German style dog adoptions…

As many readers know, several months ago, Bill and I lost our beloved beagle, Zane, to canine lymphoma. Zane was a wonderful dog, and of the five we’ve had so far, he was probably the one who was closest to me. I’ve really been missing him.

Usually, when we lose a dog to death, we waste no time in getting another one to help ease the pain. This time, it’s taken a bit longer for us to start the process of adopting a new dog. It’s mostly because we’ve heard a lot of horror stories about Germans not wanting Americans to adopt from Tierheims. Based on my research, I’ve learned that many Tierheims in areas where there is a strong military presence, are reluctant to adopt to Americans because so many have abandoned their dogs when they’ve had to move. Some people take their dogs to the shelter because moving them is an expensive, inconvenient, logistical hassle. Some do because they’re sent to a place where it’s difficult to move an animal. And some people just plain don’t care about their animals.

Of course, it’s not wise to paint an entire group of people with a broad brush. Many Americans are responsible pet owners who would never dream of abandoning a family member– their dog or cat– in Germany or anywhere else. There are extraordinary circumstances, of course. Sometimes rehoming an animal is the right thing to do. Bill and I are committed to adopting dogs from rescues, and once we take one in, we’re committed to keeping them and moving them when it’s necessary, even if it costs a lot of money. We don’t have children, so it’s easier for us.

My German friend, Susanne, has been eagerly waiting for us to choose a new dog to bring into our home. For months, she’s been sending me profiles for dogs in need of homes. Germany, like the United States, has many rescue organizations hoping to place dogs in happy homes. We finally found a dog who looks promising. He was a hunting dog in Sardinia and he’s been moved to Hamburg in a foster home.

This morning, we had a meeting with a lady who rehomes dogs from Romania. She’s in a network of people working with dog rescues who can do home visits with prospective adopters, although she doesn’t work with the rescue that has the dog we’re looking at taking in. She was asked to meet with us because she speaks English, although she kept apologizing for her language skills (which I thought were perfectly fine). We talked for about an hour, and she took a look at our backyard to make sure it’s secure and offered us some tips. She said she’s going to give us a good report… so, if all goes well, we may have a new dog in our midst soon.

Arran was totally charming and she said she could tell he’s in a happy home because he was so relaxed and friendly. I could tell that she’s a true dog lover, too, because she told us about her four dogs and cat, as she babytalked with Arran. Although I was a bit worried about the process of adopting a dog in Germany, I was put at ease today… it was much like it’s been for the three beagle rescues we’ve adopted from in the United States.

I still think about Zane every day. I still miss him. A new dog can’t replace his memory, but I think it’s time to give a new dog a home. So hopefully, if we’re still able to travel with this coronavirus mess in effect, we will be able to go get him soon. At the very least, we did enjoy meeting a German dog rescuer. I hope to update the blog soon with pictures of a new family member.

Today’s featured photo was taken of Zane when he was about a year old and brand new to our household. His “big brother”, the late MacGregor, is looking on.


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