I was reading a post on Peace, Love & Fostering this morning and my comment in response was becoming so long I realized it probably deserved it's own post.
The title of the post was"The power of being positive" and it made the excellent point that the perceived history of a rescue dog is far less important than talking about what you actually know about the dog, and of course dwelling on the positive rather than the sob story. Do please go and read her excellent original post, as that's a rather poor paraphrasing job. Besides which you have to meet her lovely foster Baxter - and if you're in their area, he's an absolute gem of a dog waiting for a lucky forever home.
I used to pass a billboard for a local shelter on my train home from work. Those prime advertising spots are pretty expensive and every time I passed it I would feel frustrated by the missed opportunity. The picture was of a fluffy little thing with the saddest puppy eyes and as it gazed mournfully at the commuters all I could think about was getting home for a slobbery welcome from my bouncy dog. I always wondered how much more effective the ad would have been if it had reminded all the weary commuters that they could pick up the best welcome home ever at the local shelter!
People can be wonderfully compassionate but they're also inherently a bit selfish - I believe that most decide to take on the responsibility of a pet because of what they believe that will add to their life. While many of us are willing to take on a challenging dog if they happen to come our way, does anyone actually trawl the internet looking for the saddest sob story? Or do they at least start by looking for a dog with the kind of characteristics that suit their lifestyle - whether that be a bouncing athlete, a laid-back snugglebug or a come-with social butterfly?
If you're currently fostering, think about everything you love about your dog and make sure that's the first thing you're communicating to potential adopters. After all, her forever family will probably fall in love for the same reasons.
Although I was going to wait until tomorrow to post about our new arrival, I can't quite contain my excitement, so meet Nala:
She arrived just two hours ago and is a bit too tired out by all the excitement to pose for a photo tonight. So far she's discovered that couches are a fantastic invention and giant foster brothers wear themselves out pretty quickly and pass out on the bed after first introductions. I'm looking forward to introducing her to baths in a few days, once her spay stitches have had some time to heal, but in the meantime she has the most beautiful, trusting little eyes. She promises to bat her eyelashes for some photos tomorrow.