Book Feature: What to Expect When Adopting A Dog: A Guide to Successful Dog Aoption For Every Family by Diane Rose-Solomon

FROM DAKOTA’S DEN: I agreed to review What to Expect When Adopting A Dog by Diane Rose-Solomon, months ago.  Diane was kind enough to approach me because I had reviewed another book of hers,  I agreed because I have met Diane in person and love her, I admire her writing, and I admire her commitment to the well-being/welfare of animals. But…. I was feeling more and more like a hypocrite. Why? I DID NOT ADOPT MY DOG. I got my dog from a responsible breeder. 

I pride myself on being transparent and a trusted source for book reviews and product reviews on my blog. Since I did not adopt Dakota, I have chosen to post about this book as a “book feature” (as opposed to a “book review”), because I think it is a marvelous guide and a MUST HAVE FOR ALL PET OWNERS. I will share information about the book, but I can’t offer any insight about dog adoption since I did not adopt Dakota. How could I honestly do anything else? Many of YOU out there have far more knowledge about dog adoption than I do, Diane and YOU are the experts on dog adoption. I am not. That being said, when you read about this book, I believe you will agree it is a must-have for anyone who is contemplating dog adoption, or for pet parents who have questions, or for anyone integrating a dog into their home.

“I’m so impressed and truly excited about this book. It’s a much-needed resource for shelters, rescues, bloggers, and anyone interested in or considering a “new” pet in their home. There is a wealth of information and Diane Rose-Solomon’s insight into pet adoption and successful homing of a new dog into your family, is outstanding. “ From Yvonne DiVita, Co-Founder of BlogPaws, Woman of the Year, Women in the Pet Industry Network.


Diane is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and has gathered a national network of colleagues who are top pet professionals. Through her volunteerism with rescue or­ganizations, she’s met many prospective pet owners asking questions and voicing concerns about pet adoption.

What to Expect When Adopting a Dog offers expert advice from rescue specialists, veterinarians, dog parents, and pet business own­ers with links to the best, most relevant articles from pet profession­als, making this book a one-stop shop for all dog-related questions, before, during, and after adoption. The book answers questions like:

  • Whether dog adoption is right for you
  • How to pre­pare your home for a new member
  • Integrating the dog into your home, family, lifestyle
  • Advanced dog parenting
  • How to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group
Plus Diane has over 100 links to expert resources for more in-depth research. The book is a small but mighty tool to help pet owners through many situations with love and compassion.

In five modules, Diane leads the reader through all the steps they should take to decide on a dog, go through the adoption process, bring the new pet home, as well as life­long care. And, with the shorter lives of animals, she delivers a heart­felt chapter on saying goodbye to a pet. The book educates a prospective pet parent on what to expect and how to add the joy of dog parenting.

What to Expect When Adopting A Dog is broken down into the following modules:
Module 1:Taking the First Steps
  • Asking yourself “Am I Ready?” which includes “do I have the time/energy?”, “do I have the resources?”
  • Part II: Beginning the Search, considering things such as age, size of dog, breed, temperament.
Module 2: Ok, You’re Ready, What Now?
  • Part I: Where Do I Go to Adopt a Dog?
  • Part II:What to Expect at the Shelter/Rescue Organization
  • Part III: Dog Adoption vs. Dog Breeders
Module 3: Preparing Your Home
  • Part I: Items You Will Need, which includes items explained, optional items.
  • Part II: What You Will Need to Do includes “to-do” explained.
Module 4:Integrating Your Dog Into Your Home
  • Part I: Getting Acquainted, including tips for introducing dog to dog, dog to cat, housebreaking
  • Part II:Kids Roles, Expectations and Safety
  • Part III: Safety For Your Dog, such as weather extremes, holidays
  • Part IV:Training, Exercise and Socialization
Module 5:Advanced Dog Parenting
  • Part I:Living Your New Life
  • Part II:Advanced Training and Special Certifications
  • Part III:Specialty Health and Wellness
  • Part IV:Exceptional Dogs including special needs dogs, dogs with physical challenges, emotional challenges and senior dogs.
IN SUMMATION:While I did not adopt Dakota, there are COUNTLESS things that I can and SHOULD still be learning to help Dakota be the best dog that he can be and to help me provide valuable information on my blog. Dakota is a senior dog now, and Part IV of Module 5 is of particular interest to me. What to Expect When Adopting A Dog by Diane Rose-Solomon is a guide that should be a part of EVERY home where a dog resides, whether it has been adopted or not!
194 pages

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month:#31DaysOfRescueDogs


 October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and with millions of dogs entering shelters each year, the ASPCA is hoping to raise awareness about how great adoptable pups can be.  They have launched #31DaysOfRescueDogs, a social media campaign to raise funds for homeless pets. Participants will be asked to post one photo of their favorite rescue every day, and each post will encourage their friends to donate $1 a day in exchange for 31 days of adorable photos. The featured dogs could be rescues, fosters, or shelter pups in need of homes. Each post should contain the hashtag #31DaysofRescueDogs for the chance to win prizes and be featured on Pit Bulls and Parolees. Users can visit to learn more and sign up.


The ASPCA is also hosting a #TricksOrTreats HOWLoween Twitter Trivia Party on Tuesday, October 25th at 2pm EST. There will be lots of spooky trivia and treats, and prizes!! Register here!!! 




Michigan Humane Society Celebrating “Pet Independence Days” With $17.76 Adult Dog & Cat Adoption Fees!

Helping pets pursue forever homes and a lifetime of happiness

with reduced adoption fees through July 10

Pet Independence Days edited

 The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is celebrating “Pet Independence Days” now through Sunday, July 10 with low-cost adoption fees for cats and dogs (excluding lap dogs) who are 1-year-old and older. During the promotion, an adult cat or dog can be adopted for $17.76 at any MHS adoption location. The regular MHS adoption process will apply, and all adoptions will include the valuable MHS adoption package.

“Summer is all about families spending time together, and many homeless pets are waiting for their second chance to be a part of a family,” said CJ Bentley, MHS Senior Director of Operations. “We’re celebrating the Independence Day holiday by reducing adoption fees so the dogs and cats in our care can more quickly pursue their forever homes and a lifetime of happiness.”

Visit MHS at:

  • MHS Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus (Detroit): 7887 Chrysler Dr.
  • MHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care: 3600 W. Auburn Rd.
  • MHS Berman Center for Animal Care (Westland): 900 N. Newburgh Rd.

In addition, MHS cats can be adopted at PetSmart in Roseville at 20530 E. 13 Mile Rd.; Premier Pet Supply in both Novi at 47810 Grand River Ave. and Rochester Hills at 63 W. Auburn Rd., while MHS cats and dogs can be adopted at Petco in Sterling Heights at 13701 Lakeside Cir.

Adoption hours vary by location. For the complete list of MHS locations and hours, visit


The Michigan Humane Society is the largest and oldest animal welfare organization in the state. MHS works to end companion animal homelessness, provide the highest quality service and compassion to the animals entrusted to our care, and to be a leader in promoting humane values.

Summer Adopt-A-Thon to Feature 50 or More Adoptable Pets

We are happy to present to you the first of two large offsite tented Adopt-a-Thons this summer takes place on Saturday, June 18th  from 10a-4pm in the parking lot in front of Home Depot in Allen Park in the Fairlane Green II shopping mall.  Described locally as “On the Hill”, Home Depot is near the Oakwood boulevard entrance to the mall, just off Southfield freeway.  The Dearborn Animal Shelter plans to have 50 animals or more available for adoption that day including playful kittens, adult cats and all shapes and sizes of dogs.

 Chiquita finds a home with Bill and Sharon

Chiquita finds a home with Bill and Sharon


Attendees will enjoy adoption specials and be able to shop Shelter merchandise and purchase Fido Bakery treats for their canine best friends.  Adoption counselors will be on hand to help visitors find their new best friend, including a meet and greet area to get to know new dog family members in a separate section.

Elaine Greene, Executive Director, Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit, commented “This Adopt-A-Thon kicks off the summer season for us and is similar to bringing a one day “pop-up” Shelter to a highly visible location for one day.  Each year, we find that prospective adopters really appreciate the opportunity to see so many animals showcased under the tent, in an easily accessible place on a Saturday.  It’s a completely different feel they tell us, than seeing the adoptable animals while in the Shelter”.

This is the fourth year that the event is being hosted in the parking lot of Home Depot in Allen Park.  It will also be the location for this year’s second offsite tented Adopt-A-Thon on Saturday, August 13th.

dearborn animal shelter logo

The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit, a 501C3 nonprofit organization. Main phone (313) 943-2697 and on the web, you can follow the Shelter on Facebook or Twitter.  Currently, the organization is engaged in a Capital Campaign to raise funds for a much-needed new sheltering facility that includes animal education and an adoption center.  More information and donations welcome to support this new facility,

“Shelter Stories,” Weeklong Mutts Comic Strip Series Debuted February 1st

Cartoonist Patrick McDonnell’s Experience at New York City Animal Shelter Inspires

“Shelter Stories,” Weeklong Mutts Comic Strip Series 

— Story Will Be Featured in National PBS Series, Shelter Me —


Award-winning artist and animal advocate Patrick McDonnell, creator of the MUTTS comic strip, has turned his experience at New York City’s only public, open-admissions animal shelter, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), into a week’s worth of MUTTS comics called “Shelter Stories,” which begin running today. King Features distributes MUTTS to more than 700 newspapers.


To see the daily Mutts “Shelter Stories” comic, visit

Courtesy of SheltermeTV

Courtesy of


Patrick McDonnell takes a hands-on role with staff, volunteers and the hundreds of animals in ACC’s care. From participating in doggy playgroups to helping teach a cat how to give “high-fives,” Patrick experiences first-hand the ins and outs of one of the nation’s largest open-admissions animal shelters. He uses this experience to create his latest series of “Shelter Stories” strips to encourage people to adopt animals from shelters.


“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at ACC of NYC, but what I found was dedicated, driven staff and volunteers, actively involved rescue groups, a supportive community, and adoptable, loving animals,” said McDonnell. “ACC is rapidly becoming a role model for large-scale city shelters, and NYC should be proud of all that has been accomplished. It was an uplifting experience and led me to create a series of MUTTS strips based on my visit there. My hope is that by telling these stories, readers will be inspired to support their local shelters and to adopt a new best buddy.”

courtesy of

courtesy of


Patrick McDonnell was filmed during his time at ACC of NYC and will be featured in the national PBS series, Shelter Me. Episode six, “Shelter Me: Hearts and Paws,” is presented by the Petco Foundation and will debut in May. The film also features Oakland-based Cat Town Café, the first cat café in the country. They work closely with their local shelter, Oakland Animal Services (OAS), and have helped to dramatically increase cat adoptions.


“The Petco Foundation is proud to partner with the Shelter Me series which showcases transformational adoption stories,” said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “And, in turn, encourages people to get involved to adopt pets in their own community.”



To see a clip from the film, visit


“We’re delighted that ‘Shelter Me,’ which does such a great job promoting pet adoption, is spotlighting ACC,” said Risa Weinstock, ACC’s Executive Director. “And we’re grateful to Patrick McDonnell, a true animal advocate, for spending time getting to know our staff and the wonderful animals they care for.”


The “Shelter Me” series was created by filmmaker Steven Latham to inspire people to get involved with their local shelters and to show that shelter animals are the best pets.


About Shelter Me

Shelter Me is an inspiring PBS series that celebrates shelter pets by telling positive and uplifting stories. The project also includes a website – – which enables anyone to create and share profiles of shelter pets to help increase adoptions. Shelter Me works closely with other animal welfare organizations to implement effective spay-neuter and humane education programs in communities and progressive initiatives at animal shelters. Halo, Purely for Pets is a founding sponsor of the Shelter Me series.


Follow ShelterMeTV on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


About The Petco Foundation

At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life.  Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $135 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay/neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 4.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.


About Patrick McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell is a New York Times best-selling author and the recipient of multiple awards from the National Cartoonists Society, including Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year and Newspaper Strip of the Year. A dedicated animal advocate and Genesis Award recipient, McDonnell regularly lends his talents to animal-protection groups and issues, including The Humane Society of the United States, where he serves on the national board of directors. McDonnell is also on the board of directors of the Fund for Animals and the Charles M. Schulz Museum. He resides in New Jersey. For more information, please visit:


About King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines Hearst cable network partnerships, TV programming activities, newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is the world’s premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to newspapers, magazines, web portals, mobile outlets and news organizations worldwide.  For more information, please visit  Follow us on Twitter @KingFeatures.  Like us on Facebook at Check out our online entertainment destination at


About Animal Care Centers of NYC

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country, taking in more than 30,000 animals each year. ACC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that rescues, cares for and finds loving homes for animals throughout the five boroughs. ACC is an open-admissions organization, which means it never turns away any homeless, abandoned, injured or sick animal in need of help, including cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals, reptiles, birds, farm animals and wildlife. It is the only organization in NYC with this unique responsibility. Visit for more information, and follow ACC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Animals available for adoption can be viewed online at, or on ACC’s free mobile app (available on Google Play and iTunes). ACC adoptions include vaccinations, a microchip, spay/neuter, a free office visit at a participating veterinarian and a free identification tag. Follow NYCACC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Celebrating Adopt a Senior Pet Month With #NutrishSeniorPets #sponsored

Let me begin by saying, if you are a regular reader of our blog, you already know that Dakota was NOT adopted. Dakota joined our family in 2007 at the tender age of 8 months old. At that time I was not a blogger. I had my heart set on fulfilling my childhood wish of having my own Shetland Sheepdog, and to me a breeder was the way to go. I had NO CLUE that just because there might not be Shetland Sheepdogs at my local shelter, there WERE Shetland Sheepdog rescues that would have many Shetland Sheepdogs in need of a loving home, and many of them would TRANSPORT the dog to ME! I knew NOTHING about that!

Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE Dakota and could not have a more sensitive, loving, yes and often CRAZY dog. He was purchased from a responsible breeder (who was also a Veterinarian), so I totally lucked out. Had I known more about the reasons I should adopt a Shelter dog, I am sure I still would have had a wonderful dog!

dakota nutrish every dog deserves

I also believed some myths about Shelter dogs  that many others STILL WRONGLY believe:

  • shelter dogs  have behavioral issues
  • shelter dogs are in a shelter due to the fault of the DOG and NOT the owner.
  • I should have a YOUNG dog

dakota nutrish no matter the age

Thank goodness I began blogging a few years later and became hip to the fact that my assumptions could not have been MORE WRONG!

“When you KNOW better,

You DO better!!”

As is the case with humans, there  isn’t an animal alive that doesn’t have some sort of behavioral issue! Most issues can be corrected with love, patience and proper training.

In the vast majority of cases, dogs end up in shelters for a host of reasons,  the majority of which have NOTHING to do with the reasons being the dog’s fault.

Some valid reasons that dogs are in a Shelter include:

  • owner surrender (unable to afford the dog)
  • the death of an owner
  • the owner not having done sufficient research of a breed before getting the dog, to make sure that the breed is a good fit for them and their lifestyle.

dakota nutrish silly

In February of 2016 Dakota will be turning 9 years old. According to PetPlace, a Shetland Sheepdog is considered a Senior when they are 9 to 10.5 years of age.  Does that mean because many believe that puppies/young dogs are better, that I should relinquish my silly, active and loving dog? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!

When I remember back to house-training Dakota when he was 8 months old, and the zillions of times I was running up and down the stairs in our apartment building, (because my husband was at work and I was home after having recently lost my job due to down-sizing, making me solely responsible for Dakota’s daytime potty training). Dakota would bark and ACT as if he had to pee, when in reality, he wanted to sniff every blade of grass known to man. I would NOT want to go through much of that again! When you adopt a Senior dog, while you may still have to teach them potty rules for YOUR home, they can hold their bladder much longer than puppies or young dogs, and will learn the lay of the land of your home  much faster than a puppy or young dog will!


  • Shelter Pets are more grateful, They KNOW that they have been saved/rescued!
  • YOU will feel GOOD about YOU for giving a deserving older dog/Senior dog a loving secure home.
  • Worried about training a puppy? Older dogs/Senior dogs have more focus, tend to be calmer and as a result, are easier to train than puppies or young, rambunctious teen-age dogs!
  • When you Adopt an Older or Senior Dog there are no surprises as to what size your dog will be, they are already full-grown!

Need yet another reason to adopt an older or Senior dog from a Shelter? They are less likely to engage in incessant PUPPY CHEWING! (yes, an occasional older dog may have chewing issues, but it is far more prevalent with puppies/young dogs.) If you have read my blog for a while you will remember the story of Dakota practically eating my cellphone, (he stopped right BEFORE he chewed through to the battery), as well as how he decimated the wood panel along our front door, trying to tear down the door to get at the dog who lived across the hall at the time.

Now, while he is STILL obsessed with a NEW dog that moved in across the hall, he is less likely to add our door to his dietary fiber intake!

Speaking of diet, when I began feeding Dakota Nutrish back in 2008, (way before he ever had a blog), there were many reasons behind my decision, and here are a few! Rachael Ray cares about the well-being of her dog and the dogs and cats of others. She believes in GIVING BACK!


  • Rachael’s Rescue was created for all of the forgotten pets — the ones that might not have someone who loves them as much as you love your pet?
  • 100% of Rachael’s personal proceeds from sales of Nutrish have gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need?
  • For Rachael food equals love — whether she’s cooking a meal for friends or working with pet nutrition experts to create delicious recipes for your family’s furry companions?
  • Every Rachael Ray Nutrish food and treat recipe is made with simple ingredients like real meat and wholesome veggies, so they’re naturally delicious?
  • You can find every Nutrish recipe — including our specialty recipes with zero grains, glutens and fillers — where you currently shop for your family’s groceries?



Dakota and I hope you will encourage your family and friends to consider adopting a senior shelter dog when they want to add a new pet to their home. I cannot imagine my life without Dakota, and I pray that he is with our family for many more years! A Senior Shelter Dog will give you just as much love and happiness as Dakota has unselfishly given to  me.  In summation, remember THESE reasons that YOU should adopt an older/Senior Shelter Dog:

dakota nutrish glasses

Follow Rachael Ray Nutrish: