The act of adopting and fostering rescue dogs has been a part of my family’s history for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a child, there was always a rescue dog somewhere in the family, somewhere in our lives. I remember them all, from the golden retriever, Lucky Joe, who was taken in through my grandfather and became a faithful companion to all in the family, to the black lab/boxer mix named Beau, one of the most loyal animals I have ever known, and no stranger to offering comfort and solidarity, even in his twilight years. Dogs can be wonderful companions, and I know that by remembering the loyalty, the companionship, the fun times when we played tag, and the quiet moments when that faithful companion just sat right beside me while I contemplated hardship. Throughout it all, there has been one man who influenced and orchestrated it all, one man who brought all of these canine companions into our lives. It is his story, out of all in my family history, to be the greatest exemplar of the Rescue Dog Games mission of “Adopt, don’t shop.“
Meet Doctor David Carpenter. Though he is my father, he is a very busy man as a professional veterinarian, so I was fortunate to get a chance to sit down and interview him for this article. He has been engaged in medical study and practice all his life, even thinking about it as early as elementary school, and discovering his affinity for life sciences as early as high school. He graduated from the vet school at the University of Georgia, in Athens, GA, and has since come to be head doctor and co-owner of Hiram Animal Hospital, achieving the title of “County Vet” in the later years of his career. His start with rescuing and rehabilitating animals of all kinds goes back to his vet school years, where he even went so far as to help rehabilitate hawks and amputated deer. As a veterinarian, he offers plenty of support to animal rescue organizations, from discounts to collaborations. In many ways, he’s a strong supporter of the statement, “Adopt, don’t shop.” This is the man whose exploits brought many rescue dogs into the lives of myself, and the rest of our vibrant family.
He adopted his first dog back in vet school, and he had a pretty interesting story to tell there, short thought it might be. I’ll let a pull quote set the stage here…
Yep, you read that right. The puppy he adopted was so chilled out that they named her after a substance that’s used to chill animals out. Of course, what came after as she grew up was a paradoxical opposite of her name. That dog became a bundle of energy, to the point that he and his wife nicknamed her the “ADHD dog… with a capital H.” Dr. Carpenter spoke of her with fondness, recalling with a smile where he found her: in a litter of puppies that all pined for attention to the point of climbing all over him. This dog was a faithful companion throughout David’s vet school years. He has been healing, fostering, and driving adoption of canines in and out of the family ever since.
The Real Stars of the Show
You’ve been waiting for it, and they’re the main subject of the mission, so let me introduce you to a few of the furry friends my father brought into our lives over the years.
Some Parting Words
Every single one of these dogs has been an important part of our lives, only brought to use through rescue and adoption. As you have seen, they each played a role in bringing comfort, joy, love, and companionship into our lives, and in many cases, they taught valuable lessons that helped me and everyone else in my family grow as individuals. I can’t stress enough the immense value in that! They were more than just lives we saved and cared for. In their own way, they repaid us by taking care of and teaching us. For that reason, I would encourage everyone who reads this to make the time and put in the effort to adopt a dog into your home and family, or provide foster care for these amazing animals. Doing either will likely lead you to learn valuable lessons. You’ll find joy, comfort, or satisfaction too. Maybe you’ll even gain a lasting faithful companion who will support you, make you laugh, and bring a smile to your face.
To the man who brought these wonderful animals into our lives, and in so doing sowed the seeds of powerful lessons and lasting friendships, you’re one of a kind, and a blessing on Earth.
Let’s all follow his example! Adopt, don’t shop!
This article project was made in collaboration with Rescue Dog Games.