Someone asked me this question recently and I immediately said, “nope.” I have three rescue dogs and I can tell you that Rodrigo and Sydney love us, but they have no clue how good they have it, because they’ve spent their entire lives in loving homes. Their mom was rescued and they were born afterwards. I’ve been told that puppies can feel stress while in the uterus, but our rescue dogs are happy and healthy. If they don’t feel like eating, they don’t, because they know they won’t ever do without a meal.
Blue, on the other hand, was rescued as a stray. I’m not 100% certain about his story, but from what I understand, someone found him and turned him in to a shelter. Because shelters aren’t great places for puppies (due to the exposure to viruses), a local rescue group was contacted and after spending a week in quarantine, Blue (who was named Ed Wood at the time) was delivered to the loving arms of a foster family.
Our dogs are very happy and I believe they’re thankful for their life, but they’re not human. Dogs live in the moment, so they show affection, love, appreciation, loyalty, and the rest based on what they’re experiencing in the moment. I don’t think they’re laying in bed thinking about how lucky they are; they’re lying there wondering if they can remember where they left their bone.
There are some interesting differences between our littermates and Blue and I think it has to do with when they joined our family; not if they were rescued or breed for profit.
- Rodrigo and Sydney will walk away from a full bowl of food (it’s not often, but it happens), because they know that they’ll never starve.
- As long as Blue isn’t playing, he’s ready to eat when his bowl is put down.
Where’s mommy going?…
- I can leave a room and Rodrigo and Sydney will just watch me go. If I stay in the other room for more than 10 minutes, they’ll come and join me. Otherwise, they know I’ll be back.
- Blue will wake up out of a dead sleep, follow me to the other room, and go back to sleep nearby. When he was a puppy, he was inconsolable if I walked out the front door without him so we ended up taking him everywhere with us, which wasn’t a problem, because everyone welcomes a puppy.
The dogs don’t sleep with us, but if I happen to get a hankering for an all nighter in front of the television, we do have sleeping arrangements.
- Sydney sleeps behind my legs with her head on my thigh. Rodrigo sleeps at my feet.
- Blue sleeps by himself at first, but eventually makes his way to sleep anywhere that will place his face on mine. When he was little, I could cuddle him on my chest, he’s a bit too big for that, but it doesn’t stop him from trying and I love that he wants to be so close that I let him.
- Rodrigo and Sydney love people – whenever strangers come to our house, they’re welcome with tail wags.
- Blue is very protective of the house, property and his pack. He’s going to bark at you until you leave.
Since I don’t have much experience with dogs who are purchased from a breeder, I can’t really compare their behavior to our rescues; but what I do know (based on my chats with reputable breeders) is that…
- just like rescues, they need training
- just like rescues, they have different personalities
- and just like rescues, they love their family
So what do you think, do you have a dog who seems to appreciate you or attach to you a little more than another? Do you think it’s background, age, or just personality?