I’m glad that we can laugh about this event today because at the time (that I will be referring to) there was a lot of crying and frustration involved.
Do I have your attention now? 🙂
I have always been a huge dog lover. Over the course of my childhood, my family had several Great Danes, a Bassett Hound, and, my favorite, an Italian Greyhound, named Maggie.
One of my “childhood dreams” was to open up a business called “Laura’s Doggie Daycare.” I even made this “business” out of legos when I was young. 😉
Since Travis and I began living together, we always talked about getting a dog.
I dreamed of a cute little Italian Greyhound who would snuggle up to us. Travis dreamed of a little pug running around playing catch.
We are both dog lovers and we contemplated the idea of getting a dog the summer after we got married. (More like I wore Travis down until he finally agreed to the idea).
You see, we love dogs but…we also really like our freedom right now.
We can leave the house and not have to worry about anything (except for my house plants 😉 ). The other thing is that our backyard is not fenced-in and has a huge (I’m talking 30 foot!) cliff that leads down to a creek. While both of these were red flags for us getting a dog, I figured that we would adjust and be fine.
I began following a local Manhattan pet rescue site. They were constantly getting new dogs in “foster” homes and had many weekend adoption events.
In May, I spotted the perfect dog for us. She was a 1 1/2 year-old Chihuahua named Sunshine and just the cutest little thing.
The next weekend we headed to an adoption event just to meet her.
After cuddling her for awhile, I was ready to sign the papers and take her home. Unfortunately, so were the rest of the people there. She was a popular girl- probably because she was so sweet and calm!
We filled out the papers and went home, anxious to hear back from the rescue directors in about a week.
The next week, the rescue directors told me that Sunshine was placed in a home of people who had already adopted from them before. Basically, that alone gave them priority over anyone else.
We were both bummed out and thought that maybe this was a sign to give up the dog search and wait.
I still kept my eye on the rescue site though and when my friend Jessica would come over to hang out, we would scour the site and discuss our favorite dogs.
That’s when I saw Carter.
He was a 6-year-old Miniature Pinscher mix (maybe part Rat Terrier too?).
Week after week, I saw him on there and while he wasn’t my ideal dog, I still thought he was cute and worth a shot.
I set up a meeting at PetSmart with the foster family and a volunteer from the rescue. In the few days that I waited to meet him, Travis and I bought the “essentials” like toys, a crate, dishes, etc. We were ready (or more like I was and Travis was just going along with it!).
Travis had to work when I went to meet Carter so I brought my friend Jessica along since she had helped me set up the meeting and was as excited as I was.
As I played with him and walked him around the store, I noticed that he didn’t mind whatsoever and I didn’t feel a strong attachment to him. Ignorantly, I thought it was just nerves and that it would get better. I signed the papers, wrote my check, and off we went to bring him “home.”
We had our friends Paul and Carly coming over that night, and Carter’s incessant barking and jumping at dinner started to worry me. Then, we were hanging out in the basement, and out of nowhere, he would get into our faces and growl and snap. It was enough to have me in tears wondering what we (I) had done.
I also worried that he wasn’t eating enough (#NewPetParentNerves) and both Travis and I didn’t sleep a wink that night. However, Carter slept so well in his crate that he even snored.
I began to realize the next day how difficult it was to always have a poor-minding dog on a leash. We went outside the next morning for a walk and for him to potty. (He stopped every two steps to try to pee on everything. We both agree that our next dog will be female.)
We spent the day cooped up inside, not wanting to leave him alone, but knowing that it was torture taking him outside with us. Sadly, my favorite part of our time with him was when he would take naps because you know I’m all about doggie cuddles.
As the day went on, Travis and I began to band together and started thinking of him as “the outsider.” (It’s awful, but true.)
It just didn’t feel right. He was used to having a large, fenced-in yard with a doggie door to go outside whenever he wanted. We couldn’t provide that, and we both started to feel guilty that he wouldn’t be as happy with us, stuck in the house while we were at work. (Sidenote: I know that many dogs are crated inside during the day, but Travis and I both grew up with farm dogs that could roam around freely so we just couldn’t bear the thought of crating him.)
I shed many tears that day while we contemplated what to do. He was a sweet little guy but it wasn’t a good fit on either side.
We decided it would be best to give him back.
That being said, I contacted the director of the rescue who had me get in contact with the previous foster family. As luck would have it, the family would be coming through Manhattan late that evening, and that is when we would do the “drop.”
Even though I knew it was best to give him back, I still cried some more when the family arrived. The family, who has kids and many other pets, were thrilled to welcome him back, and we instantly felt at ease with our decision.
Now, Travis and I joke that we “rented” a dog that weekend, a very expensive rental, I might add.
Embarrassing as it was at the time (especially as I hurriedly took down the Facebook picture I had posted), it was what was best for us: A learning experience that Travis and I (mainly me) needed to realize; this house is not ideal for a dog and that we are not ready in this stage of life.
As far as Carter goes, I saw on the rescue site that he was adopted into a family with three children just a few weeks later. I’m sure he is doing great there!
If you bring him up in our house now though, we call him, “The One Who Must Not Be Named.” 😉
Someday, when we live out in the country, we will have another dog, but until then, I am happy with my plants and cuddling other people’s dogs.
Have a great day!
Question of the Day: What is your favorite breed of dog?