Ya’ll that know us know that we are a family of dog lovers. Especially of the large variety. During our engagement my (then) fiance and I bought a Great Dane puppy named Midge. She was at our wedding and eagerly awaited our return from our honeymoon. For a Dane she was on the small side – she was the runt of a runt.
We had her for a few years before we decided to add to our canine family. We went to the pound and brought home a mutt named Lucky. He wasn’t so lucky. He ended up back at the pound after we realized he was a complete ADHD spaz and tormented not only us but our Midge as well.
A few years after that we decided to try again. (Adopting a dog – I was already pregnant.) My hubby had been drooling over a Harley and he wanted a Boxer puppy- hence – Buell became a part of our family. I think it was maybe a week later we noticed Midge acting funny. At first we thought she wasn’t amused at sharing the house with a puppy but it didn’t take long before we realized it was more serious. The vet discovered she had kidney failure and she never recovered.
We had Buell for about two years. At that time we decided to sell our house and move into an apartment. Young Boxers are not good apartment dogs. He had way too much energy to be cooped up inside. We made the hard decision to give him to our friend’s dad who had been wanting a Boxer. We still miss him but we know he’s happy.
Fast forward another two years-ish. We knew after we moved and settled in we would once again find a dog for our family. Lately all the kids – including the adult one – have been begging for a canine. The hubby and I discussed the merits of adopting an adult vs. rearing a puppy and the adult sized pooch won. This morning we headed off to Petsmart to see the mobile adoption unit. Unfortunately they only brought one dog with them and a plethora of kitties. The kids weren’t satisfied to wait until Monday to go to their shelter. To be honest, I wasn’t either. A quick scan through the phonebook brought us to the local ASPCA.
There were maybe 20 dogs and a few of them were quite the barkers. We narrowed it down to four dogs before tracking down a volunteer to get more information. Only two of the four were suitable for a family with kids and cats. Luckily one of those two was my oldest daughter’s favorite. I think she would have been crushed if we’d had to dismiss the dog so quickly. My daughter sat by her kennel crying huge tears. She’s made up her mind and that was the only dog she wanted. Her tears finally dried after explaining to her that we would take both dogs out to the yard to play and that we’d roadtest her dog first.
The dog she’d fallen in love with was a blue tick hound named Arlene. Let me tell you, Arlene perfected the sad puppy dog eyes. I swear she was trying to tell us that she didn’t belong in that madhouse. Her last owners underfed her and her ribs were clearly defined. It makes me so angry to see animals treated that way. We took her outside into the yard and she promptly sat down. She had no interest in playing or barking or jumping or licking. The volunteer confirmed that she was indeed a very mellow dog. Her ears were pulled and tail tugged and hips squeezed. Nothing phased her.
Next up was a solid black dog named, um, something or other. (gee, can you tell which dog we chose?!) He (or was it she?) was a quiet dog also but once he got into the yard he was ready to play. After he was comfortable he started running around and trying to jump on Beans. We knew right then that he wasn’t the dog for us. Arlene was destined to come home with us.
True to form she walked into the house and after sniffing everything she promptly climbed onto the couch and went to sleep. I’m glad she’s mellow but we’re going to have to work on the couch thing. After dinner my hubby took her outside to do her business. She LOVES to be outside and was happy to run around sniffing everything. Until she discovered a loose corner in the fence. BAM! She wriggled under and took off! My hubby chased her down and brought her back. He fixed the loose spot but the fence is only 3ft high and I’m sure she could jump it if she decided to. Now we have to decide if she’s going to be a runner. I don’t want to have to keep her on a leash every time we go outside. The ASPCA has a 14 day return policy so we do have the option to take her back. It would break our hearts, as we’ve already begun to get attached to her, but if she is a runner – that’s a serious problem.
We’re on this adventure and we’ll just have to wait and see where it takes us. I hope we’ll be able to keep her but if push comes to shove I’d rather take her back than to have her run away to a fate unknown. Maybe if we tell her we’ll stop calling her Arlene she’ll agree to stay.