Thursday, June 13, 2013

Camp Doglando S1: Wednesday

Hello Honorary Campers,

Today was a day to test trust, team work, cooperation, collaboration and determination... for all the campers and coaches as well.

We were aware of some of the challenges we were going to face which were working around our painters who were there to paint the inside of the barn.  But, we not at all prepared for what came about by early morning...

Unbeknownst to us, 8 out of the 10 dogs that were participating in camp already had owners.  We were first alerted by this by an email we received from one of the "owners" asking us how "their" dog was doing... so we immediately called the rescue group to find out more.

The story unveils itself late Tuesday evening when we receive two more emails from two of the other "owners."  We learn that seven out of the eight dogs we received from this rescue have owners, whom they referred to as fosters... however, these were fosters with intent to adopt, and had the first right of refusal on the dogs.

The purpose of our camp is to increase the chances of dogs in rescue/shelter/up for adoption by giving them the training and socialization they need to increase their chances.  Camp Doglando is not a free training program for dogs already in homes, as we feel very strongly about parents taking the responsibility of training their own dogs to further develop their relationship with their canine companions.

Shortly after our morning walk on Wednesday morning, we gathered for a group discussion.  We were not going to be dishonest to the kids about this matter, and we felt it was best to involve them in the decision we had to make:  should we continue training these dogs that have grown on us so much over the last three days knowing they have owners or should we do what is right and start over on day 3 with dogs that otherwise would not stand a chance?

The power of kids: the ability to do what is right.... it was an unanimous decision to start over.  Drowned in tears, the campers walked their dogs over to the bus, and watched them pull out... anger, disappointment, distrust, sadness and unaccomplished were just a few of the feelings they voiced.

We pulled in for a group hug, holding onto each other tightly, upset for the dogs that just left... knowing they too would have benefited from Camp.... some felt they betrayed the dogs while others were in disbelief... one camper shut down... he had hopes of taking his dog home.

This experience proved to be such a valuable lesson for us all.... it fostered such great conversation and discussions and allowed the children to make adult decisions and work through their emotions. We are so proud of our campers and their resolve to do what is right.

To our rescue came Pet Rescue By Judy, and within half an hour she brought us all new dogs.  While it was still an emotional turbulence for the kids, they were equally excited to have the opportunity to help dogs without homes, awaiting their time.... and this was their time!  Both the kids and dogs.

Here is what we ended up doing:
We took the SPCA dogs on a walk this morning  outside the gates.
We asked the kids how would they feel if we got all new dogs. 

We went to Panera Bread in Waterford Lakes and bonded with the new dogs

Then we took all of the new dogs for a swim

1 comment:

Marianne Holland said...

It's too bad that it seems that the rescue was taking advantage of your program. I'm glad to see that dogs that are in actual peril are going to be the lucky pups to be a part of Camp Doglando.

Looking forward to following their journey.
Marianne,Murphy,Woody & Ty