When you’re marketing anything, you have to make people aware of what it is you’re pushing.
From adopt me vests
to networking cards
, there are lots of ways to generate awareness about foster dogs. Making strategic appearances
at locations frequented by dog people is probably the best way to advertise foster dogs to potential adopters.
That’s why rescue groups like to coordinate adoption events at pet boutiques.
Last week, Charlie Machete
and I gathered with other Midwest Adopt-a-Bull
dogs and volunteers in front of the Lee’s Summit, Missouri, location of Brookside Barkery
, a popular grooming and retail chain in the Kansas City area.
Before we arrived, I was incredibly anxious. Unfamiliar surroundings have always made Charlie Machete nervous and a little defensive. I was terrified he would make a buffoon of himself the first time he met our peers in the rescue group.
But I took some steps to help make the experience as un-scary as possible for my adoptable black dog.
Knowing that tired dogs are happier dogs, I took Charlie Machete for a nearly three-mile jog before we headed to Lee’s Summit.
I also brought a large quantity of tasty, chewy training treats so that I would be able to get his attention more easily if he got wily during the event.
When we got there, I did not take him directly where all of the dogs were but instead walked him around the parking lot for a few minutes so that he could adjust to the area.
The other thing I did to prepare for the adoption event was actually required: I brought a kennel.
Because the only Charlie Machete-sized kennel we have is giant, plastic and too big for my car, I borrowed a wire crate from Our Waldo Bungie
. For adoption events, see-through, collapsible kennels are ideal because they allow dogs to be seen yet still provide a barrier between the animals and people.
This is Jill!
Of all of the dogs present, Charlie Machete was certainly the most annoyed about being crated. If I dared to walk more than five feet away from him, he would leap to his feet and elicit a cry so pathetic everyone couldn’t help but giggle. (I guess the tough guy really loves his foster mama.)
All of the other dogs seemed more at ease with the surroundings.
It was fun to meet friendly Arria
, a beautiful young pit bull featured recently on this blog.
Little pit mix puppy Pippa impressed everyone with her big ears, good manners and the fluttering of her exhausted eyelids by the end of the day.
Jill, who was found not long ago barely alive in an abandoned house, seemed vivacious and full of life. She made friends with the two-year-old nephew of another volunteer.
The rock star of the event, though, was parked next to Charlie Machete for most of the day.
Families were clamoring to learn more about petite, brindle boy Wilson, a laid back young pittie who loves everyone. Potential adopters submitted an application to adopt Wilson that very day.
Although no one submitted an adoption application for Charlie Machete, he did attract a lot of attention for doing tricks and for being an undeniably handsome guy. Wilson’s foster mama, who provided many of the photos on this page, agreed. “Charlie Machete was a good boy,” she said in an e-mail to the whole group, “especially considering he is not used to being in a crate and having to sit in there with a lot of commotion going on around him and dogs everywhere.”
I was so proud of how well Charlie Machete managed that yesterday I staged a solo adoption event in the neighborhood of the original Brookside Barkery. There was no crate involved – just a good-looking dog shaking hands with strangers on a crowded sidewalk.
How do you help your dog show his or her best side to the world?
To learn more about adopting Charlie Machete or any of the Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dogs, head to the rescue group’s website.
Come back tomorrow to learn about a product we’ve been using to help Charlie Machete maintain his composure at home and in public.