You may wonder when you talk to a Wheaten breeder or rescue representative if it wouldn’t be easier to marry his/her daughter than to adopt a dog though him/her! Do you have a fenced yard? Have you had dogs before? What happened to them? Do you have children? What ages? Do you rent? Does your lease allow pets? And on, and on …

Next to having a child, getting a dog is one of the most demanding things most people do and there can be problems when people don’t realize how big a commitment it is. Because the commitment is lifelong, a dog should never be adopted on a whim … you may move on to other interests next year, but you still have a living, feeling animal who needs your love and attention as much as he did the day you brought him home.

All breeds have specific needs. For example, a Wheaten is a terrier and it must have a fenced area to run and explore. It must never be off leash except in such an area. Wheatens are not “yard dogs” and they need lots of human contact. Because of the high prey drive, they may kill other pets that run from them. The questions asked help both the rescuer and the adopter recognize possible problems in these and other areas before they develop.

Sometimes we require a home visit. You may feel a bit defensive, as if a social worker is checking on your children. Don’t be offended. These visits are just the last step in assuring that you and our rescue team has covered all the bases.

Rescue dogs are already ‘second chance’ dogs; the questions are part of an attempt to get these deserving animals into the best possible and permanent homes. Don’t hesitate to ask the reason for a question or to add information. For instance, you may live in an apartment, but near a park where you could take the dog to exercise. Most rescue organizations say they require a fenced yard, but if your last dog died at age 16 and you gave all his walks on a leash every day of his life, speak up!

In asking these questions, rescuers are not trying to be difficult; they very much want your home to be one of the success stories. Please be patient with the questions and understand that they are only asked to ensure the best for both you and the dog…to spare both of you the heartbreak of an adoption that doesn’t work.