You’ve heard the birth stories about my babies. I have shared my pregnancies, my marriage, my dietary choices and more. What I do not as often share, is the fresh start we got when we brought home our Maddie Girl.
I don’t think I have ever shared about how our first baby girl came into our home. Our fur baby goes by a few different names; Madison, Maddie…if she’s in trouble Madison Marie. Yes, I gave my dog a middle name. Don’t you give your kids middle names?
The hubs and I moved in together after a few years of dating. We then did what any couple does after cohabitation; we went buck wild at Ikea, bought a year supply of ramen noodles and decided to get a dog. We both grew up having dogs in our home. My family dog was a stray taken into a shelter and bought home. I knew that I wanted to do the same. Give a dog a fresh start, I never wanted to spend tons of money on some boutique fancy breed.
We didn’t have a specific type of dog breed in mind. I knew there were plenty of dogs in shelters and on the streets and that is where we would start our search.
Freshpet believes all pets deserve a happy, healthy, tail-wagging life. But many “underdogs” – animals from backgrounds of abuse, neglect, or disability – often get over-looked in shelters. But it’s these very animals who need love the most, and will return it 10-fold if only given a chance.
Within minutes of making the decision, I grabbed my phone and started googling. Surprisingly, there were a ton of listing on Craigslist. My first click was on a listing for a nearby city. It was a photo of a dog with a story.
The story was about this dog, she was a stray brought to their home and needed a good home. I called the owner and said what’s your address? I am on my way!
When we arrived at the house, a garage door opened and I saw her. My Madison, my Maddie! My first fur baby girl. She was crouched in a metal cage in this corner of the garage. This was South Florida. It was a tiny metal cage. There was no access to water and it was a hot box. I looked at Chase and said, “Even if we decide not to keep her for us, we have to take her from here!” I knew she couldn’t stay in that hot garage. We live in South Florida, a person’s garage can get well over 100 degrees during the day.
The man explained that his wife was shopping at Target with their kids yesterday and that their son had noticed the dog behind the store. There was a canal behind the store, they looked and could not see an owner nearby and still continued on their way. When they left the store they saw that the puppy was still there. Sitting behind the store, waiting by the canal, all alone. They still did not see a person anywhere nearby.
They brought the puppy to a local pet store to have her scanned and see if she had a chip. They utilized social media and no one responded. The man then said that because he already has 2 kids and 2 dogs, they could not take in another dog. He was willing to give away the dog if we would cover the cost of the cage and the food. We instantly agreed, paid for all his “troubles” and threw everything in our car.
We weren’t more than a mile down the road and Madison jumped into my husband’s lap and we knew…we knew she was ours.
Since that day she has been a part of our lives. She goes out on boating trips, road trips, jumps into our holiday photos and slept in our bed (until our kids came along). She now prefers to sleep on my bedside in her own bed.
Freshpet wants your help spreading the message that “underdogs” make amazing pets, if only given a Fresh Start. By raising awareness for shelter pets, they hope to erase some of the stigma surrounding these animals and help more underdogs (and cats!) find their forever home.
In its first year of the Fresh Start program, Freshpet is partnering with rescue organization Animal Alliance of New Jersey in Lambertville, NJ, with the goal to enlist the support of pet lovers everywhere to help create a rehabilitation center designed to foster animal development.
Our Maddie girl has acclimated to being a great big sister, she secretly loves the new role I think.
Check out this video: http://freshpet.co/FreshStart3
For every video share, Freshpet will donate $1 to help Animal Alliance of New Jersey build a rehab center for overlooked dogs and cats.
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