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Just be Prepared. Or not.

During this hectic holiday season, I have many undone things. We all do. I know, we all do. But, when I do something, I like to really make sure it is done right.

That's why I was kicking myself when I realized I had miscounted when ordering a certain gift for several recipients. (And, it is too late to order that same gift for the nth person.)

But then, I was kicking myself for being "too" prepared yesterday.

Let me back up a bit...

So, that dog we fostered over Thanksgiving hasn't yet been adopted. Thankfully, there are some people interested (yay!) and I am crossing my fingers.

This past weekend, I brought him from the kennel to the adoption fair. It was heartbreaking to see how scared he was at the kennel. Thankfully he remembered me just a few minutes later, but then he was so enthusiastic to see me that he knocked jewelry off my wrist (which I didn't notice until it was too late), nipped my lip, and sent my sunglasses flying. He enjoyed meeting other people, but only if I was nearby. I took one little trip to Starbucks, and apparently he was crying for me the whole time I was gone. A family wanted to meet him, but he wouldn't pay attention to them because his eyes were stuck on Starbucks.

I know he'll glue on to whoever becomes his forever family, but for now I'm crushed that he's so happy when he's with me, even though I cannot be his owner. I am so eager for him to find the love and companionship that he deserves. And, having experienced that devotion from him, I'm eager to find a dog that will click with me and the rest of my family.

And so, I was hopeful when I came across a petite husky mix on another rescue group's page. I was curious as to whether the "mix" part of her was a much smaller dog, and if so, whether she might be able to tolerate a cat. I asked some questions of that particular group to get an idea of whether this might be a match for our family.

As part of my "preparedness" I thought I'd better find out more about the various local pet sitters.

I keep saying getting a dog is an "in the future" event, and yet, I'm hopeful that the right match might fall in our laps. But if that happens, there are some potential complications for which I'd like to be ready.

For example, my son has a gymnastics meet this coming Sunday. Realistically, we couldn't leave a dog at home alone for that long. So, I thought I'd better find out what the pet sitting options are.

I figured should we happen to get this dog (or another on super-short notice) I'd already have someone in mind to care for it.

And so, I contacted a local sitter with many positive reviews. She's very close to our house, reasonably priced, and has flexible hours. It seemed perfect!

But, in the description of her in-home care, she reports that she has a small dog and a medium dog. I wrote to her explaining that the dog I might adopt is very small for a husky. I wanted to know if she would accept a husky mix or whether the breed's typical prey drive meant she'd avoid the breed completely, even if it appeared the dog in question didn't appear to chase cats or small dogs.

I was trying to be responsible in finding out whether the breed name automatically disqualified the dog from her services.

She responded that since clearly I had concerns about the dog's temperament, it wouldn't be a good match.

I explained to her that I've never met the dog in person. So, I don't know the dog's temperament. I only know the "traditional" husky high prey drive... hence my question.

I was disappointed in myself for trying to be too thorough with my questions. Had I just said it was a petite husky-mix at 35 pounds and (however tall) without asking about any breed bias, then she could have responded with concern if she indeed had a breed restriction. But, it appears that because I specifically mentioned prey drive, it set off a red flag for her.

The truth is that if this particular dog does have a high-prey drive, we wouldn't adopt it anyway.

So, while I was trying to be responsible, I created a bias. Now, even if the dog in question is best friends with chihuahuas, the "concern" has already been created. UGH.

In another "sticking my foot in my mouth" situation, the fact that the dog I'm eyeing right now comes from a rescue organization different from the one at which I've been volunteering the last couple months is uncomfortable. While most of these organizations are all focusing on the same goal - finding homes for animals - I can't help but feel like I'd be a bit of a "traitor" if I adopted from a different organization! Silly, I know. But, if for some reason we do end up getting this petite husky-mix, I'd want to be upfront about it with the original organization. If they happened to have a very petite husky mix, I'd want to adopt it, should its temperament indicate a compatibility or tolerance of small animals. (But for now, the animals they have are definitely not good with cats.)

Everything might be completely moot for now since I haven't heard back from the other rescue organization after I submitted my application (which was required to set up a meeting to meet the dog, regardless of whether we'd want to proceed with an adoption.)

But, if another dog does come along, I do want to be prepared.

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