When I first started fostering, it seemed my fosters were getting adopted so easily. Not necessarily within days, but when a family showed interest in that dog, the dog was adopted. It was when I was fostering Dahlia, that I encountered the reality of not all dogs getting adopted after their first meet & greet.
Dahlia was adopted after her first meet and greet, however; after her first night at her new home was returned to me. Which turned out to be what was supposed to happen, as Dahlia decided she was meant to be mine (Reference my Lost dog(s) post).
Sometimes a dog chooses us as they are who we need, other times they choose us as we are what they need.
To protect peoples privacy I am not using names in this blog
I’ve had a couple of fosters who were abused and scared of everything and everyone. They found their “safe” spot in my home and that’s where they stayed until they started gaining trust and confidence.
One of the dog’s was so afraid of men, he would growl anytime one walked by us. I had male friends come over, just to ignore the dog so he could start to trust and be less afraid.
An application came in for adoption, I agreed to take the dog to this family’s home and combine both the meet and greet and home inspection. Seeing how the dog interacted with the people in the house and even approached the male, on his own, led me to know that this was his family, and they knew it too.
I saw a video just last week of this once shy, scared dog, he was playing and having the time of his life. It was a beautiful sight.
My other fearful pup had to be walked by me just to get her out of hiding so the family who wanted to adopt her could see her. Despite her nervousness, she loved walks, so the family and I walked her and after the walk, they said they wanted her……I haven’t seen her lately but I did get a photo a couple months after her adoption, she was no longer hiding and was laying on the couch. I was told she also “hogs” the bed.
These two dogs knew the humans who would help them become the dogs they were meant to be.
On the flip side, I have had who had no need for a human to make them better, they were perfectly fine with who they were. The two that come to mind were pretty trusting and happy from day two (day one is always hard).
What surprised me with these two dogs is how they would display completely different personalities when they would meet families. I couldn’t understand it, at first, it made no sense to me that these dogs who were so kind and friendly with me and my friends, would turn into timid, shy, insecure dogs when families came to meet them.
One of my dogs choose her family, after about 3 or 4 others had come to meet her and passed her up for being too shy or “not the right fit”. When her family showed up, she knew it and took an instant liking to them. When they came two days later to pick her up, she greeted them at the door happy as could be! She found her family.
I found out a couple months ago, that the father of this family passed away suddenly, and that this dog was helping everyone through the grieve. She didn’t need a family to make her whole, she was meant to make this family whole again after a devastating death and she knew it.
Shortly after I had another foster, who barked and growled at one of his potential families, again I didn’t understand where this behavior came from. Even during the home visit, the dog curled up to me and wanted nothing to do with this family. Who, by the way, were lovely people and even brought him a toy. But once again, somehow this dog knew he was needed elsewhere.
And sure enough, when he met his forever family, he just knew, he contently let them pet him and only had eyes for his future momma. I heard from his family recently, and they too are going through a loss and of course having the dog is helping a great deal…….And that’s when I fully understood it, sometimes a dog knows someone is going to need them, so they will wait for that family to find them and when they do you can see from the first interactions, that family and dog are meant to be…..