|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 3:35pm PST |
|WARNING! *****Not a Post for The Weak of Heart***
I do feel rescue needs to evolve itself. It has been sitting on its do gooder laurels for too long. For a long time, that was enough. Their market was those who truly wanted to RESCUE. That's a feel good human thing. We all want to be Superman, somewhere inside. These people, oft with a romantic bent, want those eyes to lock and find that special connect. And then, they rescue. They take on that hard luck dog, warts and all. If there are problems, such are embraced as part of the rescue process. They are, at the end of the day, affirmations of the process.
That is, however, but one market. We can't ask people to be what they are not. Some people want a nice dog....not a project. They want to expect something, and then have it once they welcome the dog into their home. To me, it is a hypocrisy for rescue on one hand to insist there are lovely, well adjusted dogs available through rescue (and trust me, there ARE!), and yet then resent adopters who want to return a dog because they didn't want a project. Which is it? Make up your mind, and we can all grow from there
If you are a rescue in this day and age, with these wider markets, you in my mind had BETTER have skilled assessments. Don't have someone expert? Ok, then say what you are. For breeders ARE skilled. They not only know their breed, they know the genetics and history. Don't say you are on par with that or ever could be, because you aren't and you can't. Don't either say that, as a breeder, due to your very deep experience that you can predict everything about every puppy, because you can't do that either. But most good breeders don't say that. They will asses as best they can, educate you as best they can, and guide you as needed as the dog grows into his own.
Like puppies? Ok. There is only so much you can do to get close on par to a breeder. My rescue sometimes has opportunity to bring it the very closest it can be, which means mom, newborn puppies, and then raise them in house. We have done that and it has made for some lovely experiences. Would like to add that we have had litters that belied their true known genetics (Am Cocker mom with a litter that looked like Beagles, English Springer mom with a litter that looked like ACDs), to underscore that, no, you don't always know what you're getting.
Would also like to add that twice we have rescued a litter from a mom destined to be euthanized, by the shelter's will, due to aggression. Those we adopted to....drumroll, please....KNEW that! And you can call a spade a spade here. Would a responsible breeder ever, ever breed a human aggressive female? Um, hell NO! Au contraire, most know the stud line and the generations of females through the dam, several back. All lovely in temperament. The very basic "save every dog!" mantra of rescue DOES mean that you will save and place dogs from known wacko momma dogs. Did I just say that? Yes I did. And you cannot, no way no how, EVER compare that to going the responsible breeder route. Just because we want that not to be true doesn't change that reality.
That said, what you want, you CAN find. If you want to rescue, if you love mutts or whatever your reason is. We last year brought in a momma "Chug" (Chi-Pug) and her four little ones, flown in when they were five days old. Momma had actually been dropped off at a kill shelter, heavily pregnant, with several of her adult kin. All of them made it into the adoption room. We knew them all. This bitch was as close to a breeder situation as you can get, and although very un-p.c. to say, she was a superior producer. Stamped all her babies, who were very uniform and of spectacular temperament. We knew what she produced, knew her (spectacular girl), and of course reared the puppies, who had barely known a bad day in their lives. I am breeder schooled, so they got the optimum. I will also add that two of the puppies had cherry eye and one had a potentially very dangerous congenital neck condition. It's not like shelter dogs are immune. But it was a great litter we could market with a knowledge close to that of a breeder, and the adoptions all turned out very well.
So really, it's up to you. You can go to a rescue. You can go to a breeder. But what I will say is that you HAD BETTER scrutinize your rescue with as close an eye as you would a breeder. Just because a dog needs rescuing and just because good hearted people are trying to help doesn't excuse them from that level of scrutiny. And we cannot, because "dogs are dying," expect everyone to be willing to take on a project and get flamed at them when they are upset. That's just icky and self righteous. I know for me...not patting myself on the back or anything, just saying what IS....I have had many an adopter say they went with our rescue because I was forthright, honest, offered full assessments and actually sounded like I knew what I was talking about. I also have the skill, as an apprenticed all breed person, to be there for you intelligently if there are challenges. Would I equal a breeder in that context? No. Would I be superior to many rescues in that context? Yes. Because I am real about it.
If S/R wants to truly be a suitable alternative to a breeder purchase, they need to act like it more. Have higher standards about assessing dogs, matching adopters and have some sort of a staff to offer knowledgeable guidance should that be required. And of course in that, a conflict. It does abrade the "save every dog" logic. As while some homes remain available for dogs with baggage, what remains can't be foisted on those outside that market. That is to me woefully unethical, and the bigger rescue gets, the more of a problem that will be. That's another stark reality.
Which lands us right back on bad pet owning ethics, lacks of education, good matches, impulse getting, dunderheaded standards in raising a well adjusted dog paired with disposable dog logic being the roots of this problem. If he is a "bad dog" then off he goes!
Until we solve that, we solve nothing.
Edited by author Mon Nov 12, '12 3:54pm PST
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