When a family returns a pet to a shelter within days of adoption, it is usually because of some traumatic event between the pet and another family member (two-legged or four).
So staffers at the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) and SPCA in Phoenix, Arizona, were dumbfounded when a one-year old dog, Binx, was returned by his owners last Monday for being “too good.”
Apparently, Binx was not the “challenge” the family had hoped for. He was potty trained, good with kids and played well with people and other pets. In this case Binx’s trifecta was his defeat. What would have been another family’s dream was this family’s castaway.
Imaging rejecting an adopted child because he gets good grades, makes quality friends everywhere he goes and wants nothing more than to integrate into his adoptive family.
Yet it is possible to imagine people who insist that life - and everything in it - conforms to their terms, however twisted. These are the people who should never get married, have children or make meaningful commitments to another living being because they will be impossible to please under any circumstances.
Binx’s first “family” was not up to the “challenge” of true love - whether there were no obstacles to overcome or a hundred. They mistook the “challenge” of reforming another being to their specifications for love.
Facebook blew up after the AAWL posted about Binx’s plight on its page. Many vented at this family’s cavalier approach to pet adoption: “It boggles my mind how people take pet adoption so flippantly!,” one user wrote. “A pet is a living breathing thing, not a disposable item.”
I would also add: not an object of ego gratification.
Fortunately, Binx did not have to wait long for a second chance at a forever home. By Wednesday, an Arizona couple living next to a mountain preserve adopted him. The couple had lost their last love, a 14-year-old therapy dog for prison inmates, a year ago.
Binx is one nice guy who finished first.