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Dogless for the first time in 15 years

With George’s passing in December, we find ourselves without a dog in the house for the first time in a long time. It feels strange and empty, and of course we miss our Georgie. For most of the past 15 years, we’ve had two Newfoundland dogs in the family. Already, we’re thinking we’d like to adopt a dog, if we can find one who is a good fit for us. There are many dogs available a local rescues, but finding one who is cool with cats who think they run the house is perhaps more challenging.

We’ve been looking at the websites for the various rescues. “Untested with cats” is a label that comes with most of the listed dogs. Of course that doesn’t mean they would not be good with the cats, just that we don’t know. When we adopted Ellie Mae, she was about 5 and she thought cats were for chasing. However, it only took about a week of umbilical training and she was fine, never again showing any aggression to cats in our home.

I think it will take some time, but it is time well-spent since a new addition to the family is a long-term commitment and we want to find a dog who is a great fit for us. We’re also mindful of the fact that we are getting older – so maybe we don’t want to have another giant on our hands, or a dog with serious behaviour issues. We don’t need to find a fancy pure-bread dog, and we’re fine with taking in an adult dog. In fact, we would prefer an adult dog to a puppy.

We’re going to fill in the application forms for a couple rescues and see if we have any success getting matched to an appropriate canine. We haven’t adopted from a rescue organization before, but we did attempt to do some several years ago. Unfortunately, that wasn’t successful and wasn’t a great experience for us.

I’ve looked at some of the application forms from rescues and some are quite involved, with interviews and home visits, in some cases including unannounced home visits. Totally understandable. One rescue wants 3 references + a vet reference. That’s pretty thorough. We have a fenced yard, which is a requirement for adopting many of the rescues – but the fence is just a four-footer, so an athletic dog could potentially easily hop it. Our Newfs were never in danger of hopping anything. In any case, I know we have a good situation for the right dog, and I’m sure in time we’ll make it happen.

If anyone knows of a nice dog in need of a home, don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, if you’d had really positive experiences with particular dog rescues, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.


  1. Wanda Jurashek

    So sorry to hear about George! Glad he was with you for Christmas.
    When you feel ready, I’d highly recommend Speaking of Dogs Rescue.
    Started by Lorraine Houston 20 years ago. They fully vet their rescues & foster in homes, often with other dogs, cats, children, etc.
    They go above & beyond. Last year, I contacted them, by email, on behalf of a relative, requesting recommendation of a reputable rescue in the Windsor area. Lorraine phoned me & they went to Windsor to pick up the dog being surrendered & found him a home!
    They get all kinds of dogs, & if a dog is not able to be adopted, they keep them Forever in Foster, & the org pays for food, vet bills.

    Feel free to contact me for further info.

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment, Wanda. I appreciate your recommendation. George was very special to us and it was difficult to lose him. Still, we have plenty of love in our hearts to welcome another dog into the family.

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