My friends, family, and co-workers know that I’m a pretty proud fur mom. We adopted Mischa in the fall of 2016. And she’s had me wrapped around her finger from almost the beginning.
Mischa and her siblings were living with a local Save-A-Stray volunteer. The animal shelter had another puppy with parvo, a deadly puppy illness, and so they had to go somewhere else. When we arrived at the volunteer’s home, there were seven puppies acting much like toddlers as they waddled around the backyard wrecking havoc.
I picked Mischa up and she tried to eat my hair. So we naturally figured she was the one. (I should’ve known…)
I know there’s still a stigma around adopting dogs. There’s unknowns, especially with mixed-breed puppies. And older dogs might have a rough past. But I’ve
almost never regretted adopting Mischa.
I’d still love to have a pure-bred Golden Retriever one day. But I’m also a big fan of adopting. And here’s how Mischa convinced me.
1. Mischa is incredibly resilient. And she helps me be the same.
Mischa grew up as a farm dog. Not many neighbors. Never needing a leash. Long walks on the farm roads. It was all hers.
But then we moved to a subdivision. I wasn’t even sure moving her here was going to work. She now has a fenced-in yard. Lots of neighbors. A leashed walk around the neighborhood. In other words, we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
And yet she’s thrived. It turns out she loves people. She loves our four-legged neighbors. She feels safe in the fence. And walking is her favorite part of the day.
Mischa adapted so well to life in our subdivision. And she faces any new condition like a champ. She gives me confidence too. Big changes can be scary. But if she can handle it, so can I.
2. Mischa is a hoot.
Mischa is the goofiest dog ever. At 6-months old she was sitting in front of the sliding-glass door marveling at a lightening show. She thinks she needs to challenge the vacuum cleaner whenever it’s running. And she can’t understand where the snow balls go once I throw them.
I swear she spends more time with her legs in the air than she does right-side up. And birds are her sworn enemy. Also the bathtub.
Seriously, even when she’s being naughty it’s usually funny (even if only in hindsight). She managed to find and open her wrapped presents under the Christmas tree. She jumped in our window well to play with the frogs and toads trapped inside. And she’s so pathetic when her tie-out gets wrapped around the bushes out front and she has to bark for me to come save her.
3. Mischa keeps me active.
My new job is sometimes exhausting, though in a good way. I’m being challenged. I’m always learning. And I’m constantly busy. When I come home in the evening, I ready to check out for a nap.
But Mischa doesn’t let that happen. She keeps me moving. We have to take a walk. We have to chase the ball around. We have to be active. She gets me off the couch and away from the computer. So we’re always moving.
I mean, it’s exhausting. But I know it’s good for me. And there’s nothing better than coming home to her wagging tail and frenzied kisses.
4. Mischa is always super sweet.
Despite all the naughty, energy, and goofiness, Mischa is also really a sweetheart. She usually wants to cuddle every evening. She knows when I’m upset or down. And she’s affectionate.
So when she’s in my arms, being cradled like a (rather big) baby, it makes all the other stuff worth it.