here is an interesting thought...(to me anyway...)
Carol · Mar. 11, 2012
it is about perceptions...and how our personal preceptions can ultimately determine an animal's value... in rescue this can mean their life or death.
officially or not... realistically....animals are pretty much labelled as:
hard to place
on friday i would have said that buddy-boy is unadoptable..he is an ancient, large, mixed breed, with bad hips, a bite history, who not only is stressed but tries to eat cars.
on sunday i will say he is a large mixed breed ancient boy with bad hips who i now think is a very sweet dog...he might be hard to place (because people do not want really old large dogs) but i personally would adopt him cuz i like him a lot.
on friday he was a freak out..on sunday, he's a nice dog...i am not wrong on either day cuz i saw what i saw.
how many times have you met a person and either liked or disliked them on first sight? and how many times has that first impression stuck...if you liked them..you might stick around and get to know them and then change your mind..or not. but if you didn't like them you move on and don't let them into your lives and that persona never gets another shot.
it is the same for the dogs and cats in shelters too...they are highly stressed, their lives are upside down, most of them are terrified out of their heads...in short..they are pretty damn occupied and busy having an emotional melt down.
i can sympathize with this cuz i always get pinned with being unsmiling and unfriendly because i zip home on my lunch break..check in with 100 animals and their human caregivers about any issues and then zip out of here again to get back to my work. people sometimes don't get that i have 2 fulltime jobs that i have to get thru in a day and i am freaking busy..physically, mentally, and emotionally..i just don't have the time to be a warm and fuzzy feel good socialite...my job(s) are different than that.
anyway..what i have learned over the years from my experience with not only animals but with humans too is...i never write either off on first impressions because first or second or third impressions are useless. i need to look at not just what is in front of my face...but what is whirling around them too cuz it will affect the animal and my preceptions of him or her too.
i remember years ago working with someone and we got along great...suddenly she became quiet, distant and withdrawn..and it was uncomfortable on my part to be working together. i fussed and i worried..what the hell had i done to make her suddenly dislike me so much??
a couple of weeks later i heard that something really horrible was happening in her life...and i felt so guilty for internally fussing about my petty hurt feelings when she was living thru hell....and i felt arrogent cuz despite what i thought...it had nothing to do with me...i wasn't even close to being worth her consideration right then she had far bigger things to be thinking on.
right now i am trying to figure out holly..that dog has so much going on inside her head that i have yet to see the real dog...sure i see that she is nervous, distrustful, distracted, distant...but is that all holly is..unhappily demented? i don't think so..i hope this is not all..so we wait and see and i worry and think an think about holly cuz it would be awful for holly if i jumped to conclusions and write her life off short.
and herein lies the problem in rescue..i don't get to see these unknoown and new animals at their best...i see them when they come in and when they are highly stressed...and that is never the best time to pay too much attention or trust my faulty preceptions with the impressions they give.
buddy boy was a freakout on friday and a nice dog on sunday..which is the real dog? after taking the time to spend with him....i think it's the sunday-boy who is the beginning of the real dog here.
i am so glad that i am never in a hurry to judge these guys...they almost always pleasantly surprise me over time.