Rescue Dogs: Adopt Don’t Shop, Coco Bacon finds her forever home

Rescue Dogs Adopt Don't Shop
Animal Haven NYC rescue dog
Photo Credit Kimberly M. Wang

Planting the seed early, rescue dogs rule!

Rescue dogs are the best! Adopt don’t shop, are the words I remember hearing when I was a little girl. Everyone on the block had a pet. Mr. Jimmy had three or four cats for sure. The twins who lived further down had two Great Danes. My best friend had a Pomeranian poodle. Everyone and their mother had a pet! I would ask my parents, “how do I get a pet too”? My parents would burst out laughing and reply with the suttle, “honey, you have five sisters.”

Right then and there, I knew with a family of five sisters, my parents had their plates full, so the chances of having a furry friend were slim to none. All I could focus on was the idea that all my friends and neighbors had a hairy beast, and I wanted to have that type of best friend too! One Monday morning before the school bus came, I asked my best friend, Rachel, “where did you buy your dog?” She looked at me with gentle eyes and replied back, “we didn’t buy our dog. We rescued our dog from the local shelter.” 

rescue dog at Animal Haven NYC
Dj at Animal Haven NYC

There are so many places to adopt a dog in New York City.

They say everything happens for a reason, and I genuinely believe it does. The emotions I felt when I was a little girl yearning for a gentle fuzzy friend of my own was as intense as I entered my adult life. So when my 26th birthday rolled around one windy November afternoon, I was determined to get myself a dog. It didn’t matter the size, the age, the color, the breed. What mattered was finding a dog in need of its forever home. There are so many places to adopt a dog in New York City. I tried to check out every shelter within the subways’ reach.

First on the docket was Sean Casey’s Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, New York. I had been stalking their website for the better part of a year and desperately wanted to give a dog its home. Sadly when we arrived, there was no one to help us 😩.

Finding an animal shelter in New York City

Reluctantly, I left after waiting for half an hour or so. Sean Casey’s Animal Rescue was open every day, so I could always come back later. I quickly decided to do a google search for the closes ASPCA, and it was shocked when I learned it was well over an hour away. With rush hour traffic about to start, I knew we wouldn’t make it there before closing. No problem! I did another quick google search and begged Yannick to explore this animal shelter that was super close to his job in Soho. He reluctantly agreed when he realized the shelter was closing soon, and it was my birthday, after all.

As we entered the doors of the sanctuary, Animal Haven, I got the overwhelming feeling that my dog was here. One way or another, I was going to leave with an animal. This next part is the real breakdown of events leading up to finding my beloved rescue. Yes, I may have been a slight bit over the top, but you have to remember I have yearned for a dog since childhood.  

dog at Animal Haven NYC dog shelter
Coco Bacon before the name change

Before she was Coco Bacon, she was Foona

Yannick and I explored the entire Animal Haven shelter No joke! Looking at the rescue cats, sadly allergic, and then heading to the lower level to see the dogs. There were so many rescue dogs; my heart just began to melt. As we walked up and down the hallway looking at all the precious dog faces, I couldn’t bear the thought of any of these precious creatures not finding their forever home. My mind was running a mile a minute when suddenly my husband said: “here’s our dog. “ The sign read: “Foona, chihuahua mix 1-year-old, birthday November 1”.

It had to be date

This had to be fate as our birthdays were just 4 days apart. There were two other small chihuahuas in the room with “Foona” but appeared to be shy. I wasn’t convinced they would be able to handle my high energy. The staff grabbed Foona and brought her into the holding room so we could get to know her better. I sat on the floor, not knowing what to do with myself. She pranced right over and plopped herself right in my lap.

dog and baby in a stroller for a walk
Coco Bacon now with Jeanne

Dog is not good with children

That was it for me; I knew I pet the one. It was almost like I flew up the stairs to start immediately completing the paperwork. Only to later learn another 5 families had filed paperwork for her too. This wasn’t going to deter me! I called every day, multiple times a day, and had my references on speed dial to get this dog. After what felt like the longest week in history, I got the call that we could come to pick her up for pre-adoption as long as we agreed to get her spayed in the coming weeks.

As I hung up the phone, the staff women said: “be warned Foona is not good with other dogs, cats, and may have an issue with children.” I figured she was probably just a stressed little one and needed time out of the shelter to show her veracious kindness. Without thinking a second more, I told the woman I’ll be there tomorrow to get her.  Pick up day arrived, and I was extremely nervous. I never had a pet before, and I was almost positive “Foona” in French meant something naughty not worth mentioning. Yannick took the lead on asking for her since he was the guru of all pets.

cat at shelter

Cat Person versus Dog Person

He had many rescues growing up in France and had a particularly lovely cat named Boots. It’s crazy to me that I magically forgot that “Foona” had problems with other dogs. As they walked her up the stairs to us, you could hear her growing, barking, and snarling at the other dogs. How could a 12lbs chihuahua make all this noise? The leash was handed over to Yannick, and I quickly told the front desk ladies. “can we edit her papers to say Coco Bacon Delort?” Voilà! She was Foona no more and now had the fresh start to try and be a little kinder to her fellow furry friends.  

From barking in the shelter to partying in the dog park

Now Coco Bacon spends her days play barking with the other dogs in the dog park and lounging around on the sofa with me. It was not an easy rode to get her to love other dogs, and she still has her moments; however, she’s come a long way. Now she’s still friend-enemies with cats, but you know, we’re working on it! I have never met a dog so loving and loyal in my entire life. She could make even the saltiest of people turn into sugary souls just from being her sweet Coco Bacon self.

dog at home on a pillow
Coco Bacon at home

I cannot imagine a life without her in it now! PSA: She is also fantastic with kids! I candidly believe that all animals need a chance. A chance to show us their true self. The self they’ve probably been hiding while in the shelter. Rescuing a dog, cat, bird, ferret, for that matter, give them their heart back.  Coco Bacon being my first baby has stolen my heart and the hearts of everyone she meets. Remember always to adopt and never shy away from a dog just because they’re know be a bit naughty. Sometimes they need to show you their pure heart inside their new forever home. 

Have you adopted yet? Let me know in the comment section

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