When dog adoption agencies come to our store, I often act as an ambassador of sorts; for every adoption that happens at the store, we have to put it through our virtual database. On adoption days, you will likely find me on the sidelines of the agency, waiting for them to finish their paperwork so I can finish up with ours. I love helping with adoptions – it’s a nice break from the norm, and the puppies are cute. Really adorable. I am being paid to ogle wiggly-butt fur-babies and talk about how adorable they are. And when there are kittens, forget it. Don’t come back for me; I’m already in too deep.
It’s tough when dogs haven’t been adopted at the end of the day. It’s worse when there are families that expressed interest, but couldn’t go through with the adoption. Imagine feeling really excited about bringing an animal home, only to go home empty-handed.
Today, a family happened to come into the store when the adoption agency was here. They had lost one of their dogs recently, and fell in love with an adult lab mix. The agency let them take her out of the crate with a slip lead and interact with her, and she was a real sweetheart. The family had a discussion with the kids, and they came back really interested in adopting. They said they asked everyone, and all were in favor. One of the adoption workers turned around and said they forgot someone: they forgot to ask their dog.
While the family had recently lost one dog, they still had another. They had brought it with them, which was convenient, but they had yet to do a formal introduction. It turns out that their dog was not in agreement, so much so that they left without the lab mix. It’s easy to get caught up in dog fever at an adoption event, but it’s important to remember the pets that you already have. This is why adoption agencies often ask if interested parties have other pets in their paperwork; some animals just don’t get along with others. It can take time, and it can go one way or the other. I spent two weeks introducing two fancy rats to each other before I felt comfortable leaving them together. Half a month.
I think this is why socializing your dogs is so important. It makes sense to me that a dog that has spent much of its life being around and playing with other dogs would be more accepting than a dog that has spent it’s life with only its humans. Barring that, all dogs are different; there is no guarantee that one dog will get along with another in the same living space. So if you are thinking about adding another puppy to your family, don’t forget to ask your dog. He may have something to say about it!