Monday, July 27, 2020

Finding perfect homes for dogs and puppies

Marcel and I both grew up with animals in our respective families and once we moved in together we've never had a pet-less moment.  Our lives pretty much revolve around our animal pets.  We've had many breeds of dogs, cats, horses, rats & mice, birds, rabbits and hedgehogs.  We've taken in many animals in need and found them their perfect forever homes.  My lifelong friend Tina says "You have a knack for finding perfect homes for animals" and that has always been a blessing.

Most of the dogs we breed ourselves will be placed as pets either as 8 week old pups or as a young adult after a career as a show & breeding dog. I think it's even better to find homes for mature animals because we really know them and know what kind of situation will make them happiest.

As rule my Shiba girls will have 3 chances to produce their female puppy replacement utilizing 3 different sires.  The puppy should be better than her mother and hopefully ads the qualities of the sire I picked for her as well.  If I haven't gotten a puppy from the female after 3 litters there just isn't any reason to breed her again.  She will be spayed and "career change" to a super pet for someone.

The majority of my girls fit right in the pet home I place them in like they have lived there for their entire life and go on to be the best dog their owners have ever had.  I hear that over and over again.  Or how they are thrilled that their last Shiba's negative behaviors aren't present in the girl I placed with them. It never grows old hearing how loved my girls are in their second home.

Knowing my Shiba girls the way I do it's usually pretty easy to find them a perfect home.  Luckily my dogs are well adjusted and fit in just about anywhere a person is somewhat Shiba savvy.  The one thing I'm sure is of they are used to running and sunning in large paddocks and while most would rather be having their turn inside the house with us they still like to go for a yard patrol and potty break so I don't place them in apartments of condos.

What becomes a problem is when a person makes comparisons to their last dog, be it Shiba or another breed.  People who have had other breeds are surprised by the Shibas non dog-like behaviors.  Even people who had Shibas before forget what it was like when  their Shiba was a puppy, they only remember the last few well behaved years together.

New dogs of any age in a new home must be treated like puppies when it comes to bathroom habits and taken out every few hours until you see regular success.  Dogs that must now go potty on leash can have bashful bladders.  Shibas have been known to "hold it" for 4 days or more until they get home to familiar grass or gravel or whatever.  Shibas are truly creatures of habit which can work for you or against you.

Shibas that are well adjusted are more likely to be open to new situations and in forming new habits in new homes.  Dogs that are not well socialized and haven't been challenged with new experiences as puppies have a hard time with changing homes.

We always give people 21 days to return a puppy or dog that doesn't work for them for any reason.  I seriously try to impress upon the new owner that this time should be spent really observing the dog in their home and looking for potential deal breakers and then sticking to their guns.  It's hard for most people to think with their minds and not their hearts when it comes to pets.  I would not offer to take the dog back if it didn't matter to me.  A pet is supposed to add enjoyment to your life not make it more complicated, difficult, sad, messy or angry.  There is always another dog that will fit better and make you both happy.

Over the years we have only gotten a handful of dogs returned because we usually place them wisely but circumstances do change and sometime choices need to be made.  I don't condem those that return a dog, I think they are strong and caring and probably thinking with their mind which they need to do in this situation.  Most of these dogs are rehomed with no problem.  Some have been real gems.  We finally kept one Rottweiler that was returned 3 times.  I think he was the best Rottweiler we've ever had and I miss him every day.

How deeply do we need investigate the the people who inquire about a puppy?  Usually I get a feeling about a person whom I've talked to a few times and then eventually they come to house to meet face to face and I can observe how the adults supervise their children's interaction with the dogs. Marcel and I make a great team because he thinks to ask all the questions I've forgotten to ask about.  Then we discuss our instincts about the potential puppy owners we've met.  We do home checks on local people and I have a network of other breeders all over the US that can do home checks for us.  Google satellite is awesome.  References are called.  A google search, Facebook scan and in some cases a background check will reveal something that makes placing a puppy with them not possible.  Also, the Shiba community will go on alert if a questionable person is making the rounds to breeders searching for a puppy.  Unfortunately there is always someone who will sell them a puppy.

Finding great homes can be a challenge for animal breeders that really care about the sweet baby animals they produce.  Those babies depend on us, their breeder, to find them the best homes we can.

Time for goodbye to a good dog.

The sad fact is that animal lovers will outlive many pets. How do we deal with this loss?

Many people tell me they just can't stand the loss of another animal so they won't get another cat, dog, insert animal here.  I don't understand this way of thinking at all.

I used to get sad and depressed and stay in bed for weeks but I've overcome that.  Now too many animals depend on me for their care to take the time to grieve in that manner.

Now I focus on the good times and remember my animals fondly and without so much sadness.  Instead I am happy in the knowledge that I gave them the best life I could and I let them leave this earth with their dignity.

So how do you know when it's the best time to take your pet his last visit to the vet for euthanasia?  Everyone has a different opinion for this but Marcel and I have decided that we would rather not see any animal suffer much further than the regular woes of old age.  Once an animal shows us his quality of life is gone we have the discussion about the next move.  I have my own way of finding the best time to end my animal friend's life.

If you listen your dog, cat, horse he will tell you when he's ready to go.  Have a quiet moment alone together.  Clear your mind of all thoughts and breath deep and slow.  Relax your body all over. You can speak or you can just think it but ask the question "are you ready to go?" then being quiet and concentrating on your breathing wait for a response and his answer should just pop into your mind. Some people have the "gift" and can do this easily and other people never achieve the ability to communicate with animals in this manner.  I seem to only be able to do to it when the situation is very serious and the weight is heavy on my mind about an issue being passing or doing something else like moving one to a new home.

Many people keep their animals alive simply because they can't let go.  I do not think of that as kindness.  To me it is very sad situation.  Animals live in the moment, that is what they have to teach us silly humans.  When there are no more good moments for them it is kinder to let them go. This is against the grain for us humans who typically live in the past and then spend our lives planning for some uncertain future.

Animals bring such joy and special knowledge to us humans I can't imagine not having some kind of pet in my life.  I hope there is never a time when I can't take care of a pet because that will be the time I'm ready to leave this world and see all my past pets in the next phase of my being.  And what's sad about that??????