Staff and volunteers of the Elmbrook Humane Society will be blogging about what's going on at the society, as well as other observations about life in Wisconsin.
The mission of the Elmbrook Humane Society is to promote the human-animal bond through adoption and education, to provide shelter to homeless animals, and to prevent animal cruelty and neglect. EBHS services the city of Brookfield, the villages of Butler, Chenequa, Elm Grove and Nashotah, and the towns of Brookfield and Delafield. EBHS shelters unwanted pets and strays, and rescues injured domestic animals and wildlife, provides resources for individuals with companion animals and provides Humane Education to schools and civic groups.
Visit our web site at www.EBHS.org.
According to one dictionary it means to take into one's family and bring up as one's own; to select and enter into a new relationship. When someone wants to adopt a child, there are all sorts of legal hurdles to jump through, classes to take, back-ground checks and who knows what else. People who seek to add a child to their family certainly have to be committed to their final goal. The decision is not entered into lightly. Different people look to adoption for different personal motives. Once the adoption has been realized, there is happiness, excitement, and then come the everyday ups and downs of child-raising. I don't want compare children to animal companions, but there are similarities. Certainly the shelters and rescue groups don't put the families through as many challenges. I think it has become easier than in previous years to add to your animal family.
The first time I adopted a dog, I was living in Maryland. We went to the local shelter to check out the animals. There was a cute puppy, terrier mix, and we filled out the required paperwork. That was followed up by a call and a visit from an adoption counselor. The person inspected our house and yard and ended up telling me that we needed to improve our fence so that a dog couldn't escape and that we couldn't have the puppy we had picked because it was part pit bull and would probably kill our cat. Well, I was shocked and kind of upset. I went right back to the shelter and picked out another dog, a 6 month old lab. This time I was asked if I realized how destructive labs could be and was I sure I didn't want to wait to find another dog. Well, I was more stubborn than the counselor and I took that dog home with me. She was so frightened that she had to be carried to the car. We had her for 13 years. And I never did improve my fence (and she never escaped).
Fortunately it is much easier to adopt an animal from EBHS. But that doesn't mean that the commitment should be any less. I have been told that dogs are like toddlers that never grow up. They are easily distracted, can learn, but forget without constant reminders. Classes aren't required except for puppies but they certainly are helpful, even if you are an experienced dog owner. Introducing a new animal into your home is full of excitement and then come those ups and downs. Perhaps the dog has habits that need to be corrected. Once the novelty wears off, other family members may be bored with the routine care. Animals are like humans in that they form attachments. I am always sad when I see an animal returned to the shelter. I know that it is back in a safe place but I wonder if they feel the rejection that a child might feel. Adoption in any form is a serious matter. It shouldn't be something done on an impulse. It can be a long, hard road in some cases, but the rewards are too many to count.