Monday, January 12, 2009

Few and Far Between

(Picture left: "Foxy" (formerly, Jay) still waiting for a home that doesn't seem to exist.)

I went to meet and walk Chiva and she is every inch the lovely dog that she was perceived to be.

Very loving and responsive, it seems Chiva had previously been well cared for and taught basic obedience. Though a very solid dog, Chiva is not particularly big. If pulling a bit on the leash, she quickly responds to voice commands. There is no question that Chiva is a wonderful dog. But, will she be an easy adoption?

That is another question entirely.

We thought we had an adoptive home finally for Foxy, our loving and devoted little Pomeranian mix.

The mature married couple had lost their Pomeranian of 17 years a couple of months ago and were seemingly seeking another dog.

There is no question that "Louise" and her husband would have represented a loving and committed home for Foxy.

The question was, were they truly ready for a new dog?

And apparently the answer to that question is "no."

The couple met Foxy on Friday in his foster home.

And although both Fiorozeh (Foxy's foster person) and I assured the couple that Foxy is a wonderfully affectionate and devoted dog once he gets to know people, the potential adopters were "disappointed" that Foxy did not immediately run up to them and jump in their lap.

More people apparently seeking "instant love" with a dog. One is tempted to ask people like these if they fell in love and married a half hour after meeting each other?

Fiorozeh was disappointed and surprised that the people did not want to adopt this beautiful and super sweet, well behaved and playful dog.

But, I told her this kind of thing happens all the time in animal adoptions. -- It especially seems to occur with small dogs and pedigree cats. (One reason why I personally believe that those who demand little dogs and purebred cats are often not animal lovers, in the true sense of the term.)

I don't want to make a harsh judgment on the people who met Foxy as much as give benefit of the doubt. They obviously loved their last Pomeranian. Though its been two months since the little dog passed, I simply don't believe his owners have suitably gone through the grieving process enough to adopt a new dog. The suspected truth is that even had Foxy jumped on their laps and planted kisses all over their faces, they would have sought and found another reason not to adopt and instead, reject Foxy.

Its just the way things go in this kind of work. Along with everything else, one needs to have basic knowledge of human psychology and "grief processes."

And so yes, it was another disappointing (or "washout") weekend with no animals being adopted and no new fosters found.

But, I did have calls from one woman seeking a " young, declawed Maine Coon or Persian cat" a guy who wanted to adopt Foxy to send to his sister in Pakistan and a woman who wanted Foxy as a "birthday present" to her five-year-old niece.

But, the best call was from the woman who wanted to adopt a "small dog" for her 5 and 7-year-old children. The woman told me that the family had never had a dog, but they previously had a hamster. She added that she gave the hamster away, because "the kids weren't caring for it" and she "had no time" for the tiny animal.

"Ma'am, if you gave away the hamster because it was too much trouble and time to care for, how do you expect to be able to care for a dog? Your children will only be interested in the dog for two weeks and besides, you can't put that kind of responsibility on small kids."

It is unbelievable to me that so many people who have a history of giving away animals (or more likely dumping them in shelters, but not telling us that) because they "moved" or had "no time" for the animals, then seek out an even more challenging pet to care for. Obviously, animal "care and commitment" are not words in their vocabularies.

I know I am sounding very judgmental here, but I do believe that unless otherwise reformed or educated in some way, people's past behavior is a good predictor of what their future behavior will be with pets.

Maybe I am cynical or maybe I have been in this work too long, but I believe that the truly loving and committed homes for animals are far and few between. Most are already "taken" with pets they keep for 15 to 20 years and the others are not yet through the grieving process for the cats or dogs they recently lost. -- PCA


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