Monday, July 13, 2015


Someone called the VGSR hotline about giving up a dog. Both owners were in the military and both were about to be deployed. The dog was living in an apartment with a relative in violation of the rental agreement. I called and asked for a couple pictures to verify that it actually was a German Shepherd Dog. Everything else about the dog sounded great. One year old male, housetrained, kid-, cat-, dog-, and people-friendly. The pictures showed him to be a shepherd so I made plans to go meet him on Saturday on my way home from finalizing Roo's adoption.

The dog checked out to be as he was represented. There were two small children in the apartment just about his height. There was a cat under a sofa playfully sticking out a paw to engage the dog in play, but the dog just watched. I can't say that I did any actual temperament test other than observe him. He hopped right into a crate in my van and we came home.

His name is Angus, a year and four months of age, already neutered, and supposedly up to date on vaccines but there were no vet records to verify that. He came home and met Barkley and Trooper in the dog yard with no problems. He came indoors in the evening and met everyone else. He barks a bit more than I would like, but he went into a crate next to Sparky and Barkley at night and settled down quietly as soon as we went upstairs out of his sight.

Adopting out this one seems like a no-brainer, since he would fit with pretty much any household situation. I collected a few pictures and sent off an email to the VGSR group inviting people to shop him around to approved adopters, figuring I'd get a number of quick responses. And I did. As I expected, this dog meets a lot of "requirements" that many people impose for dogs they want to adopt. I got a number of emails from case workers and soon from interested adopters and I'm in the process of sorting them out.

I had mentioned in my email that I'd like to move him quickly because there were two more owner-surrender calls that had come from my area. That statement prompted this response from some officious little bitch who is a part of the rescue:  "I thought our mission statement was about quality not quantity. Shouldn't be rushing any dog unless you are sure it's a good fit."

Angus meeting Barkley
Angus meeting Barkley and Trooper
At least this person had to good sense to send her comments to me alone rather than hitting "reply all" and including the entire group. I sent her a one liner, thanking her for her expert advice, in light of the fact that she had fostered and adopted out four, count them, four, dogs for VGSR in the past year. She even names each of her former fosters in the signature block of her email. If I did that, my signature block would be several pages long. My blood wasn't boiling but it was still simmering and I was afraid that my sarcasm might have gone over her head so I did send another email politely suggesting that if she didn't have anything useful to contribute, perhaps she would STFU.

She didn't respond, I'll give her credit for that, so that's the end of it, but it really does demonstrate why I've pulled back as much as possible from VGSR in the past year. It's become a haven for people impressed by their own smug sense of self-importance. If the dog had come to me from a personal contact, I would have taken him in under another group as I did with Roo, Theo and most of my recent fosters. I hope to get him adopted this coming weekend because there's any number of VGSR approved applicants for whom he would be "a good fit."

The prior owners said he loved to swim, so I took him on a
walk with Maya down to the river. His leash skills aren't great.

They were right about him loving to swim. The Rivanna was
running high and strong, and very muddy, from recent rains.

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