We have been trying to find a dog to adopt. Rescue after pound after rescue and we have come up empty handed. I learned a valuable lesson from one rescue that I’m going to share:
I called a rescue last Sunday. The woman who answered said that she NEVER answered the phone on Sunday’s so it was “Meant to be.” She sucked me in hook line and sinker. The perfect line, meant to be. She told me to call back later in the week when she had more time to talk and I did. In this conversation she told me we were “Kindred spirits.” If I just gave her enough to time she would find the perfect dog for me. The next conversation was setting up a time for her to come and meet us and look over our house to deem it fit for a dog. I had already sent her many pictures of our home, dogs, their life, our yard, and much more, but she needed to see for herself. We decided on a time on Thursday and she let me know that she would be bringing a man with her and a dog as well. I asked her if the dog is one that would be a possible adoption for us. She said she wasn’t going to say. All she would tell me is that it was a female. Oh I’m excited! My family is excited! We hope that since she knows we want a female and has said she is bringing one, that this means it will be a dog she thinks will be perfect for us. So up to this point I have already had a “meant to be”, ” kindred spirits,” and the hopes of a female dog that could be our dog. She said they needed an hour to look in our house, see how we interact with the dog, and look around the outside at the fence and yard. In my reply to her email I told her that I would need to meet them outside first as I had only found their names on the Internet and I would not be letting a man I did not know in my house unless I was absolutely comfortable BUT that he could do the perimeter check and she could come in with the dog and go from there. Then comes her reply. She emailed me saying that she has read and reread my email and that she does not want one of her dogs with someone with all of my issues. BUT she would think about it and get back to me in a week or so. Well what happened to “kindred spirits…meant to be…?” All of a sudden a simple request, a logical request, was turned into me not being good enough for a dog!!!!! PTSD is the reason I initially didn’t want a man in my house. But any other woman, this day and age, and given my husband’s profession, I will not, nor will he, allow a man we do not know to be looking room to room in our house with me alone. I was VERY upset. I thought, because of me and this stupid PTSD we can’t see this dog that could have been perfect for us. She turned it all on me. My issues, my fault, and I let her for a good hour I played a really good victim. I did the whole poor me, why can’t I just be well and this wouldn’t happen. She wanted me to reply with a , “oh thank you for still considering me your fucking majesty !” (Minus the fuck of purse but I threw that in there because I’m still poised at my own stupidity) And then BOOM it hit me. I have been played. I have been manipulated.
First, she used catch phrases that made it seem like we had a bond and a special connection. Then she dangled candy in front of me with her female dog she was willing to bring all the way to me to see. Then after she lost control, by me setting a boundary, she not only insulted me but then further tried to manipulate me into thinking I still maybe able to get a dog if she deems me worthy enough. It is all control. She was all about control and she had mastered it well. So I sat back, took all emotional thinking out of it, and all my diagnosises out of it, and reevaluated. My PTSD had nothing to do with anything. Her using it against me was worse than cruel. But it only happened after I had set up a boundary. She would have kicked us to the curb along the way at some point. She would have come over and our fence just wouldn’t have been tall enough, or my floors being wood just wouldn’t have been right for her dogs feet. She liked her control. This was not about finding the perfect home for a dog in need. If it were, then I’d have her dog right next to me in this bed as I type this. I had already told her what I did for my other dogs. How they were walked miles a day, how they went for car rides, swam in the lake, and how I made food for Jessy in his last months of life. She KNEW we were a perfect family for her dog, right? I mean if not then why was it meant to be!!!!!!
I wanted to share this experience so that other women can see clearly that which took me a while to see. It is not you. It is them. It doesn’t matter who it is, dog rescue woman, your mother in law, a pizza deliver person, anyone, if your boundary is not respected then they are the one with the issue , not you. Don’t take it personally. They do what they have found works. You aren’t the first person they try it on and you won’t be the last. Manipulators love power and control. In this instance, there was absolutely no reason this woman should not tell me if the dog she was bringing over was a possible adoption. There was also no reason why the man she was bringing could not do whatever their rules were on the outside, while she observed the inside. I’m adopting a dog. And although it is important to screen possible adoption families, I should not have to do triple flips and go against my intuition to even be considered.
I set a very reasonable boundary. When that was set, I was nolonger a candidate for adopting one of her dogs. We must be able to set boundaries. Others must be able to respect them. If they cannot, then it is their loss. Which I clearly stated in my reply email to this rescue lady…her loss.
I wish I had a list of all of the red flag statements people use to suck you in. “I swear to God, ” is one. ” I swear on my children’s lives,” is another. These statements don’t need to be made. If you are answering a question or telling a story there is no need to swear on anyone that it is true. It is either true or it isn’t. Swearing just makes me more inclined to believe it is a lie. Now,I have a few new statements.”It’s meant to be….kindred spirits…” It wasn’t only her. I have now heard these statements from a few animal rescues. “You were meant to come in today because this dog is never here.” Because I immediately said, “oh my gosh show her to me then because maybe it was meant to be.” If it were meant to be, then I would have said so after I had chosen this perfect dog for my family and me.
All of our experiences have not been bad, just a few. One rescue brought a dog over to our house and let her stay a few hours to see how she did. The pound brought dog after dog for us to look at while we were there.
Be aware. Just be aware of the catch phrases that others use to pull you in to their manipulation. And don’t allow anyone to make you feel you deserve anything less because you have PTSD or anxiety or an illness. My family deserves a dog. And that dog deserves all the love I will give her for the rest of her life. I so badly wanted to say, “Good try lady, but after being abused, having PTSD, having a narcissistic family, and surviving all of THAT, you can’t play me! But good try using my fears and anxiety against me. Using a logical boundary for a man I don’t know against me. The dogs deserve better than YOUR issues.” But I didn’t. I realized that it won’t matter what I say. Controlling manipulators just move right along to the next person. She didn’t deserve any more emotion than I had already let her have in that hour I was upset about her email. She got a simple reply….I’m not interested in hearing back from you in a week and it is absolutely your loss. Wasting time and energy on manipulators and taking it personally will only set you back. It has nothing to do with you anyway. It’s just them. And we have to walk away. They are not worth any more than that.
We are still looking for a dog! I have not given up hope. Letting someone steal my hope, or steal how far I’ve come to create boundaries and to regain the power of self I lost, is not something I am willing to give up for anyone. Finding a dog shouldn’t make me have to.