Important READ THIS before deciding to Adopt or Foster

(reposted from Romanian Dog Owners Facebook page).

Those in rescue know the importance of decompression to a newly rescued/arrived dog. We do our best to stress this concept to adopters and fosters.


Many people wanting to return their foster dogs or adopted dogs express behaviour concerns within the first 72 hours and are ready to give up. By the time you take a new dog into your home as a foster or an adopter, it has gone through a world of change. Some of these dogs are owner surrenders to shelters. They were living a lovely life in a home, they went for a car ride with their family and suddenly they are trapped in a tiny cold kennel at a shelter. Others may have lived alone on a chain in a yard their whole life. Now they are surrounded by strange people, strange sounds, and strange smells. Some may have been born on the streets and have only ever known pain, abuse, suffering, and constantly searching for refuge and food.


Some of these dogs are strays that got lost and couldn’t find their way home. Some of the dogs are street dogs, who have never had a home and have no idea they want one.


At some shelters these strange people are suddenly sticking them with needles and putting them through strange temperament tests. They are absolutely petrified, terrified, bewildered & confused. Then a rescue or foster comes in to save them, but the dog doesn’t know that. They are loaded up in vans and cars and are driven across town to somewhere they can stay for the time being until all relevant health checks and vaccines are completed. After spending some time in a foster home or boarding house or kennels, then it’s time to be put in strange van, with many other scared and confused dogs, for a 2 to 3 day trip into another country.

If this was a person they would be broken down and seeking help. Mentally and emotionally a human would be exhausted by all this, especially the not knowing what the hell is going on around them. The dogs on the other hand, in the eyes of some fosters or adopters, are, it seems, expected to know when and where to potty, what they can and can’t chew on, to sleep quiet in a new home, and to be so excited to meet new friends. For some dogs, they make the transition okay. Others make so many doggy mistakes and are given up on because they take longer to adjust and need more guidance.


Unfortunately for the dogs people forget that they can’t talk. They are unable to tell you and us what they need to feel safe and comfortable in this new environment. They bark, they cry, they howl, they growl; hell they may even air snap, they try to express their concerns in doggy language the only way they know how. They don’t know what we want, they have to be taught what we want. They aren’t perfect dogs. Many are broken, some are just bruised, but they all need you. And they need you to be patient and give them time. After all, if you brought home a new baby from hospital and it was doing all these things, crying, screaming, filling its nappy 10 times a day for you to clean up, sucking on comfort blankets, howling to try to tell you something, theyre hungry, theyre thirsty, theyre uncomfortable, YOU WOULDNT JUST TAKE YOUR BABY BACK TO THE HOSPITAL AND SAY YOU DONT WANT IT WOULD YOU. So why is a dog any different ?


Fostering and adopting isn’t always pretty, it isn’t always clean, it isnt always smooth, but in the end once your new dog gains its confidence and feels safe and secure, its always always absolutely worth it. It’s our job to love them and train them and give them a sense of safety and reassurance. IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DO THIS, IF YOU AE NOT WILLING TO COMMIT TO THESE ANIMALS YOU HAVE MENTALLY MADE A PROMISE TO WHEN YOU CHOSE TO FOSTER OR ADOPT, THEN PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DONT FOSTER, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DONT ADOPT. These poor broken souls have already been through so much, don't adopt one or foster one until you are absolutely sure you are up for the commitment and the challenge.


Give them the very very very vital months decompression time that they deserve so they can do what they do best, and learn to love you. Because they will IF YOU CAN ONLY GIVE THEM YOUR PATIENCE AND TIME. That first month is so very very very vital...................... it really is and if you cannot solidly commit to that, then please, dont contact us to adopt or foster. You're not the kind of person that needs a rescue dog and they dont need you if you cannot commit for at least a month to give them settling time. I wont lie, often its 3 months before you notice any real change, so whilst I say a month, really, the kindest adopters allow 3 months for a dog to change and settle. I dont think its too much to ask, but for some people it is, so I would say don't adopt if you cant give it that time. Time is the most precious important factor in any adoption.