Contributed by: erik Friday, May 23 2014 @ 11:03 am EDT
THESE ARE CONSIDERATIONS WHEN GIVING UP OR ADOPTING A GSD DECISIONS DECISIONS
In rescue I am never short on dealing with family issues. At times you have to be a psychoanalyst to sort through the problems we face and have to deal with on the spot in order to adopt or accept an dog into rescue.
These issues include:
1. Should we give up our dog
2. Should we adopt a dog
3. Is a German Shepherd the right dog for us
First and foremost, the decision to relinquish a family pet. This is a difficult decision and one that should be thought through thoroughly from every aspect before giving away your pet.
A family pet is a family member. Dealing with their sudden disappearance from the family unit is almost like dealing with a death of sorts. If you love the animal, as most pet owners do, the decision to give the pet up is a tough one. Of course there are extenuating circumstances that can cause this, which have no remedy but relinquishing the pet. These triggers are issues such as change of home status, loss of a home, job status, illness, finances, training and time to be with the pet. Many times certain of these are complete deal breakers and the owners have no choice in the matter but to relinquish the pet. At times however rethinking things such as making time and training can be easily dealt with by adjusting your life to suit the animal or not moving to that HAO or condo that doesn’t permit dogs is always an option.
No one should change their lives to their personal or family detriment to accommodate a pet, but if you own an animal, there is an implied obligation that you accepted when you got him or her to love and care for them to the best of your ability forever. Training and interaction build bonds that last a lifetime. A GSD will live in a closet with you if he knows he’s loved. Dogs need very little besides affection and care, training and direction and confidence and trust. Beyond these elements, they are just there for you regardless of your circumstances or status. They don’t care what you look like, what you do, who your friends are or what car you drive. They just want to be with you.
Any decision to relinquish a pet should be done with all of the above in mind. If giving up your pet is what is necessary, please do not throw him away or create a trauma for him by dumping him or giving him to someone that will harm him in any way. Consider that your dog has feeling just like you do. He feels a loss, he feels pain, he feels rejection and he feels trust. To hurt him on any level is just wrong. By turning him into a qualified rescue you provide for his continued care and that we will eventually become re-homed with a family that will give him the love and nurturing he needs for his entire life.
Should we adopt is a key question to ask yourself, because pet adoption is a commitment. Accepting a pet into your life is not a convenience, not a piece of furniture that can be discarded. If you are a student and you want a pet, he is yours, not until graduation, but for life. If you want a pet for a particular purpose and plan in dumping him after that, you are doing a tremendous disservice to him. Adoption implies a life long commitment and a guaranty to the animal that your will be his companion, caretaker, leader and protector forever. A commitment to adopt should not be taken lightly and once adopted and animal is then your family member and your responsibility. There are many articles on this web site that explain the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of adopting a GSD. They are not simple dogs. They require time and effort to gain their trust and they need to exercise their brain constantly. They need physical conditioning and a job as well as attention, training and time. If you cannot provide all of these elements, a GSD may not be the right dog for you.