Lost Dog on My Doorstep: Part 7 – Premature Celebration

This post is a continuation of the Lost Dog on My Doorstep series.  Previous posts can be found HERE.

In Part Woohoo (Part 6), Gracie had been adopted.  I was elated, but to be honest, I was apprehensive about the adopters.  The rescue that is representing Gracie for us approved them, and from what I heard, they were good people with a home and yard suitable for an active dog.

Gracie - Thinking...

Pondering what mischief I can get into…

However, there was one caveat: they didn’t already have dogs.  This made me uncomfortable for two reasons:  

First, Gracie loves other dogs and needs pals to burn her energy with; I was very concerned about her being forced to be an only dog.  This concern was somewhat allayed when I found out they were planning to adopt a second dog.  “Okay good, she won’t be alone for too long,” I thought.

Second, Gracie is a young, high-energy dog.  She is sweet and eager-to-please, but there is no doubt that she could use some obedience training.  She needs someone who is prepared to handle all of her energy and know how to guide it.  I really wanted her to be adopted by someone who was experienced with dogs of her energy caliber and was ready to work on training with her.  My dream adopter might also be interested in agility, because I have a feeling Gracie would love and excel at it.

Coming down from the clouds and being realistic, all I really wanted for Gracie was someone who LOVED dogs and understood the challenges of raising a high-energy dog.  She needs activity… she needs stimulation… she needs training.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the adopters were ready for any of that.  I got a call last Wednesday night that they wanted to return her.  As it turns out, the husband has a meticulous garden in the backyard and she was digging.  The rescue rep said he was livid about that.  Well folks, dogs dig.  And freshly-turned earth, such as in a garden, really makes them want to dig.  Gracie did dig a little in the time that she spent in our backyard, but only at areas of dirt where the grass doesn’t grow well.  The foster parents have never mentioned her digging, so I’m thinking they just have nicer yard than we do… no patchy areas where the dirt is exposed.

Gracie and Her Muddy Mess

Oh hi! So like, I’m back. You missed the best mudventure. I’m just sayin’.

Someone experienced with dogs would say to themselves, “Oh no, she’s digging.  I don’t want her digging in my garden or digging to get out of the yard, so we need to work on training her out of that.  Now might be the perfect time to get set up with a trainer to help us with this and her other training needs.”  The adopters didn’t see it as an opportunity for training.  They didn’t see it as an opportunity to direct her attention and energy elsewhere.   They just saw it as a nuisance behavior from an out-of-control dog, and they wanted no part of it.

Gracie at Foster Home

I need to look all tuckered out like this…

I also heard that she was running out into the road.  What??  I know they have a fenced yard, so what is she doing out?  Were they letting her out?  Or what?  Maybe she was just trying to get away from the “mean man”.  No, I shouldn’t say that.  I don’t know if he was mean to her or not.  But given how angry he was about her digging in his garden, I imagine he couldn’t have been nice.

Gracie - Sleeping

So that later I can be a sleeping angel like this…

Truthfully, I don’t judge them for not wanting to deal with these things… but I do judge them for not adopting a pet more suited to their speed, their lifestyle.  An older dog or even a cat would likely be perfect for them.  They knew how young Gracie is, they were told that she was high-energy and needed training; they adopted her knowing these things and then returned her because they couldn’t deal with that.  That’s what makes me upset.

None of this matters now.  The foster parents agreed to take Gracie back and they met with the adopters to pick her up on Thursday night; and that is where she has been ever since.

So yeah, my celebration about Gracie being adopted was a little premature.  When the rescue rep told me about the adopters, I had a gut feeling they weren’t right for her, but I kept my mouth shut.  What could I say?  I wasn’t the one speaking with them and handling their application, after all.  I had to just hope my gut was wrong, and that everything would work out.

But it wasn’t wrong.  So we are not quite back to square one with trying to get Gracie adopted, but almost.

Her PetFinder listing is now active again, and she is ready to go.  I pray that she is adopted again soon, but this time by someone who has other dogs and understands that she is a HUGE sweetheart, but a ball of intense energy that needs to be guided.

UPDATE 10/08/13 – Gracie’s foster parents decided to make her a permanent part of their family.  NOW I can celebrate!  Yay!!!

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22 Responses to Lost Dog on My Doorstep: Part 7 – Premature Celebration

  1. emma says:

    Oh dear, that is always bad when new owners have no clue and expect a perfect dog to just drop into their life and not disturb anything. She is so sweet, I bet she will find the right home soon.
    emma recently posted…Five Pets at the Vet | GBGV | Monday MischiefMy Profile

  2. Oh, that’s a bummer that she went to some folks who didn’t understand what they’d signed up for. But it’s best that they return her, so she can find the perfect place, rather than just ‘put up with her’. She deserves to find a home where they’ll love her for her exuberant self! Hopefully she’ll find her people soon!
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Monday Mischief: Art Imitates Life or Vice Versa?My Profile

    • Pam says:

      Yep, exactly. I don’t think she or they would’ve been ultimately happy if they kept her. It’s for the best that she find a different home.

  3. Donna says:

    Oh so sorry to hear this. What’s sad is, if you don’t have the time to train a dog out of a bad behavior, you can still manage it. You know, put a fence around the garden? My Lab is a notorious digger and we were never able to stop the behavior, mainly because it is self re-warding. So when my hubby decided to try his hand at veggie gardening, he put up a fence to keep the dog out and now both dog and hubby are happy.
    Donna recently posted…It May Have Been Malignant…My Profile

  4. Ann Staub says:

    *sigh*… at least she wasn’t adopted out for months only to be returned… I guess… sounds like these people need a small dog. Maybe a senior dog or something, but they’d probably just return an older dog too. Good luck Gracie.

    • Pam says:

      Yeah, I think they have the means and the time to properly care for a pet, just not a dog like Gracie. They need something a bit slower-paced, perhaps. And yes, I’m very glad that they didn’t just keep her for months and THEN return her. Best that she was returned right away.

  5. BoingyDog says:

    I wish SO badly that I could adopt Gracie! Reading about her journey, I just love her! I know there is a wonderful family out there for her that will treasure her just as she is and for who she is. I guess her temporary owners thought they could handle a high energy dog – lots of people don’t know what that means until they have one. And even when they have one they don’t get that they need to exercise all that excess energy out. It’s a shame but she would have been miserable there in the long run. Still so glad she has you and a great foster family until she gets adopted to the right owners!
    BoingyDog recently posted…Dogs Need More Yards Than a YardMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      I SO wish you could too! You are my DREAM adopter! You and Kayo would be absolutely perfect for her! I’ll arrange for transport to CA. Sure you don’t want her? 😉

  6. Kari says:

    How disappointing! She’s such a lovely dog, I’m sure she’ll find the right home.
    Kari recently posted…Birds fly, rabbits hop, dogs fightMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      I sure hope so. I still kind of wish the foster parents would just adopt her, but I think they are trying their very best not to. In other words, they love her to pieces, but are trying not to take on another permanent dog.

  7. You know what bugs me? When rescues do not do proper screening of dogs they place or adopters where they place dogs. I don’t understand it. I have heard of more bad adoptions recently. I am not saying that it does not happen with purposely bred dogs, but I know several breeders who ask extensive questions about people’s lifestyles and match dogs based on that. Sometimes they say no. Maybe it is the adoption events that are the issue? Maybe that is not the best vehicle to connect with adopters.

    I hope Gracie will find the right home soon!
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Running BlindMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      I agree, but some rescues are very extensive. A lot of people even complain that their screening is TOO extensive and are disappointed when they get turned down. From our own personal experience, as well as what I observe following a lot of rescues, breed-specific rescues are EXTREMELY picky and extremely extensive in their screening process. Rescues that rescue all breeds seem to be a little less (sometimes a lot less) picky.
      I think in Gracie’s particular case, the rescue rep just wanted to get Gracie adopted quickly and got a little too hopeful about these adopters and gave them a chance. She’s been doing rescue for about a jillion years (a slight exaggeration ;)) and I think she probably could’ve guessed that this match wasn’t going to work out. I think she gave them the benefit of the doubt and just shouldn’t have.

  8. Beth says:

    Poor Gracie, at least they had the good sense to return her instead of making her miserable! Hopefully she’ll find her perfect family soon. Sharing her on Pinterest!
    Beth recently posted…Karma RescueMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Yeah, it was really for the best that they returned her. As disappointing as it was for it not to work out, I’m glad they made the decision to return her right away instead of waiting. Thanks for sharing!

  9. houndstooth says:

    I’m glad she cut her losses early and didn’t have time to get really attached to them. It wasn’t another upheaval in her life, just a bump in the road. The right place is out there for her!
    houndstooth recently posted…Chicken Jerky To Write Home AboutMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      I have to look at it that way! Just a bump in the road, not a major setback. We’ll find a good home for her yet. Maybe next time I could/should try to get more involved in the approval process.

  10. That’s a shame! I’m a little disappointed that the person handling their application didn’t review with them what it means to have a young dog with lots of energy. And, you’re right: dogs dig. And it is up to the humans to train them not to. Poor pup. Next time I hope you’ll go ahead and speak up during the adoption process 🙂 Trust your gut!
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: When the Humans Have the FluMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      I know. She (the rescue rep) said she was honest with them about Gracie’s energy levels and need for training. I’m thinking maybe they just didn’t consider/anticipate things like digging… they just weren’t aware that dogs and gardens usually don’t mix, because the fresh exposed earth has many tempting smells and entices a dog to dig. But hey, like others said, put a fence around it!

  11. Jodi says:

    Oh that makes me angry and sad, but in part a little bit glad. I’m glad that Gracie didn’t have time to get attached and have her little heart broken, I’m sure someone will take her, she’s so gorgeous.

    Dogs dig, how about making a spot for her to dig? I’m with you, mean man. 😉
    Jodi recently posted…Dogs Just Want to Have FunMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Right! Make a spot for her to dig… or put a fence around the garden… or something. Jeez. Oh well, it’s for the best. She’s back at the foster home, and she’s happy there. Now if I can just convince them to keep her ;).

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