since i can't sleep, i thought i would tell you how i pick the right home.
Alison · Mar. 6, 2007
there is a difference between a good home and the right home and alot of people don't realize this. rescue is not just matching up homeless animals with good people, if it were, it would be a heck of lot easier. you have to ensure that the animals needs are met, and this is not just about food, water, walks or the size of their new bed inside, it is not about how nice or kind or responsible someone is for them to be considered the right home. it is about matching the strengths of the human with the opposing weaknesses of the animal and ensuring a really good fit. so when i look at a dog like trevor for instance. i am not looking for a typical family with a mini van and soccor games to attend on the weekends (altho trev would love attending soccor games) i am looking for someone who enjoys working with and teaching a dog. trev is a great dog, but he doesn't always think past the obvious right in front of his nose. so he needs a human who will put in the time and effort to help him work past his initial impulses like don't even think to be hopping out into that field and stealing those little kid's ball. there are bomb proof great dogs like hannah out there who would make a soccor family the very best dog. and there are dogs like trev who really don't fit in that life yet who will just find themselves constantly in trouble. trev is too much of a kid for a family that still has alot of kid stuff to deal with. but he would be great for a retired couple who have the time and experience to help him mature.
in jenny's case, the little difficult cat, that just got adopted yesterday. what made her new home perfect for her in particular was that she was allowed to be whoever she ended up being. so if she turned out to be the most perfect loving cat or if she decided she would be shy, aloof or plain mean, her new home was accepting of whatever she was or whatever she was able to be. and by the way, as of the update this morning, jenny is doing just fine. some animals need that freedom to just be whoever they happen to be before they become so very much more. and some like trev need active intervention or he will just become a pain in the neck, so each animal always needs something unique to them.
picking a home is not just about judging if it is a good or bad one. it is about knowing enough about what that animal needs and recognizing when that right home comes along. and it is important for people applying thru rescue for adoption of a particular animal, to keep a good perspective in finding a match and not take the process as a personal trial, it is more like a puzzle with lot's of pieces.
i have seen a few instances of resentment and battle that hits the rescue arena because a good person was turned down as a home. as soon as the battles ensue my deep gut reaction is always, yep, i wouldn't have placed in those homes either. because their anger and hurt were more important than the needs of the dog. there is alot of thought and care that goes into each placement and hardly ever do they happen overnight. it takes time to know the dog well enough and then to get to know potential families well enough too to make a reasonably well informed and well fitting match. and the initial contacts are a bit like fishing as you cast out and see what comes back in. sometimes the cast is good so you cast out some more and maybe hit paydirt and sometimes it doesn't pan out so you just move on.
my philosophy has always been, no home is better than the wrong home. because in the wrong home, no one is ever very happy.