d feel right at home.

Being a rescue dog, I expected Cody to need a lot of attention.  He was only 9 weeks only and 1/3 of that life was spent wandering around a 4 lane highway of Georgia.   I had a crate full of everything I hoped he’d like and he started to settle in quickly.

Since then, having Cody has been one of the greatest gifts in my life.  Any dog owner will tell you, there is nothing better than coming home after a long day to the unconditional love of your dog.

Cody house trained so quickly.  Within a few months he was taking care of business outside 90% of the time.  He LOVES other dogs.  He doesn’t seem to really understand how small he is.

img_1738I was lucky enough with my job being close to my home I could go let him out every lunch hour Monday – Friday.  I did this everyday for over six months.  Somedays it really wore you out as you’re jumping from on meeting to another but once I got there he was always so thrilled to see me.  Sometimes I even bring him into the office with me.

Cody quickly became the center of attention in my department and is now welcome anytime.  I was bringing him into work with me sometimes 2-3 days a week and he would just run from cube to cube visiting people.

It was important to me that Cody kept up with, what I hoped would be his love for the beach.  As soon as it was warm up enough we’d hop in the Jeep and go.

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He LOVES the sand!  Not so much the water… Swimming is going to take some time.  He gets pretty cold very easily.  We’re both looking forward to some more chances this summer.  Perhaps some GoPro footage.

072CAD7C-6970-4831-8D9A-BA9F377B4A0EIt’s so important to spend as much time with them growing up as you can.  Even if you’ve got a yard I think it’s really important to get your dog outside on a leash as much as much as you can.  Even better if you’ve got a dog park nearby, try and get there as often as you can.  I really think socialization early was the key to developing Cody’s confidence and personality.  You can see how much he loves running in the park.

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B10C7172-4CB1-4BFE-BBDB-42F2C4BFFF04It’s crazy to think it’s been one year ago when I picked him up for good.  The point of all this is I’m so happy that I did and that he seems as happy as I am.  Rescuing a dog is a serious commitment that I honestly wasn’t sure I was ready for at the time.  I was however looking to challenge myself with new responsibility and this process did just that.

I could go on and on about Cody but I’ll spare you the rest for now.  In the meantime if you’re considering, take the time and really think about it, be willing to give up some of your free time, but be prepared for it to well worth it in the end.

For anyone interested here is the information to Shelly’s Foster Babies.  I highly recommend her.  She made the experience extremely simple and went over the top with making sure Cody was starting off in a great home!

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