Rescuing dogs takes a special breed

Rescuing dogs isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s not easy. It’s expensive in both time and money. And it’ll break your heart.

We have the deepest respect and admiration for the people whose passion is pet rescue. We know some who devote themselves to the cause wholeheartedly – oftentimes leaving little reserve for themselves or their loved ones. They have a dedication to the cause that is unwavering.

Rescuing dogs can break your heart

It’s not for everyone. And that has to be okay, too.

The slogan “adopt, don’t shop” has gained a lot of traction in the last couple decades. Most people nowadays, when they think about adding a dog to the family, at least consider acquiring one from a shelter or rescue, whether they follow through or not. 

rescued dog being hugged

A good friend of ours was considering adding a dog to her family after one of her dogs died too young last year. She has been a supporter and volunteer with a breed rescue for years – doing home visits for potential adopters and transport as needed. But she’d never fostered a dog, nor adopted one from rescue.

As it happened, there was a situation close to her that required several foster homes quickly. Pat agreed to take in one of the surrendered dogs. Both Pat and the rescue’s manager understood that if the dog was a good fit for Pat’s family, she would be a “foster failure” and adopt the dog.

Pat was full of hope and anticipation when the day arrived to welcome rescue dog “Mandy” into her home. There was a piece missing since her “Nell” died. Everyone hoped that Mandy would fit in and jump-start joy again.

Not her cup of tea

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Hard as she tried, Pat never really connected with Mandy. While she got along with the other dogs, she was never quite part of them. 

Pat is, by nature, a gentle, patient, and loving person. And yet, Mandy managed to push all of her buttons. Without any fault on either part, the fit just wasn’t right. You truly can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.

This past week Pat moved Mandy to another foster home. She’ll continue volunteering with the rescue, but knows she’ll never foster again. It’s just not for her.

Help however’s right for you

There are lots of reasons people aren’t able to foster pets: work schedule, other animals in the home, allergies, timing, living situation, etc. It’s not for us, either, for a variety of reasons. We tried it once and it was weird for us, having a dog in the house that wasn’t really ours. It wasn’t just the lack of connection, although that was one factor. It was also not being able to make decisions about the dog without consulting with someone else. Even though the rescue we fostered with made good decisions every time – it felt wrong not having control of a dog living in our house. 

That dog’s story has a very happy ending. A potential adopter came to meet Spike one day and they instantly connected. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was her dog. Love at first sight – for both of them.

We hope that Mandy has an equally wonderful family waiting for her. And that Pat will find a dog of her own someday soon. Both of them are getting comfortable in their new situations. Both are entitled to their own happily ever after. 

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