Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Puppy Diaries

5 Days BC (Before Crosby).  Monday, August 6th
Emma had her annual check-up.  Her doctor is 5 minutes from the Humane Society.  We had been thinking about getting a puppy, but....  we weren't 100% sure.  Emma had never been to the Humane Society and I wasn't sure if I wanted another dog, so I decided to take her there and we could check it out.  I thought I was safe.  She has been to Petco and none of the kittens / lizards / snakes / ferrets / hamsters have come home with us.

The dogs there were crazy.  Poor things.  Some were attacking their cage doors, some were jumping all around their kennel, some were showing us their teeth, some were shaking in the back corner of their kennel. 

The kennel worker guy said, "Not many of these dogs are good with kids....  you wouldn't want a puppy, would you?" 
Me:  "Yes, actually we would!"
Kennel Guy:  "We have 2 puppies, they will be available for adoption on Thursday.  You can sneak a peek."
We take a walk to the back kennels.
Kennel Guy:  "Here they are.  They're brothers."  Two really cute puppies were cuddling together on their bed.  One was all tan with a little bit of black on his face, the other was mostly black with some tan markings. 
Emma and I:  "Hey, cute puppies!"  The black one jumps off his bed and comes to the cage door, wagging his tail.  "Aw, he's so cute!"  We gawk for a few minutes and leave. 
Kennel Guy:  "So if you come back on Thursday, right when we open at 11:00, you can see him and play with him and see what you think."

Emma is gushing.  I am thinking.  We get home and tell Joe and Luke. I get on Craigslist, ebay classifieds, and all the local newspapers to see if I can find a puppy.

4 Days BC (Before Crosby), Tuesday August 7th
The kids go to my parents for a few days for a sleepover. I keep scouring the internet for puppies. None are as cute as the one at the Humane Society. I start looking for Golden Retriever breeders since I always thought our next dog would be one. I'm on this puppy kick now. But part of me thinks it is nice just having Baxter. I go back and forth - and back and forth.

3 Days BC, Wednesday August 8th
I woke up this morning realizing I had a dream about the puppy at the Humane Society.  Uh-oh!

2 Days BC, Thursday August 9th
Joe and I decide we have nothing to lose so we should go to the Humane Society to see the puppy. Right when it opens. We figure if it doesn't work out, the kids will never know since they're still not home. Plus it might be easier to see this puppy without the pressure of the kids begging for it.

We pull into the parking lot and this lady gets out of her car and runs to the door. It is still locked. Must be just a minute before 11:00. We follow her and they unlock the door. She runs to the front desk and says, "I'm here to see the puppies." I say, "We are too." She says, "Which one?" I answer, "The black one." "Oh good, I want the tan one", she says.

The lady at the front desk says, "One of the puppies is already spoken for." In unison, the other lady and I say, "What?" She says, "There was a pre-application on one of them." The other lady gets a little upset and said, "I asked if I could put a deposit on him or do an application ahead of time and you told me no. How could this happen?" No answer. Just, "Have a seat and we'll find out which one is taken already. I have to make a call." They take us to a room in the back so we couldn't hear the phone call I guess. On the way back, the beans are spilled that an employee is adopting one of the puppies.

After a few minutes, the front desk lady told us that the black one is spoken for. The other lady is relieved, but then apologizes to us. "It's okay", I say, "It wasn't meant to be." And I mean it.

Until I got in the car. We weren't 100% sure we wanted a puppy anyway, but suddenly I was sad we didn't even get a chance to see him.

1 Day BC, Friday August 10th
The kids are home and Emma has to go back to the doctor for a follow up appointment.  She asks if we can go to the Humane Society.  I tell her what happened with the puppy.  She cries.  She asks if we can go anyway.  I tell her I don't think that's a good idea.  "But maybe I can just say hi to the other dogs", she begs.  I agree to take her.

We walk in the front door and the kennel worker from the other day is standing there.  His mouth drops.  "I was just looking for your phone number!" he says.
"Shut up!" is all that comes out of my mouth.
"I'm serious.  I was just going to call you.  She changed her mind; she doesn't want to adopt him.  He's yours if you want him."
"You wouldn't do this to her, would you?" I say as I point to Emma.  I can not believe this is happening.
"No, I wouldn't.  I'm serious.  Why don't you go to the playroom and I'll bring him out."

We sit in the playroom to wait for the puppy.  For about an hour.  Okay, it was probably 5 minutes.  But it seemed like an hour!  Emma's lip starts to quiver.  She starts to cry as she is sitting on the bench waiting for the puppy.

"Emma, why are you crying?  What's the matter?"
She can hardly catch her breath.  "I just really think this puppy is meant to be a part of our family!"
"Well, that's why we're going to see him, sweetheart.  Try to pull yourself together, okay?"
She takes a deep breath. 

In flies this bundle of energy.  Holy. Cow.  He whips around the room, jumps all over the place, nips our hands, bites the bench.  We are in trouble now.  He is too cute.  TOO CUTE. 

I call Joe.  He and Luke come.  He didn't tell Luke where they were going.  Luke had no idea why we were playing with this puppy until I said, "Well, what do you think?  Do you guys think this puppy should be ours?"

Luke:  "Really?  Really?  WHAT?!?  ..... YES!"

The workers give me a clipboard to fill out a puppy adoption application.  This thing is crazy long - almost as long as the paperwork I had to fill out when we were adopting our kids!  ha.

They have a 2 visit policy.  Plus our paperwork has to be approved.  After a few hours, we say goodbye to the puppy.

Later that night
We have a hysterical time trying to pick a name.  We are brainstorming names:  Sparky, Rascal, Lucky.  About 20 more.  Someone comes up with Dude.  We are hysterical.

"Dude, don't pee on my carpet!"
"Dude, are you hungry?"
"Dude, do you want to play?"
"Dude, do you want to take a walk?"

On and on - and ON! - this went with a 9 year old and a 6 year old.  I mean - AND ON.  ha.

Luke comes up with Malkin.  (His favorite hockey player because he is Russian.)  Malkin doesn't have that dog ring to it.  "How about Crosby then?"

We all like it.  After all, he is a black and gold dog.  We love the Pittsburgh Penguins.  It sounds 'dog-ish'.  Why not?

Day of Crosby, Saturday August 11th
The Humane Society calls and says we are approved!  Except we need to bring in our dog for an introduction.  If all goes well, we can take him home with us today.

When we arrive, Baxter is a bit nervous.  All the barking, alll the smells.  I'm sure she wonders what we are doing to her.  They take us outside.  The dogs sniff each other, check each other out.  Tails wag.  Yeah!  This is perfect. 

The puppy jumps up on Baxter.  Baxter pulls away.  He does it again.  She growls. 

Crap.  We're screwed.

"Oh good!" says the kennel worker.
"What?"  I say.
"Oh we like to see that the older dog is going to establish dominance and teach the puppy who is boss and how to behave.  See if she'll do it again."
We let the slack out in Baxter's leash.  The puppy jumps again; Baxter growls again.  This time the puppy retreats and hides behind someone's leg.
"Very good!" says the kennel worker, "He is learning from her!"

We head inside and repeat more of the same.  We get the stamp of approval, sign the papers - and away we go.  Back to a family of two 4-legged friends!!

And I wondered what I was going to do with myself all day with Emma in 1st grade.  I think I just figured it out!

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