Sadie was recently adopted out to a family who I thought was going to be a wonderful match for her. Their application was great and it stated they were willing to put a lot of energy into training in order to help her become a great family member. The only time they’d give her up, it said, was if she showed aggression that could not be managed with professional help. Unfortunately, most applications read the same way… yet somehow they still come back sometimes.
Within two days of having her, I received a phone call stating that they did not realize how ‘big’ she was (at 55lbs) and that she was too strong to really play with their young son. She said she was just giving me a heads up about that and I braced myself to expect another call from her soon. Sure enough, within a week of adoption, I received a phone call asking me to come pick her up. Sad. See, Sadie has been in numerous homes over the past six months – I am her second foster, and this was the second time she had been returned by an adopter. Despite how great she’d been with me, she just wasn’t living up to the expectations of others.
I love each of my fosters as if they were my own, but it is still always very disappointing when they come back to me. The questions rescues ask on applications serve an important purpose – to let us know how serious an adopter is in committing to their new family member. It is so hard on a dog to be bounced around more than necessary. These are dogs that have already only survived death row because volunteers are willing to risk damage to their homes and other pets in order to give them a second chance at life – they’re not always the perfect image of what a pet should be. But that is what rescuing is all about… being able to say that you are willing to give an animal a shot that was abandoned for whatever the reason. It is very hard for me to comprehend giving up on an animal after only a week of knowing each other. It breaks my heart.
So, Sadie is safe back with me for now. She is learning more every day and I am enjoying watching her eyes light up when she learns a new command. Her perfect people are out there somewhere.
We’ve just got to find them.