Pause for PAWS?

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Some of you know that our good dog, Eve, passed away in 2013. Some of you also know that we’ve been looking for a new family dog for about two+ years. Breed isn’t that important. Basic guidelines are a young-ish dog (not a puppy and not a senior). Medium-sized. Not crazy. Or at least, not too crazy.

I’ve been monitoring, PAWS of Grays Harbor and other web sites and contacts pretty regularly. Most adoptable animals are either too old, too young, or too expensive. Until last week. On Thursday we found what seemed to be the proverbial “perfect fit” on the PAWS-GH web site: a young female border collie.

I was ecstatic! My husband, who grew up with a border collie, was ecstatic! The kids were ecstatic!

The border collie was listed as available on August 18. Quick like a bunny, I responded on-line on August 18. A copy of the header of my message, received on the 19th, appears below.


From: “PAWS of Grays Harbor via” <>

To: Kristine Lowder

Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 03:12:30 +0000

Subject: You contacted PAWS of Grays Harbor about 16-274 Trixie (id #D16274) on

Reply-To: <>

Here’s what you wrote:
“We’ve been looking for another family dog since our yellow Lab passed away in 2013, preferably a youngish, medium-sized dog. Husband was raised with a border collie.”

I included my name and contact info.

I followed this up with a phone call to PAWS – GH the same evening. At the time, no one else had expressed an interest in the border collie according to the Adopt-a-Pet web site (the site shows the number of people interested in a specific animal. Example.). I was the first and only person to indicate an interest according to the site.

I had not received any response from PAWS by the afternoon of August 19, either by phone or by email. So I sent a follow-up email that afternoon:



Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:45:38 -0700

Subject: Trixie


We are very interested in the young border collie, Trixie, and would like to meet her.

Please advise as to availability.

Thank you,

I included my contact info. Again. No response. But we’re willing to do just about anything to meet a young border collie (my hubby’s favorite breed, hands down).

PAWS of Grays Harbor’s regular business hours are “Wednesdays: 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays: 11 am to 3 pm.” Not having received any response to my prior inquiries, the kiddos and I decided to head over to PAWS as soon as they opened this morning. Until I double-checked the on-line info. The “young border collie” was no longer listed on the PAWS web site. When I checked the dog’s ID via, I received the following:

Pet Not Found

Grrr… We’re so sorry! This pet is no longer available for adoption, but there are thousands of other pets on our site who are still looking for loving homes. Search below to find your perfect pet!

So, lemme get this straight. A dog is listed for adoption on August 18. I respond same day, indicating our interest. According to the Adopt-a-Pet web site, I’m the first and only responder at the time.

PAWS does not respond timely. I follow-up by email. Twice. Still no response. A day later, the dog is “no longer available.”

I called the nice people at PAWS-GH this morning. At 11:01. Spoke to Jennifer. I explained that I was following up on a previous call regarding the border collie. She said the dog was no longer available.

When I asked why, she said the dog “went out to foster and they’re going to adopt on Saturday.” I pressed for more information. She responded that the dog came in on Wednesday and “went out Wednesday afternoon for foster.” When I asked why the dog was listed for adoption on Thursday, she said they have a “high foster failure rate,” the dog “bonded well with the family” on Wednesday and they were coming in to adopt today. (Here’s PAWS’s omni-helpful Common Questions page. Isn’t that nifty?)

I have a few questions of my own:

  • Why is a dog listed as available for adoption when it’s not?
  • Doesn’t “bonding” usually take a little more than an afternoon?
  • How hard is it to return a phone call?
  • Just what, exactly, does a body have to do to get a dog around here?

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