This is going to be the first installment in an ongoing series entitled “Happy Tails”. The intent is to help create a positive image of shelter pets. There are still many misconceptions and negative beliefs held by the public that are barriers to adoption. By highlighting successful adoptions I aim to show that you can find healthy, loving dogs and cats at Miami-Dade Animal Services.
You can visit http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/ to find out how to adopt your new best friend too!
Our first feature is about Mali and Olivia. They are 2 Schnauzer mixes. Mali is a 5 year old male who was adopted from MDAS in January of 2010. His best buddy Olivia is a 2 year old female who was adopted in September of 2013. I asked their owner, Monica, to answer some questions about them.
Why did you decide to adopt from MDAS?
I really wanted a dog, but didn’t really understand how the shelter system worked. I was naive and thought the only way to get a dog was from a pet store. I started asking around and my boyfriend (now husband) told me I could adopt a dog from a shelter. I looked into several rescue organizations and MDAS. I picked MDAS because it is a kill-shelter and I thought it would be nice to help out a dog.
What made you pick these particular dogs?
When I adopted Mali I went to the shelter a couple of times. I knew I wanted something small, that maybe looked like a Westie. On my second visit to the shelter, on the last kennel run I visited that day, there he was. He raced to where I was and I fell in love with his scruffy face (I couldn’t walk fast enough to the front counter).
With Olivia the process was completely different. One of my friends shared a picture of her on her Facebook (from one the networking sites for shelter dogs). She was an owner surrender and I just couldn’t leave her at the shelter. She reminded me of Mali (they look alike in some pictures).
How was the transition period when the dogs were adjusting to their new home?
Mali adjusted quickly, I think he felt home right away. He had a lot of energy that needed to be channeled properly since he went through a chewing faze. He had a thing for book covers, but with a little bit of patience, exercise and toys, he learned quickly to play only with his things.
It took a little longer for Olivia to adjust. At the beginning she was really shy and afraid of many things. She didn’t like loud noises and she wasn’t used to being petted or held. It took her around three weeks to feel safe and understand she was home. Now she follows me around wherever I go and her favorite place is to snuggle with us on the couch.
What was the most fun thing you learned about your dogs after your brought them home?
Their personalities are so different. Mali sleeps with his head up, a lot of times you see him trying so hard not to fall sleep, but you can see how his eyes are so heavy and he can barely keep them open. It is cute. Olivia does the cutest jumps. She looks like a little gazelle when she runs outside, and she makes the funniest noises when she is playing.
What are your dogs favorite things to do? Do they have a favorite toy?
They love to play with each other. Their favorite toy is monkey, a stuffed monkey that has very long arms, ideal to play tug of war with. They also love anything that involves peanut butter.
Would you adopt again from a shelter or recommend it to others?
Definitely! I do recommend it to all my friends. It is really hard to describe the special bond you create with a dog that comes from a shelter. It certainly made my life more fun and I would do it all over again.
Here are some photos of Mali (in the blue collar) and Olivia (in the purple collar) enjoying the good life!