I received a phone call from Reilly's owners of 5 years --on September 16/02announcing, after considerable soul searching, that they were unable to continue
as Reilly's owners. I had bred Reilly and had carefully "picked" these owners, 5 years ago, using very stringent criteria. I stressed then, that I,
as his breeder, was to be alerted should they ever need support (any support, but particularly of this nature) requesting that they call
After experiencing obviously initial dismay, I start to network with my immediate KBT contacts: my sponsoring breeder; Reilly's sire's owners; our KBTCC's France Godbout; and ALL my doggie friends. My quest: I MUST find a GOOD home for a 5 year old, neutered, dog aggressive, KBT. Unfortunately, I find no "perfect" potential owners are waiting in the wings. Here is the rest of the story:
October 7 to 11/02, a second tier of networking takes place. These original people tell others of Reilly's need; I'm in contact with other KBT Club members; France gives me more names of potential owners from her records, which I research resulting in further networking by those I contact.
Still no "ideal" owner comes to light, referral contacts have now dried up, and as a consequence there is a need to "widen the net". On October 15/02, I post a message to the KB-L Newslist and on October 17/02, I exercise my option, as a member of the KB-L Newslist, to post him in the Adult Dog Available section of the KBT website. John Van den Bergh also posts him in the Travel Picture section with a cross-reference to Adult Dog Available.from my point of view this exposure (focused in the Kerry community) is GREAT.
October 20/02, Reilly's owners drop him off at Barb Thompson's Kennel (now that they have made their decision --keeping him in their home is heartbreaking for them). Barb will provide interim care; take a good look at him and provide a "provisional assessment" this (as I am across the country and have not had contact with him for years) is VERY helpful. (Barb later provides other invaluable travel assistance too.)
The KB-L Newslist, the networking with club members, and the KBT Foundation website "visibility" elicit positive results! It generates phone calls from Lynn Duckett and Lisa Frankland of USKBTC Rescue with procedural suggestions; several KBT owners vow to circulate Reilly's information to their immediate KBT circles; all this yields several serious potential owners. Eureka, I feel I finally have some solid options for Reilly now comes the hard part picking the right one!
Relying heavily on the sample Adoption Questionnaire and the sample Adoption Contract on the KBT Foundation website and the many suggestions of those experienced in KBT Rescue --particularly to secure a home visit impression from a local Kerry owner. I research, I chooseand Reilly travels to his new home on November 8, 2002.
Yesterday, December 29/02, I received a lengthy Holiday update from Reilly's new owner outlining the mutual enjoyment and numerous successes the two of them had experienced over the past 7 weeks this episode, all told, proves VERY rewarding! In the end, Reilly gets a terrific new owner --someone who we would not have met any other way. His new owner is very committed and will cherish him as the dog she chose to champion in his time of need.
What THIS particular chapter in my "dog fancier" experience demonstrates to me is the DEPTH of caring people and resources within the Kerry (international) community and the value of BOTH the breed clubs and the internet