Monday, May 14, 2012

Adapting a Truism

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of sharing three adoptable dogs from Silverwalk Hounds with a mom and her autistic son. B. is so gentle with dogs, loves family dogs he spends time with and wanted one for his own. Each dog had her (they all were girls) issues: Mami is very shy, Molly T. has her OCD and Darlin' Clementine just would not walk with the young man though she was very social with him. So, out came Sweet Pea - already spoken for - but wow, did she and he hit it off, esp. when she took the leash in her mouth and took B. for a walk instead of the other way around :).

Sweet Pea - yes, as sweet as she looks

I normally strongly suggest an adult dog for a first dog. It just makes sense - the adult dog is already trained (at least basically), will let a new dog owner make mistakes w/o long term consequences (for the most part) and adapt to a new household easily w/o the house training, chewing, charm of a puppy.

What we noticed, however, with this autistic boy, was the "need for a dog with a blank slate; someone who wasn't already pre-programmed but could grow with him to how he works, talks, and interacts."  We saw that with Sweet Pea, who already has a home waiting. I called Alice, the director of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary and sent them over there.

B. found his dog. To his credit, when Alice asked what type of dog he wanted, he said a Beagle; man after my heart! Together, B., his mom and Alice looked at a couple dogs Alice had chosen from my quick phone call. As his mom says, despite her promises to herself to not get a puppy, that's what they did - she and Alice were able to articulate (note the quote above) what we saw with Sweet Pea  - that a puppy would better adapt to B. and his way of interacting and he to her. They are doing very well,  Mom has raised puppies before so not a whole new thing.

What we all agree on is the fit - the right dog for the right person. People come looking for one type of dog and often end up with another because the fit is right. I'm sorry none of the SW dogs worked out but am ecstatic the dog from SH did. From where a dog is adopted is less important to me than that the dog is adopted and is the right dog. In my mission statement, I say "..dogs as trainable and desirable for adoption into homes for a very, very long time." Both the dog and adopter need to be happy - and I am happy to spend an afternoon helping to facilitate that goal - if not with a SW dog, then my next choice, as always, is with a SH dog :).

Congratulations to all - and to all, a wonderful home and life. Oh, and Sweet Pea? Her new home has two young girls just waiting for their new puppy :).


Jen said...

Great story ^^

I'm glad that lovely Sweet Pea has two little girls of her own!

heyitsjethere said...

Hey it's Jet here.

What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing.

From Mom... I love your philosophy and flexibility. What you did for this autistic boy and his family is priceless. Thank you.

Bassetmomma said...

That is so awesome! How wonderful that you could help figure out a good fit for B. I'm so glad to hear that Sweet Pea's home will have to little girls! :-)

snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

Yay - that's so cool that the little puppy got to find the perfect forever home!!

Wags to all,

Your pal Snoopy :)

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

That's so great. I think a dog can do amazing things for an autistic person, and so glad B and his mom found one! Sounds like Sweet Pea is in for some good times.

Pamela said...

That's wonderful that you were able to help that young man find his forever friend, even if it meant you didn't get to home some of the Silverwalk pups. I hope their forever family finds them soon.

But until that happens, they're very lucky to be with you.