I love going to the woods on a beautiful morning like this! My good dogs are like a well oiled team .... stopping to sniff all the bits that have been buried under the snow! To see them together, the casual observer would never imagine they had not spent their whole lives together, eh?
How did I do that? I cheated! I adopted them from reputable rescues! We might have had a bit of work to do at the beginning, but from the very first time their paws hit the floor it was clear that these kindred spirits were well suited to the life that I lead!
It is beyond my understanding how anyone can even be comfortable shopping for their new best friend on the free online ad sites! A pet becomes part of the family ... they live in our homes ... share space with our children ... and most importantly ... hold a place in our heart that no "thing" ever could.
I have found all sorts of useful bits online .. from fridges to fence posts ... with the clear understanding that these things came with a curbside guarantee. If the shoe did not fit ... so to speak ... it was just part and parcel of the wild west atmosphere, eh?
That is all very fine and well for things, but singularly NOT suited to the pet selection process! As we speak, every reputable rescue in this province is absolutely swamped with requests for surrenders!
To be fair ... not all of these pets were purchased online. Long before Stats Canada came painting the gloomy numbers for Nova Scotia, anyone who read a newspaper knew that we have already lost more jobs than the well touted ship building contract will ever replace.
What does all this mean in realspeak? Why of course that there is a whole new round robin of free to a good homes! Why is this a problem? Isn't it a good thing for these pets to get a second chance?
Actually it is simpler than that! Reputable rescues know that the secret to finding Furever Homes is to find the right fit. In the absence of any screening process, kind hearts with the best intentions can find themselves with an adorable pet that is utterly unsuited to their lifestyle or experience.
Even worse, unlike reputable rescues, where known health issues are never hidden ... those 'online bargains' can wind up with heartbreakingly high vet bills!
Lets face it ... the really good homes do not go looking for a pet often enough to become experts! In a world where well cared for pets can live fifteen to twenty years, many households can count on one hand the number of pets they will own in their lifetime!
The good news is that there is a great resource available to help people decide how to choose their best friend. The Canadian Federation of Humane Society set up an information site last summer called Finding Fido. ( and before the keyboards catch on fire it is not limited simply to dogs :)
What a great idea! There are all sorts of goodies and it is just chock full of info!
What time is it? The next time someone you know or love is thinking of getting a pet .. it will be a very good time to share this resource with them!