So I went along my merry way, attending adoption events like Adoptapalooza in Union Square. I stalked the ASPCA and Animal Haven websites. I set up alerts from petfinder.com for English Bulldogs in the tri-state area. I dragged my friends with me to visit shelters in New Jersey and Connecticut. And then one fine day, I talked to a woman on the phone about an adorable bulldog boy named Buster (I could be flexible on the name after all) at the Long Island Bulldog Rescue. I don't remember the woman's name, but I will be forever in her debt. She listened to me carefully as I talked about all the activities I wanted to do with Buster, and promptly told me no, I could not adopt him. I was stunned and confounded to say the least.
The goal of an adoption organization like a shelter or a breed rescue is not only to quickly place dogs in homes, but also to place the right dog in the right home so they can have a happy life and not come back to the shelter. This sometimes means that an interested and otherwise qualified adopter, like me, does not end up with the dog they are calling about. It turned out that Buster and most English Bulldogs in general were not going to be able to handle the active lifestyle I wanted for me and my pup. This woman completely shattered my idea of the kind of dog I would adopt. She talked to me about crate training my dog, which would mean I could get a dog of any size regardless of the size of my apartment, she talked to me about other active, loving, family breeds like Pit Bulls, Pointers, Labradors, and more. She convinced me to be more open minded about finding my match. She led me to Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn.