I was procrastinating the other night and found myself looking at dogs on petfinder and at the local SPCA. I came across a little yorkie/daschund mix and passed it onto a family friend who is going to pick her up next week, hopefully!
It got me thinking though, how did you choose your rescue? What made you choose that particular dog over another? There are SO many nice dogs out there, some strays, but some surrenders, etc. Just in an evening of half hearted perusing I found 5+ dogs that would fit my criteria for a dog if I were getting one right now. Were you faced with several that fit your criteria, how did you choose? Did you just "know" when you met the dog? Were you happy with your choice?
I just brought home my rescue dog on Saturday. We met 2 other dogs before meeting her and bringing her home. The first dog had too much energy, the second dog was too shy. The third dog was just right...
Here's how I went about it... looked at Petfinder/rescue groups website, then met dog. No looking at Petfinder at other dogs until you've made a decision on the one you're meeting. That way, you don't get too attached to just pictures/descriptions of other dogs while you're with the one that you might take home.
There are particular qualities of temperament I want and I look for indicators. A lot of things done in puppy selection can still be done with adults and there are some tests you can do on semi-adults that you shouldn't on a puppy. I learned a lot many moons ago reading up on guide dogs for the blind puppy selection. A dog desired for protection should display some traits that would be undesirable in a dog desired to never display any amount of aggression. The last time I evaluated a dog for my own, it was a young male GSD who'd been picked up on the street as a stray, in a shelter until his kill day, pulled out by a herding breeds rescue group who did not have a place to put a large dog, handed over to a GSD rescue who immediately sent him to the vet overnight to have his bits snipped off. So a week or so after he's taken off the street, I show up to eval him to come have a forever home with me. I'm looking for steadfast who will have what it takes to protect me on trails.
The only fair test I can do is a startle. I have a large coffee can with a few metal spoons inside. When he turned his back and had his attention diverted, I slammed the can onto the stone floor behind him. He turned around with his ears up, interested and immediately went to the can to investigate - no shy at all. OK, steadfast fella, come be my boy.
A decade later, he has over a dozen cougar encounters, five bears, bob cat, never engaged, just closed the trail, told me in plenty of time for me to turn around. The horses obviously got his job. Verr cool.
We had a Cocker we loved before our Boxer we loved. Didn't want another Boxer right away, so we decided we'll alternate. Got on Petfinder, searched for Cocker types within 50 miles. Maxwell was cute, middle-aged, and just seemed like a dog we'd like to have in our house. And he's lovely After he goes we'll go on the hunt for a Boxer.
My husband actually chose our dog. I think if it had been left up to me, I would have picked the wrong one. But DH saw this quiet, well behaved dog just hanging out and took him for a walk. Came back and said "OMG you HAVE to walk this dog" and the rest is history. I think we just really lucked out that the dog had pretty much no behavior issues, is very well adjusted and trained and gets along with our four cats! I don't know if that will every happen again
Aunt Pittypat and Xander are rescues, but they didn't come through a shelter or rescue group.
The couple who had them got them from a mill, but they pretty much went from the frying pan into the fire. So when this couple was expecting a baby and decided that a baby and dogs was just too hard, she posted on a Pug board to rehome them. (they were also moving out of their place to live with her parents because having a baby is just too hard.) I told her I'd take them if they got along with Pippen.
Went to their place and those poor dogs latched on to me and were very clearly saying get me the hell out of here.
So they pretty much picked me.
And those free dogs cost me $1800 in vet bills. Spay/neuter, vaccinations, both full of worms, tooth extractions...
My husband chose one last year. A couple that we liked were adopted before he got there, different shelters. One just about broke his heart as he had met the dog during the waiting period but there were three applications in front of ours.
The one we ended up with chose him. Came up to the gate and knowing the dog now that was a very brave thing for him to do. He was very shy for about three months but now is friendly except to strangers and will eventually come up to them if they are at the barn for an hour or so.
We did look at size and color. We had just lost a Bassett Bulldog mix that was mostly white to a tumor and wanted to go in an opposite direction. Ended up with a mostly redbone with a bit of boxer.
the breed i chose is rare, AMerican Hairless Terrier. i rescued the first one b/c a friend was fostering him and i fell in love. The second one was same breed only 4 months old on Petfinder. The 3rd we volunteered to foster and my hubby fell inlove.
I had a few criteria:
1) He/she needed to be under 20lbs, I travel a lot, so they need to be able to 'fit underneath the seat in front of me'.
2) I wanted an older dog
-2a)Because I don't lead a super-active lifestyle
-2b)Because they tend to be the ones people don't want
3) I wanted him/her to be house trained
I found the PERFECT dog for me on PetFinder, emailed the rescue&foster, and then we met!
My dog was a surrender, they 'didn't want him anymore', and he came in skinny and covered in matts (sp?).
We don't know what he went through in his 'former life', but we're pretty sure he never interacted with other animals, since he has no idea what to do with them! He just sorta watches...
He's gotten over his fears of soda cans being opened, newspapers, and people reaching down too fast to pet him (all of which we believe meant someone hit him).
He's blossomed into a great dog, he now comes up to you when you get home (he didn't before), he runs now (took 3-4 months before we saw him do anything but walk), he walks on carpet (he was terrified to at first), and he's super confident- when we get to the barn he takes off on his own and wanders through the creeks and fields and always comes back to the car when he is tired (which thankfully is usually before I'm done riding).
One I found on facebook...I have a very soft spot for seniors, the other the collie rescue picked for me as a possible choice. I went to see her and brought her home. The other two dogs and the two cats found me.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant
My old dog (15) picked me. I had just had to have my previous dog put to sleep w/ tumors in his sinuses we couldn't get under control and went to the Humane Society to look. She saw me when I walked in and ignored every other person there to watch me until I got to her when she went nuts barking and wagging her tail. Nearly 14 years later she still acts that way, only I taught her to channel the desire to bark/cry by going in the backyard and running. She's a border collie or sheltie mix and at 15 is still the highest energy dog in the house and runs laps in the yard around me.
I have always enjoyed herding dogs, their personalities and intelligence, and my chow mix was the only dog I've had who wasn't some kind of herding dog. I was 22, single and in my own house, and the aforementioned old dog was young, high energy, and miserable when left alone. I went to a rescue which fostered dogs and explained what ?I needed - about the same size as my dog, willing to play but not as high energy, and protective was ok since it would make me feel safer alone. The two dogs met and got along immediately, and she was exactly what I was looking for. I believe the chow mix chased away someone who was going to try to break in and she kept my other dog happy. I found two dogs was easier than one.
The chow mix died about 2 1/2 years ago and I have wanted a second dog since. My dog was lonely and missed having another dog to play with. She didn't like anyone I tried to introduce her to, though. Sunday I finally got another one. I was at an arts festival and a neighboring county Humane Society had a booth there. I absolutely fell in love with one of the dogs when I went past on my way to grab lunch, and went back to see him after. He's a 2 or 3 year old border collie mix, extremely sweet and very good with other dogs. He still acts a little puppy-ish, but whatever he's mixed with has mellowed out the border collie energy so he actually is lower energy than the 15 year old. I didn't know if they would get along immediately, but I knew how he interacted with other dogs and was willing to keep the dogs separated as long as I needed for them to get along. It turns out it was love at first sight with the dogs, as my old girl walked up to him with her tail wagging and licked his face upon introduction, with only the humans holding leashes having any tension. He's proven to have that loyalty, desire to please and intelligence I love in herding dogs, and while super sweet and gentle with other dogs if he feels there's a threat to me he gets between me and the threat to protect me.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
That's me, too. I'm actually not that much of a dog person...I find most dogs tolerable to okay. It's the special ones I fall for, and mine is one of them. I wasn't looking for a dog but we crossed paths and she happened to need rescued, so I did.
Kitties on the other hand...love and want basically every one I come across
Both of ours more or less chose us. The 16 year old ACD mix was dropped off on DH's doorstep, shortly before I met him. She'd been through several homes and several shelters, but was so ornery and obnoxious that no one wanted her. Too pretty and smart to euthanize, so one of DH's friends, a rescue worker, brought her over and told him he needed a dog. She walked right in and started making herself at home. 14 years later, she's still here .
The younger, BC mix, we'd been looking for a dog for a while and it's hard...nothing appropriate to be in the house with ACD mix and a 10 year old was showing up in local shelters and many rescues weren't eager to adopt to us because our yard was not fenced, or fenceable. Never mind that they are never allowed out unsupervised. I'd actually applied for another, young adult dog, at a rescue that brings dogs into MA from Ohio. When they read the application and spoke with me, they begged me to take this 12 week old Border Collie mix. She was coming out of a hoarder's yard and was not socialized to people yet at all and, being a BC, was pretty crazy. They saw that we had herding dog experience...they were adopting all kinds of lab puppies and small dogs to first time dog owners but couldn't let a mostly BC go to that type of home. We met her and took her home and she is wonderful...after quite a bit of work on catching up on socialization and plenty of exercise and training to keep her busy. She did do quite a bit of destruction in the house, up until age 2, so it is a good thing she did not go to a first time dog owner home...they'd have likely brought her back after she ate all the shoes, chewed up the windowsills and dug holes in several expensive mattresses .
A little bit of sorting on my side, and then surrender to the fates! After 15 or so years of high prey drive Rhodesian Ridgebacks I decided I was getting too old and too tired to deal with them in a household with cats and birds. So that was my initial criterion -no prey drive. The dog had to be good with other dogs and with kids. I always liked bulldogs so I was looking at bulldog breeds (on that night -because I also like shepherds, great danes, etc) and came across a medium sized bulldog/beagle mix. She looked rough, and older than they said she did, but she suited my profile and I am all for giving the harder to place animals a chance so I drove to Berkely County Humane Society to see her.
She was much smaller than I'd expected, but she was a nice girl. She was smart, and kind so I thought -how do you turn down a dog that is suitable because she is too small? (this is the fates part of the equation). That's how I got Ginger.
So I say, pick a direction, go there and cry out to the Universe that you're ready for a dog. I mean gosh, otherwise there are so many worthy and needy dogs out there you might just have a Moscow on the Hudson moment and pass out.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
Mine have picked me. My older Aussie female --- it was meant to be. I saw she was available, contacted the rescue group --- but I was 3rd in line for her. THey called me back 3 days later and said to come get her. I walked into the foster's house and Dixie just sat there, looked at me, and said "Mom." She's been my shadow ever since. My Collie was dumped in a friend's yard, they called me after they couldn't find his owners and said they thought he'd be perfect for me. I drove out to their place --- yep, that was the dog and he came home with me. And my youngest Aussie --- she was one of last of a litter of puppies a breeder had and needed to find a home for her --- I was not looking for a dog then, but just had to take her.
paulaedwina is right --- there are many worth and needy dogs out there, and you will find the right one. Maybe it won't be what you think you want (I didn't want hairy dogs but have 3 hairy beasts!), but you'll find the right one --- or it will find you!
I too was casually searching petfinder for another scottie for my Angus. But there were never any in my area. Then one night there was Mak. Only 1 hour from where I live. I emailed right away and went to see him the day after.
I wasn't sure I should get another dog, then my Mak licked my face while I was sitting down on the ground talking with the shelter people about if i should take him or not. sold!