I was hesitant to share this post because I feel like I failed, and I am ashamed. However, it would be disingenuous for me to pretend that this didn’t happen. I know that some people will disagree with our decision, but I felt it was important to share so that people know the reasoning behind our choice and so that others don’t make the same mistakes.
If you read my post A New Addition, you know that Derek and I started a 7-day trial period with a rescue dog we named Wink. On Friday we made the gut-wrenching decision that we are not a good match for her. Today we will take her back to the rescue group where she will be fostered again. I have shed many tears this week, and I am absolutely heartbroken.
I didn’t even mention the trial period because we never would have guessed how things turned out. She is one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I’ve ever met, but it was not working out for a multitude of reasons. The foster family’s experience with Wink was completely different from our experience. Despite following the suggestions of the rescue group and my own research, Wink became more anxious as the week progressed and never (truly never, not an exaggeration) went to the bathroom outside. I knew we would need to train Wink, but the significant issues she has require time and energy that Derek and I do not have right now. If I had known the full extent of her challenges, I would have said that she wasn’t right for us from the beginning.
We don’t think the rescue group was trying to deceive us or anything, but it is clear that they did not know Wink as well as we had hoped. It also became apparent that they provided a list of dogs without really considering the match between dog and owner. Some of the suggestions they gave me, like putting Wink in the yard for a few hours, clearly didn’t match our application information. We do not have a fenced yard. Derek and I put our faith in the rescue group to help us find a good match, and we should have been more critical. I also realize now that we should not pursue owning a dog until we are ready to handle anything.
My biggest fear is that Wink’s week with us, even with all of the walks, treats, and love, will further traumatize her. She’s clearly had a tough life, and I hope that we didn’t make it worse. With the right family, Wink has the potential to be an amazing dog. We ultimately decided that we cannot provide her the kind of care she needs, and she is more likely to thrive in a different environment. We donated our adoption fee to Wink’s care, and we gave the rescue our feedback, hoping it will help them make a better match.
I had many sleepless nights this week over this decision. I spent all of my time trying to make things work, but nothing changed. It will be incredibly difficult to leave her with the foster group, but in my heart I know it’s the right decision. I am heartbroken, but I am hopeful for Wink. I am hopeful that the next family is the one that will bring out the best in her, and she will live a long, happy life.