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Maya, Wy, Woo, Wei and Wyn
Some thoughts
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:50am

There are a couple of books I can heartily recommend that may help you in your thinking. “Love has no age Limit” by Patricia McConnell and “Do Over Dogs: Give your dog a second chance at a first class life” by Pat Miller. Both of these authors write beautifully about behavioral issues and also about the psychology of the dog/human bond in general and more. They are both highly respected. When I was volunteering at a shelter I fell for a dog with intense shyness and started researching these authors books about fearfulness and shyness among other resources hoping to help socialize this sweet fellow. His story had a happy ending. The shelter maintains lists of people who “specialize” in dogs with issues such as blindness, deafness, amputation, terminal illness, extreme old age etc and fearfulness. A match for this dog was found on one of the “special” lists and the dog is doing very well in his new home. Something else the rescue does is people don’t choose for themselves. They may indicate an interest in a particular photo and that will help guide the adoption people toward matching the family with a dog but the rescue knows the dogs best and is very careful to match people with dogs that are likely to thrive in that particular situation given all the information they acquire (and they investigate the home thoroughly). They might suggest a dog would do well with a younger dog as a companion because it will help them burn off some energy or an older, more settled dog in some situations to help maintain the sense of a calm, unthreatening place. Or they might suggest a dog would do best as an only animal in the house. I don’t know Idog’s reasoning and that is something you might want to ask Idog. At the rescue it is different for each dog depending on that dog’s needs. This rescue is well recognized for it’s success in matching dogs and people because they put a lot of effort into the adoption process. People don’t walk in and walk out with a dog. Multiple interviews and a home visit are required. The burden of evaluating the dog is not on the family but on the rescue. Each rescue/shelter has it’s own policies/rules for how things are done and where the dogs are coming from.

Have you considered talking to reputable breeders about an older dog? I have seen them occasionally available from good breeders, sometimes older puppies and sometimes retired breed dogs. These dogs would make excellent family companions because you have full knowledge of their history and you would be offering them a soft place to land after their work is done. They are generally already home companions and have basic manners and are socialized to some extent.

Just tossing out some ideas and hoping these might help you in your thought process. I’m sorry Maggie had apparent idiopathic aggression syndrome. Nothing you could do.

  • One of the things I've noticed is that more than half the dogs I've looked at to rescue have organizations that are requiring them to be adopted out to a family that already has a dog to "mentor" the ... more
    • Thank you FriendsKit, Thu Feb 22 2:32pm
      Well, the search goes on, but I am less confused, thanks to so many of you. I appreciate your counsel. Thanks for all your kind words.
    • I have often heardSD&B, Mon Feb 19 11:56pm
      that an older dog in the house will teach the younger one the ropes. Given dogs' general and social intelligence, I would bet that is true. I would also wonder what the true demeanor of the dog is in ... more
    • I have a lot of rescue experienceFranny (RIP Spencer & Lacey), Sun Feb 18 7:57pm
      I have volunteered for a no-kill rescue for the last 9 or 10 years. You are right, the reason some dogs need to go to a home with another dog is so they can learn to be a "dog" and have the other dog ... more
    • You can do a personality test in the shelter.Swarl, Sun Feb 18 10:51am
      That’s what we did. We took the dog to a room alone, and another time, the dog came outside on a lead , and we did a puppy personality test. It wasn’t hard, or long, and showed us an enormous amount. ... more
    • Birds and DogsMaya, Wy, Woo, Wei and Wyn, Sun Feb 18 10:20am
      Sorry, Kit, I forgot that you live with two parrots. I have lived happily with parrots and dogs for many years also (various species including an African Grey, an Amazon, Macaws and Cockatoos). In my ... more
    • Some thoughts — Maya, Wy, Woo, Wei and Wyn, Sun Feb 18 9:50am
    • I have very limited experience with rescues asLori & The Two Hound Train, Sun Feb 18 7:49am
      Woody is my only rescue. But I do believe that dogs act differently in a shelter than they do in a nurturing environment. They simply don't get the stimulation, interaction, exercise, etc. in a... more
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