ARE YOU GETTING A RESCUE DOG?
If you’ve been fortunate enough to find a rescue dog that is available for adoption and seems to be just what you are looking for, don’t wait-–make an application as soon as you can. We have been going through trying times this past year and adoptable dogs are at a premium.
Once you’ve made an application to adopt and have been approved, make sure that you are prepared to welcome your new family member into your home. A majority of the dogs currently available for adoption are being brought into Canada from other countries. Dogs being rescued from Mexico, the Bahamas, and various places in the United States can arrive here by air or by land but, regardless of the mode of travel, the outcome is the same.
If your new pup is coming into Canada from another country, you will receive a notification as to how he will be travelling, the date of travel and an approximate time you will be able to go and meet your dog. If this is the first time you have done this, there are a few things you should be aware of before you get on the road.
Before you leave home you should have a cooler bag packed with a jug of water, some good quality treats and a couple of tasty hot dogs. You should also have a crate which you can secure with a seat belt in the back of your vehicle. If you don’t have a crate, make certain that you have a pet safety belt or harness for the back seat of your vehicle. You should also have a couple of towels or a large blanket in the car. Most importantly, be sure that you have two leashes with you and a good quality adjustable collar or harness.
Make certain that you allow plenty of time to arrive at the designated spot but be prepared to wait. Dogs that are brought into Canada from the United States are generally transported by land in vans or trucks. You can expect to meet with the rescue group at or near the border by 6:00 PM but the vehicle may not arrive until 10:00 PM or later. When travelling by land, weather and road conditions play a big part in getting across the country. Also, when the vehicle in question arrives at the border, it can be stopped and delayed for up to several hours.
This may be a difficult time for you but it’s even harder for the dogs being transported. These dogs have been kept in crates for several days and probably only let out briefly on route to have a drink and relieve themselves. When they finally arrive at the designated area, they will be tired, hungry and thirsty but, more importantly, they will be fearful.
You may be tired yourself and anxious to get your pup and leave immediately for home. This is not what you should be doing. Remain calm and clip one leash onto the dog while in the crate. Talk softly and offer your dog a treat while you lead him out of the crate. Then, while offering him another treat and a dish of cold water, carefully put another collar on the dog which is attached to a second leash.
Your new friend has travelled a long distance; he doesn’t know you and has no idea of what’s going to happen next. He will be nervous and confused so take the time to sit quietly with him for several minutes so he feels less stressed. Try walking him around the area, with two leashes attached, so he can stretch his legs and relieve himself.
Once you feel that the pup is calm and a little more relaxed, get him into your own vehicle by encouraging him with a treat. You can either put him into the crate in the back of your car or have him properly secured in the back seat with your pet safety belt or harness.
On your way home, have some music playing softly and talk to him. If your pup feels comfortable, he will likely sleep during the ride home. If he is still feeling anxious, stop the car and try to console him by gently talking and petting him until he feels more comfortable.
Once you arrive at your home, gently lead your new pup out of the car, while still attached to two leashes, and walk him around the property letting him smell the surroundings at his own pace. You can also offer him a small amount of food and water, and again, do so slowly without rushing him. If he refuses the food, leave it and don’t try to force him to eat.
When it’s time to go inside, lead your new pup indoors and be sure the door is tightly closed behind you before you remove the leashes. Your home should be empty (i.e. no other pets or children at home) and let your new friend wander around the main floor of your home and check out his new surroundings. Hopefully he will find a nice, cozy corner and settle in for the night. After a good night’s sleep, you will be able to start introducing your pup to his new environment.
All rescue dogs are different and come from various backgrounds, some good and some bad. So be patient and understanding. Expect an accident or two but, with lots of love and training, you should soon enjoy your new furry friend.