Friday, November 14, 2008

Puffy's Dilemma (Reply)

(Picture Left: "Puffy" --a dog who doesn't like her ass being pinched by strangers)

SK Dean 53 Writes: Spending time in a shelter for the last several years, I see so much of this. Perhaps there should be a "pet owner's test". Many people just have no clue how much really HARD work goes into training a dog; when it doesn't work out, or when they decide it requires too much of their time and effort, theanimal then becomes "disposable". Dog ownership requires a huge amount of commitment, time, effort and repetition. A dog is not just a furry person--they don't "just know" not to soil in the house, or how to walk on-leash, or to sit, stay, and come when called--these behaviors are learned through repetition and reward. But after all this, when it is done successfully, there will never be a friend as loyal as your dog....well worth the effort, in my opinion.

Reply: You are so right, SK -- as always.

Matters have become so insane that tonight I noticed on one of the dog "evaluation" tests at the shelter, one dog, "tried to bite when her hindquarters were pinched."

The dog is a Chow Chow named, "Puffy" who the shelter is requesting me to take.

What am I supposed to make of this information and "test?"

When did hindquarter-pinching and tail-pulling become parts of Behavior Testing? (They didn't get to the tail pulling on Puffy.)

Have we (the animal community) become so paranoid and distrustful of the ignorant or even cruel ways some people will treat animals that we now feel compelled to torment dogs before daring to pass them for adoption?

Of course, almost every dog adoption inquiry I get demands to know how a particular dog is with kids.

"How will Snoopy be when my grand kids come over?" is a typical question.

Or, "I have four children ranging in age from one year to twelve. Will Missy play with the kids and be good with my two cats and other dog?"

Or, "How will Joey be with the customers who come into my store and their children?"

If I knew the answers to all these questions and more, I'd be in the fortune-telling business, not animal rescue.

And I am not about to start pulling tails of our foster dogs, pinching their feet or hindquarters in order to peer into crystal balls.

I know if someone had pulled Foxy's (my current foster dog's) tail at the shelter, he would have quickly landed on the Euth list. Yet, he is a very endearing, smart and loving dog.

Should I not attempt to adopt Foxy out because he doesn't like to be messed around with in his tail area?

No, I just won't adopt him out to people who have no control over their kid's behavior or refuse to take any responsibility for it.

I am supposed to pick up another Chow mix from the Manhattan shelter later today. "Charlene" is scheduled to go into boarding as I have no open fosters.

I am not sure what to tell the Brooklyn shelter about "Puffy" (pictured above), the Chow who apparently doesn't like her rear end being pinched by strangers. -- (Come to think of it, how many human women like such?)

For now I simply requested that the shelter get in touch with Puffy's former owner(s) to see what information they can provide about Puffy's REAL behavior in a HOME.

Tormenting dogs in shelters just because the public seems to "demand" it doesn't tell us ANYTHING other than how low we have truly stooped in our relationship --and paranoia with companion pets. -- PCA

No comments: