Tuesday, February 12, 2013

For the Love of a Dog

I read a post over at And Foster Makes Five about the commitment required when taking in a new dog.  Through many inquiries about their current foster, Georgia (who is totally available for adoption if you think you’re her perfect family!), they have gotten the question “is there a trial adoption period?”  She poses a really great question as to whether or not this is a good idea.
Read more about Georgia here

This got us to thinking: is it?  While on the one hand it’s great to be able to ensure that a future pooch is a good fit for you and your family – and the reverse, that you are a good fit for the pooch! – there are some potential negative implications.
While I see the merit in either opinion, a trial adoption period could allow a potential adopter to back out of the commitment should things not be “perfect” in the first few weeks.
Edi has come a long way since his "Manny" days.

We started thinking of our first few weeks in hell with Edison.  They were miserable.  There was absolutely nothing. fun. about them.  We contemplated giving up on him and taking him back. 

We didn’t though, because we had made a commitment to this lunatic of a dog when we signed his adoption paper.  Whether or not it was explicitly written in the agreement (it wasn’t), when we signed the paper our signature meant that we would take this dog not only into our home, but also our hearts.  That we would give this dog all the basic necessities...and some completely unnecessary extras.

When things weren’t perfect with Ed after the first few weeks (does this ever really happen?), we worked harder.  We began reading anything we could get our hands on and trying any bit of advice out.  And if it didn’t work?  We’d nix it and move on to the next.  We spent hours at obedience class, followed by hours working our skills at home, in the parks, and at the pet stores.

Through a lot of hard work, we started seeing progress.  Now, he is a completely different dog than the one we adopted.  Our bond with him has benefitted from wanting to kill him the time put into him.  This bond didn’t come quickly or easily.  But it came, and it was so worth it!

Was it love at first sight for you? How did you know?  Or did it take time to develop?  If it didn't work out, how did you know it wasn't working?
And Foster Makes Five is also sponsoring a fundraiser with a giveaway – 10 giveaways to be precise!  You can see the loot already revealed here, here, here, here, here, and here (whew!).  And remember, there are 4 more days worth of stuff coming up!  For every $10 you donate, you will be entered to win one of these fabulous prizes!  Your donation will go to help save dogs like Georgia and give them a chance at a new life.


  1. With Kaya it was love at first sight. And then it was what the hell was I thinking. And now, like Ed, she is a totally different dog and I feel so close to her. Norman was love at first sight too and I never looked back:) I've always thought that a trial period can't hurt, but you make a really good point. I think that's a tough one!

  2. This post brings me to tears! I only wish there were more individuals, like you, who would actually take the time to "learn" through trial and error until they find something that works for all parties involved. It's easy to "give up", but the reward comes when you stick it out!

  3. When we adopted Hades he would do little things that annoyed us but I never once contemplated taking him back. I remember Jay being really mad one time and saying he wanted to take him back (which puts a lump in my throat now thinking about) but there was no intention behind it.
    When Braylon was added into the family I was a flustered wreck because rough play made me nervous. We didn't have a trial period with her but there was a 10 day return policy. I remember asking Jay, "Can we do this?" We were lucky, the woman we adopted her from counseled me through it and all was fine.
    And I too wish everyone tried as hard as you! If they did, it would mean more dogs saved for sure. It would also mean less overcrowding at shelters. How many of those dogs are dogs people simply gave up on? Too many I am sure.

  4. I've written before that when I saw Ray it was love at first sight, however, I never really intended to adopt a puppy. My plan was to foster one elderbull at a time. Wow! Was Ray ever the antithesis of that! I spent many a day crying bitter tears over the path that led me to adopt this little razor toothed shark who I was stuck with FOR PROBABLY THE NEXT 15 YEARS! Luckily we are both growing and because of the knowledge that he would be mine for forever, we worked through it.

    But for the trial period, I don't know. It wasn't an something I wanted but I can also see how it could be of benefit, too. I just don't know.