You’ve seen the ads on Craigslist or signs on store windows: “Dog. Free to a good home.”
But what’s a good home?
Predicting the Future.
Rescue organizations, shelters, and responsible breeders all have the job of making sure the animals in their care end up in good homes. They use questionnaires, references, and home visits to try to figure out if the person who wants a dog is going to be the right fit.
But as Honey’s breeder pointed out, every person who wants one of their puppies knows how to say the right things. Their job is to look past the carefully constructed good impression to find the best home for their dogs.
And just what is a good home anyway?
The Litmus Test.
Ask anyone who rescues dogs what comprises a good home and they won’t hesitate to tell you. And we in blogville have pretty strong opinions too. Sometimes the passions run so high that I’m not surprised when I read someone who believes that not feeding a dog a raw diet is a form of abuse.
(Side note: I’m very happy that I’ve fallen into a community of tolerant and supportive dog people here in blogville. I don’t think I could survive some of the battles that rage elsewhere.)
But someone who obsesses on “best practices” might not provide the best home for a dog.
I know for myself that although I feel guilty that I haven’t spent hours researching the best nutritional options for Honey, sometimes it’s just better to take a good long walk. And yeah, I could surf all over the internet trying to confirm my vet’s heartworm prevention protocol, but Honey’s ready for a game of tug.
It’s All About the Dog.
In the past, I’ve returned foster puppies to the SPCA to be adopted. But with Eddie, we agreed to have prospective adopters meet him here. Eddie just wasn’t happy in the shelter.
When the family who filled out an adoption application for Eddie came by, I asked myself, “How can you tell someone will be a good family for a dog?” I got my answer by watching.
Edie’s prospective family recognized he was a little timid around new people. So they didn’t force things or go too quickly. They coaxed him but didn’t chase after him as he jumped back. They understand that a little guy who had gone from stray to the shelter to a foster home to the shelter to another foster home (whew!) in just one week might be a little cautious and need some time.
They understood it’s all about the dog.
Eddie Goes Home.
Eddie (gee, I hope they come up with a name that better suits his personality) gets picked up by his new family this morning.
I have no doubt that Eddie will find himself loved and cared for the way he deserves to be. And I feel great about sending him to his new home.
I know they’ll all be very happy together.