Monday we had one rescue planned. A sweet older girl named Camille was at the Camarillo shelter. She wasn’t in very good shape and she was a senior so the shelter called us for help and. of course. we said yes. Then we get an emergency call from another rescuer about a second senior boy named Dexter, blind, old and glaucoma in both eyes. Bring him on we said. Finally that afternoon we get a text from a net-worker about a young healthy boy at the Orange County shelter that was rescue only for suspected behavior problems. The word was he was on the PTS list and his time limited. We figured since we are already picking up the senior boy and girl let’s just have our transporters stop in Orange County on their way home. We went to bed that night feeling pretty good about saving three lives. This was a really good day in rescue.
Then we woke up the next morning to a Facebook storm with us right in the middle of it. What the heck? Turns out a group of networkers were ranting and raving about, Chance, the young boy we pulled from Orange County. They were demanding that we pull a terrier mix that was housed with him. From here the facts got a bit fuzzy but opinions flowed like rain, he was this, he was that, we did this, we did that. We did a little fact finding mission and confirmed that the cocker was found as a stray. The terrier had a different release date meaning they did not come in together and they were kenneled together with a Yorkie . There was no indication that they were bonded or they even came from the same home. The Yorkie had already been pulled by another group earlier and being a Cocker rescue we took the cocker. Chance was happy and content with no signs of being ripped apart from a busom buddy. Now we had a group of Facebook net-workers with no facts but tons of opinions demanding that we do exactly as they thought we should and condemning us because we hadn’t already. At 7:00 am in the morning? Seriously?
Later that afternoon we got a call from a previous adopter who was having trouble with her one year old cocker that she had adopted from us. The cocker was starting to misbehave and they couldn’t figure out why. After discussing it and getting some of the background details we decided that it was likely the type of training that they were using on her. They had always used the traditional training where you discipline the dog when it misbehaves. Nothing severe, in fact not much more than a disapproving voice and shaking a finger at her but she was a very sensitive girl and we believed that even that was to much for her so we suggested switching to positive reinforcement training where you reward the good behavior and ignore or manage the bad behavior. It works like a dream on cockers.
After we got off the phone we had to laugh. Those net-workers on Facebook could learn a lot about working with cocker rescuers from positive reinforcement dog trainers. Try asking, try being polite but don’t shake your finger at us and tell us we are bad dogs. In fact we will take a page from our trainer and thank all those networkers for caring.