Inviting a dog into your family is a wonderful way to give your health a boost. Not only does having an animal give you a great excuse to be more active and to get outdoors, interaction with a dog can be a tremendous stress reliever.
After our beloved dog died suddenly on New Year's Day in 2014, I couldn't imagine adopting another dog ever again, but in the summer of that year, puppy fever hit the Shafer household. We talked about dogs, followed every local shelter on social media, and constantly visited and re-visited animal shelter websites looking for a new addition to our family.
Around the fall, my husband John came around to the idea that he really wanted a border collie--known for their smarts and for being highly active--so we started following all the border collie rescue sites. We kept a running notebook with names and locations of all manner of beautiful white and spotted dogs and puppies, and exchanged emails and applications with shelters and rescue organizations. We went out to meet a couple dogs but something just wasn't right.
Then one day John sent me a flurry of forwarded emails and texts, all worked up about a profile of a dog he found on a rescue website. I looked at the photo of the dog, and I was baffled. This dog was black in color. You couldn't read any expression on her face. I couldn't see anything special about this puppy, and if I had seen the profile first, I certainly would have kept going.
Turns out I would have been in good company. Did you know that black dogs are statistically among the last to be adopted in shelters, and the first to be euthanized? There is some thought that because of their color, they don't photograph as well, which is a huge component of adoption these days, especially considering how many potential adoptive puppy parents scroll through photos before visiting shelters.
Thankfully, John was insistent, and on 12/13/14, we met Osita and adopted her the same day. I can't imagine our home without her now. Happy National Black Dog Day!