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Thread: Foster dogs - how to say no to potential adopters

  1. #1
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    Default Foster dogs - how to say no to potential adopters

    I've had our kelpie pup for nearly 3 months and have had few enquiries about her.

    So I was excited when we had an enquiry from some people living on a property at the South Coast. But then it turned out they want a dog to keep the wildlife out of their yard. Which would be a dream job for lots of dogs, if it was just their day job. But these people want her to live outside full time, as an only dog. There's only farm fencing, I assume. And when I met them, it became clear to me that they have absolutely no experience with dogs and simply have no idea about their needs or even that they need training, let alone how to do that. And they seemed like the kind of old people who never really listen to advice from anyone.

    When I mentioned to the guy that I didn't think Billie would cope with being outside on her own without another dog for company, he said "But there'll be kangaroos and wallabies" as if that was the same or even better than another dog.

    Anywho, if I would have seen any sign of them wanting a dog for any other reason than to use her as some sort of living scarecrow, I would be willing to consider them. But I haven't. They came to meet her and their daughter and granddaughter did all the patting and interacting with Billie while the old couple just looked at her and asked questions which showed me that they don't have a clue about how to train a dog. They just expect her to "get it" and rely on breed characteristics.

    I was annoyed when they mentioned the working kelpies they knew on a farm near them and that those dogs were fine living outside. Yes, they actually do a job all day and there's 2 of them!

    I think they shouldn't have a dog at all but don't really know how to tell them. Might be a coward and let the rescue org coordinator break the news to them.

    The great news is, we have another meet and greet today and they already own an Australian Shepherd. I'm very excited about Billie meeting her potential forever family! I read an article yesterday about how to let go of your foster dog and the first point was "Get a dog that doesn't quite fit your lifestyle". Billie fits that perfectly. I love her to bits, will only let her go to a good home of course, will be sad when she leaves but I'm so looking forward to not having a hyperactive kelpie pup around too!

  2. #2
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    I would think that it is the rescue coordinaters job to tell them. The ones I deal with are very matter of fact. They just tell it how it is and move on. They have questionaires and home checks etc and are particularly rigorous when it comes to working type dogs, because they dont want a revolving door scenario, so they do their best to get it right the first time, even if it means holding on to the dog for awhile.

    Good luck with the next family.

  3. #3
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    Gawd - do they not have a fob off list of appropriate things to say that don't hurt people's feelings.

    There's not a lot of point suggesting changes to people who think they know everything.

    This dog needs a skilled and experienced trainer - what you want a dog to do won't magically happen without that.
    What will happen is your dog will get bored and leave - and then possibly get hit by a car on the first busy road it encounters.

    The solution to your wildlife problem is good fences around the house yard.

    I have a few stock phrases for disputes when I'm umpiring.
    "I saw that differently to you" - they can't really argue with that.
    "Do you want to play or do you want to go home" - (red card for arguing with umpire)
    which I guess would translate to - "If you want a dog from us - you have to understand what we are telling you and make some changes".

    There ought to be a bunch of equivalents for people trying to place foster dogs.

  4. #4
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    Some people just don't deserve dogs Makes me sad to think that someone could think any dog (let alone a Kelpie) could be happy with no interaction like that.

    Hopefully these new people will be good I can assure you from experience, Aussies and Kelpies go well together Most of the dogs Koda has gotten along okay with have been Kelpies.

  5. #5
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    I passed it onto the coordinator to call them with the news. They just seemed like difficult people and I'm too emotionally involved.

    The other people seemed ideal. They only weren't sure about her barking. Which she only does when she gets excited, but then she gets excited over lots of things. I hate barking and don't find it too much of an issue though, so I think they'd be fine.

  6. #6
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    The better potential owners adopted another dog. The old couple weren't happy about being rejected and first kept calling me and then argued with the coordinator. I did have some guilt about saying no, because at just the dog would have had lots of space to run and she would have spent most of her days running beside a quad bike.

    But today I had a woman come meet her who seems just perfect. Her first email simply said that she was "looking for a dog to do lots of (fun) training with". I could have kissed her! They (her and her husband) have had dogs before and she knew about clicker training and understand Billie needs lots of mental stimulation. She's thinking of doing agility with her.

    The woman only works 2-3 days a week and her husband works from home. And they intend to get a second dog once Billie has settled in. Almost too good to be true!

    I'm rather ecstatic! I'll be a nervous wreck when I hand her over of course, because she has bonded very strongly to me and doesn't cope all that well with changes in routine. But there's no doubt it is the best move for the dog.

    I'm just waiting until they have had a chance to chat to the vet about her injury (which has completely healed) and then I'll take her over there on Thursday morning.

  7. #7
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    Sounds perfect! What an awesome home for her, I so hope it works out!!

    Are you able to show us a picture of Billie? She sounds gorgeous, and i don't recall seeing any pics of her

  8. #8
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    These aren't recent, but she hasn't changed that much: Billie - PetRescue

    Any guesses on what she might be crossed with? I can't pick it at all...

  9. #9
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    She's very cute!

    Maybe short haired BC? Or perhaps some labrador too? She appears to have a very smooth coat... I've seen some Kelpies with that... but not many, most seem to have a longer coat than that. So I'm really not sure what she would be mixed with.

  10. #10
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    She is cute indeed, but just starting adolescence so getting naughty. Today I caught her chewing on the big cat tree in the lounge room. You'd think she wants to leave me something to remember her by. Lol

    Unless the vet warns the woman off (that would be awful and unexpected) it's all agreed and Billie's going to her forever home this Thursday. I'm feeling ridiculously happy about it. Second time in a row that I find the perfect home for a foster. Really, couldn't have found anyone better to take her. The only thing I can think of that could be better is if Billie would be allowed to sleep on her bed, which obviously is trivial. And she said that if she were single, she would let her. Haha!

    I called today to tell her her application was accepted and mentioned that she could borrow our crate and she said she'd just bought one. And lots of other stuff.

    Then I sent her a really very long "handover" email. They've only just moved here, so I included my opinion on the best vets and pet stores, etc. As well as detailed descriptions of Billie's diet, her favourite type of chews and treats, where she's at with training, etc.

    Four more sleeps!

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