The Dog Search Concluded

So… I did lie about the conclusion of the “Adoption Escapade” there was one more rescue I attempted, however, the end result was the same as the rest. I had an application with Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue in Minerva OH. My application sat with them for about 2 months before I heard from them saying that they were planning on calling me. After some back & fourth communication through email & facebook, I had planned to visit them which was a 6 hr drive one way. However, that planned visit was canceled, but I was emailed saying she wanted to talk on the phone before I visited. She left a phone # with the option of me calling her or her calling me, with past experience, I decided that I would call. So I called on the days she said were available for her but no answer so I left a voicemail. And for reassurance, I sent an email letting her know that left her a voicemail…and that concludes that! No seriously…it just fell off the face of the earth. Never heard from them since that day.
It makes me sad, because unlike the other rescues where I was declined a dog because of another potential adopter or the said dog was adopted after I was declined the chance to adopt, those dogs at ISBCR have lived their stay at the rescue for quite a long time. in fact the dog that I was primarily interested had been there the longest. Though I’m not sure how long the “longest” was because in an updated photo of him he looked a lot older then his stated age on Petfinder. However, there were at least 3-4 dogs there I was interested in, one was definitely going to come home with me, but that chance for denied for them. Now they will have to wait even longer to find a forever home.

Although, as I stated in the post’s title, this search for my new border collie has come to an end! About two weeks waiting for ISBCR’s phone call that would obviously never come, I opened my phone to my web browser ready to open up Petfinder when I said to myself ***k this… and I went to Puppyfind. Com and me my new dog!

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Yes! His name is Carson, and I have been in contact with the breeder for several weeks and will be coming home soon! I may change his name though, but look at how precious he is!

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So of course when he gets here I will get a more complete blog of him with pics and more. Carson will have his own Instagram & Facebook page too, more on him very soon!

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The Akita

Okay, I want to talk about another breed of dog instead of the border collie. This blog is about a breed called:
“The Akita”

The Akita is another favorite breed of mine. It was my first dog, her name was Yuki. She was a purebred my parents bought from a breeder. She displayed typical Akita behaviors, she was territorial, animal aggressive and not particularly fond of strangers. We even had a few incidents where she attacked a few pet dogs. But over all we loved her very much. She had her good points,she was a exceptionally loyal to the family, me and my brother were very young and she was very gentle around us. She even learned to live with the cats.

We had her before Lucky. Yuki died at 12 years old due to several health issues. Since we got Lucky a few years later, I hadnt thought too much about another Akita until recently since trying to adopt a Border Collie has gone to hell. I redid my research and learn about the two variations of the Akita.

One would be the Japanese Akita Inu, which is the orange and white face/brindles with a “fox” like appearance and somewhat of a thinner build.
The American Akita is somewhat of a thinker build. They typically has black masks and have a more “bear” like appearance.

In the United States & Canada are the only countries who sees these two types as one breed of dog. While the rest of the world separates these two types astwo separate breeds of dogs.

You know what I think of that? I think its ridiculous.

Through my research I have found that these two dogs, are the same breed. In fact the only difference between the two are physical appearance and structure.

When considering one or the other, you still have to train them and socialize them, they are prone to the same temperament, territorial and health issues.
In Japan, the American Akita was developed from selective breeding. This was considered an “ugly” trait. But it continued to be bred. Helen Keller brought the first Akita to America, hers were American Akitas.
Japan cut off all American bloodlines from Japanese bloodlines.These traits were considered wrong and they want to keep the original look of the Japanese Akita Inu. Therefore separating the two dogs as breeds rather then types of one breed.
This is a delicate subject among Akita fanciers, and Ive already had people “flame” me for calling them “Akitas”

Im sorry, but I dont see the sense in separating one dog as two breeds for “personal taste” reasons.

The Adoption Escapade PT3: The Adoption Conclusion

Sorry for my absence,

I havent had a chance to finish my adoption stories. Compared to my last the stories, the last few seem like nothing. This one is about Shadow, a dog that was available at ARCBCR, Atlantic Regional Central Border Collie Rescue in VA. Shadow, like most of the other dogs, was a Petfinder find. She was cute and had a favorable description, things I look for in my future dog. Shadow was both. So as anyone would do I filled out the application, and waited.. and waited.. As I learn, these rescues when you read their adoption, what you commonly read is “Fill out an adoption application and an adoption representative will contact you,” and yet not one has yet to follow up with their statement. This rescue was no exception. Weeks went by, I heard nothing, granted it was around Christmas I figured they were busy and gave them the benefit of the doubt. After New Years I started to contact them. No response to my first email. Phone never even rang, I once again waited. I found another email on Shadow’s petfinder page and emailed that one, got an auto response saying “Out of office will return” said date. Well that date came and a few days later nothing. I emailed them again and i got the same response only a different date so I again emailed their main office email thats one their response only to receive this the next day:

 

Stephanie… sorry you have not been contacted prior, miscommunication on our end.  Shadow does have an application pending on her right now… with the weather things have been delayed a bit for homevisits to finalize everything.  We don’t have many volunteers in your area for a homevisit as you are quite a distance away… we do out of state applications but NJ is not an area we have many volunteers.

THANKS for applying.”

Well of course this ruined my day. I was once again very upset. The worse part is I sent them an email asking if there was another dog they could possibly match me with and if we could somehow work around the home inspection. Again, I had a rescue on stand by who was willing to do a home inspection on any my behave if the rescue couldnt do it themself for any reason. I even explained that I had some trouble trying to adopt and was seeking hep.

Well nope, never heard from them again.

After them. I found another rescue in NC called That’ll Do..Again (herding dog rescue) that was advertising on a dog on Facebook and their Facebook page saying “He needs a home” again, I asked them if I could adopt from them even though Im far away, sent them a similar email to the one I sent the other NC rescue telling them about myself. As you’d expect, no response. My request of “I am interested in giving one of your adoptable homeless dogs a good home” fell on deaf ears.

I applied with the rescue in NY state, Glen Highland Farm, after all this, though they declined me for the dog I picked, they are keeping my application with them in case something that caught my interest came along. But I’m a little frustrated with trying to adopt.

With everything I’ve been through, my whole perspective of adoption has changed. My heart goes out to the many animals bouncing through fosters homes, sitting in kennels waiting to be placed in their forever homes. Im learning on my little adventure here how widely broken the adoption system is. I understand that that lengthy measures must be put in place to ensure the said pet goes to a permanent loving home. But through the last several months I have spent countless hours filing out adoption forms, providing my vet’s contact information, references, and done the homework needed before applying for the breed of choice. I have met the said requirements provided by the rescues in order to even express interest in a certain dog, and not one rescue has honored their word on going forward with their adoption process. I continuously read banner, after website description, after facebook post saying consider adoption! Many rescues say how desperate they are to adopt out their dogs. More rescues create banners and ads discouraging buying from breeders & pet stores. Some post the many positives from adopting a pet vs buying. But ALL leave out the heart breaking horrors people go through in an attempt to adopt.

The system needs to be changed, while the system should be somewhat strict to ensure the right home for the pet, some requirements I just dont feel are necessary in adopting a dog, for example, your ssn# (yes, I came across an application that required this!), 2 forms of government issued IDs, an entire history of every vet record your previous pet has had (or to get declined over a missed year or two of vet check etc), a drivers license #, mistakes made in the past (for ex. having an indoor outdoor once in your life then all your other cats being all indoor, they decline you for it anyway- no this isnt a made up scenario, I actually met someone who this happened to), what food they feed their pets (some rescues will turn you down based on what you may intend to feed your cat or dog), the list goes on and on, but I think Ive made my point.I also feel that these rescue volunteers need to drop their abusive grip on controlling the situation and actually think about the animal needing a home. Of course many say theyre declining you because their thinking of the animal but it appears they only use them as a scapegoat.

This is such an ignored problem. So many rescue or animal related pages try to create statistics on why some animals dont get adopted, and their focus on the people who buy pets from breeders and pet stores.

I used to be an advocate for adoption. Ive done volunteer work for shelters and participated in quite a few fundraisers. I work at Petsmart and donate to the Petsmart Charities regularly. But all because of this, Im second guessing all of this. Those heart felt adoption stores of dogs that got flown across the country to meet their adoptive family, those stories that touch your heart of someone found their perfect match ‘by accident’. stories like that you only see on Animal Planet. These stories slowly fading away from reality, and to hear something like this can only be found on television… The harsh reality is that rescues dont want to go the extra mile to place their dogs, if its out of their reach then their dog who ‘needs a home’ is not worth the effort. Like ARCBCR, I got declined over a home inspection they couldnt perform. No rescue I know of will not transport dogs.

Where to go from here?

If anyone doesnt want to support this type of behavior from rescues but still dont want to support the horrors of puppy mills supported by pet stores or the poor care taken by backyard breeders and not really interested in buying from a reputable breeder, consider a high-kill shelter. Dogs in high kill shelters literally dont have a lot of time and many of them are great pet quality animals who just fell in to the wrong hands. Plus they are less strict abut adoptions, the animals come altered and fully vetted at more reasonable adoption fees. You literally would be saving a life!

If you dont think your perfect pet will be in a high kill shelter and are more specific with what you want, contact a reputable breeder, many often have retired breeding or show dogs they’d like to place in a home. Those dogs may not be coming from the cage of a shelter, but you would still be providing a dog a home who needs one.

This is the route Im currently on. If I meet a rescue who steps forward and is willing to work with me with finding my perfect dog, then I will gladly support them, not only in adopting from them but in the long run as well, making donations to them to support them for their true efforts in taking care in adopting out their dogs and honoring their word.
So unfortunately, this adoption escapade doesnt have a happy ending, While I will keep my eyes open for my next dog, the adoption doors are closed.

The Adoption Escapade PT2: The Connor Fiasco

This is the story of an adoption attempt for a dog named Connor, and an experience with a rescue called Forever Home Rehabilitation Center in NC.
If you’ve read stories on now people werent able to adopt a dog because they got denied for whether unfair reasons or not meeting unrealistic standards and policies, this isnt one of those stories. However, this all just seems unrealistic.

After moving on from Brysen, I started searching petfinder.When searching border collies in my area, not much shows up, by the 3rd to the 5th page, your already far out of state. I found Connor on my search, he had a perfect description, playful  cuddler, house broken, good on a leash and loves to swim. Growing up I never had a dog that like to swim so he caught my attention, but I saw he was in North Carolina. He was far. But I liked him. I figured there had to be a way.

It wasnt a decision I made over night, I want to try to adopt him. I did some research on the rescue. Seemed like good people, though they didnt state anywhere that they did out of state adoptions, I researched some people who adopted from them and they seemed quite satisfied with going through them. But I didnt know if they did out of state adoptions. So I inquired through email. I didnt get a response right away. I tried another email they had on their site, but this time I asked for an application. They got back to me a day later with the application and I filled it out and submitted it.
So I waited, a few days passed and hadnt heard anything yet. So I emailed them asking for the status of my application, a few days later they responded to me saying that they appreciated my interest in Connor but he is a nervous dog and that they didnt feel comfortable adopting home so far away

Okay, so that was the end of that, or so it should of been. Aside from my experiences with border collies, I wasnt new to nervous and fearful dogs. I currently have one. Ive worked with him and his fear issues. I didnt mind taking on another one. I talked to some friends and got some opinions. One friend suggested telling them a little bit more about me so that they would feel more comfortable adopting him to me, another friend said that being persistent pays off. So a few weeks after the rejection letter, I sent them an email. A descriptive letter of who I am, what I do and why I though I would be a good match for Connor.  I also sent them an email just reassuring that they got it. It went well, I received and email, and I quote exactly:

“We got your email and we are interested in adopting Connor to you. Can we set a time up to talk over the phone?”

I was quite thrilled! I responded immediately with my phone number and told them I was free all day they could call me anytime. So they said okay. They will call me tomorrow.

So of course tomorrow came. Then the next day, and the next day..and the next day…..
Days turned to weeks. I tried emailing them. Calling them and contacting them through their Facebook page. They were active on their Facebook page, is it possible they were ignoring me?
On a different forum site (an animal related forum) I posted about this situation, and everyone agreed what they did was wrong. The topic was further discussed and it became a whole discussion about adoption in general.
Either way, I didnt know what was going on, but I started to search again. Found nothing I switched and started looking at akitas for adoption, another breed favorite of mine. Wouldnt you know one day as I was planning to visit a local shelter to visit a dog, I get this notification on Facebook:

Sorry we have kinda left you on the back burner. We have been going through some personal issues lately and have not been responded to emails and phone calls accordingly. We are in KY at the moment. Connor is still in a foster home. We are rehabilitating there lab mix for dog aggression at the moment. They want to keep Connor but only if it is a success with their other dog. When we get back from KY 2-step the lab mix will be going home. If Connor and 2step do not get along on 2steps end they will be returning Connor back to us. I will contact you either way if it is a success or not and you will have first tibs of Connor. Connor is great with other dogs and cats. He can be nervous of people mainly men but has made great progress being in a foster home and getting the exposer of the city life that he needed. Sorry again for leaving you in the dust. Thank you for being so patient with us?”

I had A LOT of thoughts in my mind, like: Why’d you ignore me for a month in a half? Really?? I had been inquiring about Connor since October, why would you do this?? City exposer?? Aggressive lab mix?? THESE WILL ONLY WORSEN HIS ISSUES.

But I kept my actual visual response civil. After all this was on their public Facebook page. I accepted their half-hearted apology and just asked them to keep me posted on him. My friends and some other people got involved in the comment section, asking why would they do this? You knew Stephanie wanted that dog. That wasnt very professional of you guys. At first it was all civil. But after the rescue said they would let me know in two weeks what was going on with me possibly adopting Connor. But of course in two weeks they didnt let me know however in a private message they did say “I understand you really want him. All I can offer right now is we will let you know if the foster family changes their mind.
Of course things got a little out of hand on their facebook page, I didnt care since I knew I wasnt getting Connor, but people got on their page and started speaking out against them. Everyone agreed what they did was just not right and that they deserved to know.

But of course it was my fault because in private messaging I got this:
We have been honest with you and you have created a lot of judgement towards us. This has gotten out of control from us keeping in contact with you. Connor has been helping their other dog and I’m not rushing the foster parents who have done such great work with Connor. I’m sorry waiting has caused so much conflict.”
Again, I kept my response civil. But at that point I wish I hadnt, it didnt matter anymore so I should of been more blunt. It annoyed me that they tried to twist the whole thing on me like I’m the bad guy.
We have been honest with you and you have created a lot of judgement towards us.
I created judgement towards you?
Wrong.
Judgement is earned by the actions you take. I found it really immature of them to assume because theyre being honest about how they treated me makes what they did to me okay.

Connor has been helping their other dog and I’m not rushing the foster parents who have done such great work with Connor. I’m sorry waiting has caused so much conflict.”
Wrong.
Though I get the sarcasm, waiting hasnt caused conflict. Its what you did. You cant justify screwing someone over the way you did simply because it worked out for someone else.

That was the last I heard from them. They ended up deleting the comment thread on their Facebook page. Then they posted a video of Connor playing with this 2Step dog. My friends did comment on that one but it didnt go very far, nor was it acknowledged.

The Connor video

A user started a thread on a forum website (for a animated show) about adoption, and when I replied about this whole thing. Again everyone agreed about what they did was wrong. A friend of mine even posted the thread to them, but of course they deleted it. Funny how it took a month and a half to respond to me about giving a dog a home, but that they didnt waste two seconds with.
There was just soooo much in question with what happened. My biggest question is why would anyone do this to another, why would one animal lover treat another animal lover this way?
then of course nothing else adds up.
They originally said no to me that they didnt want to adopt him so far. But to our knowledge, Connor now lives in KY. Calculating the distance from me to them, I am about 7 hours and 40 minutes. But when you calculate the distance from them to KY is a little over 9 hours, and thats just to hit KY’s border, thats not including where these people in KY live. So that didnt add up.
Forever Home Rehabilitation Center has over 20 dogs that reside there as permanent residents. Aside from adopting out dogs, they do train unadoptable dogs or people’s pets as an additional service, they train under Ceaser Milan’s “pack” training methods. These dogs that live there are the ones that do the “training”. So my question is why use Connor when you have all of these dogs to do that job for you, better yet, why would you use a dog that someone already inquired about?
I also wonder what happened in the month in a half that they couldnt respond to any of my emails or phone calls. According to a post on their Facebok, they didnt answer emails or phones accordingly, so other people didnt get responses from them either. Yet these people with the aggressive lab mix managed to get to them. Who were these people? Did I get screwed because these foster people were possibly friends with this rescue? Was I a victim of “its not what you know its who you know”? Because clearly, what I knew about the dog and about the issues this dog had didnt matter to them. Did these people get first “dibs” on Connor because they paid them to train their dog?
Other questions I wonder is did these “foster” people know someone else was interested in Connor? If they did, how much did they know about the situation? Did they know anything? Or did the rescue people just keep them in the dark completely? Or did the foster people know the situation in full and didnt care and just wanted Connor, or did the rescue people change the story in their favor?
The questions just go on and on.

But in conclusion, I didnt get Connor. If you were to make a comment regarding the situation they would ignore you, as they clearly dont feel what they did was wrong. Which worries me because it just makes me think they think they can do this to who ever they want.
If you are in the Knotts Island/Virginia Beach area and thinking of adopting a dog, or looking for assistance in dog training, you may want to reconsider if you’ve looked into them. Anyone able to pull something like this off on something with out much guilt can and will likely do it again to any unsuspecting person looking to give a dog a forever home.

The Adoption Escapade PT1: Brysen

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This is the story of a dog named Brysen. This is also the start of an unconcluded (yea i know, not a real word) series of attempts to adopt.
It all started on my very first search. It was considered a premature search, it was only a few months after Lucky had passed and it wasnt really further discussed with my mother exactly if and when we were getting another dog. I found Brysen available for adoption at Geln Highland Farm (border collie rescue) in NY. I had stumbled across their website in a google search “border collies for adoption” and decided to see what was available. I saw Brysen on the available page and thought he was very cute. I read his description, he was companion oriented, plays ball, playful, yet not overly intense, good with other dogs and cats! This dog was my perfect match.
When I talked it over with my mother, she agreed he sounded good, but she wasnt ready for another dog, so I held off. He had been on that site for a while, once in a while, I would visit the site to see him. Every so often I’d bring him up to my mother, but the answer was still the same. But the inevitable happened, I check the website one morning in early September and he had been adopted.

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I felt so much pain that day. For some reason, seeing this dog being adopted got me so depressed, I didnt know what to do… I didnt even know how to explain to people that I was heart broken over losing a chance to adopt a dog I had never met. I couldnt make sense out of all this, I didnt expect anyone else. Some people just thought I was crazy for how upset I was. It was a disappointing loss, but I may have over reacted. Like I said, I didnt know anymore about the dog then the few pics and that one description of the dog I saw.

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A few weeks have passed and I talked to my mother and she finally agreed to letting me get another dog. So I got back into searching. Every so often I think about Brysen, I keep in touch with that NY rescue, hoping they might find my perfect match, a dog I applied for turned out not to be a good for me, but I’ll get into that later. If for some reason Brysen’s owners needed to return him, I’ll be ready. But its not something I wish to happen, even though I lost the chance to adopt him, I am happy he found his forever home where he will be loved. Meanwhile, I know my dog is waiting for me out there somewhere, and when I find him or her, that dog will just the same be happy in his forever home where he will be loved for his life time.

(images are property of Glen Highland Farm, I dont not claim them as my own)

The Adoption Escapade: Adoption Process

So as I mentioned in a few blogs, I am trying to adopt another Border Collie. After Lucky died, I started thinking about another dog and what I really wanted. I took some time to think about what kind of dog I wanted, what I wanted in physical appearance, personality, what we will do together and what would be appropriate for the home and family. So I decided I wanted another border collie, I decided I want another active dog, a dog that loves to play ball, frisbee, swim, maybe even agility, all that fun stuff, plus Ive experienced their behavior issues and researched the one I hadnt gone through, I just felt a border collie would be the right choice.

Its been a while since I adopted. My current dog was adopted from my local shelter. For a high kill shelter, it was pretty strict process. But well rounded, I filled out an application, my family and I spent time with the dog and soon as he was fixed we took him home. It seemed pretty strict then, but that was about 7-8 years ago.

But now, its even worse. I always remembered adoption to be strict to separate good families who promise a forever loving home from bad people who are not ready for such a commitment and may not offer a good life to a pet needing a home. But lately it seems these rescues willingly turn down a perfectly legitimate home in hopes for a perfect home that may or may not exist.

My experiences have been quite rough with trying to adopt. I thought adopting would be a rewarding experience. I have a few points in my favor,

1. I am knowledgeable and experienced in the breed I’ve selected.2. I have a home with a fenced in yard. Not renting.
3. I work at a pet store, where I get discounts on food, toys and anything else I may need
4. I am knowledgeable with pet nutrition, the difference between feeding holistic foods vs grocery brand foods. I also know the dangers of feeding foods made in china.
5. I have a personal dog trainer and am willing to enroll in an obedience class as soon as I get my new dog

But apparently, it just isnt enough. Most rescues have denied me with out a real reason while some havent even responded to my application. Then theres one fiasco I went through with another long distance rescue but I’ll get into that later….
I will post about each rescue experience Ive been through.

Lucky

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This is Lucky, she was also quite a special dog to our family. A few years after we lost our Akita, Yuki, we got her, or she got us!

I was eight years old. I came home one day and my mom took me through the back yard onto our back yard and this dog came out of nowhere and jumped on me and started licking my face. I was like “CAN WE KEEP HER???”

While I was in school that day, she had been wandering the neighborhood. She turned up on our neighbor’s door step and they already had a dog so they asked if we wanted her.

We did take some time to see if she had belonged to anyone but she was never claimed so she was ours!

We really didnt know what kind of dog she was. We assumed she was a pitbull mix. Being from Paterson NJ at the time, that was a dog you commonly saw around. But over the years we discovered some things about her

1. she was a digger, she dug holes and little by little destroyed the yard.

2. she was a barker, she was a little on the territorial side, she didnt really tolerate other dogs that walked by.

3. She was highly intelligent and trainable. She was great at playing ball, frisbee, and she caught toys thrown in mid air.

4. She knew where her toys were, she hid her toys under the couch and pointed at them until we got them out for her, if we didnt, then she would bark and whine at us until we got her stuff. Then moments later she put it all back.

5. She didnt like loud noises, if she got yelled at for something, she would tuck her head and her ears would go back, showing guilt.

6. She had A LOT of energy and could jump REALLY high. We had a 6 ft fence in our old house, she could jump and reach the top.

7. She was an ‘alpha’ dog. When we got our second dog, Devon, she was quite dominant over him.

8. Her face was in no way at all shaped like a pitbull.

As I got older I took some time to research some dog breeds. Eventually I connected her to the Border Collie. Then I got hired at a pet store. On my off time, I took some books about border collies and everything I read about them just connected me with Lucky, I guess the only reason we didnt know she was a border collie because she had such short hair. Plus if you’ve ever been to Paterson NJ, its the last place you’d ever see a border collie.

We figured she was either a high mix or a smooth coat which is a short hair border collie. Which I didnt know border collies even came in short hair. I got several opinions over the years and so far everyone who knows about the breed agreed she was a border collie.

To this day I still take time out to study the breed. Even more and more, I connected what I learn to Lucky. She died in june 2012 and I am currently working to adopt another Border Collie. It hasnt been an easy ride, but I’ll get into that later

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