Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frustrated, ugh.

My little man might leave me soon :-( 

Some good news! Rocket man has a potential adopter. I've been told she is a very nice woman, she passed all the interviews, and she even cool about his super-pee issues (which have gotten better by the way!). Yay for Rocket!! Hopefully the little man makes a good impression. I'd love him to settle into a forever home. With the year he's had, he totally deserves it. 

But you know, my start to the current rescue was bumpy. I decided not to write anything negative for a couple reasons. I mean, I didn't want to scare anyone away from fostering. With the right rescue fostering is an amazing experience. I also was a little scared someone from the current rescue would read it and get offended. Who am I kidding, I need to vent my completely one-sided story about the whole thing. 

I don't know, maybe I was just spoiled with my last rescue. All Breed Canine Rescue was amazing to work with. I say work with rather then for for because that's just what it felt like. I felt included in the organization. From the day I picked up my first foster I  felt they respected me and trusted my opinion about everything. I was involved in the entire process with my fosters: vet care, training, interviewing potential homes, deciding on homes. Everything was easy. I still keep in contact with some of the ladies for advice or just some good old dog-world gossip. 

I'm not having a good experience with this rescue. My first conversation with the main woman running the place went well. She was extremely nice and easy to talk to. Then I set up the home interview. 

Now I didn't do a home interview with All Breed. I chatted on the phone with the founder a few times and I spent some time with the woman who gave me Beans but even though I agreed to it, the home interview just never happened. I didn't really know what to expect. I mean, I had did a couple home interviews for adoptions before so I kind of expected the same thing. You know, everything looks safe, people look sane, current pets are well taken care of, etc, but mostly just being friendly and chatting about the dog, getting a good impression. But holy crap, the woman who came to interview us, lets call her Jane, was intense. It started even before she got in the door! I pulled the classic "Oh so sorry, it's a little messy, te-he!"(it was freaking spotless) and I expected a polite "Oh no worries, I'm sure it's perfectly fine." but no. I got a "Yah, well it's good to see what your really like anyways." Bitch. 

The moment Jane walked in the door she turned and said "Do you keep your toilet seat up like that all the time?" Shocked at being bombarded even before I introduced her to Ryan and Callie, I stammered that when we were gone we closed the door because Callie gets into the garbage. "Well you know they make garbages that have lids on them..." was the response, followed by a lecture on how dogs shouldn't drink from the toilet. I  told her I agreed, but Callie had never tried to drink from the toilet but that didn't stop her. Oh and for some reason it was necessary to leave the bathroom door open, can't remember why. 

I don't do well with being told what to do, especially if I think it's stupid, my own ideas are way better, and the person telling me to do it is a total bitch. So by now I was bubbling in anger and resentment. Thinking things like "I'm going to shut that damn bathroom door all day ever day you stupid know-it-all." Ryan was feeling pretty much the same thing. She walked up the hall and told us the dogs would need to be separated at meal time. I told her I got why she'd say that, but I have pretty strict meal time rules and it wouldn't be a problem. In one ear out the other I swear. I'm sorry but I get that you need to hit all the talking points you had planned but I mean commmeee on. If the person your talking to, namely me, seems to have a good grasp on what your saying, common sense would say drop it, and move on to a new topic. 

I can't even remember all the ridiculousness that Jane said. One thing I remember is me saying that sometimes I take Callie rollarblading and joked that she doesn't really enjoy it if there's not another dog to run along with us and I got chastised because Callie obviously didn't like it because she wasn't in shape, or sorry "Trained for that." Like really? My half sighthound, in obviously excellent shape isn't "trained" to run? Kiss my ass.

It was only about a half hour meeting but it felt like years. Oh and to top it all off when Ryan proudly stated we had taken in about a dozen dogs in our day she smirked and said "Yah, well I've done over a hundred." 

And that was just the first day! 

Everything went fine for awhile, until I asked if Rocket was going to be put on a flea medicine for the summer. I was then told that if I rrrrrrrrreally wanted he could be, but she'd have to ask the lady in charge of finances. That should have been my first clue. When Rocket started to have bowel problems it was a complete hassle. The vet they wanted me to take him to was way out of town. This is a HUGE city with hundreds of vets for god sakes! It would have been a 40 minute drive without traffic! When I suggested maybe there was a vet in town I could take him to I could tell I stepped on toes. Eventually we had to get a volunteer to drive him out to the vet because I wanted him taken to the vet but couldn't get to the vet on transit. It was just such a process. I had to talk to one woman, who had to talk to another woman, who had to call the vet and arrange appointments, and on and on. 

When Rocket's peeing issues got bad, it was decided Jane would come give me some sterile containers to take a urine sample and give me "pointers." I almost died. I'd managed to avoid the devil lady for awhile but now I had no choice. To top it all off I was sick and kind of grumpy. Jane tried to tell me that both Ryan and I had to be home, but to save Ryan the experience I said it wouldn't be possible and quietly suggested that it was unnecessary any ways. I understand she wanted to see us both interact with Rocket but I had no intentions of getting another off-based lecture, and I was already trying to figure out a way to keep her out of my house and there by being trapped with her again. I was outside about ten minutes before Jane was supposed to be here, making sure there was no reason for her to even enter the lobby. I took the containers, and even after explaining I knew how to get a urine sample Jane made sure to go over the process a few times. We talked over Rocket's behaviour and Jane asked me a few questions here and there. A lot of her suspicions seemed to involve Ryan. It was like she though Ryan was beating the pee out of poor little Rocket. I made sure to set her straight there, Ryan is pretty much Rock's favourite person in the world. Jane had basically no suggestions on what to do, just test his urine for an infection. Way to go oh wise one. She had some other suggestions though (of course): I shouldn't jog with Rocket and should watch his exercise because he's not "trained for it" (again, really? And he's a damn Jack Russel, without exercise he's be bouncing off the walls), Rocket's leash clip was too heavy (Oh my! How has he lived this long with such a torturous weight!?), he should wear a harness, I shouldn't put Rocket in his kennel to calm him down (even though its the only place he will be calm). I can't even remember every thing but let me tell you, it was stupid and very unhelpful. I did, however, manage to keep her out of my apartment and the visit short. I also let it be known occasionally her ideas were dumb - I was sick and a little testy about everything.

Jane visit two over and done with we got the urine sample in and tested. Nothing was wrong. I sent the main woman a email saying that although I was happy Rocket wasn't sick, I was a little bummed the problem couldn't be cleared up with a round of medication. I also asked her why some of the new pictures I had been sending hadn't been put up, and asked if there was anything coming up they needed help with because I wouldn't mind being more involved. I must have hit some buttons because I got an email back that was anything but nice. Boy, this woman has the "Bitchy but professional" thing down pat. Its too bad I'm upset but Rocket's problem is obviously an emotional issue that needs work. They didn't put the new pics up because the volunteers who organise the website thought all the old ones were cuter. And what do I want to do, I don't have a car so it's not like I can drive anywhere. 

I was kind of shocked. I read the email I sent over and over, looking for a way it could be interpreted that would warrant that response. I sent both emails to friends asking for honest advice and they were left clueless. I most definitely stepped on some toes. I get the feeling it's the kind of organization where "We do it this way because we do, okay? Just do what your told" and I hate that more then anything. For instance the adoption process seems excessive. I truly believe there's a fine line between getting the right people for the right dog and scaring people away. The process for this rescue is on the verge of scaring people away. I don't disagree with the steps I just think it could be done better. They do a phone interview, talk by email, then a home interview, a little more talking, then they meet with the dog, and more talking. A phone interview is great. Gives a good first impression and gives a chance to kind of talk about the dog and bring up any issues. I don't disagree with the home visit either, most good rescues to it. That being said, I think don't think it's completely necessary. With my last rescue home visits were always suggested, but only really done if I, or a lady from the rescue, needed additional information or felt uneasy. Sometimes I'd just do the home visit and first meeting all in one. Most the time if I felt uneasy I just wouldn't go ahead with the adoption. I just think the adoption process has to be people friendly while keeping the dogs best interest in mind. The family who adopted Keisha passed up a few rescues with too strict policies because they were uncomfortable sharing too much information. I mean sure, the husband was a specialist in online privacy contracts but they still had a point. They seem to be the perfect adopters thus far so it's unfortunate other rescues didn't give them a chance. The point is to get these dogs adopted after all. 

To top everything off they just need to be involved in everything. I was given Rocket's potential homes contact info so we could work out a time to meet up. I told the rescue I'd set up a meeting and tell them how it went. Today I got a message telling me I need to include the rescue in each one of my emails. Come on now, is it necessary to be included in emails like "So when's good for you?" "How's 11?" "Umm, no good, how's 10?" "Thanks great! See you then!" "Ok call when you get close." Fuck off. As I mentioned I'm not good with being told to do things I think are ridiculous. I'm kind of on the line of sending an email with the whole "bitchy but professional" vibe she seems to be so good at and/or continuing to just not include her in emails. I think I've talked myself out of the bitchy email but I'm definitely not including her in any damn emails. 

Wow, long rant, but I needed to get it out. I by no means think I'm an expert, or better then these ladies at dog rescue. I know this is my first dog with them. I can also rationalise and understand their side of things on pretty much every issue. But I still think a lot of it is unnecessary. Jane shouldn't be shoving her training opinions down my throat. You don't see me going up to people on the street saying, "You know miss, your boy dog shouldn't have a pink  leash, that's just weird!" No, I simply hope to myself they grabbed the wrong leash on the way out of the house. And I don't appreciate being treated like an employee when I'm the one doing them the favour. Needless to say I've picked out a new rescue with the help of some of the ladies from All Breed. 

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