I did two home visits for possible dog adopters today. I am doing two more tomorrow night. I am glad to do them, but wish sometimes that more of our volunteers would step up. We struggle to get home visits done...people who are willing to go to adoption shows or attend a fund raiser are hesitant to go to a stranger's house and ask to see their basement and garage.
I don't particularly like doing them either, but it is the last step before approving a family to adopt a dog, so they have to be done. I have met some nice people doing them. Also, some odd ones, and one scary hoarder lady. At least once I made a huge mistake, thinking someone was going to be a great adopter, who turned out to be a disappointment. He didn't hurt a dog or anything, he just adopted a dog enthusiastically one week and got tired of it in about three weeks and returned it.
When I do a home visit I have to balance out hoping that the people will be good adopters and being afraid that they might be wierd Cruella deVille types wanting a dog fur coat.
There have definitely been times when I talked to people who, while not evil creeps, gave me the vibes of wanting a dog to make their lives okay. They think they can adopt Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin and have a perfect, smart canine friend who will adore them and make sure Timmy never falls in the well. And that, my friends, is not what adopting a dog is about. An adopted dog can be a friend, it can love you, but it can't fix all your problems, and no dog is perfect, any more than any any person is. And dogs are, like children, joys that come with responsibilities and WORK attached.
I try to give people who want a dog, especially first time adopters, a clear picture of what to expect at first. I want them to be successful, and to do that, they must not expect Lassie.