Adopting Canelo – Just the Beginning

It has been almost half a year since I adopted my first dog. Truth be told, I was not too sure if I wanted to make the jump. I moved to another city, away from family and friends, where all I had was my job and grad school – but having no one around was driving me insane. And then Canelo happened.. 🙂

The adoption process was pretty typical I would say. I saw him on the Austin Pets Alive website and instantly there were sparks. This handsome little guy was house-trained too and that was a huge plus in my book. My boyfriend and I went to visit him at the shelter but he had been put under behavioral observation. A part of me felt extremely disappointed since I had already imagined him to be a part of my life. We were able to meet other dogs at the shelter, but none quite clicked the way Canelo had, or his description at least. Two weeks later we visit the shelter again in hopes that Canelo might be finished with his behavioral evaluation and lucky me.. he was. I finally had the opportunity to meet him away from the kennel environment and decided right there and then that I was going to bring him home. Canelo immediately got along with my boyfriend as well which was wonderful!

Here are the pictures that got me hooked:

You now see why?!

So yes, I signed those adoption papers within the next two hours as soon as we had Canelo’s crate, bed, and food arrangements set up. I brought him home and he seemed to have fit right in from the start. I remember the moment he laid his head on my lap on the first night – it felt reassuring that – yes, he was going to be okay with me, I was going to be okay with him, everything was going to be okay.

Canelo was also heartworm positive so the adoption agreement included a fully paid treatment which we were able to coordinate with the shelter’s clinic and finish successfully. He is now heartworm free! The treatment period of 4 to 6 weeks however had its challenges:

(1) I did not know him well enough when we began treatment, and he was also suffering from separation anxiety. The medications wore him down and may have made his anxiety worse which caused him to rip his $70 comfortable foam bed – so pretty much made some damages to property.

(2) I work full time and unfortunately have to leave Canelo at home alone for 8 hours every week day. During his treatment, he had the urge to urinate more than just twice a day and in turn, accidents did happen.



(3) His separation anxiety also resulted in noise complaints which made me rethink my decision to adopt him. As if work and school was not enough, now I had to deal with the neighbors and leasing office? Ugh..

Yet, all that was just another storm that passed by. The experience has made me appreciate the calm that my life has reached now with him. Truth be told, that experience has probably made me care about him a lot more and I have probably become somewhat emotionally dependent and much closer to my dog which I had never thought I would. The constant worrying about him, making sure I gave him his medications, making sure he has food in his system, visiting him during lunch now and then, all of these added up and all I had in mind was Canelo.

Today, my handsome labrador retriever mix is healthier than ever. And mischievous than ever.  Sometimes he won’t let me sleep and sometimes he won’t sleep until I fall asleep. I’ll be studying and he could just sit and stare at me all night.


I love how he could just sit on my patio and daze out for hours, watching people, birds, cars, playing with his tennis ball from time to time.


Let’s not forget when he switches to stalker mode. I might be taking a mid-day nap and I wake up and open my bedroom door and there he is.. staring right at me.

Unfortunately for him, it’s not just him who’s got quirks…


Few things I may have learned from having Canelo so far:

  • Parks regardless of it being a dog park or a regular park.. chances are the grass has been drenched every day by urine and feces. Now that I am aware, I may never do a traditional picnic or lay on bare grass. Just no.
  • Be carefree for a moment.. It is a lot more fun to get down and dirty! (except on grass lol)
  • Love unconditionally, let people know you for that quality rather than the opposite.
  • Rules are set for a reason. Follow them and you should be okay – for the most part.
  • Living alone is tough. And to think we do not need anyone is absurd. We are social beings and no matter how independent, we all need someone.
  • Lastly, the hardest part of my day is leaving Canelo, hands down – whether it be at home or at the day care. 

This is just the beginning though! Cannot wait to make memories after memories with this guy..



4 thoughts on “Adopting Canelo – Just the Beginning

  1. Awwwww!!! This is amazing!!! You are good inspiration! I also have a dog. It is a golden retriever. His name is Simon and he is still a puppy. He is 1 year old. When you have a dog your life change completely!!! But I am so happy as you are!

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