Sunday, June 26, 2011

SEMI-ADOPTED: What a Difference a Week Makes

If Karina made the case that people should adopt dogs based on their sweetness alone, then Jagger makes the case that dogs are flexible and adaptable. More humans should be like dogs.

Last Saturday, Jagger barricaded himself under the dining room table.

This Saturday, Jagger let strangers approach and pet him.

Despite his progress, I still thought Jagger might be a middle to long termer with the rescue because of his age and size. So imagine my surprise when Jagger's Petfinder listing caught the eye of a couple this week. They came to meet him at adoption day this weekend.

When they first approached, Jagger did his "I'm a five year old boy hiding behind my mom on the first day of kindergarten" routine. Once he showed his face, he warmed up to the woman, but was a bit leery of the man. They went to look at other dogs available for adoption, but really had their hearts set on Jagger. You can tell when people really want a dog. They keep looking back over their shoulders to make sure no one else might be interested in the pooch.

We explained Jagger's situation with being returned to the rescue and what he needs some work on. With a fenced-in yard, dog experience, and the willingness to work with him, the couple had a strong application. Because of our experience with him early on this week, we decided to do a trial period or a "foster to adopt" set-up. We want the couple to have a really good idea of what life will be like with Mr. Mick Jagger in their presence. They'll keep him for two weeks, and then decide for sure if they think he's a good fit for their lives.

I know some rescues do two-week trial periods as standard operating procedure before adoptions. I see the utility of these test runs; it helps people make informed decisions before making lifelong commitments. However,  it's not a usual practice for other rescues like ours. I would imagine many dogs could get returned because people might treat the trial period just as they do a rental from Netflix.

I'm curious to know your experience with trial periods. Do they work? Do they not work? In the mean time, cross your paws that it works out for Jagger!*

* But I will miss him like a mom sending her 5-year-old boy off to school on the first day of kindergarten.


  1. I kinda hate that couple. Hehe.
    who wouldn't love that face?

  2. I'm ALL for trial periods. It really does help make an informed decision and most of the time you get smitten in that time frame anyway, so that's great for Jagger.

    Best of luck!!!!

  3. We usually do a foster-to-adopt period - but we were having the same discussion just last night about how seriously people view it. On the plus side, with the FTA, we have a very high rate of successful adoptions, but yes, we do wonder whether people take it a little too lightly

  4. Good God, what a gorgeous brindle mastiff-man. Looks like its working out for him--yay! I'll keep rooting for him.