I hereby grant everyone permission to NOT adopt a project dog if they don’t want to.
The culture of pity and martyrdom has got to go.
If you’re called to a dog with medical issues, and you have deep pockets, okay, go for it.
If you have the emotional capacity to do hospice care for a homeless dog, I’m for that.
If you are fascinated by behavior modification and want to devote your life to an aggressive-or-otherwise animal, then I can certainly help you learn how.
But there are SOOOO MANY homeless dogs out there.
It is not YOUR responsibility as the potential adopter to take home one of those jacked up dogs who (imho) shouldn’t even be on the adoption floor in the first place.
Both my dogs are mutts. One came from a litter of puppies in a shelter, and the other was abandoned at the vet. One of my dogs was born with a deformed foot and the other has typical chihuahua-mix body-weirdness.
So I’m not a complete canine eugenicist.
But there are too many “rescue” organizations who are placing dogs in homes with people who don’t actually want to sign up for the issues that the dog has.
I know of rescues that are not aware of issues because of inadequate screening.
Some rescues are straight up dishonest about a dog’s history (medical and/or behavioral).
Some rescues are so stuck on “saving them all” that they’re actually creating bigger social problems by placing dogs in inappropriate homes.
The culture of “rescuing” dogs needs to change.
I personally haven’t used this word since I got Pepa so young and so cute. I didn’t “rescue” her… I stalked her on the internet and then I snatched her up.
Beedee was abandoned and needed a home. But even with him, my motivation for adopting him was mostly selfish.
I get that there is something romantic about catching a dog like a pokemon.
My trainer-friends were definitely getting annoyed with me when I was trying to catch fearful strays in my neighborhood, hoping to “earn” one of them as my own.
But unless you are excited about the possibility of dealing with chronic medical issues, and dropping thousands of dollars on behavioral rehab, then…
When selecting your next dog, I encourage you to be PICKY.
I encourage you to adopt from trustworthy rescue organizations. Ask around which ones those are.
Ask people you meet about what their dog was like when they first got it. You’ll see which ones were adopted out with issues, ask which organization they came from, and steer clear.
Big names does NOT equal big integrity.
I encourage you to speak with canine professionals in your area about dog selection.
It would be glorious for you to work with a trainer to help you find a dog that would be a good fit for you. Many trainers offer this service, and many more people should take advantage of it.
The me-first attitude and boundary-setting that you put into your selection process is a good asset.
It will serve you well in being a competent leader for your new canine companion, when you do finally bring them home.