We've been trying to find a suitable dog to fill the hole left by Felanie. I have been taking my time, and I've had very high expectations: small adult female pit bull-type that is social and dog-friendly. That in itself narrows my options considerably.
And yet, no one seems particularly eager to rehome their adoptable dogs. To date, not a single local rescue group has bothered to respond to my general inquiries about adoption. I can't even seem to get in touch with them when I want to meet a dog they have posted on Petfinder. So I guess rescue groups are out.
That leaves shelters. And out of the six shelters in our area, two require meet-and-greets, which are guaranteed to go badly because of Dozer. No exceptions—I asked. So those are out. Three others do not require meet-and-greets, but refuse to do home visits (which might actually work for Dozer). If I adopt from any of these three, then, I'm going to have to make an on-the-spot decision.
Only one shelter does home visits. Not only that, but they allow overnights / trial runs! Perfect, right? Sure, if they had a dog there that met my criteria... but they don't.
Meanwhile, my visit to one shelter (one that recommends but does not require a meet-and-greet) netted a very promising dog that seemed to fit my criteria fairly well. I asked about the adoption process. When I explained my situation (meet-and-greet will not be a good idea) the lady helping me proceeded to advise me to look elsewhere for a shelter that would do a home visit! Yes, she was encouraging me to go away.
I ventured to suggest a trial period. The lady stared at me as if I had just fallen out of the ceiling. Then she said, "No. Once you adopt, the dog is yours permanently. You really should do a meet-and-greet. Just today we had several animals returned because they aren't getting along with the other critters in the house."
Okay, I just explained why a meet-and-greet won't work. But wait a sec. You won't do a trial period or an overnight. But it's okay for people to return the animals they adopt. Isn't that sort of the same thing? And wouldn't a trial prevent those much-lamented returns? At the very least, a trial run means one dog not sitting in a kennel going nuts, one dog not "taking up space," one dog weasling its way into a prospective adopter's heart.
I am utterly stumped. As much as I hate making a psuedo-commitment, the shelter system here has put me against a wall. How the heck am I supposed to adopt a suitable dog when nobody shows the least bit of interest in working with me (the exception being the lone shelter that allows overnights, but has no dogs that show potential)?
While our shelters refuse to help potential adopters (or treat them like loonies, which is something I keep running into whenever I ask a real question), and cling to their either-or philosophy ("either you take it home for keeps or you don't take it home at all"), all these dogs are being put to sleep.
I don't know why this is so difficult. Grr.