On Commitments

If you follow my blog you may remember reading my post The Butterfly Effect that I talked about personal responsibility in.  My rant for today is on a topic that I feel is very closely related: commitment.

IMG_0579This week alone Last Hope Rescue will be getting multiple dogs returned.  These are dogs that we thought we had adopted out into wonderful forever homes.  The dogs have been in the homes anywhere from a few weeks to over a year.  Each person has a different reason for returning the dog.  Each dog will now be back in foster care, taking up a spot that another dog, who is sitting and waiting to die in a shelter, could actually be in.  Each dog is now confused and let down all over again.

IMG_0118I was raised by strict parents.  Don’t get me wrong, they are great but they definitely had certain values that they felt very strongly about.  A big one was commitment.  I can remember literally crying while begging my mom to let me skip swim team practice and her response was always, “No, you made a commitment to the team, you have to go.”  And off I would go to uphold my commitment.

IMG_0156Why is it so acceptable to fail our commitments these days?  I feel like as a society, we feel entitled, and that sense of entitlement leads us to believe that we should never have to endure an uncomfortable situation.  We don’t deserve that.  We are entitled to our comforts.  And boom, it’s someone else’s problem.  Instead of sticking with our commitment, the moment the going gets tough, we decide it is someone else’s problem.

IMG_0508Marriages dissolve after a year.  Friends break their plans if something better comes up.  Workers quit their jobs rather than do a task they don’t like.  Adopters decide they don’t want their dogs anymore.  When did any of this become acceptable?

IMG_0136Adopting a dog should be a forever commitment.  There may be some bumps along the road.  Things might not always go exactly as envisioned.  You might get frustrated.  But all of this is just part of upholding your commitment.  Adopting a dog means you are committed to it for life, not for as long as it is convenient and easy for you.

IMG_0300I find it equally sad and frustrating that we are getting these dogs returned.  I am sad for the dogs because once again, their world is getting turned upside down, and now they will have to learn to trust a new person all over again.  Undoubtedly this will only get harder and harder for the dog.  I am frustrated because our foster homes are being taken up by dogs that should be living out the rest of their days with the family that adopted them.  And because that foster home is now full again, other dogs are dying that we could be saving.

IMG_0634I suppose I will probably offend some people with this post, but to be honest, I’m guessing those that I offend are probably guilty of failing some commitment that they have made.  I don’t aim to offend though; my hope is that maybe, just maybe, even one person will take their commitments a little more seriously after reading this and I will help save another life.  Once again, a girl can dream, right?

All dogs (and cat) pictured in this post are available for adoption.  Contact me at m.parr.lhr@gmail.com if you see one that tugs at your heart strings!    

39 thoughts on “On Commitments

  1. You said it, my friend!! I’m so sorry to hear about all the dogs being returned! It truly breaks my heart! This post is definitely needed in today’s society, where life seems to be dominated by speed and convenience…and not so much hard work.

    • You are exactly right! Speed and convenience rule while hard work seems to be the last avenue these days. It’s such a shame that lives are lost to this.

  2. This needs to be shouted…. Not only are these poor guys confused and hurt, their abandonment issues are compounded. People MUST cease viewing animals as material objects, disposable items. Pure and simple. Great message.

  3. That kitten picture is so sweet! I forgot you had taken those. Oh to live in a world where people are as committed to their animals as their animals are to them.

  4. I think you said something that needed to be said. People are definitely getting worse about keeping commitments–they don’t even seem to want to try anymore. At the first sign of trouble or when things get hard, they immediately throw in the towel. Heck, I’ve wanted to blow off commitments at times. Have I? No, not the ones that count, anyway, like agreeing to take responsibility for a life.

    People tend to forget that the best things in life are the things we have to fight and try hard for…giving up and letting others handle their failings should not be something done so easily and nonchalantly. There is an attitude in today’s society that someone else will handle it. And mostly, they are right (as much as it pains me to say) as someone like you or I who actually uphold commitments will try as hard as possible to fix or set right their mistake. I don’t do it for them but for the innocents who are tossed about like an afterthought. It’s tough to be responsible, but at least there are still responsible people in the world. Thank you for being one of them.

    • I agree so much with you. It’s tiring being the one to pick up the pieces but then those of us that care can’t watch the innocent lives suffer because of other people’s complacency towards life.

  5. LOVED your post! You are absolutely right about people and the lack of commitment. Only when it is convenient and easy. I just adopted Minnie from Wakulla as you know and while it hasn’t been smooth every day since she has been at our house I would never consider returning her. She is one of my kids, no matter if it’s 2 legs or 4!

  6. So glad you wrote about this Morgan. So frustrating for the rescue and heartbreaking for the ones being returned. Small issues become big issues because people aren’t willing to put in time and effort. So the dog grabbed a toy from the kid? The puppy chewed up something? The puppy barks to much? The dog pulls on the leash? Poor excuses for returning a dog to a rescue! It could all be corrected with time, patience and, here’s a new word-TRAINING! The fault does not lie with the animal. The fault lies with the human who is lazy, impatient, non-committed etc. Dogs/puppies need structure, routine and to know what you expect from them. You have to teach them these things! If the commitment(that was made when the adoption contract was signed) had been taken seriously, the adopter would not be returning the dog. Sorry for the rant.

    • I have YET to hear an excuse that I feel is valid for returning a dog. I suppose that there may be issues or situations that arise in which returning the dog truly is the best option, but again, I have yet to hear it. Like you said, it’s called TRAINING! Such a shame.

  7. Amen Morgan, very well said and thank you for saying it. All we can do is help them find a better home and hope someone steps up to foster and adopt those who still sit in a shelter or will die because of it.

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  9. First: your parents taught you well… our society is seriously lacking in the commitment dept.
    Second: I feel bad for the dogs coming back into rescue they will have to start all over again.
    Third: I really feel bad for the dogs in shelters who could possibly lose their lives b/c there is no room w/ the rescue
    Fourth: If you pissed someone off w/ this post then maybe they saw a little bit of themselves in it and should really be mad at themselves. (I probably pissed a few off right there!)

  10. Once again, very well said! I am so amazed at the intelligence of Young dogs! I have had Patrick (12 week old Blackmouth Cur foster) for 5 days and he is walking on the leash, healing and sitting on command. It takes Training People! Train the dog and your life will be full of more love, unconditional love, than you can believe!

  11. I agree! I learned the hard way with other commitments, but Jango is not a commitment I will ever give up. I dont know what I would do without him. I think dogs are a whole other level of commitment than marriages or jobs, dogs are innocent beings who in my eyes could never do something wrong (unless they were taught). I am so glad you wrote about this! You are such an amazing blogger!!!

  12. As always Morgan, you conveyed a very important message with class and dignity. On all accounts, the situation is heartbreaking. The only saving grace in all of it is to know that now that innocent life won’t be subjected to a life with a person or family so self centered and so utterly void of compassion and understanding that they carelessly throw a life aside like it’s last years fashion trend. Until this segment of humans become humane we will continue to see this tragic course play over and over again. If a pet cannot be equally respected as a member of the family and a part of your heart, then PLEASE just leave them be, don’t confuse and hurt them more. Most of these animals have already been betrayed and thrown away through no fault of their own. For those in the world expecting PERFECTION, take a good hard look in the mirror, read a newspaper every now and again, the real world is anything but perfect and actions like this are the reason why.

  13. Wow, I feel your pain. I’ve had today alone conversations with 3 people wanting to “rehome” their dogs. I dont even begin to understand how people can be so cold to as one lady told me she “rescued” this dog as a puppy 3 YEARS ago now she wants to find a new home for her because the dogs son is being mean to her, his mother. and the owners daughter has fallen in love with the son (puppy) she said! I wanted to say so badly,”what are u going to do with the son when hes no longer a pup? But I didnt because I know what she’ll do. How in Gods name could someone refer to themselves as a “rescuer” of animals when they rescue them and give them away? Three years later? She was offended when i explained how emotionally difficult it must be for a dog to bond with a family then be given away. But today ive had more than i can take listening to these excuses as to why these people want to get rid of their dogs. Like u said they have no understanding of the word commitment and my heart goes out to each and every dog that lives in a home ir yard more likely with a human that tolerates them as opposed to loving them with all their hearts and adjusting their human lives and future homes, girlfriends, boyfriends, jobs, new babies, sudden allergies etc around them the dog or cat they “rescued” . Whew thanks i needed that!

  14. I feel your pain. We gave our last 3 fosters our Promise because I seriously don’t like what the “forever home’ market has become. Also, as foster parents, there came a time when the dogs were with us so long, adopting them out just seemed too much like ‘getting rid’ of them.

    We used to be a foster home and could save many dogs. Now we have many dogs, too many (12), that we are committed to, We are shut down as a foster home as a result. I wish we could save more, but at this point, it is all about the ones that live with us permanently, which incidentally include 6 medical – 1 being a hospice – that no one would have touched with a 10 foot poll.

    My measuring stick anymore: if a potential home wants a ‘discount’ on the adoption fee for a dog requiring long term medication (Valley Fever meds only cost $22 for a 2 month supply for 1 dog) or balk over the ‘cost’ of said meds, or the necessary, every 4-6 month titer recheck – amounting to $90. I’ll be DARNED if I would give them a healthy pup! What if that one ever needs medical care???

    I don’t understand people…

  15. I agree with the sentiment – many people don’t seem to honor commitments nowadays, and it’s sad and frustrating. However, I can’t help but think that having the dog returned to the rescue is better then if the adoptees were to keep the dog and end up neglecting it or worse. No, it’s not fair – it’s disappointing, it’s frustrating and it certainly takes up valuable foster homes – but maybe it’s better this way. Take heart, and try to look at this as getting the opportunity to find a better match for the one’s that will be returning.

  16. When mom worked at the shelter, they got lots of returned animals. Sometimes five or six in just one day! This would make her very sad and angry. She wanted to feel happy and excited for the animals that got adopted, but she always had the worry that they would come back one day.

    Some cases were especially bad, like the kitties who came back with no claws, even though the adopters sign a paper promising to never do this. Once there was a dog who had been fostered by one of the trainers from a tiny puppy — she came back a few years later with scars all over her body and a lot of fears in her heart. And there were a lot of cats who had been adopted as kittens and then came back 10 or even 15 years later. These kitties usually did not adjust well to living in the shelter again.

    Mom wishes these people would never adopt any animals. That they would never be allowed to again. She wishes they would have left these animals to wait for the family that would love them and care for them forever. And most of all she wishes that those animals would never be there in the first place — that every animal would be wanted and loved and cared for from it’s very first day in the world until it’s last. But these are a lot of things to wish for and she will probably be wishing for a very long time…

  17. I have 3 dogs and while I sometimes joke about giving them up in reality it never will happen. We made a commitment to each one and as long as they are alive they will be here with us. One of my dogs actually found us. He showed up on my front porch starved and covered in fleas and ticks. It took me days to pick all the ticks and fleas off even with medication. I was the only one he would allow near him. Apparently his former “owner” decided that since Bo would not hunt he would be left to die in the woods. It took 2 years before Bo would even go near my husband and we did have a few issues with him trying to dominate my kids when they were little. It took time but we worked with him and now he follows my kids around like a little puppy and not a 65 pound hound. He has proven several times that he will not let anything happen to them. I just don’t understand people who can just give up on their pets.

  18. Thank you so much for writing this. I cannot wait to share it on our page. It is so well-written and just spot on. I am heartbroken for the dogs being returned. I too, feel that the more times a dog is ‘re-homed’ the less adaptable and trusting they will be. Georgia has been bounced between 3 foster homes since she was ‘rescued’ and it is terrifying to me to think about placing her in a forever home that may not understand the commitment that they are making. Thank you for what you do. Those dogs are so lucky to have you . ❤ You are in my thoughts!

    • Share away my friend! I just can’t wrap my brain around the idea that someone would adopt a dog, and when it’s not perfect the first day, decide to return it and not even put in any effort! I know you understand, you’ve been amazing with Georgia, but don’t you just want to knock some people on the head? (sigh) Keep up the awesome work on your end! You (and sweet Georgia) are always in my thoughts too!

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  21. I, too, wish everyone would adopt with FOREVER in mind and it is sad/frustrating when dogs are returned. Playing devil’s advocate though, I’d rather them be returned into rescue/foster than be neglected, mistreated, or banished to a chain outside. It’s a tough one – ultimately a home is best for the dog, as long as it’s a good home and the dog is getting everything he/she needs and more. :o)

  22. I love this. My husband and I are foster parents for a pit bull rescue in Massachusetts, and were heartbroken to have our latest guy returned to us after a WEEK. He is such a sweet little guy, albeit with tons of energy. Nothing that the family wasn’t told about ahead of time (along with tricks to help zap the energy). They completely and totally gave up on him, and it breaks my heart. We’re thankful to be able to have him back, and continue to work on his manners and training, but that should have been the family’s responsibility starting the moment they chose to adopt. Luckily enough, a lovely couple came by to meet our little guy on the day he was returned…goes to show that sometimes there is a silver lining.

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