Dear Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership:
Well, you broke a little boy's heart today--a heart that was set on Marnie, the Sky Terrier. He had hoped to gather her into his heart and into his arms and take her home. But, somehow, we didn't meet your standards for Responsible Pet Ownership.
I'm sorry, but I beg to differ. First of all, please note that I'm a responsible world citizen--I opted for a shelter dog rather than some pure bred AKC Kennel pup. I fully realize that there are already enough dogs in the world that no one wants--why make more? I'd also like to point out, for good measure, that both of my previous dogs were spayed.
I filled out your elaborate form--asking questions about my household, the number of adults, the number of children, their ages, any current or previous pets (and what happened to them), the size of our yard, and our daily routine of being in and out of the home.
I spent a good 90 minutes in a telephone interview with the dog's current foster mom talking about why we were wanting to adopt and what we were looking for in a dog, asking questions about Marnie to try to determine if she 'fit' us and we 'fit' her.
I went out of my way--on a very busy weekend--to drive my son up to PetsMart at Castleton to meet and visit with Marnie...and he loved her. I wasn't sure he would because he had his heart set on a husky puppy (rather than a 5-year-old dog), but he ended up falling in love with her. At the end of the visit, I met with the foster mom and we made arrangements for a home inspection later in the week.
Then, last evening, I got the phonecall from the foster mom saying that our application for Marnie had been rejected. We'd been turned down because the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership was nervous that we don't have a fence around our sizable yard. Really.
Gosh. Somehow I've managed to own two dogs for over twenty years...somehow my children have managed to stay alive--in SPITE of my irresponsibility in not having a fenced in yard. And I resent the insinuation that the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership cares more about Marnie than we would.
Can we just step back a minute here for me to point out something. This is a shelter dog. This is a dog that No. One. Wants. Otherwise, she wouldn't BE IN A SHELTER. Do you get it? WE wanted her. She would be in a home with a family that would love her like we've loved our previous dogs. We would feed her and make sure she got proper vet care. She would have lots of attention and live the life that a good dog should. We weren't planning on throwing her out into traffic like some canine version of Frogger. Yeah, it does get pretty congested here in the cul-de-sac we live on....
And so, we start over--with choices from the ARPO off the list because we know we not good enough for them. Hopefully, we'll be considered fit parents with our second choice....
Good bye, Marnie, and good luck with whatever family is responsible enough to have you.
Christine C. Schaefer