Meet Kingston, a ten-month old (we think) Basenji (we think again) puppy. This little fella was recently adopted by family members. He is cute, cuddly and willful. We had the pleasure of babysitting Kingston this weekend (along with his bigger and older sister, Cali) which reminded me about the challenges one faces when you adopt a puppy. ( It is funny how fast I forgot about “puppy-isms” since our own dog is a senior now! )
Yesterday, I happened upon a dog adoption day at a local pet store. (Karma) I must admit I felt a bit conflicted when I saw families with kids still in strollers making adoption requests. Was this the right time to adopt a puppy? Was this fair to the child? The dog?
I did some online research to find out what would be the best “practices” for having a new dog enter a home with a young child. Some articles were positive, yet many were cautious. I found that little humans and little doggies don’t always mix. Some experts gave suggestions about training, such as teaching the words “gentle” to both, in order to maximize safety and foster bonding. Special techniques were offered on sites that had dog rescues with the words “supervision” and “socialization” stressed. The use of a kennel to help contain the dog, if needed, was suggested, as well.
There is no doubting the positive impact a dog (or cat) can have on a family. Yet, proceed with knowledge, caution, patience and love.
Here are some resources which are available to help find a dog that needs a forever home and how to make the experience rewarding, pleasurable and safe for everyone in the family. (Dog and Cat Adoption and Foster Care Resources )