Have you ever owned a rescue dog before ? If you have, then you are no doubt aware of some of the issues that they carry with them.
If you haven't, then you need to be aware of some of the following problems rescue dogs can have
Not all rescue dogs have these problems but many if not most will have at least one of them.
Why is that ? Because for one reason or another rescue dogs have been abandoned and or abused. It may be that the dogs owner(s) have died or that the owners simply do not want the dog anymore. We have heard such a variety of excuses for getting rid of dogs that one becomes hardened towards people that give up their dogs.
Example : On Christmas day a few years ago we received a call to say that the dog had stolen the chocolate decorations from the Christmas tree and eaten them, and that we had to come and get the dog immediately. On Christmas day, how heartless is that.
Example : A couple take a puppy to the dog warden in Chichester and say they "found" her in Brighton wandering the streets. They give a false address. The puppy turns out to be deaf.
Taking a rescue dog is not like buying a new or even second hand piece of furniture. You can't change your mind. Each time an owner rejects a dog more damage is done. When it comes to rejection, it doesn't make much difference if a dog has been mistreated for a week or loved for a month, rejection is rejection. Dogs function on routine and food. They need to know the people around them and they need to feel secure. We do get from time to time people offering a good home for a few days for a dog. This is great if it is offered as a foster home so that the dog has a good place to live prior to being re-homed, but not so great as a "trial" home. We use foster homes as an alternative to a rescue dog being placed in kennels. Make no mistake, putting a dog into kennels is not like a little shed in the back garden, or lovely boarding kennels with lots of play chums. Physically they are great and we wouldn't use them if they were not suitable for dogs. But it is not the way a dog should have to live. Whilst we are very grateful that we have somewhere to keep the dogs, we would rather not. Puppies simply do not do well in kennels. Fortunately most puppies are quickly re-homed. Greyhounds cope with kennels, but that's because they are institutionalised and have lived in racing kennels throughout their careers. Other dogs simply go stir crazy and after a while become impossible to re-home. The only hope for dogs like this is to find a place in a specialised unit that has behavioural specialists on hand. These are very few and far between and very difficult to get a placement. So if you plan to take a rescue dog, then take the chance to meet your dog. Take him/her out for a walk. After one visit you will know if the dog is right for you and you should be able to decide if you are willing to take on the dog along with any problems he/she may have. Problems can be sorted out with time, effort and the right actions. Any longer and the dog will have bonded with you and he will be damaged further if rejected.
If this sounds a bit tough, please don't be put off. We absolutely and wholeheartedly admire and thank all of you who take, and keep, and love our dogs. But, it is much better for everyone to understand up front what is happening to the dog. Because this whole process is not about us, and is not about you. It is all about the dogs. It is only about the dogs.
Laugh with us, laugh at us, get mad at us, get frustrated with us, shout at us, moan about us, talk to us, but always, always, love our dogs.