First Impressions

I am a rescue volunteer – one who seldom comes into direct contact with the dogs I work to help. Most of the work I do is with people online – opening, reading, responding to and forwarding emails.
This last weekend was pretty typical. I read three – or maybe ten – emails from people wanting to surrender their extremely sweet, very intelligent, gentle and loving Mini Aussie because: they couldn’t afford their medications, they didn’t have the time the dog needed, the dog had nipped at a visiting child, they were moving, they were having a baby, they wanted to go on vacation, the dog was too stubborn to be house-trained, and/or their kids were bored with the dog.
I opened several emails with the request to: send all the information about all available dogs, to make arrangements for someone’s elderly father to adopt a puppy, to chastise a volunteer who didn’t offer them a dog, to reconsider adopting a dog into a family where he would be left outdoors, to complain about the length of the adoption application, to protest the need for personal references.
Maybe I’m being small and petty, but it is so much easier to work with people who are courteous and respectful of a rescue volunteer’s time than it is to work with a demanding, complaining, short-tempered individual who seems to think the rescue was set up to administer to their needs.
I admit that – after 8 years – I roll my eyes when I open an email that begins with “I have tears running down my face as I write this….” but I also realize that some people actually do. I pray that I will never be faced with anything so horrible that I am forced to give up my dogs. I cannot imagine what that could possibly be, but I know that it would have to be very very bad, so I read the emails and try not to judge.

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