Our dogs are not merchandise. And we do not have this rule. We actually allow returns and exchange on our dogs. Because we understand that sometimes it’s just not a good ‘fit’.
It’s funny how I often assume that someone who has had a dog for longer than I have, has more knowledge of dog behavior, than me. If I may be completely self involved and obnoxious, I know more than quite a few people who’ve had dogs for a long time. And I am only just now coming to this realization. Of course, I have bunches more to learn. Learning never stops. But that’s just it. What makes me better, is my willingness to learn. And I will stop blowing my own trumpet now.
You remember how excited I was about our not one, not two, but three adoptions, from my last post? Well, I got a phone call Monday morning, that one of our dogs needed to be returned. I don’t entertain non-work calls at work, and I am not the adoption coordinator so I connected the un-adopter to Sam. And, I had expected this call. Just, my gut and a pattern of events told me I would be receiving this call. Me and the other volunteers had ignored our respective guts and hoped our instincts were failing us in light of the perfect home visit, the impeccable liking that this dog took to his new sibling and all the other things that felt right; and we allowed the adoption.
The dog was un-adopted because he was peeing on stuff around the apartment. Now, this could mean a multitude of things – an infection, marking off what was ‘his’, establishing alpha in the face of his sibling or simply new surroundings. How long have I had Kahlua ? This un-adopter has been an owner for almost a decade more. Judgmental much, Shalini ? Yes. When it comes to this, I am. I do not judge people for returning dogs because I know sometimes, you just cannot cope. I get it. I have my not so strong days too! But, this is different.
We offered treatment and training. But the dog was dropped off at animal control (I am told) with little remorse. Willingness to learn ? I don’t see it.
Does this un-adopter deserve a dog? No.
Shelter dogs are not merchandise. Sure we have return and exchange plans. But now, we are also planning a blacklist. And we have one member on it already.
Should blacklists be shared among rescues ? This is my question to you. And a question that’s been plaguing all of us volunteers. Should we share with each other, people with un-adoptive patterns ?
On a lighter note, Kahlua is doing better! He attended a photography training class with us yesterday courtesy of the wonderful Betsy from Betsy Sasnett Photography! Pepper, Jango and Nala were there too. Jango was our model. Here is my best shot from yesterday. And I promise, I will get better at this.. photography thing!
And a few other shots just for your entertainment!