All the dog needs is NOT only love!
When we become very emotional in trying to save a dog, we can often forget whether we can actually provide the perfect home for the dog.
We may think we can give the dog the perfect home because we have lots of “love” to offer, but reality is, love is not really all that the dog needs.
I see lots of dogs being returned to shelter and eventually being put down because they were being rescued by people who thought all they needed to give the dog was love.
It feels good to be able to help an abused animal, it feels good to love a dog who has been neglected, it is normal to want to give this dog all that one has to offer, it is noble to want to give this dog a better life.
Unfortunately, the reality is, not everyone is in a position to give the dog the perfect home.
And the reality is, lots of these dogs who ended up in shelters were very loved and spoiled and pampered until they became so out of control that their owners needed to give them up with a broken heart.
If love was really the cure, these dogs would have been perfect as they have had an abundance of love growing up.
If all you have is “love”; unfortunately, you may not be the suitable person to adopt this dog.
When we see a dog in a shelter barking behind the fence looking at us with watery eyes, we will often think they are very sad and we will want to love them with everything we have.
I need to ask you to please stop right there.
Please ask yourself this question: What do you have, other than love, that makes you the suitable person to adopt this dog?
If you already have two dogs with a lot of issues who both require a lot of work, why would you want to take another project into your life that will take away the time you could have spent in helping your two dogs?
If you are a single mom with three children and you are struggling to give your three children what they need, why would you want to further dilute your already limited resources by taking money and time away from your children to try solve a problem you probably don’t have the time nor money for?
If you are a senior person in a wheel chair, why would you think you can provide the life a working large breed needs regardless of how much you may love this dog?
I know it sounds harsh. I know lots of you will not like to hear it. But what is even more harsh is seeing dogs being put down. Seeing dogs die because they end up with the wrong people.
A lot of people wanted to get a dog because they wanted the comfort and support when they were going through a tough time - but they chose a dog who actually needed more comfort and support than they did. They would both struggle until things became so bad the dog needed to be rehomed, euthanized, or being locked up in a house and never taken out.
A lot of people wanted to adopt a dog with very intense issues that they were not qualified to handle because they felt so bad for the dog.
They were so overwhelmed with emotion once they saw the dog they felt they must take the dog away from what they perceived to be a terrible place immediately, and they believed they could deal with the problems late.
Unfortunately, many people cannot deal with these problems at all because they simply don’t have what it takes, and the problems will just become worse and worse - until the day the dog passes, the dog would live a life filled with anxiety and stress, and the owner would live a life full of frustration, guilt and regret.
If you cannot swim, you will not apply to be a life guard. No matter how much you want to help, no matter how good your intentions may be, no matter how much “love” you have - if you cannot swim, you will only drown with the person you try to save.
When you see the dog you really want to save, please ask yourself if you are really in a position to adopt this dog before you dive in.
Do you have the knowledge and resources to rehab this dog?
Are you in a good place financially, emotionally, and physically to really provide this dog all that he/she needs in order to thrive?
Other than “love”, what do you really have to offer this dog? Have you dealt with this kind of issues before? Can you really commit and devote a large portion of your time, energy, and money in this dog?
If you are not in a position to adopt the dog, you can help by trying to find someone who can, you can help by finding a trainer for the dog, you can help by donating to the rescue for his food, medical care..., you can help by donating for proper training, you can help by sharing the dog’s story, you can help by volunteering at the shelter...etc.
You don’t need to show your”love” by taking this dog home if you don’t actually have the perfect home for this dog.
It takes more than “love” to help a lot of these dogs. You can offer your help in many ways. Please do not just make your decision based out of emotion.