Some of you already know that about a month ago we re-homed a Newfoundland, “Splash.” We are Splash’s third home and she is doing great with our kids, the other campers, and the hundreds of folks she has met at various kid sporting events (she’s even learned not to get up every time someone yells at a hockey game).
We give you this background because when we re-homed her, we had been told that she had some behavior problems. The breeder who was caring for her said she had some dog aggression issues that she thought stemmed from a lack of confidence. The breeder suspected that once Splash had a stable place to live and people she could bond with she’d regain that standard Newfie affability.
As much as Splash’s previous human’s loved her, their homes weren’t the best place for Splash to succeed. We think this is a critical component of re-homing a pet: sometimes past issues don’t mean future problems. Sure there are some things that changing an environment and a family can’t fix, but there are plenty that a little (ok a lot) love and attention can resolve.
You might also note that we use the word “re-home” rather than “rescue.” Splash was not being held by Somali pirates nor did Seal Team 7 drive down to San Diego to get her (though driving with them through the grapevine would have been cool) so we’re reluctant to say that we “rescued” her. Sure there are some times when a person or group really rescues a pet from a bad situation, but often we are simply giving pets an opportunity to succeed in a new loving home and that doesn’t mean that their old humans didn’t love them too.
Now if we could just get Splash to stop sneaking downstairs at night and eating the kids’ lunches off the kitchen table…