In previous posts I’ve mentioned our kitties. We love our cats, a little too much, but we also pine for a puppy. I have never had a puppy before. Our family dog was a year old when we got her, and the hubster hasn’t had a puppy since he was a young boy sporting a bowl cut. Yea, that’s right ladies, be jealous of my once mushroom topped man.
A dog has always been in our future, but every time the hubster would look at me with those puppy-dog eyes, I would robotically say “We cannot have a dog in an apartment, it’s not fair to the dog.” Well one stray cat changed all that. I was having lunch with a friend when I noticed a beautiful, rough around the edges, stray cat in her backyard. That fur ball honed in on my animal-lover-weakness, made eye contact, and would not…stop…meowing. I obsessively began thinking of ways I could get that cat to a shelter, or to my bathroom for safe keeping. Animal control was called, and shelters contacted, but by the time my work day was done the stray had vanished. One of the shelters suggested I look on Craigslist to see if any family had posted a lost cat ad.
No such ad was found, but what was found was an ad for a Golden Retriever that needed an emergency new home due to a divorce. I glossy Golden is my dream dog. They are beautiful, calm, loving creatures. I called the hubster and it took about .2 seconds to convince him it was a good idea. Alas, I was too late, and the dog had found a new home, but that started my dangerous on-line browsing of Golden rescue dogs. The hubster was giddy that I’d finally been broken of my no-dog-in-an-apartment rule and we planned to drive to San Antonio that weekend to a shelter with hundreds of dogs, many of whom, were on the kill list. The next day I came home to the hubster pouring over his puppy hope chest of items he’d collected over the years for his future puppy: a light up Frisbee, tennis ball, ropey toy, puppy back-pack, leash, etc. And when I walked into our bedroom, there was a dog crate, expectantly waiting for its new inhabitant.
The weekend came and we made the long drive to the shelter to see a particular Golden mix dog we had fallen in love with online. I began to feel anxious. I looked around at the happy families there to adopt, and saw them as enemies who were there to steal my dog. We walked into the first building and were dizzied by the smell of feces, and deafened by the loud barks reverberating off the cinder block walls. I walked with purpose up and down the rows, looking quickly at each desperate dog, searching for the familiar face of my dog. Building #3 is where we found “our” dog. We were handed a leash and permitted to take her out of the building to a small fenced in meet & greet area. I was expecting instant connection, love, gratitude, and slobber, but this dog wouldn’t have been interested in me if I had perfumed myself with brisket drippings. The dog relieved itself, and the hubster opened the gate to grab a baggie, when the dog made a run for it.
This is a huge animal shelter, with multiple large buildings, surrounded by a high fence. It looks like a high security compound. The only problem was that ALL 4 gates had been left WIDE open! I took off running after the dog, futilely trying to call it back to me, while everyone just watched. Not a person offered help, or even went inside to get a volunteer. I assume it was more amusing to watch a girl run frantically after a fugitive pup on the loose. I foolishly ran after the dog with tears streaming down my face and was convinced we had just killed the dog we came to take home when it disappeared into the woods along the highway.
I was embarrassed and heart-broken, and wondered if they would even let us take a dog home if it was already running away from us after 3 minutes. We were unfit parents. Thankfully the dog returned a few minutes later and was put back inside, but the hubster and I knew that we could not take that dog home, as unpredictable as it was. We drove the hour and a half home defeated, to an apartment with an empty crate.
A week later I had another encounter with a dog at the pet store when I went in to buy cat food. I can never walk by a puppy table with eyes forward. I fell in love with a 6 month old black puppy who had just had a cast removed from her leg. She was the sweetest, snuggliest puppy I’d ever met. While I was down at her level, she would cautiously crawl into my lap in the most gentle manner and tuck her head underneath my arm. I pulled myself away and I went to another store to finish my errands and called the hubster. I told him about her soft coat, sweet eyes, and gentle nuzzles. He reminded me that Christmas was just around the corner and it would be the best present ever if I came home with a dog. At that point I had been informed by our apartment that they have a two pet maximum, but after meeting this puppy I was ready to throw caution to the wind and take her home anyway. I went back to the pet store, ready to exchange information and possibly take this dog home that I had fallen in love with.
As I walked up to the table I saw my dog sitting on a nice new dog bed with a leash, and a happy young couple crouched around her with papers in hand. They were talking about how apparently her favorite toys were stuffed animals, and stroking her soft coat. I stared at that happy, shiny, couple in disbelief. They looked like people the hubster and I could be friends with, maybe have over for dinner or get coffee on Town Lake with. “Are you guys taking that dog home?” I asked with a slight break in my voice. They nodded in unison with bright eyes and big smiles on their faces. I did an about-face, burst into tears, and called the hubster to tell him I was too late. Another dog lost, another drive home to an apartment with an empty crate.
I think we were being told that now is not the best time to bring a puppy or dog into our family,even though we both long for one so desperately. We’ll just have to wait. I must put blinders on when I walk into pet stores and steer clear of rescue adoption sites until the time is right. But you can’t stop me from looking at cute pictures on the internet. 🙂