Bringing Sally Home: Our Dog Adoption Process


Last Updated: March 22, 2022 | 6 min read | 2 Comments

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Sally the dog with pup parents Kimberly & Pat

My husband and I went to the local Humane Society on a Saturday morning, after waiting years for the right time to get a dog. In the past, we moved around a lot and just didn’t feel it was the right time for us to care for another living creature. After getting a permanent home for ourselves and also getting our schedules to slow down, we knew it was the perfect time to grow our family.

We had been following the Facebook page associated with the Humane Society we were going to visit, so we had a few dogs in mind that we wanted to meet. According to the rescue, one was a 6-month-old lab (Nash), another was a 1-year-old lab (Leo), and the last was a 3-year-old hound mix (Sally). (note: all breed details provided by rescue organizations are a best guess as no DNA tests or AKC paperwork is required for adoption information). My husband and I grew up with Labrador retrievers, so we were fairly comfortable with the breed. We told the employees which dogs we’d like to meet, and they brought out Sally first.

Sally’s Background

As they were getting Sally, another employee told us Sally’s story, saying she had been in the shelter the longest at eight months and rarely got visitors. She was found on the side of the road in June 2016 and brought into the shelter. She had been adopted out a couple of months before our visit but was brought back within a few days because she was “too hyper” for the household. When she was brought back to the shelter, she experienced some depression, stopped eating, lost weight and stopped socializing with the other dogs. Our hearts instantly fell for this pup, and we wanted a better life for her.

Meeting Sally for the First Time

Sally the dog in grass

Sally came charging through the door and greeted us with a wagging tail and lots of kisses. She showed us all her tricks including sit, shake and lay down. We sat on the couch and she jumped up in our laps and curled up with us. We got down on the floor and played with her, and she played back. After spending some time with her, we asked to take her for a walk. She was absolutely fabulous. We were falling in love with this sweet girl.

Playing With Other Dogs

We spent time with Nash and Leo the same as we did with Sally, but it just didn’t feel the same. Nash growled when we touched around his mouth, showing slight signs of aggression. But with his age, this is something we could’ve acclimated him to, I’m sure. Leo was at that funny stage where he was so gangly and cute, but the employees said he wasn’t the friendliest with other dogs. We didn’t want our dog to be mean towards our friends’ and family’s dogs, so this worried us a bit but weren’t huge deal breakers for us. We considered their ages and knew that younger dogs were typically adopted quicker than older dogs. Sally was still a fairly young adolescent, but knowing that Nash and Leo were younger, we were confident they would find homes soon.

Learning More About Sally

Sally just fit into the dynamic we wanted for our family. We asked to see Sally again after meeting the other dogs and talked more seriously with the employees about Sally’s personality. To summarize their words, Sally would be a great adventure companion. She would fit in great with a family who camps, hikes, swims and explores new places. This description fits our lifestyle perfectly. We love camping, hiking and visiting new places. It was simply meant to be.

The Adoption Process

We asked about the adoption process, and to our surprise, it was fairly simple. All we had to do was fill out a form with some questions on it, add our personal details and pay a small application fee. (Note: the adoption process and fees may vary by county, state and/or shelter.) The manager took a couple of days to look it over and make sure everything we said was in line with what Sally required in a home. As we waited for the manager to look over our documents, we found ourselves missing Sally immensely. In fact, we visited the shelter again that afternoon and asked if we could walk her again to spend more time with her.

Her adoption fee was $75, which includes her spay, rabies vaccination, parvo, distemper and Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccinations, microchip implantation, heartworm test and deworming and flea treatment. For her microchip we had to pay an additional $20 to the company to have her registered with our information.

Some Preemptive Shopping

That Sunday we were so excited about the potential of Sally joining our family that we got ahead of ourselves and started buying stuff for her. (We were somewhat optimistic and extremely excited about the potential of Sally joining our family. So we just couldn’t help ourselves.) We bought a bed, food, toys, treats, shampoo, brush, leash, collar and more. In fact, we bought nearly everything on this list I had put together a few weeks back for this website. Ha! Like I said, we may have been a little overzealous. 😉

The Best Valentine’s Gift Ever

We received a call the following Tuesday (Valentine’s Day) requesting we come in so that the manager could see how we interacted with Sally since she wasn’t there when we visited her the first time. This visit went well and Sally was so excited to see us again. We felt like she was starting to remember us and wanted to be a part of our family. The manager told us that she thought the three of us were a great fit and we were so relieved. We would be taking our Sally home with us! It was such a wonderful Valentine’s surprise.

Bringing Sally Home

Sally licking Pat

I had some traveling to do for work, so we had to wait longer to bring her home. Why? Because we didn’t want her to be in a crate all day right after adopting her. (I work from home and my husband leaves for work, so if I’m not home, she goes in the crate.)

On February 23, 2017, our Sally came home with us. This was such an exciting day for all three of us. We began spoiling, playing and cuddling with her. She had us wrapped around her paw instantly. Although we haven’t had her for long, she has already been such a wonderful addition to our family. She makes us laugh constantly at the silly things she does, like barking at her reflection or her funny looking run when she plays “keep away” with the frisbee.

Our First Week With Sally

Sally has exceeded any expectations we had. We have had zero accidents in the house and she does great on our walks and during play time. She is very food driven but is easily distracted on the walking trail when being passed by other people. She loves playing with the frisbee but hasn’t quite caught on to how fetch works. Her favorite toy is her hedgehog which makes a squeaky noise.

She has been a great coworker, although she tends to sleep on the job 😉 . She loves being my shadow and follows me everywhere. She whines when my husband leaves for work (only a little) and greets him with lots of kisses when he gets home.

Sally greets us every morning at 4 or 5 a.m. ready for the day ahead. We’re hoping to get her acclimated to a 6 a.m. wake up time since that’s when we start our days typically. However, we can get her to go back to sleep fairly easily until the alarm sounds. My husband loves waking up with her and feeding her first thing in the morning and I feed her around 3:30 p.m. We each feed her because my husband was worried she might “love one of us more than the other” if only one of us feeds her (ha ha!).

She experienced some anxiety/discomfort towards bath time and getting in the car. Her distaste for the car could be an issue since we plan to travel by car to go hiking and camping. So hopefully, we can acclimate her with short trips in the coming months. Then she will be ready for all the adventures we have planned this summer!

Video: Sally Fetching Stick

Here’s Sally in action, as you can see, she’s very talented at fetching sticks!

The Best Decision Ever

The decision to adopt Sally was so simple, and she has brought so much joy to our lives already. Sally is the perfect balance of play time and chill time, and that fits perfectly in our family dynamic. We don’t know why her last family thought she was “too hyper” but we’re so grateful that things turned out the way they did. We always said we wanted the dog we adopted to choose us, and we feel that’s exactly what happened with Sally.

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