“All pure-bred dogs have a rescue,” Chris Conklin, founder and current state coordinator for Michigan Weimaraner Rescue said. She then rattled off close to a dozen different breeds and their corresponding organizations, from golden retrievers to pugs.
“It started back in in 1991. Just with dogs with special needs and hardship cases,” Conklin said. This was before the explosion of weimaraner popularity in the mid to late nineties and the exponential growth of dog rescues in the 2000s.
Now, the Michigan Weimaraner Rescue places 75 to 100 dogs per year in their “forever homes” and has placed between 1,500 to 2,000 dogs. Every single one of those dogs has spent at least a couple of days in Conklin’s own home.
Weimaraners are not a dog for everyone. Although this could be said with regard to just about every breed, it rings especially true with the weimaraner. According to the Michigan Weimaraner Rescue website, “If you want an intelligent, stimulating companion that will require daily sessions of attention, training, togetherness and fun, the weimaraner might be a good choice. If, on the other hand, you want a dog that sits quietly and waits for you to notice it, you should look for another breed. You must understand and appreciate the love that this dog will lavish on you, and not feel that the dog is too demanding. This is a breed that you will either love or hate. Spend as much time around Weimaraners as you can, before you decide if this is the breed for you. You must be willing and able to make a financial commitment, as well, to ensure your dog’s long, healthy life.”
Adopting one of these dogs is not as simple as picking one out and taking it home. First there must be a written application filed with the rescue. Then you’ll have a phone interview, followed by a veterinarian reference. Finally, a representative from the rescue will do a home check to determine if in fact a weimaraner is right for you. All weimaraners are placed on a 30 day trial. This ensures that the match between family and dog is a good one and that the relationship is not entered into lightly.
In addition to running the rescue, Conklin has been training dogs (and their guardians) professionally for 22 years. She is also began breeding weimaraners in 1998 and is involved in several other local community efforts for animal safety and well-being. Her classes are held through community education and are starting again in the fall in the greater Lansing area. She also offers private behavioral work for all breeds. It is obvious that Conklin loves not just the weimaraner, but all dogs, and is constantly striving to better the lives of both the animals and their human families.