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Adopting an animal can be one of the most rewarding things in life. "Adopt not shop" has been a motto that I have lived most of my life by. On July 14th, 2016, my life changed forever when I adopted the love of my life, Ryker.
I adopted Ryker (originally named Jonah) from AHeintz57, a local shelter located in Adele, Iowa. In this point in my life, I wanted to add some responsibility to my life, and I thought that adopting a dog would be the best way to do so. I started the hunt online and got in touch with this shelter about a litter of lab-German Shepard puppies. The process of adopting the dogs from this litter went as follows:
1) At home visit from the adoption agency
2) Home visit to puppies and pick out the puppy you would like to take home.
3) Take your puppy home.
After my at home visit with the agency, I got to drive to Adele and pick out the puppy that I wanted to take home. So here is how I picked Ryker out of the litter.
There were eight puppies to pick from, all of them black and brown, and then one that was blonde. I started playing with the dogs that were out of the play pen and holding them, trying to see which ones could possibly be the "one" that I was going to take home. I sat right outside the pen and started to play with a different puppy, when all of a sudden something was poking at my butt. I turned around and it was the cutest blond puppy in all of the land. The family watching the puppies turned to me and said, "that's Jonah. He hasn't come out of the kennel at all during these visits." I knew right then and there that this was the dog I was going to take home with me and he was going to be my best friend for a long time.
I took Ryker home two weeks later, and the love bond grew like no other. He has never left my side and has taught me so much in life. I have learned to take care of another, how to love something other than myself, and that sometimes, it is okay to just be alone. Dogs can teach us a lot in life, even though they can't speak. Adopting Ryker was the best decision I ever made, and I have loved life so much more with him in it.
A week after I adopted Ryker, my parents adopted a dark brindle Boxer and named him Barkley. Barkley has been the best addition to our family and has become Ryker’s best friend. Barkley is a bright, energetic boxer who never fails to make everyone laugh. He whines for food with drool creating puddles next to his feet and will run away and jump in the air if you try to get him to go into the house after playing in the yard. My parents bought Barkley from a breeder when they were about to give him up because no one wanted him.
If you are ever contemplating on whether you should adopt a dog or not, go to your local shelter and see what dogs are up for adoption. Most of society perceives that we must get a puppy in order to have a dog. No, you can adopt all ages of dogs at any shelter and they are going to love you like you have been in their lives forever.
Take care of your furry friend and love them fully, because you're all they have in life. They depend on you as an owner and source of how to live. Take them on walks and play with them. Ryker has only been in my life for one and half years, but I couldn't imagine life without him.