Disclosure: This is an unsponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.
I usually refrain from posting anything semi-controversial on this site. I try to keep it very sunshiny and smiley. I have recently been experiencing something that I felt the need to write about despite the fact that people may not agree with me.
I am a lucky woman. I have a supportive and loving husband, two beautiful children, a job I love and a fabulous pup. I am surrounded by family and truly feel a part of a fabulous community in Rockland County.
As a family, we recently made the decision to add another pup to the equation. Duncan is getting older (he’s a 9.5 year old 110 lb chocolate lab), and we would like another. Duncan is by far the best dog I have ever known. His temperament is classic lab, love and hugs all the time. Nothing but tolerance. He has ALWAYS been the sweetest boy I have ever known. Through two homes and two kids he has always been constant and loving. He checks in on the kids before he goes to bed. I cannot say enough about him.
We would like to add a new pup so that it can learn from Duncan. As a teacher I am off for the summer and can dedicate a lot of time to acclimating the new guy or girl to the family.
Here is where the complications come in. (E) who is 2 has had a few health bumps along the way and we recently found out that she has asthma and is allergic to dogs. Given that Duncan is a member of the family he wasn’t going anywhere. Instead we made changes to the household. Stronger filters, more frequent vacuuming etc. We KNOW that (E) can tolerate a Lab, and are also interested in a Labradoodle which might even be better.
I WANTED to adopt and did lots of research in order to do so. I know that even these high demand breeds are often surrendered just like everyone else. I am NOT opposed to a 2-3 year old pup who can acclimate to our family with a calm and cool demeanor. I sought out rescues that were committed to the lab/doodle breeds.
I have applied to adopt 4 dogs over the past 4 months and have been turned down for a “busy” household, or because they didn’t think that I was a good “fit”. One said that I couldn’t adopt because I had small kids, another because my yard isn’t fenced in. When I said I had a lab and my yard wasn’t fenced they asked if he ran, I said no, they asked how I accomplished that. I plainly answered that he has been trained. Still no luck.
I was even turned away from a local shelter (who will remain nameless) because kids and puppies don’t mix (seriously a friend and my auntie were there).
Let me state now that I understand that not every household with kids and dogs where parents work can handle a puppy. I KNOW that they have to be careful where they place dogs because there are bad situations. I APPRECIATE how difficult it must be to feel like dogs are placed well or to make the decision.
HOWEVER, I find it impossible to believe that because my application had ONE or TWO small indicators that my house may not work it should be turned away WITHOUT calls made to my references or vet.
Come and do a HOME VISIT and see how my dog is loved and included in our daily routine. Speak to me on the phone and ask questions about how I think I am going to make it work out.
We have taken great pride in the training of Duncan. He sleeps on the couch, and my bed more often than I would like from time to time, but he is a darling. He will eat right from your mouth without touching you. He will provide you with a pillow when you need one. He snuggles better than anyone I know. He sits, stays, comes when you call, walks great on a leash, and that’s not JUST his temperament. It was hours of work with positive reinforcement, love and determination.
The same care was taken when we taught our kids how to handle and play with dogs. They don’t hit, tease, or scream at them. They know how to get dogs to sit, shake and feed them appropriately. They can tell when a pup has had enough.
You could NOT find a more loving and ready household for a dog and by denying us a placement they are denying a dog their perfect match. What could be better for a dog than to be included in a loving, warm, and dog friendly environment?
Instead of adopting a pet and giving them a second chance at life, I am now forced to seek out breeders and pay thousands of dollars to find the next member of my family. NO matter how many times I ask in a parenting group if anyone knows of an excellent lab/doodle breeder there are at least 5 people who attack me and say “DON’T SHOP ADOPT”. Yeah well I tried that…
I am currently speaking to a Doodle Breeder and will most likely have our new addition transported up to NY in 7-8 weeks. I am not completely unhappy with this decision. I am disgruntled with a system that perpetuates a cycle, and wish there had been a different outcome…