The Dog Matchmaker
Since 2011, Sarah Oren Brasky (featured above, with photo taken by Robert Stoetzel, Shop Dog & Co.) has been occupied with three things: running a non-profit organization Foster Dogs NYC, working in education, and helping people find the right dog for them through her service The Dog Matchmaker. With so many means of finding a rescue dog to adopt, finding the right one can be a demanding process. The Dog Matchmaker offers a service that eases the process for potential dog owners. Based in NYC, after filling out a few short questions, Sarah will not only curate a list of dogs that are fine tuned to your specifications but also offer advice throughout the process.
With close to fifty families and dog lovers helped in the adoption process, Sarah’s blog is ripe with positive feelings. It’s hard not to feel a sense of joy reading through the success stories that are featured. She’s also been featured in several publications, her service is well worth the received praise. The Dog Matchmaker’s Instagram feed is also constantly updated with new dogs up for adoption along with cute pictures of dogs that Sarah passes by on the street.
We figured we would ask Sarah a few questions that would be helpful for anyone looking to adopt a dog!
How did you get started with The Dog Matchmaker?
Sarah: I started The Dog Matchmaker nearly five years ago, after creating my dog rescue organization Foster Dogs NYC. I began working on a very regular basis with animal rescuers around the city, leading to my work with rescuers around the country. I started by focusing on people looking to bring home a foster dog, and realized that I could help people by also working on the adoption side of the “rescue world.” In fact, I’ve been doggy-matchmaking since I was quite young, though in my adult life, I’ve given it a name and a brand: The Dog Matchmaker.
Do you have a favorite dog adoption story that you’ve helped come to light that’s resonated with you?
S: One special adoption story is that of Max, a hound mix puppy I matched a few months ago. My awareness of Max began when he was a small puppy, just weaned from his mom and ready for a foster home (he was named Paxton at the time). I helped him find a great home through Foster Dogs NYC, with a first-time foster dad named Ryan. With Ryan’s help, I brought Max to a corporate event with other adoptable dogs. Upon meeting Max in-person, I knew he was a special puppy and needed to find a fabulous home. That same month, my new Dog Matchmaker client Shiran told me about her desires for her ideal family dog. Max was perfect. I immediately knew he was “the one.” Once Shiran was approved to adopt through Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue, Ryan brought Max to his new home. It was love at first sight with Max and his new human brothers ages 6 and 8. Seeing the older boy train his active perky puppy and take charge of dog care reminds me of myself as an eight-year-old. Max hit the jackpot, having a big house, two brothers, loving parents, and a backyard in Brooklyn all to himself. He’s growing into a big guy, and has been nothing but amazing from Day 1.
How much time do you dedicate to The Dog Matchmaker per week?
S: Working on The Dog Matchmaker is always a blast, and is a true labor of love. This work is part-time, as my full-time job is as Executive Director of my nonprofit Foster Dogs NYC. I typically bring in a couple adopters per month so that I can devote enough attention to each person while maintaining my full-time Foster Dogs work. Seeing a successful adoption family photo makes every hour completely worth the effort.
What is your number one piece of advice for people looking to adopt a dog?
S: My biggest piece of advice is to remain flexible when looking for a new dog. It’s all about personality! Of course, it’s important to stick with your gut and continue searching for the “right” dog if a connection is not established. It is normal (and fair!) to set parameters with your adoption search, such as size, or general age range. Adoptable dogs come in many shapes and sizes, and it’s helpful to keep an open mind about what your future dog will look like or act like. One of my adopters began her search with the desire for a medium-sized hound mix, and after some back-and-forth she realized that she wanted a small non-shedding dog. I found her a small older Maltese, and she is truly thrilled with her buddy Baxter. Another adopter “success story” was Miso, whose adopters originally loved mini Goldendoodles, and ended up finding a stunning red low-shedding mix who was perfect for their home. That’s the beauty of adoption: you might end up bringing home an entirely different “perfect match” than you originally predicted! I love it.
Are there any red flags that you’re on the look out for when people reach out to you?
S: If someone reaches out with the desire to breed their new dog, or to use him/her in an aggressive manner (“junkyard dog” type of request), I cannot help them. Typically, people who reach out for my help have seen the incredible amount of information and photos available of dogs for adoption, and need assistance finding their ideal matches and knowing how to make this a success.
When choosing a dog, is it more important to have the breed’s characteristics in mind or the specific dog’s character?
S: It’s certainly important to consider a breed’s characteristics according to their standard, in order to have an initial idea of what the dog’s qualities and limitations are. Some breeds are excellent at running, which others prefer to lay around the house. If an adopter asks me for help finding a “running buddy” to practice for marathons, I won’t recommend that she adopt a short-nosed Boston Terrier or Bulldog, as breathing would be a concern. That being said, personality plays a huge factor in the adoption search and just because a dog’s breed has the potential to be “good with children” or “gentle and calm” does not mean that the specific dog will display those characteristics. It’s so important to learn about the dog’s personality before bringing him/her home, if you have specific criteria that you are looking for. Not every dog is perfect for every home, so doing research about the specific dog and his/her breed can assist in your decision to adopt.
Well there we have it, some great information from the Dog Matchmaker herself on how to go about adopting a dog. We hope you’ve enjoyed the article, now enjoy this .gif of dogs being brought to their new homes. Catch you next time! Still reading? We’ve also made an app for dog care and would love it if you checked it out!