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Week Two:
September 7, 1998 - September 11, 1998

Forms, Paperwork and Legal Questions


Day Five - Part One

Subject: CLASS: Home Checks
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 02:11:50 -0500
From: Bob & Lysa Bea - bbeabass@ameritech.net

When the adoptive family has another dog or dogs, a good part of the Home Visit is devoted to their dogs. In other words, are they well socialized. Are they hand shy in any way, tell tale sign that there might be some "abuse" or heavy handedness. How do they react to strangers in their house. How do they act towards their owners, and do they respond to their owners commands. With that in mind... when the owner issues a command & the dog ignores them, how do they react. Do they show anger or impatience? Do they shrug it off & laugh. Are they uneasy? You sure can tell a LOT about people from their dogs!!

Oh yes, my first time Home Check people. I tell them to consider, "would they want these people to have your dog, if you could no longer take care of it?" Not to say would they treat the dog the same as you, but would they love & care for it properly?

Lysa Bea
Keeshond Rescue, IL


Subject: Re: CLASS: Useful Forms
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 05:51:28 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy - 72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM

re: No first time adopters

We've successfully adopted to first time Chow owners and first time *dog* owners. My most recent placement, matter of fact, was to a first time dog owner and so far, it's going really well.

I admit that I fret more over these placements in the early going than the others. Do the people really understand what they're getting into, the impact a dog will have on their lives? Will I get a call in a few weeks saying "this just isn't for us?", etc. In this last case, the young man also had a brand new house and boy, I was sure that Mr. Bear was going to lift his leg in it someplace and get bounced right back lickety split!

I think each adopter needs to be evaluated on his/her own merits. In this case (as in most of the placements I do now), the young man and I carried on a lengthy email correspondence in which I learned how much research he had done previously and how much thinking he'd done. He'd been considering a dog for the last few years and had been lurking round our website since February studying up on the breed. One of the deciding factors for me in his case was that he had a best friend with a Chow who also wrote to me and was willing to provide onsite adoption support.

My next most recent placement was to a first time Chow owner. As in Mr. Bear's case, this person had also been considering a Chow for a long time, had done a lot of research and we talked via email for several weeks before she actually came to visit. She has a Pug and previously a Bullmastiff, both breeds that share some common personality traits with Chows. She also had boarded her dogs at a kennel whose owners I knew well and who vouched for her excellent care.

Probably the most satisfying "first dog" placement we ever did involved a young divorcee whose marriage had left her in an emotional shambles. She really needed a non-judgemental friend and to get her confidence back. Not only did the dog give her the unconditional love she needed so badly, she became involved in obedience training, joined a dog club and got the dog her CGC!

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue


Subject: Re: CLASS: Useful Forms
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 06:38:02 -0400
From: Sidney Helen Sachs - sleddog@gte.net

Vicki DeGruy wrote:
re: No first time adopters

I adopted 2 seniors to first time Sibe owners. The dogs were out of a puppymill, 8 & 9 years old. We talked for MONTHS about this beforehand. The dogs have just gotten back from a camping trip where they fished, canoed, hiked, and slept in the tent with their new mom and dad.

We had decided to keep these dogs forever because no one would want them. Their new family was shocked we still had them, "they are beautiful, walk calmly on a leash, affectionate, not hyper, and love us -- who wouldn't want them?"

In truth she is homely, he is shy, they need socialization, which they are getting, and the adopters know all this, but LOVE them.

The asnwer is NOone wanted them. It was the perfect match. We are in constant contact and I guarentee the dogs are better off as onlies than one of 10 as they would have been here. I am eternally grateful to my first-time Sibe owners in Charlotte, NC!

Sidney

Sidney Helen Sachs & Ken Copeland
Sleddog Rescue, ~ Adoptions ~ Obedience ~ Dogsledding ~
A Shelter & Adoption Referral for Alaskan Malamutes & Siberian Huskies
Located in East Tennessee, USA --
http://home1.gte.net/sleddog/index.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS:adoptive homes
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 09:01:18 -0400
From: Judy Marion - iluvdogs@HUSKYNET.COM

We've successfully adopted to first time Chow owners and first time *dog* owners. My most recent placement, matter of fact, was to a first time dog owner and so far, it's going really well.

I too have had a great success rate with Rottweilers and first time owners. BUT I do require that they take the dog through an 8 week obedience class and permanent ownership is contingent upon completing the course and sending me the copy of proff that they did, like a certificate or diploma and the end. I really feel this is necessary because sometimes the corrections used by first time owners of any dog may just be what will ruin the dog unless guided in the right direction by a professional. I never have a problem with people that want a dog for the RIGHT reasons. They are the ones that really want to go to school, not because they have to, because they want to.

Judy
NoVa Rottweiler Rescue League, Inc/MD,DC,VA
http://waikaloa.huskynet.com/rottirescue/rescue.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS:adoptive homes
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 09:03:29 EDT
From: Amy Herrmann - GSLive@AOL.COM

Judy -- This sounds like a great solution to the "first time" issue. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Amy Herrmann
OES Rescue of VA


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: Referral as rescue
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 08:01:37 -0700
From: Sue Dowell - k9rescue@pacbell.net

Sandy,
I total agree with you. I found first time dog owners to be my best adoptors. They are very concerned with doing the right thing with there dog and they ask lots of questions. The first few weeks they usually call alot (which is wonderful). I also do Sheltie and Pom rescue and tell people all the pros and cons about the breeds and let them decide if this is the right breed for them. Many times it is not. I feel matching up the right dog into the right home is one of the most important parts of the adoption process. No way I would match a difficult dog into a home of first time dog owners. The key is know your fosters personality and match it with the right home.

Sue
Sheltie and Pom rescue with
http://narf.simplenet.net


Subject: Re: CLASS: Useful Forms
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 11:10:53 -0700
From: Janice Ritter - JRITTER@us.oracle.com

We've successfully adopted to first time Chow owners and first time *dog* owners. My most recent placement, matter of fact, was to a first time dog owner and so far, it's going really well.

We've done this w/GSDs, too. I am looking at the person's demeanor, outlook on life, etc. Their committment, and their "risk-awareness".

One great indication that a person is willing to "do what it takes" w/a large, active dog is to see that the person also does something else competitive. Horse stuff, competitive running, even doing quilts or something that takes awhile and dedication of time to do.

That's not the only thing I look for of course, but people who dedicate themselves to an activity or creature in one instance will often be the type of person who would be good w/a GSD. :-)

GSRNE, Inc.
Janice Ritter
jritter@us.oracle.com


Subject: CLASS, CHAT: re: one VERY important question
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 04:36:14 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy - 72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM

re: what Judy was saying...

I have had more return adoptions from people that have one dog and refuse to beleive me when I tell them that it may not work! The age of the current pet has everything to do with that. If someone has a very young dog then yes it usually works. But try to adopt a dog into a home with a 5 year old *only* pet and it doesn't usually work... This has been my experience. Perhaps someone has had better luck?

Chows, traditionally, don't get along well with large dogs of the same sex, a fact most pet owners aren't aware of. So first we have to convince them of that and dash their plans of getting a "little brother" for the male they already have (or a little sister for their bitch). As a general rule, we won't place a Chow in a home where the other dog is of the same sex.

Our experiences in compatibility have been pretty mixed. I really haven't noticed the dogs' ages to be as much of an issue in my breed as the personality of the individual dogs. Some members of our breed, even as puppies, don't get along with any other dogs. Some get along with certain dogs but not others. The latter have been problematic for us because we often don't find out about this unfortunate quirk until we try to introduce them to the adopter's dog during the interview process. This has blown a potentially good adoption for some of our dogs, especially certain bitches.

We have two main exercise yards and one is off-limits to the rescues until the adoption interview. This provides us with a "neutral" ground in which to do introductions. Almost all potential adopters are required to bring their dogs to the interviews so I can be sure there won't be any major problems when the rescue goes home.

We had an interesting situation awhile back...family adopted a young, happy go lucky male from us as a companion for their 11 year old bitch. She accepted him alright and he was just smart enough to know when not to push his luck with her. She passed away a year later and the family came back to us right after her death for another female. To all our surprise, he attacked both of the bitches we tried to introduce to him! We explained to the family that perhaps he needed a little more time to get over his former companion and they should visit again in a couple months. They were so put off, though, by the ferocity of their male that they decided not to get another dog at all.

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: what's a referral?
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 07:13:25 -0400
From: Steven & Leslie Maier - slmaier@FRONTIERNET.NET

In my case, I only do referrals. My home situation is not set up to house fosters but I maintain lists of dogs in the area, shelties from an even wider area and also maintain a list of rescuers of different breeds in this area so that if someone contacts me about a specific want or wanted to give up, I can make connections for them. I REFER them to a person who either wants the type of animal they are giving up or who will be a good resource to obtain what they want.

I am in contact with several of the local humane societies and other rescuers so that we network pretty well and can extend the advertising or advice for particular animals.

Les Maier (slmaier@frontiernet.net)
Sheltie & All Breed Rescue
Orange County, NY


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: re: one VERY important question
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 10:11:09 -0700
From: Mary Watt - mwatt1@san.rr.com

I've been very fortunate. I brought my Great Pyrenees into my home when he was 6 1/2 and my (female) Golden/GSD mix (only dog) was 8 and had been with me since a puppy. The Golden wasn't particularly alpha and willingly relinquished any thought of being in charge. They had been introduced several months prior on neutral territory and *saw* each other just about every other weekend after that. Hence, when Thunder (Pyr) came home it wasn't a shock to either. Took about a week of adjustment and things have been fine since (2 yrs). My Pyr is low key, neutered, but very much in charge. He leads by his presence and when he gets worked up about something I've learned to listen.

Mary Watt
La Jolla, Ca.
mwatt1@san.rr.com


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: re: one VERY important question
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 12:24:11 -0500
From: Mitzi Potter - Pyrs@prodigy.net

I have had more return adoptions from people that have one dog and refuse to beleive me when I tell them that it may not work! The age of the current pet has everything to do with that. If someone has a very young dog then yes it usually works. But try to adopt a dog into a home with a 5 year old *only* pet and it doesn't usually work...

I've got 10 dogs here inside the house, 5 are Pyrs. In the last few years I've come to appreciate greatly my dogs patience and tolerance in accepting newcomers. I think what helps the very most (besides picking submisive dogs) is that every one of my dogs, even the adults I adopted, have come from multiple dog situations. Of course all mine have been raised with many other dogs, but when you bring in a dog that's also been raised with alot of other dogs you just don't seem to have the problems that single-dog homes have. I just introduced a sweet little Sheltie mix that I'm fostering and most of my dogs didn't even bother giving her a 2nd glance, they've just accepted her and welcomed her like she's an old friend. I've underestimated my dog's ability to adjust to change all these years. They never cease to amaze me. So I agree completely that it's the single-dog homes that are hardest to introduce another dog into.

Mitzi Potter
Pyrs@prodigy.net Oklahoma City OK
http://members.aol.com/pyrs/dogs.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: re: one VERY important question
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 18:58:24 EDT
From: Brenda Rushman - BKRushman@AOL.COM

In a message dated 9/12/98 1:31:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Pyrs@prodigy.net writes:

So I agree completely that it's the single-dog homes that are hardest to introduce another dog into.

I agree, in that single-dog homes are more likely to have problems when it comes to introducing new dogs -- BUT...{grin}

if dogs are socialized properly, this will not usually be an issue. You can't keep a dog as a housepet almost exclusively without outside socialization, then all-of-a-sudden, expect it to welcome a new addition. If they're not used to seeing/doing new things, they're not going to like it.

I really don't think that this is a "breed specific" problem -- I think it's more a socialization issue. My dog (single dog) welcomes all others with open "arms" -- she does more to draw them out than I do. She's also been heavily socialized since I got her at the age of 10 weeks, both with dogs and humans. She's a 9 month old St. Bernard, and we've had both sexes, adults, here as fosters. She's wonderful with them.

Brenda Rushman


Subject: Re: CLASS: lets continue/housechecks
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 21:01:58 -0400
From: Judy Marion - iluvdogs@HUSKYNET.COM

Ok everyone, if you all are really eager to learn then on we go! Now, doing the housecheck is VERY important and I bet there will be ALOT of things that people can share on this topic that we can all use, things we would have NEVER thought of. One of my major concerns, when I first walk through the front door of a home, does the storm door slam shut properly behind you? If not then I make them fix it. A good way for a dog to run out the door and get hit by a car. I ask them to show me where the dog will be when they are not at home AND...when they are at home. If the dog is not going to be treated as a family member and maybe kept in a crate or basement when the family is home then they don't need a dog. If the dog is kept outside, unattended while they are NOT at home then they are violating my contract. I also have another issue which only applies to certain breeds. I ask to see a mortgage payment book because Rottweilers are not welcome in rental units. The landlord may say yes, but the landlord's insurance company may say no. In the past few years, insurance companies have turned renters down for Pitbulls, Rottweilers, and some have a list. If the renter gets a dog not covered by the landlord's insurance policy then the dog will have to go. This is VERY important with some of the large breed dogs. OK, onward into the housecheck. If the house is fenced all the way around, and the driveway is INSIDE the fenced area, check for antifreeze on the driveway! The dog likes the taste of it and once poisoned by antifreeze there is next to no chance of survival. Ask where the dog's food will be stored. Be sure that it is not where the dog can easily figure out how to get to it. Anyone know why?

NoVa Rottweiler Rescue League, Inc/MD,DC,VA http://waikaloa.huskynet.com/rottirescue/rescue.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS: lets continue/housechecks
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 17:53:46 -0700
From: Audrey Bowman - glow@cwnet.com

Dear Judy,

Ask where the dog's food will be stored. Be sure that it is not where the dog can easily figure out how to get to it. Anyone know why?

Yes, the dog can get to the bag and gorge himself, bloat, and then the stomach can go into torsion. If that is not treated immediatly then the dog will die.

Audrey Bowman & Ol' Glow (The Best Black Lab)
Gold Country Lab Rescue
mailto:glow@cwnet.com ICQ#8375400 Citrus Heights, CA


Subject: Re: CLASS: lets continue/housechecks
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 20:00:30 -0500
From: gryhndmom - gryhndmom@earthlink.net

I'll take a stab at this -
Ask where the dog's food will be stored. Be sure that it is not where the dog can easily figure out how to get to it. Anyone know why?

Actually besides overeating, bloat comes to mind for a couple of deep chested breeds.

Betsy (GryHndMom)
Grimm (I'm the head dog)
Simbah (I'm the love puppy)
Speedie (I'm the snuggler)
Bo and Molly (Visiting furballs!)
Visit us at: http://home.earthlink.net/~gryhndmom/
CUR #349


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: re: one VERY important question
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 21:33:15 -0400
From: Steven & Leslie Maier - slmaier@FRONTIERNET.NET

This is a really timely topic:) I have a 6 year old sheltie of my own - she's wonderful with all people (she's a therapy dog). However, she does NOT accept most dogs and it seems that she is protective of food, her space and me - not necessarily in that order.

I am about to obtain a male sheltie pup of mellow temperament (I hope my temperament testing skills work!) and know about introducing them on neutral ground. Are there any other suggestions for helping this to work?

Les Maier (slmaier@frontiernet.net)
Sheltie & All Breed Rescue
Orange County, NY


Day Five - Part Two








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