Friday, January 05, 2007

doggie update

Having no calls regarding new kids, I guess I am "getting into" the doggie thing.

Does anyone know if the Internet photo-listings of adoptable dogs or kids came first? I know that the first anti-cruelty societies and laws were for animals. The first U.S. child cruelty case was actually handled by the then president of the ASPCA . Though most humane and anit-cruelty groups split into separate groups for animals and chidlren, the American Humane Socieity is still dedicate to the prevention of cruelty to animals and children.

Whatever the case, the current photo listings do have a certain similarity.

I had Brian take a couple of on-line quizzes to recommend dog breeds. This one is okay, but I like this one a little better. I like the second mostly because it ask more questions and gives few results. It also gives weighted results -- this breed is a 80% match, this one only 65%.

Beagles were up on top. Labs, even though they are large, made an appearance, as did Bassett Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Miniature Schnauzers. Yorkies, which he thought he wanted because they are so cute, did not show. He read the description of the temperaments of all the different dogs and thought they were all fine.

We also searched for rescue groups and foster dogs. Looking at the photo-listings, at least for me, had certain similarities with looking at photo listings for children. You read the descriptions, look at the picture, read between the lines, fill in the missing pieces and try not to fall in love with the result. Brian seems to be fairly good at that right now. It helps that we have told him that he cannot adopt a dog for a few more weeks. Right now all he can do is research. The on-line search site is pretty good, but we have learned that, not suprisingly, the small rescue organizations do a better job of updating their listings than do the larger shelters. The larger shelters seem to update once a week which means that many dogs never make it onto the list and many leave the shelter shortly after getting onto it. Still, it does give you a sort of picture of the kids of dogs available.

There are many labs. A good number are thought to be pure-bred. Others are crosses, but most of them seem to be crossed with German or Austrailian Shepherds and Rotts.

We went to visit a small shelter in a neighboring town. A stray silky hair Yorkie came in while we were in the office. Brian really wanted to put his name on it in case it wasn't claimed, and they agreed but told him that the chances of it not being claimed are almost nil.

From the petfinder search we found a mixed-breed that is living in a foster home. It is a funny-looking thing. Sort of a Charlie Brown's Christmas tree sort of dog. The dog currently lives with dogs and cats and sleeps in a 10-year-old boy's bed. I finally got a chance to talk to the foster mom. It turns out this dog has been one of the family dogs for 3 years. The boy has been unwilling to care for it though, so Mom has listed it as adoptable. I have very mixed feelings about this situation, but we are about to go visit it anyway. I warned Brian that our visit may result in renewed promises from the young man to care for the dog and so it may not be available to us. He understands that. It's probably good that right now he is hoping that the Yorkie is not claimed.

This particular rescue group requires home visits: pre and post placement. At least they do not make me fill out monthly reports, visit the dog themselves every month, and ask me to go to court twice a year. I wonder if we told them that we had already passed a home-study for foster care if that would help at all? Probably not, they would still want to inspect our fence -- which should be secure for the size of the dog, as long as it is not a tunneler.

And I know a couple of you feel strongly about the need for puppies. Yeah. I am hoping that if we are careful we can do as Gawdessness has done and find an adult dog who will fit.


  1. I have a cocker spaniel I got through a small rescue organization. I knew I wanted a cocker spaniel (I had one as a kid) and wanted to go through a rescue, and it took me a long time (several months) to find him. I only got him because I was the first one who contacted the group about him. (Others I had inquired about were already taken--they seem to go quickly.) Anyway, he is a wonderful dog in many ways--very bonded to me, just as I had wanted; very protective; very cuddly and fun to play with. He gets along fine with our other dog (an older lab mix) and with one of our cats (he chases the other one). He is not particularly well-trained, though, and has to be kept in his crate (a large one) if no one is around to watch him. If I were going to get another, I would definitely get a puppy. The dogs from rescues are often given up for a reason. As much as I love my dog, he does have issues (growls and snaps at people if provoked, is toy and food protective, runs away) and I suspect these are why he was available.

    PS. My lab mix, adopted from a rescue as a puppy, is the perfect dog--loves everyone (not just one of us), is well-behaved and well-trained, and sleeps with my son.

  2. I got my English Bulldog from a rescue organization. He was only 4 months old and that was pretty rare. When I called I was thinking of getting a dog in a few months and just wanted to put my name on the waiting list. She said she had puppies right then if I could come over right away. :-)

    He's a great dog... I've had him for almost 6 years now.

  3. It sounds like you guys are doing all the right things!

    I think the most important thing is making Brian a huge part of the process - for my son it brought about a real sense of buy in.

    I am not anti puppy in any way btw.
    I love them very much.
    Unfortunately my experiences with them (4-5 months old) has not been that good.

    One was 4 months old and bit one of my children in the face. Really bit.

    The other was 5 months old and attacked our older dog, the first time we talked to the vet and decided it might be a one time only thieng. The second time she did it, at 9 months old - well we had her put down.

    I like puppies for the most part and they are darn cute just not such a good fit for us right now :).

    Good luck on this journey.
    the fosterhome with the charlie brown dog sounds like it will be an experience, hopefully a good one.

    An older dog does take time to make an attachment and hopefully that is something that Brian is prepared for.

    But dang, when they do attach they attach so well.

    It took my malamute x (not recommended as a house pet btw) more than a month to believe that I meant he follows me everywhere.

  4. Diatryma3:43 PM

    Beagle? Beagles are sometimes wicked. Sometimes not. I don't know, I base breed temperaments on individual experiences-- cocker spaniels are excitable and snappish, Danes are clingy and a little territorial, Rottweilers are good if they're good and bad if they're bad (we had one that wasn't a good fit, but friends of ours wouldn't give theirs up for the world). I'd stick with adult dogs, since then you know what you're getting.


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