It’s a Dog, Not an iPhone

Quick disclaimer – I’ve never had an iPhone so this entire blog is based on conjecture and observation.

Anyway, I’m told the great thing about an iPhone, and other Apple products, is that you take them out of the box, turn them on and like magic, they are ready to go!  They’ve got your favorite things built-in and with Siri are ready to respond to our command – no training needed.  Guess what, it doesn’t work that way with dogs!

As many of you already know, my breed of choice is Newfoundlands.  Talise (Tali to her friends) is my third Newfie and while she is no Splash or Zambi yet, she is a good 1-year old puppy with potential to be a really good dog.  I say potential because getting her to be a good dog will take work on my part.  She was not a good dog out of the box and while she now listens pretty well it didn’t happen overnight.  I’m stating what must seem like the obvious because there are still pet parents (or wanna-be pet parents) who just don’t seem to get it.

As part of my Newfoundland fetish, I work with the Newfoundland Club of Northern California and foster Newfoundlands.  I don’t do constantly; 3 or 4 times a year I (which means my family) takes in a Newfie for some period of time while a new forever home is located.  I don’t select the new forever homes, I simply work with the dog during the interim period.  Recently we fostered an amazing 7-month old brown Newfie, “Remi.”

Remi was originally part of a family in the Bay Area but in less than 72 hours the family decided that Remi needed to be rehomed!  Why?  Because she was a dog!  A dog who needed time and attention and training.

Remi came to live with us for about 10 days.  She clearly needed training: she had a few accidents in the house and needed some on-leash skill development.  But she was amazing with our teenage kids and their friends, great with our other dogs, played well with the dogs at Pet Camp and got along with Stan Lee, our office cat.

With this knowledge, Remi was placed in a home in Central California with a 31-year-old, single guy.  This guy had full disclosure about all of Remi’s strengths and weaknesses.  Well, one week later he brought her back to me.  Why?  Because he doesn’t have the time to work with her.

Really?  Remi is asking you to devote a few weeks or maybe even a month or two of training and in return, you’ll get a wonderful, loving dog for 10 or maybe even 12 years.  That’s an amazing return on your investment – yet some people are just not willing to look beyond the burden of today for a lifetime of rewards.  I get that it would be way easier if you took a dog home and it worked like an iPhone; if dogs came with Siri and could follow your commands instantly.  But have you ever seen an iPhone do agility, roll on its back for a belly rub, or offer a snuggle when you needed it most?

I’m glad to report that this past Saturday I drove Remi to meet a potential new family and learned just yesterday that they were going to adopt her!  I know that’s amazing news, but I’m still going to vent (just a bit) about those who have failed her.

If reading about Remi and the Newfoundland Club of Northern California has made you interested in Newfoundlands, the club, or making a donation to support dogs like Remi, you can read all about how to get involved here.

Thanks for reading.

Pet Camp has been offering award winning pet care for San Francisco’s dogs and cats since 1997.  If you’re a pet parent in the Bay Area in need of doggie day care, overnight care for your dog or cat, dog training, bathing or pet transportation give us a call.