I consider rescue a tithing portion of my service in the world of animal training and behavior because it’s a necessary and definitely intrinsic part of that world. There are those we affectionately call Humaniacs who might get motivated for a particular breed or size or any breed/size but have prerequisites that make adopting out dogs (or any animals) in their care very darned difficult. Required home visits, exhaustive questionnaires, sometimes almost invasive involvement once an animal is placed that border on stalking but all with the best of intentions. A lot of bad things happen even with the best of intentions, but that’s a discussion for another day. I don’t do any of that but I do try to generate happy endings or new beginnings.
Recently I agreed to help someone find a new home for a small “designer breed” dog she had acquired as a pup for her ailing husband to be a companion for him while she was at work for long periods of time. He deteriorated, faster and more severely than she had imagined, and now she is going through the task of placing him in a nursing home (and he’s not chronologically an old man, just a very ill one) which is devastating. Exacerbating that is the need to find his little companion dog a home where he can get the attention he’s been used to because she’s still and will be working long hours for a long time to come.
I agreed to place the pup and had a much higher than usual cost associated with the pup to defray much of her costs of late. Never mind the details. I explained in the petfinder post that this dog’s cost was unusually high and if it was too much, keep looking, this was a firm thing. And so because this was a cute pup, a fluffy pup, a wee pup, a non shedding designer pup and was already out of puppy phase, neutered, up to date on all his medical needs and in great shape and ready to be a new source of joy and inspiration to whomever successfully adopted him, the inquiries were extraordinary – beseeching in tone and prolific in numbers.
Other dogs who are as equally deserving linger longer in foster care because they aren’t cute enough, fluffy enough, or maybe in all honesty have some baggage which makes them a more challenging but no less rewarding potential companions in the right home which is one of my main goals — making an appropriate match, not another bad relationship that isn’t going to last.
Petfinder sends regular stats on the viewers of the various pets on the rescue site and today, before heading out for lovely fresh air, I received my current update.
Jack the Fluffy little non shedding pup had received 1181 hits in 4 days (I took him off the site to filter through the potential adopters). Contrast that with Boscoe, a bulldog mix, 78. Marlin, a cool but troubled GSD mix who’s been up for a while got 70 views over the past week, and Kirra the princess in the pink in the above pic, a Rottie/Bull dog mix, got 61. Sam the lab mix (whose profile was just updated to reflect how well he’s doing in foster care) only got 27.
The numbers tell me a lot. But it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the individuals. It’s looking likely that Jack the fluffy boy will be moving to Michigan next weekend if all goes as planned. His future people are walking on air. But there are those others…..