We always have two dogs and two cats - no matter how we try to "downsize" a replacement always seems to find it's way home when one passes on. I'm a big fan of rescue animals as you all know - not to say I have anything against breeders, at least responsible ones. Since we always have a Vizsla we do buy puppies - but the breeders we deal with are very good - one litter at a time, they are careful who they sell to and the dogs and puppies are kept in the house, not in pens or wire cages. When we bought Reuben we had to pass the breeder's requirements before being allowed to buy him with papers signed that the dog would go back to him if we decided we could not keep him. THAT is what you want if you decide to get into a breed. Molly came from a breeder too - the bad kind. The kind that over breeds, has no standards and all the dogs were kept in a wire pen, no shade, no shelter, trash to sleep in, not enough food or water. Both of our cats were throw-aways, the owners just dumped them and left them to fend for themselves.
Molly was fostered after she - and seven others were removed - by a rescue club for Vizslas that included the breeder we got Reuben from. People will sometimes tell me they'd like to adopt a rescue but don't want an adult cat or dog as it will be hard to adjust it into the family or they need to train it a certain way. Having a rescue is just like adding a puppy or kitten. Molly had to adjust to our household and the first month was rough - for everyone, but it's like that with a puppy isn't it? But you get just as much joy - if not more, watching this timid, lost dog find her own way. Every thing is a step forward for her, from walking in the park to chasing squirrels, in the 3 years we've owned her she has become a playful, energetic bratty dog. There are some things we will never fix, she will power down any food left unattended - and all of it. She will eat any vermin she finds and she gulps it down FAST, will most likely always be afraid of those she does not know and it will never be a walk in the park for her if there is a crowd. But she loves people (one or two at a time please) and Reuben is a perfect match for her - I've often said we've never had two dogs as well suited or as close to each other as these two.
The cats are the same - both were rescued as adults and after an adjustment period of about a month or two there are no issues. Sometimes I think people just don't give it enough time - the pets that are returned it's usually within a few days. Can you imagine if I dropped YOU off in a country where you didn't know anyone or even speak the language and then declared you a failure after a week because you didn't fit in? I know someone who's adopted dog was returned to the shelter 3 times because it was fearful - of course it was! Who wouldn't be? They've owned the dog now for over 2 years and it is a friendly things, waggly tail and all. Molly took about 3 months before she (and us) were really comfortable with each other and now it's 3 years down the road and I can't imagine life without her. I do love puppies and kittens, but they are only little for a couple of weeks, aren't they? So you might want to consider an adult pet - you'll be doing yourself and them a favor.