About Me

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My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Failed Adoptions

Why do people adopt two puppies together?  I mean...I know WHY...they're sooooo cute together! But one Google search about raising two puppies together should stop most folks in their tracks. Puppies from the same litter that are raised together often form their strongest attachment to their sibling, not their owner.  This leads to training issues. Sometimes they are too competitive with each other and fights erupt.  Sometimes siblings are so much alike that their personalities clash.  Sometimes one pup dominates the other, squashing the personality that would've emerged if that pup was raised on her own.  But the biggest issue with raising two puppies together is that it is a TON of work!  It is hard enough to find time in our busy schedules to exercise, educate and socialize one puppy, never mind two!  And it does take twice as much work.  Though pups do help entertain each other, if you truly want to bring out the best in a puppy, time needs to spent with each pup alone.  The idea that two puppies will be easier than one is sadly inaccurate.

And while we're on the subject of  "Why?'... Why do families with small children adopt young puppies?  As if Mom and Dad don't have enough on their plate?  The idea of raising a child and a puppy at the same time seems ludicrous to me.  Two little beings with very little impulse control trying to work things out when they don't speak the same language, don't play the same games, grow at vastly different rates...and one has a set of sharp teeth!  In what universe does this sound like a good idea?

Some shelters and breeders do not adopt puppies to families with kids under five.
Some shelters and breeders will not send two puppies home together.
This blog is not about debating the pros and cons of those polices.

This blog is about two puppies that were adopted together by a family with two boys under 6 yrs of age.
This blog is about MY puppies...or rather my foster dog, Dixie's, puppies - Abby and Kate.

When I offered to foster Dixie and her brood for the shelter, I did it with the understanding that my job was to give Dixie a safe place to raise her litter and to give the puppies the best possible start in life.  Dixie was loved and cared for with us.  Her medical issues were addressed and as soon as the pups were OK without her, she was re-homed by the shelter.  The puppies were socialized with dogs, cats, adults and kids.  When I brought them back to the shelter at 7 weeks of age, I did it confident that I had done my job well. 

Abby and Kate were adopted by a nice couple and their two adorable boys. The pups were all sent home with a coupon provided by me for a free private lesson to help the adopters get off to a good start with training.  This family met with me a couple weeks after they adopted the puppies.  I could tell within 5 minutes of interacting with the family that they were nice folks...but they were totally overwhelmed  with the needs of two active boys and two active puppies.  I was stressed out just spending an hour with them!  Yikes!  It was obvious there was plenty of love in this household, but ...love is not enough. They were going to need alot of on-going support and training if they were going to succeed.  Sadly they did not seek that assistance.

A year later, the pups were returned to the shelter (thankfully), the family cited "financial hardship" as the surrender reason, but the surrender info form gave a glimpse into some of the training issues they were having above and beyond affording veterinary care!

I was sad when I got the call from the shelter, but I was not surprised.    Statistically, some adoptions are going to fail.  Shit happens in real life to real people.  In my opinion, this particular adoption's failure could only have been prevented by not ever happening in the first place...
But as I said, this blog is not about debating adoption policies.  

So...Abby and Kate are back at The Rutland County Humane Society and are looking for homes.
NO - They do not need to go home together.
NO - They were not mistreated.
NO - They will not be traumatized by this temporary set back in their lives. They are solid puppies.
          I know.  I raised them.
YES -They need some remedial training.
YES - They are sweet and friendly.
YES - They are cute as lil bugs.

YES - It makes me cry to see "my" pups in the kennels.

Please consider adopting one!
FYI - their names have been changed.
Ask about Dixie's returned puppies.


  1. So sorry to hear this. Two pups together is usually bad news. Wish I could help. I hope they find perfect homes this time.

  2. Hi Lesli...I thought my peoples commented the other day, but I don't think her comment went through. Anyway, sorry to hear about the pups. It's sad when peoples adopt us dogs and then change their minds later on. Peoples aren't very bright some times, and they should think before they adopt. I've done my time in the big house, and it's NO fun. I hope someone springs your pups soon.