German shepherds have many fans out there, which sounds good, but if you are the one receiving phone calls and emails, you realize that it is not good at all.
Brandy was abandoned more than six months ago. She was left tied with a note somewhere in the outskirts of Athens, Greece. She was malnourished, agitated and confused.
When her rescue video was uploaded on Youtube I received so many emails that I was overwhelmed. This was a first. But Brandy was a first too, gorgeous, of a breed (well almost), so I guess for most people she was a catch. Of all the mix breeds out there, finally a nice breed to adopt.
I started realizing after carefully reading all the emails, that most people were interested in the breed, not her character. And she is not even purebred. The more I explained about a dog’s general needs and what kind of home would be ideal for her, the more I kept getting a “I know German Shepherds”.
Seriously? That’s like saying “I know Argentineans. I just started dating one and I already know what food he likes, if he snores at night and what his preferences will be in bed. I used to date one years ago, and I know the type”.
Purebred dogs (or almost purebred – it’s the looks that matter anyway) are the most difficult ones to rehome, mainly because of the above reasons. People tend to think they know because they’ve had one, because they always wanted one, or because they googled the breed”. Well you can’t google Brandy, because she is unique, like all dogs are.
Besides, the typical idea of having a German Shepherd in Greece is this: ” Someone to guard my property”. Really guys? I must have received a dozen emails from people wanting to have Brandy as a lawn ornament in the garden of their cottage! A cottage they visit every other week – oh that’s great!
That’s exactly why we rescued her, so that she can have interaction with the humans she adores every 15 days. What more does a dog need? A couple of them actually insisted that she would live as a queen there. Oh thanks, I had no idea that queens sleep in the dirt and spend their entire lives trapped from the inside of a fence.
After a few months of all that, I became so wary and skeptical, that every time I received a call about “the German Shepherd for adoption” I would pretend I was busy, promise to call them back soon, hang up and never call them back.
At some point, I felt like I was preventing her from being adopted. But you can’t prevent a dog from ending up in the home where they belong. If there is a home waiting for them, they will find it, one way or another. And there was something about the family that called two weeks ago, that when I promised them to call them back, I actually did.
It turns out that it was not A family, it was HER family. And she has been living with them for a week now. She is as happy as she ever was, she obeys them even thought she only met them ten days ago, she never stops licking them and showing them affection. She is not in garden, having visitors once every two weeks. She has her bed in the living room, she is a family member and she is where she belongs.
If you are a new rescuer or a foster parent, I only have one advice: wait. Wait until your gut tells you it’s ok. You will know who is the right family, and who isn’t. You might have to wait months, or even years, but it’s worth the wait. Rehoming a dog and feeling “weird” about it, only means that you just separated the dog from the family they really belonged to.