I don’t want another dog, especially an inside dog. We have 2 outside dogs, and 2 cats, that come and go as they please. I am in animal nirvana ~ cuddles and love at my will and nothing to tie me down if I need to go somewhere for more than one day.
Let me be clear… I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER DOG.
However, Tater’s other train wreck of a family get her a dog at every new place they land, and then when they leave the place or the person, the puppy never follows. I have dried so many tears about lost puppies, missing animals and heartache at what could have been and wasn’t.
Two weeks ago was the LAST Straw. Yet ANOTHER puppy taken away and the tears that came reminded Tater of all the other lost animals and anguish she suffered from every move.
OK OK OK OK OK OK OK. I’ll get a dog. An INSIDE dog. I don’t WANT an inside dog but it’s what this baby wants and it’ll make her feel better, so we’ll get one.
But, since I know I’ll be the main caregiver of this little animal, (I’m not THAT stupid), I get to decide on what kind of dog. And I wanted a Puggle. OMG, if you haven’t seen them, google it. Wait! No…just read on….
Now, we are rescue and animal shelter people. Hell, we’re animals-seen-on-the-side-of-the-road people. Even my full blooded boxer was a rescue after his mom died when he was 7 days old. We have a beagle that was a rescue from a beagle rescue group and the cats just kinda showed up. (I’m pretty sure there’s a network of underground animal leaders that take strays to good homes…we must be on that network SOME where.) So I started my search online for a Puggle….and it didn’t take long.
Saturday, we just missed one as it was adopted before we got to the shelter. I had emailed a group about 100 miles away, but that one wasn’t really available. Sunday I was looking and happened to look AGAIN at the local county animal shelter and THERE was one.
We called, they still had him and we left immediately.
We met “Eli” and immediately I knew THIS was the one. After about an hour, he was ours and we headed to Pet Smart to get all the stuff he’d need to be our new baby. He was 1 year old, already up to date on shots, neutered, crate trained and house broken. I mean, really…the perfect dog. He never barked the entire time we met him and had him.
Pet Smart is in a very large, very busy shopping center that includes a Super Wal-Mart and about 30 retail shops. We got out, walking him on the leash and went inside…picked out a crate, pillow, toys, brush and harness. When Mac was slipping the harness off him he slipped out of the leash, too. He was walking slowly and I went after him….which is when he picked up speed and hauled ass.
The story would end here, but the door happened to be open and out he went…looking for freedom and the family he left behind. I, along with several other kind, helpful, gracious people chased him all over the parking lot, watching as he dodged cars and people, running just out of reach of helping hands.
Two younger and faster teens chased him down a huge embankment, behind Urgent Care. They lost sight of him by the time we got there. We continued searching and calling…looking and yelling…crying and walking.
It was time to pick up Tater…this was to be a surprise for her and I THANK the stars I didn’t tell her about him. I left to go get her and Mac stayed to search some more. When we got back, we told her we were helping someone look for their dog.
We finally went home almost at dark. After a shower, I came back and left a crate, food and water, hoping he’d come back.
I was heartbroken, sick with guilt and ‘if only’s’. I wanted that little dog SO much. Mac was upset as well, but asked why I was SO upset…after all, I’d only had him for less than 2 hours. I simply couldn’t explain it….there was some bond.
Monday morning, Tater and I went back, spending hours driving around the shopping center, neighborhoods close by and calling out his name the entire time. Tuesday we repeated this effort. I had already called the animal control, all the vets, stopped by businesses and stopped the mailman and utility workers I saw out. He was no where to be seen or found.
Wednesday morning I had an appointment so I couldn’t go early and look some more. At 10:30, Animal Control called and said someone had reported seeing a puggle running through their yard. Tater and I jumped in the car, I cancelled my appointment and we were off.
This kind, kind man and his son talked to me and let me wander around his very large yard ~ he confirmed it was ours from the picture, but they weren’t sure which way he ran, because he was FAST.
Tater and I drove around for 5 hours, hitting all the neighborhoods, going around in circles and parking with a hamburger, water and food, while calling his name over and over and over and over….I did tell her we were trying to adopt this little dog, after she heard me tell the story so many times and starting thinking about it. She said, “OH Thank you”….but we still had no dog. I may have shed a tear at that moment.
Finally, ready to give it up for the day, I made one last circle of the area in my truck…just as I was ready to turn for home, I looked over and he was standing in that same yard! As I ran to get him, he dashed away, but I decided to hang out in that yard until he came back.
After an hour of calling and walking the grass bare, I looked down and he stood there, just out of my reach….I could just see him thinking…’What?”
I grabbed the food and went toward him as he ducked under a fallen tree, surrounded by thigh high bushes, limbs, briars and kudzu. It’s important at this point to say I was wearing a knee length denim skirt and flip flops cause I didn’t have this adventure planned when I left the house.
I headed in, flip flopped feet being as stealthy as I could, tossing food at him as he hid under the tree, just out of reach. I kept moving, tossing and calling. Finally straddling a tree limb (and I hope NOTHING else) and seeing blood run down my legs from the briars, I was close enough to grab him. I drug him out from under the tree, slapped the leash on him and yelled for Tater to come around the other side of the ravine. I was also thinking how smart it was of her to put on fur lined boots in the 90 degree weather….who knew she’d be the one prepared.
I called Mac, who had made it home….he said he’d meet us at PetSmart to get his stuff…..and where I carried him in my arms the entire time, with his leash on and firmly wrapped around my hand, my arm and the buggy.
And NOW, I’d like to introduce you to Whiskey…..I changed his name because the little SOB NEVER once came when I called him Eli, and if I never say that again, it’ll be too soon!
There were SO many wonderful, caring people that stopped to help me look, ran after him, took my number to call and just said, “Good Luck”. This tells me there really are kind and good souls in our world ~ so I say Thanks to Karma and everything and everyone else I prayed to that we’d find our Whiskey.
And now, when I ask, “Can I bring Whiskey?”, it’ll mean something TOTALLY different…it’ll mean I have to carry 2 things :)