Monday, June 9, 2014

Queenie Goes Home and Gets a Name Change

Henceforth, she shall be known as "Agnes."

On Friday, Queenie met up with her prospective adopters and canine housemates for some pre-visit introductions. Neither of the resident dogs in her proposed new home was immediately thrilled with her, but at least they didn't react with spittle-flinging rage, either. She went home for a trial sleepover, and I spent the next couple of days with my fingers tightly crossed. While I had a certain amount of faith in Queenie's good nature and house manners, she was going into a situation with a couple of new variables -- the resident dogs in the adoptive home were female and smaller than she was, as opposed to the all-boys crew here -- so I couldn't be completely sure that I knew exactly how she would react.

But it went well! Monday morning I woke up to find an email announcing that her prospective adopters wanted to knock the "prospective" out of that description. Hooray!

I was particularly happy about this adoption for a couple of reasons:

First, the adopters had recently had a bad experience with a shelter dog that was not disclosed as being dog-aggressive prior to adoption. The aggression was a dealbreaker, and they'd been forced to return the dog. (To be fair, the shelter staff may not have known the dog had problems with other dogs. It's often hard to differentiate reactivity and even outright aggression from the general stress and overarousal that can be a constant problem, even for "normal" dogs, in kennel environments. But that exact problem is one of the reasons I tend to advocate adopting from a foster-based rescue rather than a shelter for most people.)

That sort of experience often turns people off from adopting ever again. Fortunately, these particular adopters were so committed to rescuing a dog that they kept looking even after an experience that would have sent a lot of other people straight to a breeder.

Second, they initially weren't too excited about looking at pittie mixes, but they were open-minded enough to reconsider when they saw how friendly and talented Queenie was. I really liked that. I don't have a problem with people liking or disliking certain breeds (seriously, I don't -- I have my un-favorite breeds too!), but I do have a lot of respect for people who are willing to rethink their opinions in light of new evidence. To me, this is indicative of an emotional flexibility and tolerance that really, really comes in handy down the road with any new dog (and a few old ones!). So I thought that was a promising sign.

Third, they were not only willing but eager to enroll with Queenie in a local training club. Not two days after I relayed my friends' recommendation for the best club in their area, these adopters went to check it out. That, too, made me really happy; I was glad to know that Queenie would get a chance to continue her fun games of learning in her new home.

So that was that! Queenie, newly renamed Agnes, got her happily ever after, and I could not be more excited about where she ended up.

Good luck to you, little dog.

...and now I'm on hiatus from fostering for a while. Pongu's performance at our last Rally trial was not too hot, so clearly we need to spend some more time working on competition stuff, and also I should probably pay some attention to that book I'm supposed to be writing right now.

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