I’d never want to be an adoption coordinator. Seems like an exhausting, frustrating, thankless job.
As the foster mom, I get all the glory for taking care of the puppy or dog in question. But the adoption coordinator is the one who has screened the applications, asked the hard questions, gone over the extensive adoption contract (for the bazillionth time), and made the final decision. Not having firsthand experience, I could be wrong, but it seems like ACs put in hours of effort for each adoption, and for a litter that is tenfold.
Puppy adopters are like new parents – they have lots of questions, good ones, silly one, odd ones, but lots. I get a few of those, but the AC for my litter gets most of them. Adopting a puppy is a big deal, as it should be, and puppy adopters can sometimes get cold feet and back out last minute, change their minds about what kind of puppy they want or get impatient with the lengthy adoption process and the hold time. Some adopters have lots of lines in the water (they’ve applied for several puppies at several different rescues or shelters). All of this means that the ACs are juggling many, many people and puppies at once and the winds change on whims.
As I said, I wouldn’t want their job, but I am VERY grateful that there are these odd people who enjoy being ACs and do a tireless job for OPH.
This litter had more than its share of switcheroos and moving targets. Deb had her hands full. Last fall when I had Edith Wharton and her darling dozen, I actually had to have two ACs because the job was so enormous. I’ve worked with probably a dozen different ACs with OPH and every time, I’m amazed at the work they do. So, I just wanted to mention them in a post—ACs, along with reference checkers, are the unsung heroes of every adoption.
[If you’re one of those people who read my posts and think—“I wish I could foster, but it would be too hard, messy, heartbreaking, etc.,” but you’d really like to help, consider being a reference checker or even an adoption coordinator for OPH. You do all the work from your home with your computer and your phone. If you’d like more information, click here.]
Okay, enough of my shameless volunteer recruitment. What happened this week in this foster house?
Freida found her forever home with a wonderful couple who already have two fur-siblings waiting for her. One is a Gracie-type (older, not inclined to appreciate rambunctious puppies), and one is a younger Gala-type who would LOVE a new playmate.
Before Freida took off for her new life, she and Frankie joined me at our local library for a program to teach children about dog rescue and how to safely interact with dogs. Edith Wharton was there, along with another OPH dog, Keely.
OPH volunteers led the kids in the program, which included reading a story and making dogs toys to send to shelters in the south.
At the end Edith, Keely, Frankie, and Freida helped them practice their new skills. We all had fun and Frankie and Freida, at least, came home and napped all afternoon.
(Our next program will be at the Paul Smith Library on February 3 at 10:30am.)
Our house is much quieter now that we’re back to the two-ring circus, instead of the three ring. Now instead of keeping the puppy, Gracie, and Gala separated (Frankie has access to all the rings), I only have to keep Gracie and Gala apart. I dream of a day when I live with no baby gates….
I’m doubling down on my efforts to get Gala adopted before she runs out of time at my house. This dog is so deserving of a loving home. She oozes adoration for her people and it’s crazy that we haven’t found her a forever family. She is advertised on Petfinder, Craigslist, and AdoptaPet, but if any of you have other suggestions, bring them on. Here’s the link to her profile on OPH’s website. Feel free to bandy it about on your own facebook and beyond. I know her people are out there somewhere looking for her, now we just have to find them.
There are no new puppies on my horizon, but that’s okay for now. My priority is Gala. We’ve begun using a prong collar on her and I am astounded at the difference it makes. When I’ve seen them in the past, I’ve thought they looked harsh, but after having a specific brand (Herm Sprenger) recommended to me by a trainer I respect, I did a little research. Turns out the prong is more humane than a choke collar, head collar, or slip collar. It’s easier to use and more effective than the easy walk or gentle lead, I’ve been using.
The prong collar doesn’t hurt her and the action of the prongs around her neck distributes the pressure evenly. The prongs aren’t sharp and their pressure mimics the action a mother dog would take to correct/direct her pups.
Gala instinctively responds and doesn’t seem at all upset by the collar. Now our walks are much more pleasant; there is no yanking or pulling. It’s been too icy to try running with it, but I’m looking forward to trying it on a run. Simple solution, although it does take a little hand-strength to put the collar on and off. If you’d like to read more about the Prong Collar, here’s one helpful article, and then another more impassioned, yet helpful article.
I’m trying to add a little structure to Gala’s day and supervising her playtime with Frankie, insisting that she use indoor manners. Each time she jumps a baby gate, she spends an extended period in her crate. She’s a smart cookie and has now only jumped the gate once in the last month. Hopefully, these changes will help her. My house tends to be a bit of a free-for-all (just ask my kids), but Gala needs a more structured, quiet environment, so I’m trying to give her that.
She is responding beautifully, if nothing else, this girl wants to please. I think she’s teaching me as much about caring for dogs as I am teaching her about living with people.
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more regular updates of foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.
All the best,