|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 6:52pm PST |
|@ Duncan, my comments about markets was not about breeder or rescue markets per se, but the actual consumer market.
Some people, on doing their research, are going to feel a lot better entering into the process intellectually, wherein they locate a breeder who is expert in their breed, strives to breed a quality animal, and is someone of knowledge base to answer any questions or provide guidance as needed.
That is a market. And if rescue wants that market, they need to aspire towards satisfying that market's needs and expectations. They cannot expect that market to conform to their standards (or lacks thereof) and then get hostile (ala this blog) when they elect to go elsewhere.
Surely this does not mean every breeder....including the responsible breeders....comes through with flying colors. But that does not make the market not exist. It does, and it is a prominent market. And to satisfy it, vetting to the fullest standard, assessments by people trained to do such things, matches made thoughtfully (vs moving a dog or "he's been here too long") and someone/ones in the group skilled enough to offer guidance intelligently through the long term.
I am heavily mentored on Cocker Spaniels by the big leagues, so to speak, but will say that my stint working for Cocker Spaniel rescue...and this applies to other breeds also, but it is my dog fancy mentorship that made this so striking....found me around people who were every bit as awesome. I actually learned things from them I had not from my own mentors. They are deeply experienced, very able to translate Cocker behaviors, if it comes to of course health, care or diet issues they are amazing. A very impressive group, and frankly with them not too much a difference between a Cocker from them or from a breeder.
Of course, they had Toto's placement attitude, too. Notoriously hard to adopt from. They are to me the "true" rescues, compared to what we are more typically seeing now.
I have always said that the passion for rescue will mainly fall, from individual to individual, on the pulling of the dogs, or the fulfilling of the happy ending for the dog. Most will fall on one side or the other. And in what I have seen become of rescue, I know the answer is that it needs to fall on the latter side. A determination to get that dog his happy forever ending.
In working with New England breed rescues, I have found some contrasts to where rescues generally are now. Dogs coming in receive a full vet workup....the concept of even *thinking* about finding a home before this would be unthinnkable. And they had the budgets, or found them, that if they dog needed $1,500 of work, so be it. The dogs were put safe in foster, often there for a month before they were even listed. For full discovery, to give the dog time to settle, etc. And then, a highly scrutinized application process.
Dogs adopted in this fashion had a very full health profile, could be very accurately assessed, ended up in good homes that had full, breed savvy support should there be any problems.
That fullness, that completeness, is indeed within the market to which I was referring, and to which this article is addressed.
It also is something very seldom catered to by rescues nowadays, which is focused on the pulling. Very often with minimal knowledge as to the dog's health, nor formally pursuing having such confirmed. Which is so focused on pulling that getting the dogs out the door becomes the priority. Which is so focused on the plight of these dogs and the tragedies of their lives that resentment is held towards those who feel overwhelmed by having a project.
I think there certainly IS a market for dog lovers willing to take on the financial responsibility of an under-vetted dog, the personal challenge of a dog not expertly matched to them, and the emotional challenge of working with issues that arise on your lonesome. But there is only so big that market gets. And then there are the rest, who are very ill suited to obtaining a dog in this way. They either decide not to rescue or do, feel miserable and never do so again.
Even Dogsters here, who have happily rescued and now say their next will be a breeder dog reflect this contrast.
It's sad to me, as rescue's reputation, what allowed it grow, were these old standards, through which many, many people had insanely positive experiences. I was part of that line, and as I look at now, what built that reputation is one harder to be found. They have coat tailed it rather than aspired to its standard.
I would far prefer to place one dog and have an over the moon owner, than place ten on a wing and a prayer. One has the potential for a very positive ripple, the other one very negative. But when pulling and saving are the motive over fulfilling a promise made to a dog, undoing the wrong done to him and finding him his perfect answer, it is the former side, the negative ripple, that is more easily courted.
Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 7:00pm PST
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