Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Frugal Furry Friends

Well, faithful readers, it has been a bit of a hiatus for us Frugal Friends, has it not? Major (but wonderful!) life changes have been taking place, and hanging out at local thrift stores had taken a temporary backseat. Not to worry! The Friendzies have not been idle! In fact, we think we've been even MORE creative. We want to bring you a variety of ways to live a thrifty life, and so, today's post was born.

Both Sarah Jane and Adele are in love with pets. But our furry friends happen to also be frugal finds. We wanted to share our pet adoption/rescue stories, and a few from fellow frugal friends of ours, to help you all see yet another way to serve, help, and stay thrifty!

I, Adele, have two dogs my husband and I adopted after we bought our house. Our first adoption was through "a friend of a friend" who was needing to move into a smaller apartment. Henry, her 30lb. hound-y mut, needed a new home. Henry had entered the SPCA system around the age of 1. We don't really know what his background is before that. At the SPCA he was neutered and caught up to date on all of his shots. From age 1-3, he lived with the "friend of a friend" of ours, and around age 3, we adopted him through the SPCA. Since he had previously been an SPCA dog, we had to continue to include them in any change of owners that occurred...kind of like selling someone a car and switching over the title, I guess. There was really minimal paperwork involved, overall. Took one evening. We were fortunate because the previous owners gave Henry to us for free, which is the frugalest way to come to possess ANYTHING! While Henry has some bad habits still in need of breaking, he is a totally unique, intuitive, smart pup who loves us dearly. Our house would not be the same without him!

Our second dog, Loki, came to us this past year when he was around 1yo. He's a pit bull, Rottweiler mix, from what we're told. While that particular mix scared me a little at first, I'm a TOTAL convert now! Cameron's boss saw Loki at a local pitbull rally through the Bad Press organization and thought he would be perfect for our family. (Bad Press is basically an organization dedicated to spreading the truth about how wonderful misunderstood dog breeds are, dispelling myths about said breeds, and rescuing mistreated/abandoned dogs when necessary.) Loki had been owned by a nice couple who lived in a "bad part of town." He spent his puppyhood meeting all the neighbors and being showered with love and affection. He also grew up with another dog by his side, so he was used to sharing the love. He was kept up to date with shots, and was neutered young. When his owners needed to move into subsidized housing, there was no more room for dogs. So Loki ended up with Bad Press, and was shown off at all of their events and rallies. After we made contact with Bad Press, we had a few meet-and-greet sessions with Loki, and then with Henry and Loki, and our decision was quickly made! We got Loki for free as well, and following minimal paperwork and a few "house checks" by Bad Press (their policy), Loki was in his forever home. He is the BEST dog ever! He loves people, naps, and pleasing everyone. He still has a little puppy left in him, so he can occasionally get himself in trouble, but that is really rare for him (and makes his mommy proud!). He may be 60+lbs, but he sure thinks he's the most loveable lap dog there ever was! (And we tend to agree! ;))
Here's Mr. Loki (with Henry perched in the background). We love his one floppy ear and overall adorableness. (Like, how he's sitting half on his dog bed?!) What a ham!
Sleepy little Henry...on the rare occasion that he's sleeping! Love how tightly he can curl himself up (and believe me, he curls up tighter than this even!)

I, Sarah Jane, adopted a kitty a few months after I got married. Originally my husband had wanted a dog, but after writing a pros and cons list with for dogs v. cats, we both decided a cat would better suit our situation Anyways, I found her at the local shelter, and we immediately bonded in the "meet and play" room, not to mention the shelter worker informed me they put down cats EVER day (she said this while Zsa Zsa was on my lap making a desperate attempt to snuggle into me and be petted as much as possible). She was sweet sweet sweet from day one, and my husband, who was a bit cat skeptical at first since he had never owned one, was very quickly won over. We named her Zsa Zsa. She's a beautiful smoky tabby, and very plush. She's a wonderful pet in pretty much every way, easy to care for and very clean, and she is so bonded to both my husband and myself that she gets depressed if we even go away for the weekend. Zsa Zsa only cost us $60 to adopt and that fee included the adoption fee itself, spaying, micro-chipping, shots, and a flee treatment. So, in truth, this "fee" was a real steal, considering what it would have cost to get all of that done for a non-adopted pet. Normally $60 wouldn't even cover the total cost of spaying. She came to us in great health and litterbox trained, with no behavioral issues whatsoever. In fact, the shelter she came from was a "high kill" shelter and they told me that it is the "cream of the crop" animals that make it to the adoption floor. The rest are simply put down because they don't have enought room or resources. The good news for frugal consumers is that through adoption like this, you will most likely be getting a top-notch animal (since the less desirable ones don't make the cut). The other great thing is that in adopting an established, adult animal, their personality is generally set. So, what you see is what you get when you're picking out your pet. If the animal can be calm and well-behaved in the stressful environment of a shelter, you will find that personality sticks around when you bring your pet home. One other perk we found through adoption - when we took Zsa Zsa for her first vet appointment, the vet in our area waved the first visit fee because we had adopted her. So in the end we saved even more money than we anticipated.

Doing what she does best -- napping!

Lacey, a friend of both of ours from college adopted a dog with her fiance this past year. Lacey wrote a little blurb for our blog about her pup, Crosby.
Kurt & I adopted our dog from Cast Away Critters.  He and his siblings were actually featured on the show Animal Hoarders too, if you've ever heard of it.  His former owner had around 10 grown mastiffs, including his parents and then 4 puppies (one of which is him).  He was rescued along with his brother and two sisters.  He was about 8-9 weeks old when we got him and is now about 11 months old.  He is a mastiff-boxer mix, mostly mastiff, 1/8 boxer.  We named him Crosby (after Sidney Crosby a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey player).  I haven't heard anything about his brothers or sisters, so not sure how they are doing.  He is a great dog though, very friendly and loving.  He likes to snuggle, even though his just as big as me now, haha.  He loves going to the dog park and playing with other dogs.  I would definitely recommend adopting to anyone interested in getting a pet. 
Crosby as a pup. Cute as always!

Crosby making sure Lacey behaves!

One of Adele's friends, Liz, adopted a dog this past year. Dena is a retired greyhound that Liz and her husband found through a local greyhound "rescue." They had some of the typical paperwork to fill out, a fee of a around a couple hundred dollars for the adoption, and had to meet a few requirements with their housing, family situation, etc. But to them, this is a small amount of work for the great reward of giving a dog a "forever home." Soon after they adopted her, Dena developed bone cancer in one of her legs and had to have it amputated. Who knows the kind of situation she would have been in if it weren't for faithful, dedicated owners to see her through the whole ordeal. Today, Dena's thriving as a three-legging wonder woman!

Despite the blurry pic, you can see Dena's playful side clearly!
She just wants to be close to you all the time!

Sarah Jane's friend, Janet, wanted to share about her pup, Lola. Lola came from the same shelter Zsa Zsa did, so the benefits of her adoption are similar (up to date on shots, spayed, micro-chipped, flee treatment, etc.). Her adoption fee was under $90 for all of this!
Little Lola peeking out of the shop window.

Oh, Lola!
Another couple, Arka and Swati, actually adopted two cats after meeting Zsa Zsa and seeing how great (and cute!) she was. They adopted their cats, Chica and Cienna, from a no-kill shelter, and only spent $60 per cat for everything- spaying, microchipping, shots and a flea treatment. Seriously, even only from a financial perspective, adoption is way superior to a pet store, breeder, or even a free puppy or kitten! Here are Cienna (calico) and Chica:

There are so many loveable furry friendzies out there who need the security of a forever home. We hope we've clearly shown you all just how secure, cost effective, and just plain rewarding adopting pets can be.

Save money, and save a life.                                                                                                                                         

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