To get right to it, the Dining Companion and I are in the midst of adopting a dog. What's that you say? With all of the gallivanting about the country y'all do this can't be a good time to get a little dog, can it? Honestly I don't know whether this is the right time or not. What I do know is that this is the time it's happening.
We've talked about getting a dog in the past. Talk that didn't go much beyond that. I was convinced that I wanted a puppy and the DC thought a slightly older dog would be better (hint: he was right).
Looking for a pet seems like it should be a straight forward deal right? Look for a breeder, pick out a puppy, done deal. But no, that couldn't be further from reality. At least for us. First of all I'm going to go on record as being anti breeder. I'm sure there are many reputable, humane and caring dog breeders out there. But, for every one of them there are many, many more who are disreputable and inhumane. So getting a pet that way was not an option we chose. That leaves the animal shelters and rescue and foster system. Both are good options for someone looking for a pet. And both have their downsides.
Luckily for us there are people who do the hard work required to get dogs and cats out of the shelter systems and placed in rescue/foster homes. Some, if not all, of these dogs and cats were days, if not hours, away from being euthanized. Overcrowding is a harsh but very real situation facing many shelters today. There are some no kill shelters that take in strays and keep them until they are placed with a family. Because of that policy they fill up and can only take in so many dogs and cats at a time. The other option is a short stay at a kill shelter or possibly rescue and foster.
If you are looking for a specific breed, like I was, there is almost surely a rescue group associated with it. Some people may think that if they want a "pure breed" that rescue and foster is not an option for them. That is 100% wrong. There are rescue groups for just about every breed of dog (and cats too!) And hey, mutts need love too!
All that by way of saying that we are currently making our way through the foster system. Just a few things to keep in mind if you decide that rescue/foster is the way to go (a way that I can't recommend highly enough!):
- There probably will be an interview process
- There will be an assessment form of some kind to fill out
- There will more likely than not be a home visit and in person interview
- You will have to provide references and they will be called
- You will probably have to meet with your prospective pet for a "getting to know you visit"
Only once all of these criteria have been met (it varies from group to group but this is not atypical) will you be cleared to move forward with the adoption. Please don't let this deter you from pursuing a rescue/foster pet. Unlike adopting from a shelter, foster dogs and cats live with the people that place them. They see first hand the sometimes horrific situations that these animals come from. They spend weeks, if not months, nursing them back to health, restoring their trust in people and getting them ready for their forever homes. Their care and concern is heartfelt and genuine.
|A most excellent addition to our family|
As I'm typing this our new little furry friend is sitting on my lap. She is curious about what I'm doing and happy to sit here and just spend time with me. Our new dog is healthy and well behaved. Curious about her surroundings and ready to be a part of her new family. All due to the care and love she received from her foster family.
We can't thank them enough.