Could somebody help me with some questions, please?
We have an enclosed garden, but the fence isn't 5 feet high- if I add a foot of chicken wire to the top of our 4 ft fence would that do? And how far apart would they want the fence posts to be- currently it's posts and wire ant the posts are about 6/8 inches apart.
Our geography is a bit complicated - will they expect the dog to be able to get to the garden safely on it's own too- or will it be OK to say we'll keep it in and take it to the garden regularly?
I would have thought a sensible rehoming inspector would be happy with your chicken wire suggestion, and will advise you about what changes might be good to make. Are you thinking about a dog-door, like a giant cat-flap?
I'd be more interested in the bigger picture and fairly relaxed about the current state if it's clear that new owner has the right attitude and is willing to make the necessary changes.
Thank you. It's tricky because we live on a boat. We can make the boat and the deck safe (by reinstating our baby safety protocol!) and the garden is fine. But you have to walk along a 4 foot wide gang plank to get from boat to garden, and I don't really see how I can make that safe.
Hmm. The form we filled in actually had a tick box for houseboat- I hope that means they might be reasonable. Unlike the Cat's Protection League, who wouldn't even visit us- they said it would be a waste of time (still smarting from that, 8 years on)
If they aren't happy with chicken-wire, given it's malleability - could you use some trellis instead? like these.
As for the taking the dog to the garden. We didn't have a problem with this with the Dog's Trust - although it was many, many years ago. We lived in a terrace where we had to go out the back-door, cross the communal alleyway and then go into our fully fenced garden. We just agreed that we wouldn't leave the dog in the garden unattended, because you couldn't see it from the house unless you were standing at our bedroom window.
A decent rescue will work with you to find the right dog for your situation and needs and should be pleased that you are willing to make adjustments to your life/home to meet the needs of your prospective dog. Hopefully they would be able to advise you on the best way to make it work for both you and the dog.
As D0oin said, there are so many rescues out there and so many different dogs needing homes that you will find the right dog if you keep at it.
One of our clients (I run a dog-walking agency) is a rescue collie-cross who lives on a canal boat. The rescue were actually far more worried about their working patterns than the living on a boat bit!