Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why there's no more Perfect Match Monday...

For the past two years, I have written a weekly story for ABC's Facebook page called "Perfect Match Monday". Some of you may have read it. Some of you may have been a part of one of my weekly stories. Some of you may have seen my booth at last year's Basset Blast in Rochester. Some of you may not have any idea what I am talking about and that is ok, but you can read a few stories on ABC blog site if it interests you at all ( Every Monday night I would sit down at this laptop and research a basset hound whom ABC had rescued and I had gotten further information on from their new home. I would post an updated photo of the hound and my story to the Facebook page each Monday evening. The premise of each story would be that each dog ended up being a "Perfect Match" for the family that they ended up with. They we all beautiful happy ending stories. Sometimes these stories took me hours to write...sometimes they took me minutes, but I wrote them all from my heart and I fell in love with each dog I wrote about. At the end of 2014 I stopped writing "Perfect Match Monday". Why? Well, something that I never expected to happen...happened. In December 2014, a pair of hounds named Cletus and Flash came into the rescue. A story that I had written about these dogs finding the perfect home...the perfect family wasn't true.

Cletus and Flash were 9 years old at the time they first found their way into rescue. Their former owner had given them up after having them for most of their lives. Their family was being torn apart by a divorce and they couldn't keep the pair. They came into a foster home and like any other bonded pair, their foster home evaluated how bonded they were and it was determined they would need to be adopted out together. For a pair of 9 year old hounds it was a true task to make that happen, but only a month after coming into rescue, they found a new home. We made a follow-up call on this adoption shortly after it happened and all was good. In October, I did a follow-up of my own with the adopter to see how the boys were doing and the email I received back was happy and hopeful. It told me that they were quirky but loved by their new family. So I sat down at my laptop one Monday night and wrote a story on them. I told ABC's whole Facebook family about how they had a great home and although they enjoyed eating their human child's books that were left on the floor had found thier forever home. I didn't think about it much after I posted it until I found out that a mear 2 months later the pair was being returned to ABC. I was curious as to why they were being returned and when I found out; I wished I hadn't asked. They were being returned because the families home was too small for the 2 dogs and their toddler. They had continously ate paper products that were left on the floor by the toddler. They had escaped their yard on many occasions and were returned by neighbors. I knew these things from my follow-up and at that time the family thought these things weren't a big deal, but for some reason 2 months later they couldn't handle these quirks anymore. This family knew that they had a small house and that 2 hounds and a child (and them) would all be living there. The books could be picked up off the floor and/or the dogs trained to not eat the books and papers. A fence could be installed in the backyard to keep the hounds where they were supposed to be and if that wasn't doable then there were other easier options to keep them in their own yard. I went through all of the things that this family could easily do to keep the pair, but they were more then willing to just give up on them. These two hounds didn't deserve this treatment. Cletus and Flash had been through so much already. These hounds deserved so much more!! I felt like I was the person who let them down. I couldn't bring myself to continue to write my Perfect Match stories after that. I felt like I was potentially lying to people. That these adoptions may not have been a "perfect match" as I was telling people they were. Once again, I had lost faith in humanity (as you do over and over doing rescue work). I was hurt. When I was asked why I stopped writing...I got teary-eyed and just told people I was too busy or that "a situation" made me stop writing and I changed the subject. 
The story doesn't quite end there though. Cletus and Flash came back without much of a vet history and needed all of their shots updated. They also needed several surgeries to make sure they were completely healthy hounds. ABC spent thousands of dollars on their vet care without hesitation. Their foster family took the best care of them possible and I made sure I checked up on them from time to time. After 2 months, an adopter submitted an application to adopt the pair. They were the only dogs that she wanted. I was very skeptical at first, but after John had several conversations with her and a home check was done to make sure her home was suitable for Cletus and Flash I felt more comfortable with this adopter. I like to think I have a say in what adopter gets approved but I don't know how much pull I have even if John is the adoption coordinator. lol 
It has almost been a week since they found their new home and although I will not be saying this is a "perfect match" at this point, I can tell you that their new mom loves and appreciates them very much already. The picture here is of them sleeping in their new doggie beds just a couple days ago. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will continue to make sure that Cletus and Flash are doing well. I've warned their new mom of that and she seems to be ok with it so far. I will have to hold back from emailing her every week. lol

I may even start to write my weekly stories again...I haven't really decided yet. I may change it up and not call it "Perfect Match Monday" anymore. Maybe I will create something new to post for ABC about the "happy endings"? Maybe I will focus more on this blog? Maybe I will try not to put so much of my heart into the stories...into the dogs, but I guess I wouldn't be me anymore if I did that. I love these silly hounds (even if I've never met them). I have cried for THEM. I am a cheerleader for THEM. I am a supporter for THEM. I am a volunteer for THEM. I can't help but be that and without ABC...without people just like me this pair of hounds would never have gotten a 2nd or 3rd chance for "the good life". They could possibly just have been thrown away and totally forgotten. So, Thank You ABC for giving out more chances for these basset hounds to find an amazing home!!! And Thank you to the people who choose to adopt and not buy a dog. And Thank you to everyone who supports me in this crazy endeavor we call basset rescue.

No comments:

Post a Comment