We recently took in two little ones…surrendered shortly after they were purchased (for a pretty penny, I might add), because their people decided they either weren’t dog people, or that a puppy was too much work. One approached us about surrender; we were so grateful that they wanted the best for their little boy. The other was talked out of selling the puppy on Craigslist. Thankfully, they agreed.
In both cases, we were just happy to be able to get them to families who understood the commitment that comes with adoption – or purchase – of a dog of any age.
We have an extensive application process and contract, but it got me to wondering what the dogs would put in a canine contract for people if the tables were turned. It might go something like this:
You realize that I am not a shiny penny or an impulsive decision. You have thought through the choice to add someone to your family, and the time and expense that goes with it.
You promise not to treat me like that fancy bike you got that sits in the garage. I am not a toy to be played with for two weeks and forgotten.
You know that neither one of us is perfect. We all come with some baggage. I will try to leave mine behind if you will do the same and we can make a fresh start together.
I promise to be patient with you when you leave things out that could get me in trouble, and you promise to be patient with me when I chew them up. We will both agree that it is better and safer not to do either.
You know that training is a lifelong commitment – and that it is not just for me. You are half the equation. If you do your part, I will do mine.
If you have little humans, you will remember to watch out for them AND for me and you will help to raise us together with respect and kindness.
You realize that I am not a cat. No offense. But I am not happy living a solitary life. I need human contact and friends to be a well-rounded canine.
If you got me as a puppy or youngster, you recognize that I WILL grow up. And you will promise to still love me when I am old and grey or, heaven forbid, sick, injured or disabled – and need you most.
You commit that if – for any reason – you can no longer keep me, that you will not dump me at a shelter, turn me out, or sell me to the highest bidder. You will take as much care in finding me a good, safe and loving home or reputable rescue as I take in being your loyal, trusting companion.
If you agree to the above, by all means…please bring me home. I would like to be yours. All others need not apply. Thank you.