Searching for a corgi

There are times I am a bit naive. I have an idea about how the world works and then I find out that my idea has no relationship to reality. I never would have thought to feel betrayed about the world of dog rescue, but disillusioned is exactly what I am feeling.

Background Reading

It’s hard to tell where to start this story. Many moons ago, when I first entertained the idea of getting a dog, I picked up a book on raising a dog and discovered a pet shop is not the place to acquire a pet; the only ethical place to get a dog is a reputable breeder or a rescue. Truer words have never been written.

Even the term “reputable breeder” has a lot of room for argument. I’ve seen knowledgeable dog people breed dogs with thyroid conditions without caring that it’s a genetic condition. I’ve seen winning kennels overproduce puppies trying to get that “one winner.” It’s very difficult to know where to draw the line.

I while ago I made the decision that I would only get dogs from rescue.

Over the years people who know me and know I am a mildly knowledgeable dog owner have asked me questions about getting a dog. I’ve counseled many people that if they want a specific breed to go to a breed rescue; dogs come through rescue for lots of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with the dog itself.

The Search Begins

My lovely, talented, adorable, and otherwise perfect boy Finn is getting older. Now 14+, he is arthritic, deaf, and pretty blind. Still, he loves his kibble and is always willing to go for a walk (though they have to be short walks now.) As long as he’s happy, I’m happy.

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Still, he is getting older and a few years ago I decided to apply to a breed rescue in case “the perfect dog” showed up.

I’ve wanted a corgi for years, so I applied to Columbia River Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club and Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club (Washington). Corgis are not thick on the ground, so I wasn’t expecting to get a dog immediately  But in two years, I would have expected a phone call acknowledging they had received my application and that I was on a waiting list. I’ve applied a couple times, sent emails, and even called. Nothing.

In the last year I’ve also applied to Golden Gate Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fanciers (Northern California) and Cardigan Welsh Corgi National Rescue Trust (national) and even (recently) the Corgi Connection of Kansas (they are on Facebook and seem to have a lot of dogs.) Only Corgi Connection of Kansas contacted me back; their first question was, how are you planning to get a dog all the way to Oregon?

I know it’s silly, but I’m shocked that so many rescues would be this… Lazy? Careless? Uninterested?

Recently the The Portland Oregon Corgi Meetup Group posted a picture from a local rescue, Herd U Needed a Home, that had a corgi. Within minutes I had filled out an application. I waited 48 hours (the amount of time the website recommended) and then called. I waited another couple of days and called. And emailed. On the Herd U Needed a Home Facebook page it said the dog had an adoption “pending.” And the dog went off the page of adoptables. So I hoped he found a home. Then he reappeared. So I called again. Finally I got an email that said, “He has been adopted.”

I’m have no desire to point fingers. I am sure this group is doing good work and was just over busy. They are volunteers doing this in their spare time for the love of dogs.

But really?

Plan B

Okay, so the advice I’ve been giving to people for years about going to a breed rescue and being patient doesn’t seem to be working out in this case. I’ll admit to doing some soul searching about “do I really want a corgi”. I THINK I’ve made a decision to just keep a spot open for the perfect dog (corgi) to come along until either I’m dogless (in which case I’d just go get someone cute) or more settled into life in Salem (and really KNOW I need a dog,)

That’s a great plan, but anyone who knows me knows that I’m incapable of giving up on a goal. So, recently I’ve been doing a daily search of all the pounds and rescues I can find to check out if any corgis show up.

In the 15 years since I’ve last searched for a dog, the world of rescue has changed.

First: Chihuahas. The last time I was looking for a dog, it was practically unheard of to find a dog under 40lbs in the pound. Now… well, frankly if they don’t outnumber pitbulls, it’s a close call.

Second: “Second Chance” Programs. It is possible that these existed the last time I was in the market, but they were not nearly as prevalent. The concept is pretty simple; big (or at least bigger) dog shelters in population centers go to smaller shelters and take younger, healthier, more adoptable dogs to their bigger shelter in order to get them adopted. The Oregon Humane Society, for example, posted it had 196 adoptions last week; not all of those adoptions are dogs, obviously, but that is A LOT of animals.

In theory, I don’t have a problem with this. A lot of animals get adopted and everyone wins. I hear grumbling from friends that OHS is not as selective as they should be with matching animals with owners, but it’s impossible to have a foolproof system.

What I do find disheartening about this is that there are dogs that I have seen in smaller pounds or humane societies for an adoption fee of $100 or so; when they are shipped up to OHS, the fee jumps to $200-$300.

Obviously, it’s a supply and demand situation. It’s senseless to get upset that an unwanted dog gets more expensive the further north it goes.

That doesn’t stop it from making me feel a little icky.

The Real Logistics of the Situation

So, until something changes I guess I’ll be combing through dog shelters for a corgi. Daily searches of 36 counties should be that bad…

Oh, and the private rescues.

And Craigslist? And Petfinder and Petango and and Adopt-A-Pet and Rescue Me!

Shocked yet?

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