Don’t get me wrong…
I totally understand why there is a process for adopting dogs.
And, I understand that the kind of puppy I would like (LARGE) has even more criteria. Most large dogs seem to have some Pit in them nowadays and I know that caution is important. But, I just want a Mastiff kind or Rott mix or Pit mix – something BIG, a gentle giant, the mellow one of the litter who will love cats and plays well with others – but will look scary later.
But WHAT is the huge issue with my application?
WHY am I not a good home, in your estimation MS. Adoption application person?
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED
As many of you know, we lost Atticus on New Year’s Eve. He was only 5 months old and it was tragic. His littermate, Scout, has been left with an old man (Shiva the 9 year old Meagle photobomber) to play with and buddy up. That’s fine… but a 6 month old (LARGE) puppy needs to roughhouse and play, and play, and play a lot.
Shiva cannot play a lot. He can only play a little.
So, I thought I would spend the weekend looking for a large breed puppy pal for Scout.
“Should be easy,” I thought to myself. “There have to be lots of puppies that need homes.”
There ARE lots of puppies that need homes, but not MY home, apparently.
THIS IS HOW IT WENT…
I’d see a large breed puppy on Petfinder or on a local shelter’s website.
I would call or email to inquire.
If I did receive a return email or call, the person on the other line would give no information – only that I needed to ‘fill out an application’.
I would then ask… “Well, can you tell me anything about him/her or could I come down and meet him/her first?”.
No. You must fill out an application.
OK… But, I must say that I do value my time and it would really help me if you could give me any information about their personality… something?
You need to fill out an application.
So, I did.
I filled out three online applications on Friday.
They were 6 pages long. It took forever. Especially because the forms were not formatted to be internet friendly. You had to print them and fax or scan them back. That was OK… I understood that Shelters don’t have money to hire web guys. But my point was that it took time.
The questions asked were very thorough (which was good) but kind of unrealistic. Like: “When you are gone, for how many hours will the dog be alone?”
My answer: “For as long as I’m gone?… But they aren’t really alone because there are lots of other animals and two other dogs… we have 10 acres, ample shelter and a lovely barn with a stall that is tricked out for them.”
Clearly not the right answer.
Another question: “Will these dogs live inside with you?”
… Granted, my answer might not have been totally appropriate but after being asked the same question a dozen different ways, I was getting punchy…
My answer: “Our dogs are convertibles – indoor/outdoor. If they want to go out, they can. If they want in, mostly they can come in, unless we want them to be outside on a beautiful day. Sometimes we make them stay outside and do their jobs (watching the ranch) like Sam and Eddie in the Warner Bros cartoons.”
Must not have been the right answer.
Another: “Who takes care of the dog when you are away?”
My answer: “We have very knowledgeable animal sitters.”
Hmmmmmm. Seemed fair and accurate.
I think the one that they didn’t like might have been this one:
“List all of your previous pets, past and present.”
My answer: “Oy. I’ve had several over the last 40 years… My latest were a 11.5 year old Mastiff who passed of old age and a 13.5 year old Kelpie who passed of old age. Presently, we have 12 horses, 7 cats, several skunks (who live in the barn and don’t bother us), two dogs and a llama. We also have turkeys and peacocks but I’m not sure they actually live here.”
Was that wrong to be so honest?
Not ONE. NOT ONE. NOT O-N-E called me back!
DON’T THEY NEED TO PLACE SOME?
I was a bit surprised. I mean, one shelter had a litter of 9 large breed pups! You’d think they would be eager to find homes.
I think I failed the quiz.
I think they want people to either lie on the application or they actually want dogs to be adopted to people who never leave the house, live inside maximum security fencing and give the dogs the guest bedroom at all times.
What happened to working dogs who get to live on a properly fenced ranch, have excellent food (home cooked) and excellent care, run when they want and sleep when they want and can be inside when night falls?
I like to tell myself that the right puppy wasn’t on that list… or something.
But what I really think is the humans are getting in their own way here.
Maybe there’s a bit of short sightedness in the system and perhaps they should open the doors to more people than they think pass their tight scrutiny.
As my very good friend said to me the day we picked up Nadia and Nomar as puppies 12 years ago, “Those are two very lucky dogs…”
Clearly the local shelters don’t want my business.
Let’s see how he/she arrives, shall we?…
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