|Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"|
My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
|Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 11:19am PST |
|When I first went to volunteer with the local Beagle rescue, I was considering fostering, but was new to even volunteering with a dog rescue, let alone fostering with them, and while I had plenty of canine experience, I was also living in a rental at the time. I let them know I would talk to my landlord, but that I was interested.
My landlord gave the okay. I emailed the rescue. Unfortunately... They weren't upfront with me. First, they asked what I thought of Beau, the foster dog at the adoption event that I had volunteered at. I said I had liked him quite a bit. They said they were looking for a new foster home for him. They knew I lived in a basement suite, and they knew Beau's issues. I did not know Beau's issues.
They brought him over, introduced him to Charlie on neutral ground(they got along great!), and we tested them in the house(they were still great together). THAT was when they began to tell me Beau's issues - when they had his stuff and were ready to leave him. He had a bite history - and a severe one at that. He was a resource guarder(not the biggest issue for me because I'm great with working on that problem), he was a chronic barker, he had separation anxiety, he was fearful and untrusting of people(although you wouldn't know it until the moment you did something wrong that caused a bite), he didn't give warning signals, etc..
So, naturally, I felt a little overwhelmed and when seeking assistance with some of his issues with the so-called 'behaviorist' with the rescue, she told me certain things COULD NOT be changed(such as him escaping my dog run constantly) because they were INSTINCT. ?!?!?!?! I reinforced my dog run and he never escaped it again. It was not instinct so he could go hunt rabbits. He was escaping because I left him in there, and was looking for me!
Anyway, several months, and many of Beau's issues were worked through - he was safe around his food again, knew several commands, could safely be put into his kennel without getting snapped at, had learned to bark if he was uncomfortable instead of bite... Unfortunately, the chronic barking did not change, and my landlord grew quickly tired of it, as did the neighbors who were filing complaints. I contacted the rescue, told them the problem, and asked that they start looking for a new foster home where Beau could stay, because I needed the roof over my head. The so-called 'behaviorist' began immediately GUILT-TRIPPING me, telling me 'not to give up' on Beau, etc etc... She made me feel inadequate, like I hadn't done my part, like I should be adopting this poor dog, instead of sending him off onto the next step/person.
I'll honestly say I DO still volunteer and foster with this rescue, HOWEVER, only when -I- can(I've made it clear that volunteering and fostering are ON MY TIME, and I will only do what I can when I can), and I no longer deal with said 'behaviorist' anymore either.
There ARE good rescues out there that will be up front. You have to be up front about what you CAN and CANNOT handle, what you're ready to take on, for how long(if it's temporary, give them an approx. temporary time frame - a couple days for emergency fostering, or a few weeks for temporary fostering til they find the dog another, etc) and don't be afraid to tell a rescue when they're giving you something you aren't prepared to take on. It is a VOLUNTEER thing, it is NOT a job. If they're not willing to work with you to get the best suited dog fostered in your home, then they don't really need you and aren't worth your time.
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