Thursday, December 4, 2008

"I'm Younger Than That Now!"

(Picture Left: "Lady" Who says you can't find older "mutts" new and loving homes?)

Sometimes I think to myself, "The longer I am in rescue, the less I know."

That feeling was born out last night.

A couple of weeks back, I pulled a dog off the shelter Euthanasia list, mostly for sentimental reasons.

"Lady" (as previously described) reminded me of one of my past and very beloved dogs, Fawn.

But, reality was, Lady is a medium sized, "mutt," not particularly gorgeous and she is an older dog -- somewhere between 7 and 9-years-old. She is a little slow on a long walk.

Such dogs are normally, very tough adoptions.

I put Lady in boarding for about a week.

While I delighted in the fact that Lady seemed a very loving, sweet and balanced dog, I had to worry that she could be in boarding a long, long time.

Most people don't even want to hear about dogs or cats who are over 5-years of age.

But, luck was on Lady's side!

A couple of days ago, one of our regular and very reliable, experienced foster people returned from a brief vacation.

Carrie called to tell me she could take a new dog for foster.

But, since Carrie works a full time, demanding job, has two young children, a husband and a couple of cats, obviously we needed to be sure the foster dog would be reasonably OK with all of that and not be too demanding of time and exercise.

I of course, suggested Lady.

Lady is in fact, a "Carrie" kind of dog.

Carrie prefers medium sized dogs to little ones and she seems to have a thing for the so-called "mercy rescues." -- Those animals rescued more for emotional and sentimental reasons than practical considerations.

In fact, one of Carrie's (and her family's) favorite fosters was a larger, older hound mix named Brownie who had neurological problems. The family had Brownie more than four months during which time, we never received even ONE adoption inquiry on him!

But, then one day, a very lovely woman named "Amy" called to offer help with a "difficult to adopt" dog. Amy is a registered nurse who works in the Emergency Room of a hospital and has special empathy for animals with disabilities. She has two rescued cats and a wonderful history with dogs.

I told Amy about Brownie. He was wonderful around cats and a very sweet and easy dog to handle. He could be OK with Amy's long working hours and the fact Amy has a medical background could help with Brownie's neurological challenges and slight case of Arthritis.

Amy originally took Brownie as a "foster/trial adoption" in order to free up Carrie to foster other dogs.

But, much to my surprise, I later found out that one of Carrie's little girls was quite upset about this decision. The family -- and particularly the children -- had grown very attached to Brownie and seemingly figured that they would have the "unadoptable" hound mix forever.

Nevertheless, things worked out well.

Amy has, in fact, fallen in love with Brownie and has decided to permanently adopt him. Brownie loves her other pets and has gained weight and strength while in Amy's expert care.

But, meanwhile, I figured Lady was, in many ways, another Brownie.

A lovely, older dog who despite all her attributes, would nevertheless, be a difficult adoption.

I warned Carrie to be prepared for a long foster.

As expected, Carrie called me the day after bringing Lady home to tell me the dog is "wonderful." -- Great with the cats and her kids. An all round, lovely and easy dog.

OK, so I was right about that part.

But, I was totally wrong about Lady being a "difficult adoption!"

Lady was in fact, adopted last night by a very charming and warm young couple simply seeking a "nice, older dog needing a home."

Carrie and her family only had Lady one day!

Perhaps that is good, because I have the feeling the family would have grown very attached to the lovely lady. This way, we can hopefully rescue another Brownie or Lady who normally are among the first dogs to go down in the animal shelters.

Who wants an older, medium sized "mutt?"

Well, apparently, there are a few good people out there knowledgeable on what often are the really happy and fulfilling adoption choices.

And what do I know about what's an easy or hard adoption?

Apparently, (and at least for the moment, happily) nothing at all! --PCA


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