Monday, August 22, 2011

Is it really the dog?

Sometimes I really wonder is the dog a bad dog or is the person a bad dog owner or was it just a bad match?

As with any rescue organization or shelter you get returns. Sometimes people change their minds on the idea of having a dog. Sometimes life gets in the way and there is nothing that can be done but to re home the dog... loss of job, illness, child not expected... etc. I do feel sometimes people give up too quickly though. I mean have you truly tried to make it work or do you think it will eliminate some of your stress if the dog was just gone so bye bye doggie?

Sometimes I think rescue "hurts" themselves in the fact that we take our dogs back no matter what... well at least I do and most reputable rescues / shelters do. People always have an out. Granted you don't get your money back but still it is no risk to the adopter... if I have a bad day or an issue with the dog I am too lazy to work on fixing I can just call the rescue and eliminate the problem. But there are way too many people out there who will just DUMP a dog on the side of the road like trash or take it to the kill shelter or God only knows do whatever with the dog. By rescues and shelters agreeing to take the dog back is truly the best thing for the dog but at the same time it is making people lazy.

Lazy because they don't have to work it out. They don't have to figure out how to find the dog a new home. They just dump back on the rescue. I sometimes wonder if it were harder to return a dog if they would make it work? I guess in a way I have answered this questions a few times with adopters... In my adoption contract it states if you want to return a dog you have to give me 5 days notice and I can only take the dog when I have room so you may have to wait a few days.

A number of times I have received the call of "I need to return the dog" after I talk to the people and find out exactly what has been going on and it is totally correctable I say to them well I can't take the dog back until XXXX day and in the mean time you have to do the following.

Then when I call them to say Ok XXXX day has arrived , they say "Oh well what you told us is working and the dog is much better and we ware keeping him/her. Can't stand to let him/her go"

OH REALLY! So, honestly you just had a bad day and were stressed out and thought giving up the dog would eliminate that stress. OK GOT YA!

Then there are times the dogs come back with a story behind them..... "This dog is NOT housbroken. It poops/pees in the house everyday." I then take the dog back wondering why the heck he/she is acting this way b/c the while in the foster home it never had an accident. I then get the dog back and it NEVER has an accident. I start to wonder was the person telling the truth? was the person not taking the dog out? was the person leaving the dog alone for too many hours? You really have to wonder why the heck the dog would be perfect in the foster home bad in the adopters home and then fine after it was returned.

THEN you have the people that say the dog is aggressive or in some case the dog did bite. And this is behavior that you NEVER expected from the dog. I then get these stories from the people on how the dog is aggressive towards the kids and she just doesn't understand why. The dog has been fine and the kids are always wrestling and playing with the dog. I get the dog back and he is 100% fine. You can do anything to him and I have him around kids and NOTHING. So was the person telling the truth or did the kids do something to the dog that made him fearful of them?

I had one person adopt a dog who was fearful. The dog was CLEARLY abused. The dog was wonderful with kids in the foster home and was just very sweet and loving. The dog would get scared if you reached for him really fast or made a loud noise. he was clearly hit often. he would never growl or snap. Very sweet dog. Anyway, so the dog gets adopted and about a week later... I get a call from the adopter the dog bit him in the face. OMG are you kidding me. This is not behavior I would have ever expected. I tell him I will make arrangements to have the dog removed from his home ASAP and after 10 day bite hold he will be euthanized. I FELT HORRIBLE!

Then I find out the story... the adopter was on the ground, eye level with this medium sized dog, in his face holding a toy and growling at him. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? You are going to get eye level with a dog you have only had less then a week and GROWL at him. WHY? The adopter said he wanted the dog to play with toys. SO YOU WERE FORCING HIM?? OMG! You get a stupid ass badge for that one!

I did not have the dog euthanized. I gave the dog to a family who LOVES HIM! They signed a waiver saying they knew he had bitten and he has been fine in the home ever since.

I just had another experience where was it the dog or was it the people trying to do too much in one day with a new dog?

Now I sit and wait and try to figure out what to do. Do I end a dogs life because maybe the people messed up? Or do I re home the dog with a bite contract? UGH! I just don't know. It isn't fair that a dog should suffer b/c a human screwed up but I am sorry I am not loosing my house and everything I own because I placed a biting dog. And I am not going to be one of those rescue people who has 12 dogs with issues. Sorry I might be a dog rescue person but I still want to have a normal life with only 3 dogs and ones that I can trust 100%.. I am just like everyone else I want a dog b/c it is fun to have a dog not a dog that adds stress to my life b/c every time someone enters the house he/she tries to eat you. No thanks!


Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

I rarely have dogs returned; when they are, there (so far) is good reason and a fair effort on behalf of the adopter (like Shiloh getting over and under a 6' vinyl privacy fence!). One adopter I wish I had not adopted to, after the fact, let me know her Beagle was having trouble in the house; she had her euthanized w/o contacting me beforehand. I was livid because this little girl had no problems here. Thus, DNA for that adopter AND strict written instructions to future adopters about contacting me re: any problems, concerns, changes affecting the dog. GRRR.

Anonymous said...

I rarely foster dogs. Occasionally I run into one on the street that I just have to help. Both times I have been lucky to run into the most perfectly behaved strays. They have to be because I live in a tiny apartment with three cats. I can imagine how mad I would be if any new owner claimed behavior problems.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was REALLY the dog!!!

Dog Rescuer said...

Ok, M.

Anonymous said...

maybe the dog was trying to voice its displeasure with its new home!

Dog Rescuer said...

I gave several examples so.which dog are you talking about?