Jun 5, 2009

Where's My Forever Friend?

Where have you gone, Corgi Boy, Corgi Boy,
And where have you gone, Darling Corgi?

Larry and I started talking about a dog. As early as December we started entertaining the idea. We knew our house owners were going to rent out the whole house and we couldn't afford it outright. Besides, we wanted a fenced yard. "To get a dog you know."

This is what happens when you get married too late to bear children and you're too old to raise adopted children. You get a dog. You get a forever friend. Larry really wanted a Welsh Corgi. I wanted a fox terrier. But I have a cat; and a dog is Man's Best Friend. Larry needed his own buddy. So we stared looking. Corgis are pretty adorable.

Over Christmas I saw a dog on petfinder named Amos. They even had a video up. He was at a shelter in Bakersfield. He looked so sweet in the video, with his little short corgi legs, running around playing with his shelter buddy. I emailed and the shelter staff said he got along OK with cats. "Oh yes," the guy wrote back. "And anyway, he's too small to threaten them."

I showed my brother in law the video of Amos on YouTube. "He looks really sweet!" Phill said. But it was December. And we still lived in a big house with no fenced yard. We'd have to ask our house mates.

Our house mates were down in January. We asked them about a dog. They said sure. Of course it would be a challenge without the fence. But we'd be looking for a place.

I emailed the shelter. Amos was still available! I asked all sorts of questions, I told them we'd be up on Saturday to see him. That very week, Wednesday, I was filming a commercial half way to Bakersfield. I told the old man on the shoot about Amos. "You should drive up and get himn today!" he said. But we didn't finish until 7:30pm. I called the shelter the next day to fidn out if I needed to bring a crate in the car.

Amos wasn't there. Amos got adopted the day before. But what about my calls my emails! We were coming to see Amos! "The dog went to the first person who was there and willing to take it home."

We tried not to look at Petfinder until we moved. We moved in March. We started looking, especially for corgis. There were a couple of rescue organizations that grabbed the corgis and resold them for $300 or more. That was annoying. I'm glad they love corgis and want to save them from euthanasia. But man, it made it really hard to get one.

We contacted a couple breeders. Purebred Welsh Corgis were going for $1,000 each. Larry decided if he was going to pay a thousand bucks, he wanted a tricolor male. The breeder only had red females. Another breeder contacted us. One of her dogs just gave birth! We got excited. Then she emailed back. She spoke too soon; they were all spoken for.

We expanded our list of dogs. Smallish dogs with the right temperament. We went looking at shelters. I ran into an old friend from high school! She was there with her husband; they found a dog for their two sons. My friend was smart. She had a great career, got married at the right time, had two sons, who are now old enough to have a dog. Some of my friends did their lives right. They left with their dog, and I went looking. I saw lots and lots of pit bulls; pit bulls and chihuahuas. I know people say pit bulls can be sweet. But last month a friend's daughter's boyfriend was visiting the house with his pit bull. Our friend's little Maltese ran out into the front yard. The pit bull attacked it, killed it right there in front of everyone. The boyfriend took the pit bull to the shelter. I would have taken the dog to the Mafia. And the boyfriend. Pit bulls shouldn't exist.

Then one Friday afternoon I saw another corgi on craigslist. I called the shelter, he was out in Lancaster. I got the voice mail run around. By the time I got to the right menu, it told me the shelter closed at 4pm. I went back to craigslist and found the shelter had a blog. There was the corgi! He looked so friendly; and he was part border collie. My sister has a border collie. They're terrific. I contacted the blogger. She said that if the dog was still online it was still available, but best to get to the shelter first thing.

We woke up at 8am and drove out to Lancaster. We got there at 10am. The place was packed. We got our number and went out to the kennel. There he was. He was the friendliest guy! He looked like a corgi but with longer hair. He looked just like my sister's collie, only with those short stubby legs.

Larry beamed from ear to ear. "That's my dog!"

A young Latino family with a crying daughter were trying to get their pit bull out of jail. This was the dog's fourth impound, and he was full of cuts this time. The dog wasn't neutered. The staff explained that they would not give them their dog back until they got their fence secured. Also, their dog would not leave the pound with its nuts. Because if the pit bull came back to the shelter again, it would not leave except in a doggie Urn. The dad didn't understand why the dog couldn't keep his nuts.

Because your dog has gotten out four times. He was found running in the street. Your dog was in a fight. Your dog is a pit bull.

The wife, dolled up in her makeup and stilettos at 10am on a Saturday, peeped up that the dog was purebred and they might breed it.
"Do you have the AKC papers?" The staff asked.
"The what?" She muttered.
"AKC papers?"
"Um. No."
Then you go home and fix your fence. We inspect it. If your fence is secured, you can come back and get your dog. Without its nuts.

Forty five minutes later, they called our number. We asked about the sweet friendly corgi in Kennel 12.
"Oh, he's been adopted."
Yesterday afternoon. They're picking him up tomorrow."
But why is he still on the site?

Larry and I drove out to see the poppies. It didn't make us feel much better.

I saw another adorable corgi pup at a shelter in Orange. I called. They said a rescue organization in SEATTLE had adopted it they day before. they were going to fly the dog to Seattle at the end of the month.

"But why, so someone will MAYBE adopt him? I'm here. I'm a real person who wants to adopt him!"
"Sorry. It's already been decided. The dog is going to Seattle."
"But," I continued, "Can you tell me the name of the rescue organization, so I can call them? I'd adopt him from them."
"Sorry. We can't tell you who they are."

I called back a few minutes later. I asked if the lady would give MY phone number to the organization in Seattle. She said OK. I knew she was lying.

We found a few corgis on Petfinder. All of the Purebred Welsh Corgis had een rescued by a Crazy Corgi Lady. Her website has a huge disclaimer. "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT WASTING MY TIME OR YOURS IF YOU ..." followed by a list of things you can never do with a corgi. Like, let them around children. Or have visiting children over to the house. I wonder how corgis have survived all these eons of history, before recorded time, up to the present, without being around children. It's amazing how they've done that.

But there on her page was a Tricolor male! I contacted her. "TRAFALGAR" she informed me, already had an approved candidate for an owner, but she suggested we look at one of her other dogs, BROADMOOR. She'd renamed them. I'm half Welsh. If she wanted to give them Welsh names, she should rename them Hugh or Gryffydd or Cmrthddyyd or Llanannddaillo.

I filled out an application, said we were very interested in meeting Trafalgar and Sir Francis Drake or whoever she was calling them. Especially the tricolor, if the other candidate didn't work out. I had answered truthfully on my application that there was a child in the neighborhood. but I said I would never let it touch our dog. Ever. I didn't dare tell her I had a niece and nephew in high school. She wouldn't understand that they are intelligent, home schooled children. Maybe I could tell her that they're Amish and Amish don't allow pets.

Last Sunday Larry and I went to the Pasadena Humane Society. Not that we expected to see a Welsh Corgi, but you never know.

Well there was an adorable corgi-lab mix. But she already had a full waiting list. Then we saw a beagle puppy and a golden retriever puppy, and everyone's all over those dog. There in a corner, we see a dark red dachshund. Larry bends down. The sign says he's 8 years old. He's shy old guy, but his tail wags when Larry bends down to pet him. He comes up to the grate. He doesn't bark, he just puts his feet up to meet our faces. He's got two cuts and some stitches on him. He leans into Larry's hand and snuggles. Larry starts to cry. Then I do. We want this little guy. So much for corgis. It's the dog, not the breed. And we've fallen for this sweet boy. Given he's German , I playfully call him Dieter. Then I call him Deeter Doo," and it sticks. We are in love.

We go get in line. They tell us that A251184 is on WAIT status by the doctor, because he has stitches. The doctor wants to make sure he's healed before he's adoptable. To get on his wait list we first have to have an interview with one of their counselors. They give us a buzzer, put us on the waiting list. We are fourth in line to speak to a counselor. The place is busy.

We go back to visit with "Deeter Doo." He wags his tail when we return and snuggles into Larry's hand again.H e's the cutest, mellowest little guy. And my cat Honey could kick his ass.

Time ticks on. It is now 1pm. We are supposed to met our friend Doug for lunch at 1:15, and then go see a movie. We could skip lunch, I tell Larry. Larry doesn't like crapping out on friends. But we will have to choose between lunch or the counselor. Well, we rationalize, the lady at the front did say that Dieter, aka A251184 was "on hold,' until he healed. And everyone was drooling over the beagle and the lab corgi mix and the golden. We decide to give up our place in line and go have lunch with our friends. Because you keep your promises to friends. And who's going to adopt an 8 year old dachshund with stitches?

Doug is there at the Paseo. He is wearing stylish boots with long square toes, a shiny shirt with food dribbled down the front. You can't hide food dribbles on a shiny shirt. Except if you are a groovy jazz musician like Doug. He wants to go to the Yard House, a swanky sports bar. Actually everyone does. The Yard House serves $15 burgers and $14 for a tuna tartar appetizer that looks like Hiroshima after the atom bomb. It makes me sick to spend that much money when people are starving. It's so useless. I encourage us to pick La Salsa or Panda, something that is going to take less time. Because I am not going to get to a movie on its opening weekend, 5 minutes before it starts, and get stuck in the front row far side where the screen looks like a trapezoid in a fun house.

But everyone else wants to go to the Yard House. Well, I am not going to be an ENFJ today. I'm going to be a P. I go with the flow. Because that's how I roll. But 40 minutes later our friends are still talking about how horrible it is to be single. And I would have to agree, because when I was single i too lived for Sunday afternoon lunches with friends; except not at yuppie bar restaurants. Our food arrives and I have five minutes to eat my Tuna Hiroshima, easy to do when it's 1 oz, excuse myself and go save seats at the theater.

The movie sells out. UP is terrific. Larry cries at all the right places. Because he's that kind of guy. He cries when he meets Deeter Doo. He cries in movies. I love him. I am so glad I married Larry and am not one of those singletons eating Tuna Hiroshima at the Yard House. Afterward Doug wants Larry to go look at the shoe sale at DSW. It's where Doug got his new boots. But the same boots on Larry look like Aladdin and Pinnochhio had a brawl. It's best Larry keeps with his Converses.

We go back to the Pasadena Humane society the very next business day. First thing. I run out to the kennels, Larry gets in line. There is Deeter Doo! He wags tail wags when he sees me and cuddles into my cupped hand through the grate. Then, the counselor is ready to see us.

Dieter's wait list is full.
He's got a WAIT list, and it's FULL -- they won't add any more names.
THREE PEOPLE waited in that line on Sunday and got on his wait list. Three people who didn't go off to lunch at the Yard House. Of course there's a chance those three other parties will say no. But they won't put a fourth name on the Wait list. We'll have to call back tomorrow and find out.

Larry does better than that. He shows UP at the door, ready to do whatever it takes.

But Dieter is not there. Dieter got adopted. Dieter went home to live with his forever family. And it's not us. We both cried.

We called the Crazy Corgi lady and told her what she wants to hear. I told her I would shoot on sight any child within 50 yards of my house. Then I saw another corgi online today. A stray that got sent to the Pomona Shelter.

We drove out to Pomona to see him. But he wasn't there. We trust that his forever family came and rescued him, and that he already had his nads out so he could leave immediate. But while we were there, we saw two other sweet dogs. Larry loved the red one. I loved the black and white one. We thought we could take either home. Or both.

They won't be available until Tuesday. We'd need to be at the Pomona shelter, first thing Tuesday morning.

We will be in Las Vegas until Tuesday morning. What are the chances they'll still be around when we get back?

And anyway. I'm still grieving Deeter Doo.

Never fall in love with a dog that's not yours.
Never give a dog a name, until it's yours.
Otherwise he'll break your heart.


Kathy Rainwater said...

I'm so sad for you guys - it seems crazy that there is such a backlog of people wanting to adopt dogs, doesn't it? Maybe everyone was listening to Bob Barker, after all.



Sonserae said...

Susan and Larry,
We went through the same disappointments with trying to adopt. Peggy Wood's Pet Emporium on Hollywood Way in Burbank is where we got Barney Joe Cocker. He's the best dog in the world and I'm not biased! They let you pet the dogs and they are super nice. Barney is a pure-bred and had a price tag of $1500 but got him for $500. (He was in the bargain bin! Just kiddin) We would have loved to adopt but were interrogated and treated so rudely by the Pasadena Humane Society that we decided to just buy one. Sure, there are a lot of dogs to adopt, but it's a constant disappointment to wish on one and not get it. Good luck to you...Barney has added so much to our "family" being late marrieds that are too old to have kids ourselves.

Michele said...

Try Beagles and Buddies in El Monte. We got a wonderful dog there last year - she sits at my feet right now! They do charge a few hundred dollars for dogs but that is to feed the ones that have been there for years that no one wants. Their web site is www.beaglesandbuddies.com. Their photos are great of the dogs on the site.
Hang in there - it's hard!! It's worth waiting for the right one :) I'll pray...!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Adopting a dog is grueling, surprisingly so.

We first heard about Courtney during the worst week for bringing home a new pet - both kids' birthdays, and slumber parties and general chaos. But we wanted her terribly so we go on this long drive, in driving rain late at night and meet our dog.

Thankfully it worked ok. I can't imagine if it hadn't. I think we all would have weeped.

(Keep us posted. I hope you find just the right dog(s) for you. :))

Ted and Lori said...

I just have to say how glad I am that you guys are going for a shelter dog. Yes, pit bulls should not exist. I snickered through a lot of this post. Funny, funny, funny.
Hoping the new dog joins the fam soon.

Anonymous said...

First, let me say I am now praying for you and Larry and your dog search.

Secondly - the three corgis I have known best were/are faaaa-bu-lous with children, one of them sickeningly fabulous, like, loving my kids more than I do. And this corgi lives with friends, so it's not even the "loyal family dog." They just seem to be really sweet dogs.

Thirdly, I aspire to someday shoot a video like that without giggling. I always wreck our home videos by shaking the camera.

And lastly, our latest (shelter) dog popped up with distemper (??!!) a week or so after Robb brought her home. And I am so glad I married Robb, instead of someone like, well, me, because when the shelter said "Bring her back and you can pick out another," he said "We don't give up on family" and manfully paid out the hundreds to get her better, and I totally would not have done that. And just this morning, 6 years later, she made me laugh and laugh.


Anonymous said...

I know that everyone is commenting on your dogs, but I just read your book, "Angry conversations."...um, FANTASTIC.....
Really hit home...and it was extremely inspiring.

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