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Photo courtesy of @thebinzy 

Pippa the Pandemic Potcake Puppy

Edited by Melanie Dziengo 

From island potcake Pippa to courageous city canine, Pippa has grown to become a dog who loves car rides and is always by her owner’s side. She was adopted last year from Turks & Caicos through Sea Paws Rescue. Read more to learn about Pippa’s journey, what makes her special, and what Marissa Binstock, Pippa’s owner, has learned about herself.

I adopted Pippa on October 14, 2020 through Sea Paws and she will be 1-year-old in July. Before I adopted her, I knew Pippa was a potcake and where she was. After the application and interview process, the rescue sent me three photos - one picture of three different pups.  

 

The adoption process was very straightforward and I love that they provide support after with "Ask The Trainer" Zoom sessions.


There was no trial period after Pippa was adopted. But, I did get the invitation to the trainer events.

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Photo Courtesy of @thebinzy 

Making the decision to choose Pippa was such a hard choice! I agonized over it for quite a while. There was very little (close to no) additional information to help me decide between the three pups I had pictures of (one picture of each mind you!) besides the gender and approximate age. Something about Pippa's little face just spoke to me. She was also the smallest one and I did want a dog on the smaller side.

 

There was a big adjustment period at the beginning especially for Pippa having to adjust to life in the city. She bonded with me very quickly and I sometimes joke I should change her name to shadow since she follows me wherever I go. We are still working on separation and Pippa being able to stay by herself. That's been difficult because of Pippa's origin and the pandemic's added confinement in the house. 

 

Pippa is quite a character. Being a rescue/feral dog, she was very anxious when I first got her. She has made leaps and bounds progress in adjusting to life in the city, and now she loves car rides. She also likes to feel safe and secure and one of her favourite spots is under the bed. Pippa is very food motivated and loves treats and snuggles. She is quite vocal and makes a whole series of noises from squeaks to sighs and all the woofs in between!


What I did not expect was her separation anxiety to be so strong. I also didn’t expect it to be so rewarding to take care of and be responsible for something completely dependent on me. I expected to love her, but that has surpassed even what I had imagined.

Photo Courtesy of @thebinzy 

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Photo Courtesy of  @thebinzy 

I decided to adopt a rescue dog because I have travelled and lived all over the world and have seen first hand the life of a street dog. I am an adamant supporter of "adopt don't shop!" There are more than enough unwanted animals in the world, and there is no need to breed more. I also know pure breeds can have health problems and I did not want to chance supporting a puppy mill.


What I learned about myself as a pet owner is that I can be more patient than I thought I could be and that I'm a bigger softie than I thought.

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Photo courtesy of @thebinzy 

Some advice I would give to someone thinking about adopting a rescue dog is that rescue dogs are not the same as animals bred to be pets. They have different needs. It's good to do a bit of research about the differences. Pippa is constantly aware of her surrounding area and is never really completely relaxed unless she knows exactly where I am - preferably touching me! All dogs are different, so don't expect your new dog to be the same as anyone else's or even dogs you’ve had in the past. Definitely invest in training - preferably with a trainer familiar with rescues. And then put in the work with your dog. It's so much fun and will increase your bond.


For those thinking about adopting a dog from a rescue, I would say to find out as much as you can about where the dogs are rescued from and what circumstances they were in before they were rescued. Decompress the dog for a week or two after you get them - just let them suss out this completely new world they have been dropped into and to get to know you, your home and basically a whole new world!

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Photo courtesy of @thebinzy 

Dogs are amazing companions and give unconditional love, but they are also complex animals with individual needs and personalities. Budget more than you think for toys and treats and get ready for the most incredible relationship full of love and tail wags!