Adult dogs are loving and can bond easily with new guardiansMany people prefer to adopt an adult dog for various reasons. Adult dogs do not require as much care as puppies do. Many of the older dogs are already housetrained; if not, they are easy to train. We also know for sure the size and temperament of the dog. Sometimes, puppies grow up to be temperamentally different and the size may not be what we expect. Adult dogs are loving and bond easily with the new guardians. They look for leadership and are just happy to find a good home. The bond feels special, particularly when it is an older dog that no one wanted. The rescue and subsequent bonding with that dog is strong and lasting. Most people give up their adult dog, not because of their behavioural problems, but due to other reasons such as "moving," "lack of space," "the new place will not let in dogs" or "family upheavals." Frequently, dogs that may seem to have behavioural problems, adjust well to the new home. You can find older dogs in a shelter or you may come across people wanting to give up their adult dogs. It is important to follow a few simple rules before adopting: * Get to know the dog well, ask for the history of the dog, take it for a walk on a leash, talk to the shelter staff, find out reasons why the pet was given up and make frequent visits to the shelter. * Evaluate the temperament of the dog. Talk to it, approach it and watch its reaction. Does it approach you, does it shy away from you, does it wag its tail, does it cringe, does it snarl? If you have children, take them along. Watch its reaction to them. Is it friendly towards them? Stay away from dogs that seem to be too fearful unless you feel you know enough about dealing with these dogs to help them overcome their fear. These dogs can turn into fear-biters. * Check the dog for physical ailments. Does it have any skin problems? Is it active?* It is important that there is a complete matching of temperament between the dog and you. You should feel comfortable with the dog. If you already have dogs, adopt a dog which socialises well with other dogs. If you have a cat, make sure the new dog can get along with cats. Don't let the dog chase the cat for any reason. * Immediately after adopting, take the dog to the vet and get it examined. Any health problems can be discovered and corrective measures taken immediately. Adopting an adult dog can be the best decision, and addition to your family, that you ever make. Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life. Pet's Choice winner of this month is Vasantha. She saved baby squirrels from a meter box and adopted a squirrel (from the Blue Cross) that was paralysed hip below. She also painstakingly took care of a blind dog, by giving him food on the pavement near her apartment building every day. Thanks to her efforts, she has now found a loving home for this dog.* Are you or someone you know looking to adopt or find a home for a pet? Or if you know someone who deserves to be mentioned for compassionate or courageous feats, mail us at email@example.com or snail mail to Metro Plus Column, Blue Cross of India, 72, Velachery Road, Chennai-32. As always, good photographs, suggestions and queries are welcome.