Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adoption (of doggies)

We have applied to adopt this dog.

She's about a year old, a rescue from a shelter in Kentucky (presumably a kill shelter) and we have been jumping through hoops to apply for her.
  • First, we submitted a four page application for her.
  • Then we had a 20 minute phone interview.
  • Then our four references were called and interviewed. (First question: if you were a dog, would you want Krista and Wade to be your owners?)
  • Next we have a home visit to verify our home is acceptable for a dog.
  • Then, if she's still available, we drive 2+ hours to go meet her (she's being fostered just over 2 hours away from here).
If only all pet owners - and for that matter parents - were screened like this. There would be many more happy, healthy pets and children! Pet ownership is not an easy thing: there are many challenges, and you must be prepared for this. Pets pee inside, they can exhibit aggression or other negative behaviours, they might challenge you. You have to train the dog, teach it acceptable manners and behviours, put it in its place if it becomes aggresive or challenges you, exercise it, spend money on veterinary care.

Don't get me wrong, the work is worth it. But you get what you put in. You have to constantly address behaviours so they don't become bad dogs. For example, my parent's dog can be dominant, and while my parents are very good at addressing dominant behaviours, she used to challenge me now and then. So I have to show her that I'm "dominant" over her. She rarely challenges me now, but when she was younger she did. She clearly thought, "You don't live here. Who do you think you are? I'm higher than you in this family!" So I had to show her that I may not live there, but I'm higher than her in the hierarchy. Dogs are pack animals. If you don't establish yourself in a pack hierarchy, you risk dominant or aggressive behaviours. And we're prepared to work to teach the dog, but definitely to love the dog.

Wish us luck!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awe she's adorable. Is she part Blue Healer?

    My friend, who's also a vet, recently adopted a black lab/mastiff from a shelter and the amount of stuff they made her jump through was just astronomical. It took over a month.

    Good luck with the cutie. Does she have a name?