There are many books for hoomans to help them select the best canine companion but there is very little information to help canines find the best possible hooman companion.
Until now that is, because I am here to give advice and help all rescue dudes (and dudettes) find the right home and hoomans for them.
The first thing you have to do is relax. As long as you are in a good rescue centre there is no need to rush to the first hooman you see. Use your time to think about the type of hooman who will provide the lifestyle you are looking for and then practice, practice, practice those puppy-dog eyes.
OK it might be a bit noisy where you are in a shelter, you will have to share the carers and any volunteers but you will be safe and well fed, receive all medical help you need and be looked after by people who care about you. Just bear in mind that good rescue centres are bursting at the seams so you shouldn’t see it as your permanent home – there will always be other dudes really, really desperate for your kennel and some of them might be in dangerous situations.
Rescue centres allow hoomans to visit every day so when it gets near the time for the hoomans to arrive there are five golden rules to follow:
- Look Your Best
Make sure you are clean and well groomed – pay special attention to your front and back end as these are the bits hoomans notice. If you have access to the outside leave the outside, outside and don’t tread it into your kennel. Keep your food and water in the bowls provided, not spread all over the floor. Keep your bed tidy, hide any badly chewed toys and if you have pooped or pee’d inside hide it under a blanket or something – you need to wait until you are in your new home before you do the “it wasn’t me” thing.
- Don’t shout, bounce and bite the bars
You know you are telling the hoomans all about yourself, showing them how pleased you are to see them and let them know why they should select you out of all the dudes on offer but, as hoomans are less intelligent than canines, all they hear is “bark, bark, bark” and it puts them off. Add the bouncing and biting the bars and the hoomans will think you are neurotic. You will get more attention if you are quiet and look at them – but don’t stare because some hoomans find that intimidating.
- Don’t reject the ugly ones
Hoomans come in all shapes, sizes – tall, short, fat, thin, big, small, hairy, bald, old, young – they do have different colours but don’t have spots, stripes or interesting patterns. Some paint their faces, others have drawings on their bodies and some are plain. Some might even have bits missing but don’t be quick to judge any of them – they cannot help the way they look and among them will be the hooman for you. Sometimes a single hooman will arrive and other times there might be a pair or a whole group of them so consider the option of having more than one hooman.
- Listen and look
Another reason for not shouting and bouncing is so you can get a proper look at your visitors and listen to their ‘conversation’. Because they are not as clever as canines the hoomans will discuss all their plans right there in front of you giving you the chance to behave appropriately – or not depending on what they say and/or do.
Their clothing will give away clues to their lifestyle too. If you like to lounge around on the sofa for most of the day and only go outside when absolutely necessary avoid hoomans wearing Lycra and running shoes as they will expect you to join-in their activities and you will never get any down-time. However, if you have tons of energy the Lycra hoomans could be just what you are looking for.
If you want relaxed surroundings where you can return from a walk without being bathed, scratch yourself without being sprayed with flea-killer, wash your bits while sitting on the sofa without reprimand and shed hair with impunity avoid the immaculately dressed hooman. Leave that hooman for a canine who will enjoy all the cosseting required to live with them.
Some particular phrases and words you need to listen-out for to make sure you select the right hooman are:
“Obedience, fly-ball, agility training” – reject unless you have lots of energy and enjoy a challenge;
“Roll-over, give paw, play-dead” – reject unless you like performing certain actions over and over again until your hoomans (and their friends and relatives) get bored;
“Guarding, security, protection” – if you are looking for a career of daring-do this hoomans could be for you. Otherwise the only thing you should have to guard is your bed and protect your food bowl all other security is the responsibility of hoomans;
“Cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits etc.” – some hoomans will already have non-hooman group members so if you are not keen on sharing give these hoomans a wide-berth.
“Kennels, holidays or going to work” – if you hear these words make sure the hoomans are rejecting “kennels” in favour of house-sitters, “holidays” are including the new canine and “going to work” is accompanied by the terms part-time, working from home or dog-walker;
“Diet, cutting-down, exercise” – hooman shorthand for they think you are fat so unless you agree you could do with shedding a bit of weight let them move on to the next kennel.
Pay special attention to groups of hoomans as they may each have their own idea of what they are looking for and you cannot be all things to all hoomans. Make sure everyone is agreed that you will be the most important member of the group before you consider them.
You need to watch-out for small hoomans, especially those dressed as fairy-princesses or superheroes – these can be very difficult to live with unless you welcome playing dress-up or rushing around trying to save the planet.
- If you like them let them know
As the hoomans do not know you can understand them it is quite easy to help them make-up their mind. If you do not like them do the opposite to what they want – if they want active, yawn and go to sleep or feign injury, cower if they are looking for brave, look grumpy if they want someone to dress-up and if they want ultra-clean, sit as close to them as you can and wash your bits … adding a few burps and farts!
However, if you think the hooman standing in front of you could be ‘your’ hooman don’t play hard to get – hoomans don’t always pick-up on our subtle canine signals so you need to be more obvious. As if by magic(!) show them you can do the very things they are looking for and talking about. Wag your tail when they speak to you, get close to them so they can stroke you and … give them the puppy dog eyes.
There we are … follow these golden rules and find the hooman best suited to your requirements and avoid any disappointments. May you have many, happy years together.