I accomplished the improbable a few weeks ago, and convinced my husband that Dwight’s best chance for mood rehab was a new friend. Thus began Operation New Pooch.
Our first stop was at the local Pet Expo at the state fairgrounds. What started as a fun outing for us, Dwight, and the boys turned into our first foray into adoption. We were a motley crew — Cade strapped into a kiddie backpack worn by Corey, Grady tucked into the baby Bjorn worn by me, and Dwight sniffing around our feet on the leash. We turned a corner in the Cow Palace and BAM! We were greeted by the reincarnation of our dearly departed foxhound, Trixie. I suspect that was the first, big step in persuading Corey — the chance to have a Trixie doppelganger in our lives. We filled out the application, anxiously offered references, and waited. We were rejected because our fence wasn’t high enough, and Doppleganger was a jumper. Frankly, I’m glad they rejected us. I don’t foresee a time when I can hurdle a fence wearing a baby Bjorn.
Our next stop was the local SPCA. This organization does an awesome job of placing dogs. So awesome, in fact, that they empty out their kennels pretty much every weekend. This creates a sense of urgency among potential adopters. As in, “hurry up and pick one, or the dog you want will be snatched up under your very nose.” I’m blaming this for one of the reasons that I hastily selected Lady as Dwight’s new love. Not only did I speed date her at the kennel (and essentially elbow another potential owner out of the way to get her), I also brought her home on Valentine’s Day. Alas, this romance with Dwight was not to be.
Lady will make an awesome dog for a family who has the time to train her. She has a ton of good things going for her:
- She is affectionate and kissy, but not in an obnoxious or bad-dog-breath kind of way.
- She is gentle with kids. See kisses, above.
- She likes to snuggle.
- She is playful and enjoys both toys and other dogs (and Dwight’s mood was visibly lifted when playing with her).
- She’s pretty good on a leash and in the car.
- The only accidents she had in the house were reactions to being scared.
So why didn’t the romance work out? As soon as we got her home, we realized that the poor critter had obviously never been in a house before. The storm door freaked her out. Stairs perplexed her. She spent the first two days hiding under the dining room table, and only came out when Dwight led the way. Then she got more comfortable.
Everything was new, exciting, and chewy for her. The changing table, the diapers, Cade’s lunch. Cade’s dinner. Cade’s books. Grady’s binky. Laundry. The newspaper, and what happens when you shred it with your teeth. Dwight, and what happens when you chase him around the house, knocking little kids down in your exuberance…etc.
Let me reiterate that this is a good dog. She just needs to be comfortable in a house, and to learn some house manners. Me, with my bad judgement, should not have gone to the SPCA to adopt. While they are a good organization, they don’t know much about the dogs they place. Therefore, I didn’t know much about Lady, and the level of maintenance she would need. I wish I had the time to devote to her, but I need to be realistic — I’m wearing clothes that don’t match because I don’t have time for laundry. So I returned her on Sunday. I felt like a giant jerk while doing it, never wanting to be the kind of person who would return a dog for anything less than trying to eat my children.
If you are the kind of household that would be good for Lady, I enthusiastically urge you to go down to Falls Road for a meet n’ greet. A little time and love will surely make her an incredible friend. In the meantime, the search for Dwight’s pal continues. This time I will put in better effort to get the right match for the family.