When it just doesn’t work out…

Sometimes, things are just not meant to be.  All the stars can align and everything can seem absolutely perfect, and yet – the outcome isn’t what you expected. 

I’ve been asked several times “What happened?” that brought Molly Tamale back to us.  The truth is that no one can really be sure what it is that makes one dog perfect for a family, and another dog less-than-perfect for that same family.  Dog adoption is a tricky thing, we like to think of ourselves as match makers, and we take meticulous steps to make sure that we find the perfect dog for the perfect family. We get it right a lot (a lot) of the time.  But sometimes we don’t, and make the wrong match. 

I went on a roller coaster of emotion when I heard that Molly Tamale’s adoption was a wrong match – confusion, disappointment, anger, sadness, failure…and ultimately, thankfulness.  I am thankful that Molly’s adopters realized that she was not the dog for them, and kept her safe until Agape was able to bring her back into the program.  I am thankful that I work with a rescue that has a policy in place that says if for any reason, a family is unable to keep a dog adopted through their program that the dog will return to Agape’s care.  I am thankful that Foster Dad and I are in a position that we are able to bring Molly Tamale back into our home. 

And most of all, I am thankful for the resilient nature of dogs – it never ceases to amaze me.

If you think you’re the Furever that Molly Tamale is searching for, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

18 responses to “When it just doesn’t work out…

  1. Resilient nature of dogs – you said it there.


  2. Beth

    The first foster adoption that didn’t work out was a lesson for me. My first reaction was anger and I ended up apologizing to the adopter for making an a#$ of myself and making assumptions. Fact was, it wasn’t a good fit and that was all that mattered. The pup found her rightful place in a few weeks and I learned some grace from the more experienced adoption people I was working with.


  3. There is no way around it, returns suck. But like you said, you have to be thankful that they realized it wasn’t the right fit and returned her to Agape so she can find the right forever home! 🙂


  4. Agreed. It’s a great policy that the rescue will take back adoption returns. It definitely saves dogs from being taken to the shelter, abandoned, or worse.


  5. daisypierce16

    You (and Agape) are good enough to take her back, but I’m sure Molly is thrilled to be with you guys and the pups as well. I love trading your blog btw. What breed(s) does Molly have in her?


  6. zoki

    their resilient nature is something to be thankful for and to emulate. i am thankful molly is not back in the shelter. that’s why foster families are so important in rescue.


  7. Thank g-d Molly had you waiting for her with open arms. And I’m so thankful that her adopters made good on their promise (and presumably contractual obligation since you refer to Agape’s policy above) to return her to Agape. Sadly, many don’t.

    Just a few weeks ago, the shelter from where I adopted my dog learned that yet another one the dogs it had adopted out had been turned over to New York City Animal Care & Control (the shelter of last resort in New York City and not a place where any dog wants to land) vs. returned to the shelter. Thankfully, the dog in question is now back at the shelter.

    I don’t know what people could possibly be thinking when they do something like this …. at its best, it’s tragic ignorance (maybe people don’t realize that the shelter will take back the dog?) and at its worst, it’s vile vanity (could people possibly prefer dumping a dog at the pound vs. facing the shelter staff and experiencing a bit of embarrassment?) and/or sheer callousness.

    So, while the whole situation is very disappointing, it could have been devastating had Molly not been returned to Agape. With this in mind, I’m very happy that she’s back with you (and I’m sure she won’t be for long!).


  8. Like everyone else said, I think it’s lucky they figured it out early on and we know she’ll go on to finding her perfect match. Before we got him, Mr B was a return too!


  9. Bless you and Agape for all the amazing work you’re doing on behalf of these precious souls! It’s very hard when an adoption doesn’t work out, I know that feeling of “oh no, what went wrong? How did I not see that it wasn’t a good fit?” … but sometimes there is no tangible reason, it just wasn’t meant to be and you hit the nail on the head – being grateful that the adopters realized it and made the responsible decision. The most important thing is that Molly is loved and back with you – safe and sound. In my experience, sometimes the most special dogs are the ones who wait the longest to find the ‘perfect’ forever family, but when they do, it’s so rewarding and heart warming. We had a 10 year old “Neufador” in rescue (Daisy’s Place Retriever Rescue) and she was adopted and then returned, the adopter claimed that she was ‘too bonded’ to her foster family and made up all sorts of excuses – I didn’t really care about their excuses, all I knew is that Violet was not happy and we took her back into rescue immediately. Six months later a wonderful man applied to adopt her, I was hesitant at first as he lives 4 hours away and I wanted to keep her closer so I could check and make sure everything was ok, but I made the drive to meet him and the minute Violet walked into his house – she and I both knew she was finally ‘home’! I spent several hours at his house, wanting to make sure that Violet was completely comfortable before I left, when I said goodbye, she didn’t even follow me to the door – I left with tears of joy for our sweet old grey muzzle. Violet’s dad now calls her “Lady Vi-Belle” and showers her with affection – sending me photos and notes every week letting me know how much he loves his ‘daughter’! I will never know what happened with her first adopter, but I do know that Violet is now where she is suppose to be. Keep up the great work and give your adorable Molly a big hug from all the Daisy Dogs!


    • Melissa, you just made me cry. That is exactly what I want for Molly Tamale, that unexplainable “feeling” when you just KNOW she’s found her most perfect People! I do believe we will find it for her, thank you for sharing your story, what a happy beginning for Violet!


  10. Yes dogs are amazingly resilient

    Stop on by for a visit


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  15. Elizabeth

    So glad a friend sent this to me. I have spent the last 2 days talking to my foster’s adopter, and it’s not working out for them. He was my first foster puppy that needed “work” and I feel like a failure. I felt like this animal thing was the one thing I did right and got comfort from, but it sure doesn’t feel that way right now


    • Oh Elizabeth, I’m so sorry to hear you have a return on your hands, what an epic bummer! Sometimes a match just isn’t a match. I like to think there’s one perfect family for every dog, and imagine the crazy odds that everyone get it right the first time?? Honestly, how impossible is that?? Just be thankful that the adopters realize that the match isn’t right and are willing to admit it, rather than struggle through and try to “make it work” when it never would. That’s not fair to them, or your foster, OR the dog who this family is REALLY meant to save! Now your pup has the chance to find their REAL furever family. Look at it as the opportunity to make an even better match. 🙂


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