Are you ready to adopt a new companion? Some people would suggest you need to go through a mental, if not actual, checklist, ticking off these items: breed book read; house prepped; food, bedding and toys purchased; dog park scouted; pet sitter lined up. Others, like my good friend who's looking for her mom, says "Mom will be ready when I put the dog in front of her!” And, there are many approaches between these extremes. That said, there are a few basics that should be covered (in your head or on paper — we all process things differently!) before you begin this incredible relationship. First, make sure your family is on board. The time to learn that your husband is deathly afraid of large dogs is not when the new one is pouncing on him as he goes through the front door for the first time. If you rent a property, know that your landlord is open to you having a pet. Also, give some thought to your daily schedule and how a new pet will fit in. If you're retired, that may be easy. If you are single and work 60 hours per week, it gets complicated. Finally, accept that adopting a pet is a long-term commitment. You need not worry about having fancy bedding or plush toys on day one. A food and water bowl, plus a small supply of the food your pet is used to eating will do. If you have a vacation coming up or an unusually busy work schedule — maybe work travel in your near future — you may want to wait. Finally, I always tell people not to begin looking unless they can adopt that same day. You don't want to fall for the dog or cat of your dreams, then have to walk away with hopes they'll be available when you're ready.
Scott oversees PHS/SPCA's Customer Service, Behavior and Training, Education, Outreach, Field Services, Cruelty Investigation, Volunteer and Media/PR program areas and staff. His companion, Murray, oversees him.