Sunday, February 17, 2013

Journey to the Dog

After losing our beautiful, awful, drive you crazy, every bodies favorite husky to cancer, we decided that it was time to look for another dog.

Last week we started the process finding the perfect match. Was it a little soon? Yeah, probably. But we also know that there are a lot of great dogs who need a good home. Something we are more than capable of providing. So the search began for a new addition that was both good with other dogs and children.

With in a couple of days we found what looked like a match. A gorgeous pit bull mix, named Rose. Yes, I know their reputations. No, I haven't lost my mind. What I knew was she was the only calm dog in a kennel full of barking, lunging, lunatics. So we asked to see her. They brought her to a small room with a few chairs and a lot of space. She came to each of us in turn, tail wagging and placed her head in each of our laps. When my daughter got up a moved around the room, Rose followed seeking gentle affection, which of course she received in abundance.

Though I had reservations about her particular breed, I couldn't ignore how sweet natured she was. We made arrangements to have her meet our nine year old Shiba Inu. No, I haven't been drinking while I type this. It's a real breed.

When we returned Rose greeted us with the same gentle affection she had already displayed. Our shiba was not greeted so kindly. Though she never barked, growled, or lunged, Rose did make her displeasure of him known by her stiff body language and utter avoidance of his presence. This was not a good sign. We asked the shelter attendant if we could take them for a walk hoping they would mesh better on more neutral ground. It was rainy out, but the attendant agreed to go with us.

The only thing we accomplished was getting muddy shoes, wet socks, and further signs of aggression. Rose never growled or gave verbal warning, but it her stiff stance and flattened ears told us she was not a fan of our poor little guy. I wasn't going to risk either dogs safety for our own selfish wants. So sadly, we had to leave Rose behind.

And our search for the perfect dog continued.

My husband and I had issues agreeing on which breed to choose. He was set against labs, I decided that I just wasn't comfortable around pitbulls, despite some real sweeties. We spent hours searching online and we only had a few leads. We had already decided that, though we loved our husky, that we wanted to try something different. Our husky was pretty, extremely affectionate, and had a lot of personality, but she was also a lot of work. She was willful and never listened. She constantly stole food. And the fur...oh my God, the fur. Every three months or so it looked like it snowed in our house.

We tried several different local shelters without any success. After a couple of frustrating days, we decided to load up the whole family, dog included, and drive an hour to try some area shelters. Since we were unfamiliar with the city, we ended up lost more often than not. Even the GPS was confused at one point. The annoying electronic voice insisted we were at a rescue, when in reality we were at a park. Luckily the park ranger was able to lead us in the right direction. They really are very helpful. Anyway, we ended up retracing our path many times as we traipsed back and forth across the city, searching for the addresses we had on our lists. We ended up with:

We were told one dog would probably eat ours.
One ran anytime our daughter got near him.
One weighed more than me.
One tried to eat ALL OF US. Seriously, I almost wet my pants.

After a few hours of fruitless searching we had crossed off all of the addresses, save one. We finally reached it...just to discover that they didn't actually have any dogs there. It was just the place that accepted donations. The lady was sympathetic to us and my four year old who was disappointed so she offered to let us see her dog. A gorgeous, black and white, blue eyed husky.

We of course melted. After seeing how affectionate that dog was with our daughter, we left saying how maybe another husky wouldn't be so bad. I told my husband I wouldn't mind a red one. Our last one was silver.

The next day we went to another adoption day. Out front was a beautiful, red and white, blue eyed husky. Not even kidding. It was the first dog we saw. I spoke with the rescue lady who was so protective of this dog you would have thought she gave birth to it. She sent people away with military precision.

"How much experience have you had with huskies? None. Next."
"You have a pitbull at home? Next."
"Oh, you have had a husky. Great. Oh, you left it when you moved? Next."

It was finally our turn.
"You've had a husky?"
"What happened to her?"
"We lost her to cancer."

On, and on it went. Until finally

"You know, I'm not giving her away today. But please call me next week. Please, please call me."

Sometimes fate just works that way.

So tomorrow we call and hope our search is at an end. I'm still glad our end didn't come with that one dog that tried to eat us.

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