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10) In a Word--Housebroken.  With family members gone during the work week for 8 hours or more, housetraining a puppy and its small bladder can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them to. They can't wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from after school activities. An older dog can "hold it" much more reliably for longer periods of time, and usually the rescue service has him housebroken before he is adopted.

9) Intact Underwear.  Puppies chew. It's a fact of life regardless of breed.  You can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the "rag bag" before he cuts every tooth. And don't even think about shoes!  You can expect a few holes in your carpet (along with the urine stains), pages missing from books, stuffing pulled from couches, and at least one dead remote control. No matter how well you watch them, it will happen--this is a puppy's job! An older dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.

8) A Good Night's Sleep.  Forget the alarm clocks and hot water bottles, a puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. He misses his littermates and that stuffed animal will not make a puppy pile with him. If you have children, you've been there and done that. How about a little peace and quiet? How about an older rescue dog??

7) Finish the Newspaper.  With a puppy running amok in your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work? Do you think your kids will really feed him, clean up the messes, take him for a walk in the pouring rain every hour to get him housetrained? With an adult dog, it will only be the kids running amok, because your dog will be sitting calmly next to you while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet him.

6) Easier Vet Trips.  Those puppies need their series of puppy shots and fecals, then their rabies shot, then a trip to be altered, maybe an emergency trip or two if they've chewed something dangerous. Those puppy visits can add up on top of what you paid for the dog! Your donation to the rescue when adopting an older dog gets you, at minimum, a dog with all shots current, already altered, heartworm negative and on preventative.

5) What You See Is What You Get.  How big will that puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an older dog from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy. The rescue and its foster homes can guide you to pick the right match. (Rescues are full of puppies who became the wrong match as they got older!)

4) Unscarred Children (and Adults).  When the puppy isn't teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and yourself.  A growing puppy is going to put everything from food to clothes to hands in their mouths and as they get older and bigger it definitely hurts.  Most older dogs have been there, done that, and moved on.

3) Matchmaker Make Me a Match.  Puppy love is often no more than an attachment to a pretty face or a coat color. It is not much of a basis on which to make a decision that will deeply affect you for as long as 15 years. While that puppy may have been the cutest of the litter, he may grow up to be superactive when what you wanted was a couch buddy, she may be a couch princess when what you wanted was a tireless hiking companion, or he may want to be an only child while you are intending to have kids or more animals. Pet mismatches are one of the top reasons families give up their dogs. Good rescue services do extensive evaluating of both their dogs and their adopters to be sure that both you and the dog will be happy with each other until death do you part.

2) Instant Companion. With an older dog, you automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you NOW. There's no waiting for a puppy to grow up and then hope he will like to do what you enjoy. You will have been able to select the most compatible dog: one that travels well, one that loves to play with your friends' dogs, one with excellent house manners that you can take to your parents' new home with the new carpet and the new couch. You can come come home after a long day's work and spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride or swim with your new best friend rather than cleaning up after a small puppy.

1) Rescued Dogs Bond.  Dogs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people.  Once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again. Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions.

Adopting a rescued dog can be the best decision and addition to the family you ever made. Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life!

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