|The Dog Saga
||[Jul. 17th, 2013|02:40 pm]
So Kevin and I have been talking about getting a dog for a while. We'd lived in apartments until last August that didn't allow dogs and since cold weather had set in by the time we got home from our honeymoon we decided we'd wait until summer to get a dog since it would be easier to get used to when going out for a walk is nice rather than the worst thing in the world. So a few weeks ago we had a free weekend and decided to pull the trigger and went to Orphans of the Storm, a shelter I've been to a few times now once to do a story on them for Patch and other times just to visit their ridiculous room full of cats where you can sit down and instantly be covered by felines looking for love and attention.|
We started by just walking the cages looking for a dog that seemed friendly and that we liked the look of and found Darla, a young, rambunctious black lab. We took her for a walk and rubbed her belly a bunch and were instantly in love. We'd told the people at the shelter we had cats and they volunteered to cat test her for us. This turned out to be a highly scientific process where they bring a dog up to their most docile cat and see how it reacts. Darla growled and lunged. We were told this was a "fail" and that it wouldn't be safe to have her around cats. We were distraught and considering leaving but a friendly volunteer took it upon himself to find us a dog. We tried two other black labs but one was too old and shy and the other fairly indifferent to us. We walked past other cages but found some of the dogs he was encouraging us to check out were already claimed. Finally we found a pit bull/lab mix that seemed friendly and took him out and again really enjoyed his company. When he was cat tested he seemed pretty indifferent to the animals and way more interested in the people around him which the volunteers said was a good sign. We signs some paperwork, paid for him to be neutered, immunized and microchipped and picked him up from the vet the next day.
In the week that followed we fell pretty solidly in love with him. He loved walking and set a brisk pace and when brought home from a morning walk would ambush whatever human was still sleeping by bounding onto the bed and showering them with face licks. He had a tendency to stand on his hind legs with his paws on either side of a person in what I referred to as a dog hug. He loved his dog bed and would curl up in it while we were on the computer or watching TV. He got compliments on his looks and friendly demeanor wherever we went.
The cats gave him a wide berth for the first few days but then Zen got sick of that and wanted to resume her regular space in our bed and Bravo started being a bit more curious. Things started going poorly. He growled at Bravo. He would stare at Zen and not pay attention to us when we were around. Then one night when we were settling down for bed Zen hopped onto my pillow and he leapt over me to growl and lunge at her. I separated them but as soon as he saw her again he did pretty much the same thing. It turned out he'd just taken longer to fail the cat test.
We were devastated. He'd only been with us for a short time but we'd already gotten really attached and I felt like I was letting him down taking him back to the shelter since he seemed so happy in our home. I cried a lot that night and the next day when we took him back. But he seemed really happy to see all the volunteers there and they assured us they'd be able to find him a home. I asked them to let us know if they found a dog that was particularly good with cats and we promised to come back and look at other dogs soon.
In the meantime my parents response to our bringing the dog back was a thinly veiled "I told you so" since we got a pit bull instead of a labradoodle (a lab/poodle mix). They think labs are the best dog ever even though one of their favorite dogs just looked kind of like a lab but was actually a Great Pyrenees mix. They currently have a labradoodle who they think is the platonic ideal of dog. When I said I was looking for a dog my mom sent me a list of lab rescue organizations. I told them I liked pits and they were sort of OK with it but then they met someone who had been bit by a pit bull and said I shouldn't get one and that they would buy me a labradoodle. I said I refused to own a designer bred dog when there are so many dogs in shelters and that I'd adopt whatever kind of dog I wanted and called them dog racists.
Anyways the shelter called me and said that their vet was actually fostering a dog that might be perfect for me. She's been going to work with her at their clinic where there are multiple cats with free reign that she never has had a problem with. We went to meet her yesterday and this big fluffy cat saw us petting her and demanded attention for himself. He was standing right in front of her and I was petting both of them and everyone seemed happy. We decided to take her home and give her a go. The vet named her Ladybug because she's a pointer mix and covered in freckles. She's super mellow and likes stretching out on the couch or the bed between Kevin and me. Kevin thinks she might be a bit too mellow. He wants a dog that's super excited to see him and filled with energy but I keep pointing out that seeing as we both work all day and occasionally like to go out all night having a dog with that much energy isn't necessarily a good thing. But I'm hoping she grows on him because I really like her. Zen slept on my pillow last night while Ladybug slept beside the bed and there was no conflict.
I told my parents we were trying a new dog who I thought was a pointer mix. She suggests a DNA test. Sigh.