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Why We Adopted from the Little Guild

rich-gusWhy We Adopted from the Little Guild

By Richard Schlesinger

Anyone who adopts an animal in need learns a beautiful lesson. It’s about how much a person can receive when he or she gives a dog or a cat a real and loving and forever home. We learned that with each of the three dogs we’ve rescued.

When we took in (and took on) our latest… Gus, from the Little Guild, we knew we were getting a dog who had a tragic past. He was found in Waterbury…he was bald and underweight.

He stayed at the Little Guild for six months before getting adopted by a wonderful and well-meaning person who soon discovered he had severe separation anxiety. He couldn’t be left alone. He destroyed things in the house. As heart-breaking as it was for his new family…he came back to the Guild.

We took him because, once we got to know him, we really had no choice. It wasn’t an easy decision. We already had a dog, Cyrus, who is a handful (but we love him, too!) It would be a lot of work.

But the theory was Cyrus would keep Gus company, so Gus would never be alone. We weren’t quite sure what we were getting into… but we became a two-dog family.

I’ll admit, I was worried about the added responsibility. I think I started to really embrace the idea when a colleague of mine said, ‘Why don’t you focus on the fact that you are giving this dog a great new life.’ That argument made all the sense in the world.

I thought I was being altruistic. I never expected to get so much back from this dog. We found out quickly that, despite everything he’s been through, Gus is a loving, mischievous and gregarious little boy. He is thriving with us. His hair has grown back and he has gained (a little too much) weight.

Animal lovers know well the deal we strike with the pets we bring into our lives. We worry about them and dote on them and try to meet their every need. They give us back some notion that they are okay and content…happy.

Gus is holding up his end of the bargain honorably. He pays back, with interest, the love we show him. He runs and jumps. He snuggles and smooches. It is a perfect arrangement…mutually beneficial and endlessly rewarding… a win-win for mammals.

Everybody should know the rewards of this kind of relationship. So, if you haven’t adopted a dog or cat yet….what are you waiting for!?  The Little Guild is an outstanding source of adoptable dogs.

Richard Schlesinger is an award-winning CBS News correspondent and a member of the Little Guild’s Advisory Council.