As a rescue, we pride ourselves on being able to show you our dogs as they go “full circle”.
We introduce them as they arrive. Often broken (mentally and physically), scared, emaciated, confused. We show the scared become confident, the broken being fixed and the emaciated gaining weight. And then we show them as they leave to their forever homes content and renewed, often looking like a different dog to the one that first came through our gates.
But what we sometimes don’t show is the struggle in between arrival and, for some, the long awaited departure.
Once we have successfully “fixed and rehabilitated” our many dogs, next is the process of finding them their home.
For some that can happen quite quickly and we are delighted to be able to share those success stories with you.
But what of those who aren’t chosen?
Those who continue to spend week after week, month after month in our care. Standing in their kennels peering out at us and as the weeks turn into months, we see the change in them.
They start to lose a “bit of bounce”.
Their eyes start to lose that “bit of sparkle”.
They are less enthusiastic to get up, to greet us or to interact.
Some go off their food or become so stressed that they howl all day, longing to be out of the kennel that has been their home for far too long and has now become their jail.
Others suffer silently spending all day in their bed, no longer interested in what’s going on outside their door, they’ve seen it all a million times.
And as they begin to lose hope, then we do too.
How many times can we tell them “it’s your turn next” yet we know deep inside it probably won’t be.
How many new toys or games can we give them before they too become “old news” and are left untouched?
How many more posts can we share or how do we find a new way to show just how great a dog they truly are even if they are seen as “less adoptable”?
These faces we speak of are those dogs who may not be absolutely perfect in every way.
They may suffer from severe shyness or be very timid, unlikely to change and needing special homes.
They may be genetically challenged which causes them to display the traits of their breed that are just not as appealing as the dog who sits quietly and obedient.
They may have slight health issues, behavioural issues that require extra commitment.
Some may be escape artists which means they can only go where absolutely secure fencing is in place.
Some may have ALL of the above yet that doesn’t make them any less lovable.
Or it may be they are too big, their looks are simply not cute enough or fluffy enough, they may be a breed that has been stereotyped just because of the way they look.
But to us they are the faces that are as every bit as deserving as all those who have come and gone, even if they do require extra work, extra commitment, time or patience.
And yes, we may appear at times too fussy, too difficult, too inflexible when it comes to the rehoming of our dogs but we are ALL they have and if we don’t put them on a pedestal and expect only the most perfect homes for them, who will?
We have a duty of care to not just our dogs but also to those looking to adopt.
We have been so lucky to have had some amazing families adopt from us and we are truly grateful to each and everyone of them.
But we want to remind people that there are those dogs whose faces we see day in day out, standing and waiting for their chance to prove that they are just as worthy, warts and all .
Even if they may be “different” or appear “less adoptable”.