What to Expect
A quick browse through Google reading articles on adoption would make it seems as though adopting a dog has just two possible outcomes. It can be the most joyful and life affirming experience of ones life, or the most horrifying experience one has ever endured. The truth is, both of these extremes only represent a small percentage of adoptions that take place across the country each year. A good number of adoptions are somewhat uneventful.
Your experience with adoption will greatly depend on the rescue from whom you are adopting a dog. Rescues are as individual as those who run them. As an adoptive parent you need to take the time and find not only the "right dog" but the "right rescue". Even the adoption of a dog who "feels just perfect" can be made difficult by rescue who does not continue to support your adoption after the fact, or does not provide you with important basic services.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM HOUNDSONG RESCUE
Perhaps the easiest thing to do here is to give you a short synopsis of our philosophy of rescue. We believe our rescue has both a clearly defined role and clearly defined responsibility in the animal welfare community. In our mind, the role of a rescue in the animal community is provide the services,care, and knowledge that are not or cannot be provided by other members of the animal community. [Example: Shelters generally do not have the time nor resources to provide long term care and rehabilitation for dogs who need it.] We believe our rescue is a service to the dogs in our care. We believe that our rescue is a service and resource for the families who adopt through our organization.
No rescue can guarantee you a smooth and uneventful adoption. However it is the responsibility of rescue organizations to mitigate challenges and try and ensure that each adoption is successful and goes as smoothly as possible. If and when challenges arise, it is the rescues responsibility to be responsive and responsible in caring for/helping/assisting dogs and adoptive families through those challenges. A rescue should provide these services for the life span of each and every adopted dog.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
At the time of adoption your new family member will spay/neutered, up to date on shots, had a health exam, and have been micro-chipped. All of the necessary veterinary work appropriate for the dogs age and health will be completed prior to adoption. We take care of all the basics. We do suggest that you take Spot to your own vet within 10 days of bringing he/she home. Give your vet (and yourself) the benefit of having a baseline understanding of your dog as he/she comes into your home. Any future changes in health will be more easily discovered if your vet has this baseline understanding of the dog. Also, on rare occasions, regardless of our efforts, we do miss a health issue from time to time. In the event that we have overlooked something with your dog, taking the dog to your vet give us the opportunity to work with you on correcting the oversight.
We have evaluated your dog during its stay with us. Our foster providers work diligently to evaluate your dog and to train the dogs how to behave in a new home. This in no way means that dogs, when placed into new environments/homes with new people, will not have a few surprises in store. Dogs - and especially hounds - are influenced by their environment. Just because a rescue has never gotten into the garbage at its foster home does not guarantee it will not do so in your home. A dog who has never chewed up anything in its foster home may do something silly like - chew up a pillow because it smells like your apple scented shampoo. You may laugh at that, but this is a real life example. We will continue to work with you and your adopted dog if any unwanted behaviors do arise.
We also strongly suggest formal obedience classes. You dog may have already had obedience training. We take dogs through obedience as a normal course of behavioral work for dogs we feel will benefit. HOWEVER - it is STILL important and beneficial that you and your family complete a class yourselves. Even for those people who have had and trained dogs their whole life, the dog will benefit from the trust building experience of an obedience class. Even if your new friend never does well with sit and stay, obedience classes are a good bonding experience that is difficult to get in any other sort of environment.