Unexpected New Love by Kandice

When we took a trip to the Humane Society we weren’t planning on getting an animal what so ever. Of course though when we went and saw Swayze we fell in love, Swayze (Patrick was his name at the time) was a Great Dane/Lab cross who was just shy of a year old.
After meeting with the adoption counselor we came to learn he was returned back to the Humane society 3 times, two reasons were unknown and one was for excessive barking. We were a bit worried about bringing him home, knowing he was brought back not once but three times seemed like a red flag. He was the only dog though that sat calmly in his room while the other dogs around him were barking and jumping because of that we did end up deciding to take him home.
Getting him home and adjusted to his new surroundings wasn’t an easy task. Swayze clearly wasn’t house trained properly, didn’t respond to his name at all, which is why we decided to change it – wasn’t trained to walk on a leash, and hadn’t been groomed properly. The one thing we did notice about Swayze though was that he hardly ever barked, even trying to train him to speak took a lot of work.
Even today I could count on one hand the amount of times I’ve heard him bark in the past 3 years that we’ve had him. Our theory as to why he was brought back to the Humane Society so many times was because I don’t think people realize how much work it is for a large breed puppy. Whatever the case was with Swayze, we are thankful we ended up with him. We had the time, space, patience and energy it took to train him.
Swayze took a bit of work but now he’s a gentle, lovable goof who’s still seems to be in his puppy stage with boundless energy! Not everyone can handle Swayze’s high energy and I can see where he wouldn’t be suitable for certain homes. This goes to show it’s really best to think about long term rather than short terms when deciding whether or not to get a puppy.
Puppies are adorable but a lot of work, some things to think about before adopting or getting a puppy are the type of breed your getting, the vaccines it will need, do you have enough space in your home for a growing puppy, do you have kids or other animals that might not get along well with it, expenses for a puppy, do you have the time to properly train or the patience to deal with accidents that are bound to happen.
I truly don’t believe the reason why Swayze ended up at the shelter was because of excessive barking, which is sad because of that label we almost didn’t end up getting him. Stopping to think about these things before actually committing to a puppy can help dogs find homes that are suitable and save them from ending up at shelters for preventable reasons.