Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Know Yourself/life Before Choosing a Dog


I was recently reading some articles about why people say they are giving their dog up to a shelter as well as a study of owner satisfaction a year after adopting a dog from a shelter.

Those who gave up their dogs were most likely to say they were giving up a dog for behavior reasons.

Those who adopted a dog from a shelter and lived with it a year were happiest with dogs who met their expectations.

To me, both of these points have something to do with the overlapping areas of 1) training a dog; 2) matching one's self up with a dog who can give what one expects.

For example, let's suppose that a person has a young family, with toddlers, and wants a dog that will fit in with the kids, and quickly pick up the family routine, but not require a lot of extra work. And then this person observers that there is a very young, energetic English Bull Terrier for adoption and this person runs out and adopts the dog (I know of a situation where only a vigilant shelter manager stopped this from happening.)

This is a recipe for a dissatisfied person and a dog that would probably end up being rehomed with one of those annoying ads I am constantly seeing, which says something like, "Need to find loving home that will love our dog as much as we do, we no longer have time for her...."

Young Bull Terriers (like many young animals) are very energetic; running dogs are prone to knocking toddlers over in joyful enthusiasm. They don't 'just pick up' the rules and expectations of a family, and they require extra work in the form of exercise and attention, which a young family may not have to spare given the demands of the toddlers themselves. This isn't to say that a mature member of the breed, who has settled and been trained couldn't be added to the family; breed characteristics, level of training a dog already has, and a family's current situation should all play a role in choosing a canine companion that will fit into a family.

I maintain that if people put as much time and thought into choosing a canine companion as they do into selecting a computer they will buy, or commit to a dog and training for at least as long as they would have to commit to a phone company contract, fewer dogs would be disappointments or would require rehoming due to the 'time commitments' of people.

For those of us who have anything to do with dog adoption this is also a reminder of the importance of thorough screening of potential owners. It really is better for a dog to stay in foster care/shelter a little longer, then to send them out the door with a family that is a poor fit.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Overdue Post for Lisa and Rob

Things have been marginally chaotic of late here. Aside from the fesitive season which demanded family time, we've been trying to manage chronic illness in both human and dog, make final checks and changes to a book that went to press, and prepare proposals for the next writing thing...all while trying to be dedicated to a very full time job. Thus my excuses for being rather behind in the world of blogging in general and this promised blog in particular.


I always invite readers to share pictures and stories of their dogs with us. In the past few months I've had several readers who have taken me up on this offer and who are waiting to see if I ever remember to follow through - my apologies Lisa and Rob.

Rob took the time to share a photo of his lovely boy, Trouble, who unfortunately has passed away. He notes that Trouble was the best friend a person could ask for. I know you all join me in sending condolences to Rob and wish him comfort in his good memories of his friend. Obviously, Trouble was a very handsome boy.

Lisa wrote to share a picture of her newly adopted two year old Rough Collie, Sundar. This is Lisa's first Collie and she is quickly falling in love with the breed, thanks in part to Sundar's great patience with the four young children he lives with. He's showing the Collie penchant for wanting to leave his own food in favor of more tasty morsels of people food; Lisa found that putting an egg on his kibble made the kibble much more enticing. I hope Lisa will share more of her adventures of life with Sundar.

Nuala when I first met her
I also squeezed in the time to help rehome an Irish Setter; this was a case near and dear to me. This past fall our "family" dog - my parents wonderful adopted Boxer, Bogart, passed away as a result of a brain tumor. He was a gentle giant, much loved by three generations of our family. My mother's heart dog though, was once an Irish Setter and when a two year old female recently needed a new home - well of course I was all over that. My nephews and I spent time online looking for potential new names for this pretty girl (who does not photograph well) and she is now known as Nuala (noo-lah) Celetic for beautiful, or fair shouldered.

Amazon Link
I guess as long as I'm doing updates, I should take time to show this rather non-doggy picture, of my latest accomplishment. Ironically, the only picture I can 'share' is one I copied from Amazon. The picture I have from the publisher is a protected file.

I continue to welcome readers to share their dog's pictures and stories with us, >cmoslund@gmail.com<

Gracie has missed my blogging also - in the time it took me to write this she pulled a cardboard egg carton out of recycling and started dismantling it. Gracie then took the smaller pieces and tucked them in by the cat who was napping in Gracie's kennel, on a very nice fluffy blanket. Trying to incriminate the cat? 
 Hard to tell with Gracie.