PUPPY LOVE: Adopting a Dog!

by | Lifestyle, Pets

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

On Valentine’s Day, let’s think about our furry friends!

Seriously though, my husband Tony and I did a lot of thinking and planning before adopting a puppy from the Cornelius Animal Shelter located at 19110 Meridian St. in Cornelius. (We thought about it for a year and planned for the last six months.) I looked at a lot of websites and attended dog events in the Lake Norman area such as Santa Paws in the Park to observe how various breeds of dogs interact with people and with other dogs.

Meeting our new puppy, Sedona, at the Cornelius Animal Shelter

Match the dog to your lifestyle

Last summer I wrote an article called Adopt A Pet – Picking the Perfect Dog. In addition to a list of Lake Norman area animal shelters, I listed several quizzes that help you think about your lifestyle and whether you would be a good match for a low energy, medium energy, or high energy dog. My husband wanted a medium to low energy dog, but I wanted a higher energy dog that I could take on long walks on the greenways and hike with in our regional parks.

Cornelius Animal Shelter

We live in Cornelius and after looking at the various shelter and adoption websites (see list in the article linked above). We decided at the end of January it was time to visit the dogs and take one home. I found two dogs that I wanted to meet on the Cornelius Animal Shelter adoption page. We read the adoption information from their general information page on the Town of Cornelius website. This shelter is run by the Cornelius Animal Control officers and volunteers. The cats and dogs typically are picked up by the officers as strays or surrendered to the shelter.

Sometimes you simply fall in love with the puppy in front of you

First off, Trey and Patrick who are the Animal Control officers for Cornelius were exceptionally helpful. I called to make an appointment to visit and Trey described the behaviors of the dog I was interested in — that dog was quite strong and high energy. We decided to make an appointment to meet her. Once there, Trey let us walk through the hallway beside the kennels to see all of the dogs. The two dogs that we thought we were interested in, didn’t like my husband. There were two dogs, both pit bull mixes that were the happiest, friendliest dogs in the bunch. So we came out and asked to see Sedona.

Sedona is a high energy dog and she likes to jump.

Sedona – Part pit bull, part terrier —high energy

Sedona liked both my husband and myself. She seemed friendly and excited to be with us. Animal Control Officer Trey let us know that she was estimated to be about 10 months old and had been at the shelter about 10 days.

Trey let us take her for a walk on her leash in the neighborhood. She pulled on the leash most of the time, but we had fun. To make a long story short, we filled out an application, and then came every day to walk her until we could take her home. (About 5 days.)

We walked Sedona every day until we could bring her home.

Adoption Application

Unlike other adoption applications, this one is short and easy. One of the animal control officers interviews you and then they review the information that you’ve entered on the one page application. You must be approved to adopt, but it truly wasn’t a difficult process.

Adoption Fees

$95 flat fee for dogs, $85 flat fee for cats

This fee includes microchipping, spay or neutering, and up-to-date vaccinations. Sedona was spayed at the Animal Hospital of Cornelius and they were wonderful. They gave her great care and gave us good instructions to keep her safe while Sedona recovered from her surgery.

NOTE: The shelter can only accept check and cash, if payment is by cash, the amount must be exact.


Tuesday – Friday, 11 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm.
Saturday, 9 am to 12 pm.
Appointments by request: 7 days a week. Call (704) 237-3602 and leave a message. You can also email: cnodine@corneliuspd.org.

Saved Money on the Adoption Fee – Decided to Hire a Trainer

It had been decades since either my husband or I had a dog as a pet. And while it is helpful to read books, there is nothing like help from an expert.

We had originally been looking at golden retrievers — puppies start at $1200 and go up, waiting lists are long, and in the long shot chance you can get one from a rescue, the fees start at $250 and can go up to $500 or more. So we spent the money we saved on “purchasing” a dog (since we adopted a rescue) and are spending it with Bark Busters.

Diane Benson Levitt and John Levitt of Bark Busters in Huntersville.

What we discovered is that the best trainer for us is actually a behaviorist

We wanted and needed someone to come to our home and train both us and Sedona. We hired Diane and John Levitt from Barkbusters in Huntersville, NC. They were recommended by Cornelius Animal Control Officer Trey. I checked out their website and the reviews and they looked good. We had our first lesson today. It was 3 hours and by the end of it, we had new techniques to help us get Sedona to listen to us and obey simple commands. It was extraordinary — our high energy, jumping, licking our faces dog, was calm. And we were the ones she was listening to! We have exercises to do with her every day and more lessons to come, but it was a great first start!

She truly is our Puppy Valentine!

Article and photos by Ellen Stafford
Puppy paw prints heart courtesy Pixabay.com
Ellen Stafford

Ellen H Stafford is the managing editor for LKNConnectCommunity.com. She loves communicating with people whether it’s great conversation over a good meal, writing and encouraging others to write, photography and video, or drawing and painting. Gardening and cooking are among her passions. She is currently writing a book about time travel.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed by our writers belong solely to them
and do not represent LKNConnect.com, its publisher or its staff.

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