A few days ago was my dogs' one year "adoptiversary." They have both undergone quite a transformation in the year since I adopted them from the animal shelter.
Indigo, a Miniature Pinscher, was painfully skinny. You could see every rib.
She weighed only 5.5 pounds. She was listless and lethargic.
One year later, she has fattened up to a healthy 7.2 pounds. She is perky and insistently cuddly.
EDIT: Adding a little about Indigo.
Indigo had been placed in the shelter's night drop (where people can drop off animals anonymously). She was horribly skinny and clearly needed help, and I didn't think very highly of someone who would just leave her in the night drop.
Her behavior showed that she must have had a reasonably good home. She's affectionate, she is well behaved, she walks nicely on leash, she does well riding in the car... clearly someone took time with her. How could her owner, who appeared to be a decent person, just get rid of her?
But I realized I may have been judging that person too harshly. Indigo had obviously gotten sick somehow, and maybe her owner did not have money for vet bills, so he/she dropped Indigo at the shelter knowing that someone would take care of her. Maybe he/she was too embarrassed to drop her off in person, so used the night drop. Certainly dropping her at the shelter was better than letting her suffer.
Whatever the circumstance, the end result is that I got Indigo... which makes me happy. :D
Nook, a Chihuahua mix, was extremely fearful. She was afraid of anything new or different, even an object brought in from another room. I had to be very careful not to make loud noises, which would send her running to hide in her kennel.
She has made great progress. Though she will probably always be a timid dog, she is quite comfortable at home. The other day, I accidentally dropped a spoon on the floor, and she didn't even flinch. :)
Adopting these two little ladies was the best decision I have ever made. They make me laugh and they enrich my life immensely.
As you may know, I am a big proponent of buying secondhand. In no case is this more true than with pets. There are animal shelters and rescue organizations full of dogs and cats of all types and ages. Many of them list their adoptable animals online, so you can easily search for your ideal pet. That's how I found Indigo and Nook.
If you must buy a new "firsthand" pet, please buy from a reputable, pet-loving breeder... one who truly cares about the animals and keeps them in a comfortable living situation. I implore you to never, ever buy a puppy from a pet store because you are almost certainly supporting puppy mills, which are appalling places. I'm not going to say more on that topic because it makes me violently sad.
This post is about celebrating secondhand pets and the happiness they bring. I think adopting a pet is actually a two-way, mutual rescue; it certainly was in my case. I rarely make bold statements advocating one choice over another because circumstances vary and life is not one size fits all. However, I unequivocally advocate for secondhand pets.
As I finish up this post, my secondhand dogs are enjoying their secondhand bed, which is a repurposed kitchen cabinet fitted with cushion, blanket, and heating pad. Usually it is Nook's nook, but Indigo is welcomed any time she wants to visit. :)