What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Rescue Dog

Thinking about starting the New Year with a new, furry family member? Great idea! Just make sure you can find a cozy spot for yourself under the dining room table...

Hi humans! Happy New Year!

Marty Maraschino here. I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write for this month’s musings, and I’ve decided that I’d like to chat about what you 2-leggeds can expect when you’re getting ready to adopt a furbaby. Also squirrels. I’ve been thinking a lot about squirrels. Like where do they put their tails when they sleep? But anyway…

If you’ve never had a furbaby, you might be wondering a few things.

How long will it take us to get used to you?

Do we need a crate?

Do we require a certain type of food?

Will we poo in your favorite shoe?

And the answers to all of those questions are…that depends; probably; maybe; and you might want to put your favorite shoes on a high shelf for now.

Honestly, every dog is different, and you kind of have to “feel it out” as you go. I’ve seen plenty of fosters come through my humans’ house, and every one of them was different. Some were also pretty annoying, but that’s a conversation for another day.

When I met my humans I could tell they’d be cuddlers, which is great because I am SUCH a cuddler. I’m also pretty nervous, so that first night I needed a LOT of cuddles. They tried a crate…then they tried a fluffy bed on their bedroom floor…then they even did a biiiig no-no and tried to let me sleep in their bed! But I was just too nervous to lie down- new place, new people, new smells (lots of smells- they live in the country and my hound’s nose could swear a bear was just going to come smashing through the door at any moment).  So what I negotiated with them was for the man to sleep under the dining room table with me that first night. After he did that I knew I could trust them, and I started sleeping in my crate at night.

Which brings me to the crate- listen, we don’t all need crates forever, but we should all have one to start. Your house, even if it’s tiny, is a whole new planet to us, and we need our own safe space on that planet. Once we have the lay of the land- and we’ve proven that we won’t use your carpet as a wee-wee pad- you can feel free to leave the door open for us. But keep the crate for awhile, for our sake. Imagine someone asking you to move into their house and, instead of giving you a bedroom, they tell you to sleep in the kitchen. Not cool. So basically,  until we’ve completed our takeover of every couch, bed, and other soft space that you own, the crate is our bedroom.

The last thing I’d like to discuss today is food. There are a million, gazillion types of food out there. There is no way to know what is best for us the second you meet us. The best first step is to feed us whatever we were eating at the shelter, rescue, or foster’s home, and slowly transition to whatever diet you think is best for us. My human mom was big on cooking for me (until she realized how many pounds of chicken hearts she had to dice up every week for my hungry caterpillar self), so I’m going to do another musing on homemade dog food- stay tuned! But for now, a good rule of thumb is, nice and easy with the food switches. No one likes tummy troubles.

Especially your favorite shoes.

That’s all I have for now- I hope you enjoyed my musings!

Also, please send all squirrel research to

Thank you and good night.

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