Please, Don’t Bring Home the Wrong Dog!


So, dog lovers, has this happened to you? You have a friend or relative who has been dogless for some time, by choice or situation or because they’ve been grieving the loss of their last dog. For some reason — the planets have realigned, they finally own their own home, they just got reduced to a part-time job, whatever – they have decided that they are now ready to get a dog, and they want one, and they know just what they want. They want a male Poodle or Bichon-mix because they have allergies, and it has to be friendly. Or they want a little dog, but good with kids and not a Chihuahua not matter what because they know several and don’t like them.

Despite the fact that you’ve promised to find them the perfect dog, one that meets their every wish in a dog, if they would only give you a bit of time, the next thing you hear is:

“Hey, we got our dog! We just couldn’t wait, and we went to the shelter to look, and we got this dog, she’s great, she’s so sweet, she’s a Cocker Spaniel-mix!” 


“We adopted a dog! It turns out, he IS a Chihuahua-mix, but he’s so CUTE! And he’s been so great with the kids.”

And then the very NEXT development is that the Cocker is making both of them ill with allergies and she also bit the mailman when he tried to pet her. And the Chihuahua is adorable with the kids but how do they stop him from barking all day he’s driving them crazy!

How do you convince people to be patient and selective and wait for a dog who meets their criteria, instead of rushing in and adopting the first cute face in the shelter they see? A face that brings a body or temperament or coat that is all wrong for them, that is going to make that dog’s very existence in their home a challenge for all of them? I’m frustrated today, because I have two friends looking for a dog RIGHT NOW and they keep sending me photos from Petfinder of dogs that meet NONE of their stated requirements in a dog, and I foresee two more disasters in the works. And it might take a few weeks or even months, but I know in the very busy shelter where I volunteer, a dog who meets their every wish will be coming through those kennels, if they would just be PATIENT! And I don’t think they will!

Am I being hysterical? Should I just relax and let them discover the joys of the unexpected? Or is this a legitimate reason to gripe?