Joelle, 26, moved out to Chicago after graduating with a Psychology degree from SUNY Purchase. She currently works in the coffee business in Chicago, IL. From the time she moved out of her parent’s house and left the family dog at home, she dreamt of being able to rescue her own pup! In comes Louise! Lou is a 10 month old hound mix that she and her partner rescued from PAWS Chicago. She is a sweet, energetic, mischievous girl who has an affinity for squeakers and an extreme dislike for doors. Lou has a 4 year old cat brother named Simon – she loves just being in the same room with him! She is so full of love and has been an absolute joy to add to their family!
We had the opportunity to interview Joelle about her pet adoption story and learn more about Louise. We hope that by sharing her story, we can inspire more people to adopt and not shop.
We are so excited to learn more about Louise’s GOTCHA day! How did you find Louise, and how did you know she would be your new best friend?
Emily and I had talked about the idea of adding a dog to our life extensively before we were able to confidently start searching for a pup of our own! We both grew up with dogs and knew that we wanted to rescue someone- shopping for a dog was never a thought in our minds. We knew that we wanted a dog that was under 5 years of age and had the ability to go on runs with me! We also needed to make sure that whatever baby we brought home had to get along with Simon the cat. We started out by filling out an application at PAWS. They were so helpful in making sure that we had all of the correct information and resources to make sure that we picked the pup that would be able to thrive with us in our home! We went back to PAWS about 4 times before we finally met Louise (her name was Koala then.) and when I saw her- I just knew that she had to come home with us. We got to meet Louise and she was the sweetest little thing you could ever meet! She was ready to play and snuggle from the moment that we took her out on the patio at the adoption center. Though we fell in love with Louise immediately, we knew that we needed to make sure that she was going to be a good fit for Simon! PAWS took the necessary steps to cat test Louise and when they gave us the go ahead, we began the steps to bring her home!
What inspired you to adopt a dog instead of buying one?
Emily and I grew up with dogs and we had always rescued dogs- the idea of puppy mills and people overbreeding dogs for selling purposes makes us both incredibly sad. When you walk into an animal shelter, you see all of these perfect animals that are so willing to give you all of their love and they deserve to be with the perfect family.
What was the adoption process like for you?
PAWS had us fill out a lot of paperwork before we were even able to see the dogs they had staying with them. This made us feel like we were absolutely going to take the right dog home! The visiting process was incredible- we had our own volunteer there to answer any questions while we were visiting with Louise and they really knew the dogs- they were an incredible resource. As I mentioned earlier, I think the most valuable part of the adoption process was how seriously they took us having a cat at home. I knew that when we took Louise home that Simon wouldn’t be in any stress due to incompatibility with the newest member of our family. They are now the best of friends- they nap together and will sometimes even play together! Another important resource was the counseling we went through while Louise was being set up to go home with us. We were able to sit down with a volunteer to make sure that we had all of the information about taking Louise home and the resources that PAWS offers its alumni- they offer quite a bit!
How did adopting Louise change your life?
I think Emily, Simon, and I can all agree that bringing Lou into our lives resulted in us being more whole! We spend so much time together at home and it has been great for all of us. Lou also gets Emily and I out of the house so we can walk off all of her endless puppy energy! Our house is so filled with love and Louise really brought a lot of that with her.
How do you like to spend quality time with Louise?
Being a 10month old baby, Louise has a LOT of energy! She loves walking around the neighborhood and we love taking her on walks! We’ve taken her camping and found out that she also loves water! Louise loves to play fetch in the yard, go for long walks around the neighborhood, and most of all…Louise LOVES to cuddle.
What stereotypes would you like to shatter about animal adoption/rescue pets? What are your goals in sharing your adoption story?
I really want people to know that when you adopt an animal, behavioral issues are no more prominent than when you select a puppy straight from the litter. I believe that if you are ready to get a dog and really have the time to commit, behavioral issues will be sorted out with any dog! You have to take time with any animal that you decide to welcome into your family- rescue or not! I want people to see Louise’s story and hopefully consider visiting their local shelter- I promise that breed or age won’t matter when you find the pup that is right for you!
What advice would you give to someone looking to adopt a rescue pet?
Don’t rush it! If you go into a shelter for the first time and assume that you will be taking home a dog that day- you might rush into things and not be matched with the best new friend for you! Go visit your shelter a few times a month and get to know some dogs! Make sure that you are honest with yourself and the adoption agency on how much time you have to commit to a dog- if you aren’t going to be home a lot during the day, I promise you don’t have time for a puppy.
How do you think adopting a rescue pet can make a positive difference?
When you adopt a dog, you are saving a million other dogs. You are making room for a pup who needs to seek out shelter from a not great situation and also discouraging puppy mills! If everyone is choosing to adopt, there will be virtually no need to be overbreeding dog breeds!