Have taken the plunge and acquired a pooch!

Astro the Wonder Dog

It took a while to convince me to get another pet. And, having grown up with dogs and all their peculiarities (and having gotten used to the freedom of no pets), it took a bit longer to convince me that it should be a dog. But underneath it all, I’m a pushover for animals, and I caved. And I’m glad.

Have been realizing what a spoiled culture/area I’m living in, as “adopting” a dog has proven to be so difficult. I won’t be so callous as to say it’s as hard as adopting a child–because it’s not–but the parallels do come unbidden to mind. Went to the Humane Society every weekend for a month, found several suitable dogs each time, and each time there was some *rule* about why we couldn’t have *that particular one*. They were only spared a severe tongue lashing when they assured me that they don’t generally euthanize.

Did the dance with a couple of rescue agencies before finding our new buddy at United Hope for Animals. He’s 4 months old, German shepherd and lab mix, and as good a dog as one could want. He’s nearly housebroken, walks on a leash, can stand in front of an open door or gate without wanting to run off, and is clearly happy being Omega Dog. He has also accepted our home as his territory, and is showing signs that he will be protective of it.

And he follows me around like…like a little puppy. Awwww.

Anyway, I’m really impressed with United Hope for Animals, and I encourage you to check out their website and help out, if you can. Their “beat” is Baja Mexico and Southern California. They rescue animals from high kill shelters, and advocate for humane treatment of shelter animals. An example of their recent success: due to UHA’s advocacy, the 6 cities of Baja (Rosarito, Tecate, Tijuana, Ensenada, Saltillo, and Mexicali) no longer electrocute shelter animals.

It’s still a far cry from a city like mine, where there are waiting lists to adopt animals, shelters have the luxury of waiting for *just the right owner* to turn up, and doggies live a better life than a lot of people around the world. But through work and advocacy, things are changing. Please consider helping if you can.

Astro the Wonder Dog didn’t suffer the kind of abuse that you can read about on the “rescue stories” page of the UHA website (He was dumped over the wall of the Ensenada shelter before being rescued by UHA). But in a lot of the border towns, people don’t have the luxury of pampering animals, especially animals that aren’t their own, and especially when strays abound and multiply and often comprise a public health hazard.

If you’re in the area and thinking of a new pet, UHA has both dogs and cats. The adoption fee includes sterilization, microchipping, all shots, 2 weeks of pet insurance, a collar and leash, and more. Plus, the animals have been fostered and their behavior and temperaments are well documented.

And if you make a donation soon, you can enter Cherie Priest’s charity competition for a chance to win an audiobook or author copy of her latest. If you win, it’ll be the best $10 or so you’ve ever spent.

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