A few Octobers ago, I decided a dog would help me ease some early adulthood anxiety. My boyfriend and I went to Facebook to find a local dog rescue that used the foster system to place dogs in appropriate homes. After all, someone knows the dogs and can easily transition them to you, right? Through reviews and story posts, we decided to send an application to adopt from one that seemed very good.
This dog was NOT the dog for us. He had major anxiety issues and would have episodes of pacing and growling that lasted up to 3 hours. We even had a dog trainer come over to show us how to train him to self-sooth. This trainer was not encouraged as she left. I felt defeated and reminded of a family dog growing up that also had anxiety and cost the family financially and psychologically.
After about a month of struggling with the dog, we made a hard decision to return him. Part of us wanted to rant on Facebook about how awful our experience was. This dog was not for us but the rescue encouraged us to adopt him. For instance, we had mentioned we didn’t have a full yard, worked full-time, and needed a dog that was good with kids and other dogs. This dog met none of these criteria.
I feel I was misled by the social media and the rescue’s posts on Facebook. The rescue had such a good online presence and many stories and testimonies to prove a good reputation. In the end, they did not fulfill their mission of “working with us until we were matched with the correct dog.” No one called to get any information or apologize for the mismatch. It was an especially disappointing outcome.
The lesson for in this story is top practice a healthy level of suspicion when using social media to make a large decision. I will never adopt a dog from a rescue again knowing it is possible to be so easily deceived, which is unfortunate, because I am sure there are many rescues that are reliable.