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My wife and I visited a local pet adoption center today and really took a shining to one of the dogs. We would love to bring her home, but I will be traveling for work next week and my wife has long work hours and a long commute. What is the best way to help introduce her to our home?

Some of the options that we have been considering are:

  • Speaking with the adoption center and seeing if they would keep her until I returned from my work trip. My work trips are only about 4 times/year and only 1 week long - so I'm not so worried about finding accommodations in the future. I do have doubts though that the adoption center would be agreeable to this.
  • Hiring someone to come in and take the dog for an afternoon walk and some companion time while I'm away and my wife is at work (I work at home, so the rest of the year is fine).
  • Placing her in a kennel for the first few days. This sounds like it would be awfully disruptive and confusing to her.
  • Not adopting her at this time and hoping that she's still there next week.
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I think asking the shelter to hold the dog for one more week is the best option. I assume that like most shelters, they ask adoptees to fill out paperwork and make a donation or pay a fee. If you pay the fee/donation before you go on your trip, it will reassure the shelter staff that you won't change your mind. Also, you might offer an extra donation to cover the cost of keeping the dog an extra week. Half of what you would have paid to board the dog for a week would probably cover the shelter's cost.

As Mario says, I don't think the shelter would be put off by the request. It's possible they might have to refuse, but there's no harm in asking.

My second choice would be hiring someone to come in and take the dog for an afternoon walk and some companion time. Ask the shelter for a recommendation - it's possible that someone from the shelter offers that service, which would be great because your new dog will already know them.

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