While I was at the grocery store yesterday picking up chicken breast for Parker and Fricke, I over heard a woman say to another:
"It seems like my dog is getting bigger by the day, I want to exchange the dog that I just adopted - he is making my house a mess - he has grown too big - I wanted a much smaller dog!"
"Didn't you read the fine print?" ( the other woman said with more than a question behind her words )
"Well, I knew he was a puppy but I had not idea he would be a large dog - I want to take him back to the city shelter and get another one" ( she said quite matter- of- factly" )
Normally I do not interject my thoughts into the conversations of complete strangers, but took the opportunity after the woman with dog problems accidentally backed into me, her ( very ) high heels just missing my left pinky toe ( I wore sandals ) by about a quarter of an inch).
"Oh - I am, sorry - I just missed you" ( she appeared to snigger )
No worries - I have nine other toes ( I smiled ). I could not help over hearing you talk about your dog - didn't you know he was going to grow up and get big? Wasn't that information provided at the time of the adoption? ( said calmly, and with ernest )
"Well I did not read the information on his cage if that is what you mean and I do not remember reading his paper work ( we have moved since my husband and I adopted him ) but I did notice how big his feet were when he was a puppy" ( she smiled when she said the word puppy )
May I suggest two things?
Take the dog - what is his name?
Sign Davis up for obedience and social network classes - this will do two things for you ( a. he will learn to respect his surroundings and b. he will get along with other dogs and your extended family friends and colleagues with aplomb, you will notice a change in his behavior for the better.
"That sounds like a good idea - he is a loving dog it's just that we think he has outgrown us - he is a very large dog"
I understand your concern but Davis is loved - by you and your family to take him back after two years would be devastating to him - please give him a second chance and take him to school - the largest dogs if loved and understood can get along fine in smaller surroundings ( I smiled when I said the word surroundings:).
She thanked me, asked for my business card and continued shopping.
It is because ( many ) people do not take the time to read - the fine print, that there will always be a need for Pet Foster Parents and Pet Foster Support Networks. Too often the rush to adopt precludes learning about the potential adoptee before he arrives at the doorstep of his new home. Pet Foster Parents and the programs they support provide a vital link for animals which would other wise be left out in the cold ( literally ) and or be put down for lack of someone to care for them. I am revising my publication: "Adopt Me" ( A house is not a home without a dog or a Cat" which will help people determine if they are ready for for pet adoption and educate this demographic about the relevance of reading the fine print.
Here are other ways in which people who are considering pet adoption and the pet foster community can help the animals which rely on humans for their care:
READ THE NOTES ATTACHED TO THE CAGE AT THE ADOPTION CENTER IF THERE ARE NONE SUGGEST THAT THE SHELTER ( OR RESCUE ) PLACE THE ANIMALS VITALS ON HIS OR HER CAGE SO THAT POTENTIAL ADOPTERS CAN READ IT
READ THE LABELS ON PET FOOD - ( to prevent and identify allergens )
READ THE LABELS ON KITTY LITTER ( I use Sweat Scoop all natural kitty litter )
READ THE LABELS ON PET CLOTHES AND BEDS
READ THE VETERINARY NOTES ATTACHED TO YOUR VET BILL AND READ YOUR VET BILL AND ASK WHY PROCEDURES COST WHAT THEY DO - YOUR VETERINARIAN SHOULD HAVE A REWARD PROGRAM FOR CUSTOMERS WHO CONTINUE TO BRING THEM BUSINESS:)
Fortunately information which concerns dogs and cats has become readily available for those people who are interested in digging a bit deeper by reading ( digesting and questioning ) the fine print. But, because so many people choose to proceed with pet adoption visually and viscerally as opposed to with reasoned thinking the need for pet Foster Parents will continue:)