A forever home has finally been found for Keith, the dog I’ve been fostering since the first lockdown last year. It’s exactly the sort of home we’ve been looking for, with a massive garden (3/4 acres) where he can run free without encountering other dogs, and a family who has fallen in love with him. They live just across the valley from me, so they’ve been able to take him for walks and get to know him before he moves in.
This is great news for Keith and I’m very happy for him, but not so happy for me. He’s been with me much longer than a dog would normally spend in a foster home, and I’m really going to miss him when he goes. He’s been a handful at times, but with help from GRW trainers he’s really come good and is a joy to have around. Part of me wishes I’d adopted him myself, but because of his size he would be difficult for me to manage when he reaches old age and its attendant mobility issues. I haven’t forgotten how hard it was lifting poor Pearl in and out of the car when she needed to go to the vet; I always had to get other people to help, and I want a dog I can manage myself.
I fostered Keith because I wasn’t ready to adopt another dog when Pearl died. Now I am ready, but adopting a rescue dog isn’t as easy as it used to be. Dogs have been like gold dust during the pandemic with so many people adopting them for company, and dog thefts have risen dramatically, with dogs being snatched from gardens and even from owners while out on walks. With such high demand, rescue centres can afford to be picky when selecting potential owners. Naturally they have to make sure the dogs go to good homes, but I’ve heard people are being refused for all sorts of odd reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. One man in his forties was refused because he was considered too old, which is ludicrous. It’s not really surprising that people end up buying from breeders.
I’ve been researching shelters online, and some have long waiting lists. On one website I found the following statement: “Due to the high volume of applications we receive we are unable to respond to everyone. If you do not hear anything within seven days, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion”. It reminded me of the more discouraging responses I’ve received from agents and publishers. If adopting a dog is going to be as difficult as getting a book published, I may be in for a long wait.
Keith goes to his new home on Sunday. Wish him luck – and wish me luck too!