Best Dog for Family

Ask a vet about which dog to adopt

It’s hard to believe it was almost a decade ago she came into my life. I lost my dog Bentley in my second year of vet school who was still practically a puppy. He was two, but if any of your have giant breed dogs, you know that two is nowhere near adulthood for the large canines of the world. While I did adopt Bentley when he was a puppy, I had honestly had enough puppy-hood to last me for a couple years. After all, I was single, living alone, and in vet school, which basically meant I was an endangered servant and was ready for a dog that needed a little less intense training and supervision.

Ask a vet about it.  The next time you are thinking of bringing a new pet into your home, consider which pet needs your love and home the most.  You won’t regret it.

I decided to adopt an adult dog. While I wanted to stick with a Great Pyrenees, as I had fallen in love with the breed, this time I decided I wanted to adopt a more needy dog, as it’s pretty much a guarantee that adorable bundles of white fluff with pink tongues and kitty-cat like ears on top will have a waiting list for perspective parents.

best dog for family, what kind of dog should i adopt, vet adviceI found Madison actually right off of Petfinder’s website. Madison was a young adult Great Pyr, but she definitely qualified as a special needs girl. She had a horrific case of scabies when I adopted her, along with Ehrlichiosis and heartworm disease. Basically she was doomed, which is why I thought that I would be her perfect parent, as I was a vet student who would make sure that she received the best medical care and I was able to do this more affordable, as I had endless free vet advice.

Several months later, Madison looked like a new dog entirely. She transitioned into my little household wonderfully, and she became my rock. Madison and I spent eight wonderful years together. Looking back, I even think I grew to take advantage of the fact that I had this amazing special dog in my life. Not that she didn’t have a great home–how many dogs can say that they get to go to work every single day with their owner? This was something I negotiated into my work contracts–it was a deal or no deal benefit for me.

best dog for family, what dog should i adopt, free vet advice

Madison, the best dog for a family

Madison was with me for 8.5 years and was with me through some tough times. I was with her through some tough times too, as she endured chemotherapy and radiation treatment for the bone cancer she eventually succumbed to.

She had a wonderful life, with two vets as parents. She was spoiled to say the least. I can’t imagine how my life would have been without her. She was certainly a much easier dog than the puppy had been, even with all her medical conditions.

The decision to adopt Madison was not an easy one. She certainly qualified as a less-adoptable pet.  After all, I couldn’t even snuggle her when I brought her home, not to mention she was not the easiest on the eyes. But she blossomed into the most magnificent and gorgeous girl, with the kindest spirit and was without a doubt, the best dog for family.  Though she remained somewhat emotionally scarred throughout her life, as she would always run away from me with her tail between her legs when I brought out so much as a broom to sweep the floor, (she was taken from her previous owner for abuse) I can’t imagine a better dog to teach me so much about love and gratitude.  Help us celebrate Petfinder’s “Adopt a less adoptable pet” week-long campaign and spread the word about these overlooked pets.

Dr. Laci


best dog for family, ask a vet

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September 17, 2011 at 16:46

Lovely story. What an awesome transformation!

Sarah Bendorf
September 17, 2011 at 19:25

Aw….this made me tear up:) Madison was def. one of the best dogs ever, and you guys gave her the BEST home and life she could ever gave hoped for!! I always tell people looking for a pet to seriously consider RESCUE since they need it and seem to return it with YEARS of love and devotion:)

October 2, 2011 at 13:17

Yes, she was a sweet girl. I really lucked out with her. She was fully house-trained when I got her and she never chewed anything–at least nothing that inedible! She definitely got into the butter and biscotti more than a couple times though!