You’ve decided you want to adopt a dog. It’s the right thing to do and surely there are many dogs in need! So why is it so hard? Why is finding a rescue dog so frustrating?

We hear this complaint often. Sadly it is often followed by “I guess we’ll just go to a breeder then.” While we understand that it can be a frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking journey, sticking with it and waiting for the right dog to come along is worthwhile.

Do rescues just want to make things difficult and are they overly picky with applicants? We don’t think so. Are rescues sometimes overly protective of the dogs they are trying to place? Perhaps. You see, when the dogs we rescue come to us, they have often already encountered multiple difficulties. Many are lost, confused, afraid and have been let down by humans. When they come into our care, we make them a promise. We promise them that we will find them a home that is a good match for them, so that they won’t be re-homed again when their people decide they are too active, too noisy, too difficult on the leash, too anything. We promise them that their next home will be one that fits them just right. While a dog may receive many applications, not all of those applications will be right for that dog. Aside from this, we also want to make sure that you end up with a dog that is just right for you. If you apply for a dog that will not be a great long-term fit, we will tell you. No one is served by giving you a dog that isn’t right for you. Our dogs typically spend some time in a foster home before being placed so that we can get to know them and their personalities and needs. We do this so that we can make good decisions for the dog as well as the applicants.

But I have applied for so many dogs and the one I want is never available!

It’s true that some dogs receive a great deal of interest right away and are placed easily. It can be sad to fall in love with a cute face on a website only to find that dog already has a pending application. But here’s the thing… another one will come along. Perhaps not today, perhaps not this week. But if you are open to the process and allow a rescue to help you find your match, it will happen. Finding a dog should not be an instant gratification kind of endeavour. Just like with people, you typically don’t marry the first person you meet. Rather than falling in love with a face or a look, try to expand your view and look for a personality that matches your circumstances. Everyone wants the cute Maltese with the little ribbon on her head. Everyone wants the little fluffy poodle. But there are other dogs out there waiting to be loved. Try to keep your heart open and there will be a lovely dog just waiting to take up that space. And, if you really just want a specific breed and are not open to other types of dogs, be willing to wait for that dog to come along. If you narrow your field, you automatically narrow your chances of success. There are dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes in need so don’t give up.

So what’s with the endless questions on the application? And references? What on earth…?

We ask these questions not just for the sake of of snooping around in your private business. The questions serve a purpose. They guide us in our matching efforts. Why do we need to know how old your kids are or how long you are at work? Because not all dogs like kids and not all dogs like to be alone while you are away. We love it when people write things about their family and their lives in the application. We love it when people are thoughtful in their application and take the time to explain who they are and what they are looking for. It really helps, and it shows that you care. That you have put some thought into getting a dog and are invested in the outcome as much as we are. Skipping most of the application questions because it’s too much work to fill hem out, doesn’t exactly inspire us with confidence that a dog will be the light of your life and is worthy of more than a few minutes of your time. If you email us and ask “how much for the dog” we hope you will understand that our reply will be in equal measure.

And references… sadly we need those because life is unfair and sometimes people are not who they say they are. Most rescues will have experienced placing a dog in good faith only to find out that the dog was poorly treated, neglected or abandoned once again. It happens more often than you think. And it never ends well for the dog. So yes, we’re a little protective. Because we think that our dogs deserve that. And because we need to sleep at night.

It is truly our goal to partner with you to find the right match. This is not a simple business transaction. We deal with living beings. We care about our dogs. We care about you. We do our best to make this a good experience so that you and your new furry friend can live happily ever after. Let’s be patient with each other.