lifestyle

Mia Freedman welcomes a new addition to her family.

No you guys, I didn’t have another baby. That kitchen is closed. But I did adopt a new dog. From the same place we adopted our current dog, almost 11 years ago.

I’ve had dogs all my life. We’ve done the pet-shop thing and the purebred thing but the dogs I’ve had the deepest soul connection to have always been rescue dogs. There’s something… profoundly moving about looking into the eyes of a dog who has had a history, often of neglect or abandonment or of loss that you’ll never know. A dog nobody wanted. A dog that is unloved.

After a disastrous pet shop experience a decade earlier where the purebred puppy we bought (for a fortune) turned out to be totally unsuitable for our lifestyle (nobody’s fault but mine), when we were ready to add a dog to our family, we decided to go the rescue route.

We visited several different shelters. The one we landed on though, was Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH), a not-for-profit, no-kill pound (that means they doesn’t euthenase animals that come to the shelter, they keep working until they find them a home – even if they’re 14 years old, even if they’re blind).

One of the things I love most about SDCH is how carefully they try to match animals with forever homes. When we first went there, we thought we wanted a medium sized dog. Maybe a kelpie or border collie cross. We had a 6 year old at the time and he was great with dogs and I’d grown up with medium to large sized dogs. We had a big yard!

But talking to us more, it became apparent that the fact we were going to have lots of small children (relatives, friends’ kids, more kids of our own) through our house for the next decade and many of them WOULDN’T necessarily be confident with dogs… and the fact we both worked full time and didn’t have a lot of time to go for walks etc, a smaller dog might be better. And so we took Harry home. A perfect match.

A photo posted by Mia Freedman (@miafreedman) on

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Our beautiful Harry is 11 years old now and we’re more in love with him than ever. We decided it might be the right time to adopt a new dog so, well, you can see what happened.

Harry and his new friend.

I’m proud to announce I am now an ambassador for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home which means I have an embassy and a driver and diplomatic immunity which is going to be handy when I get my next speeding fine.

We are adjusting in all the ways to having a new member of the family – please don’t ever think it’s going to be super easy to get a pet. It’s always a settling in process so the less spontaneous your decision the better. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than having dogs or cats who have been rescued (or bought impulsively from pet stores when you went up to Westfield to buy school shoes) abandoned or returned to the shelter because their adoption wasn’t properly thought through.

Having said that, rescuing a pet is just the best, most soulful and deeply rewarding thing you can do. The joy it has brought to our lives is immeasurable.

If you have a rescue pet, please post a photo of them – or tell me about them – in the comments.

M xxx

To find out more about Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, visit their website here. Or follow them on Facebook here.

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