Some of us have heard it before when applying for adoption, “Sorry, you’re just not good enough”. It took me awhile before someone said yes, and allowed me to adopt my Oliver. But as fate would have it, he was the right dog for me and I’m almost glad that the other rescues turned me away.
I heard things like:
“You’re too young”
“You live in a condo”
“You work too much”
“You don’t have a yard”
I think a lot of these things are why a lot of dogs/cats sit in shelters a little bit longer. It is possible that some rescues are “too picky”, but when it comes down to it, they have the animals’ best interests at heart. However, for those reading this that are on the rescuer side of the fence, consider this: people’s lives change constantly.
When I first got Oliver yea I was working 5 days a week, 8 hour shifts, but I was also allowed to bring him to work with me. When he entered his ‘lets bug mommy tirelessly at work’ phase, he was left at home, but during that time my spouse was working opposite shifts as me. Oliver was only left home alone one 8 hour shift per week. Personally I think that’s pretty good. And yet, somehow I was told prior to finding him that I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to have a dog in my life.
People are willing to change their lifestyles if they really want a pet, but turning them away isn’t a lesson that they will learn from. In fact, I would say that not teaching them valuable pet parenting lessons will be far more detrimental. They will just end up getting a free dog, going to a breeder, or trying out another rescue until someone says yes. If the first woman who told me that I wasn’t suitable had just said to me, “We’d like you to show proof that your dog will be at work with you”, or “you need to cut back on your hours”, etc, I would have learned more quickly that I needed to be home more with him. As it turns out my schedule had changed again and when I realized Oliver was spending too much time again, I quit my job, worked fewer hours at my new job, and took him to daycare. I really wish I had kept this woman’s email from the first rescue I tried and say to her, “See I am capable”.
Be patient with rescues, work with them, and they’ll work with you. Don’t give up on adoption.