Friday, June 24, 2011

Puppyversary! Part I

I'm writing this post one day late, but yesterday marked the day that Jonah has lived with us for one year.  Since I didn't have this blog when we got him (although now I wish I did, so I could better relive the memories), I'll try to recap the story of how Jonah became a member of our family.

As I mentioned in a post a week or so ago, Dave and I had started the adoption process before our wedding.  There was a puppy in a local rescue organization that we'd been approved for, but we didn't want to bring a dog home until we were back from the honeymoon.  When we got back, the puppy we'd had our eyes on had been adopted.  I remember being in the Seattle airport, waiting for our flight and sending emails in response to ads I'd seen on Petfinder.  When we got back, I would pour through the ads daily and send Dave any links that looked promising.  My general line was, "Am I cute?"  Usually the answer was no (Dave at least at that time was pickier than I was, and the result paid off!).  Sometimes it was yeah.  Often it was 'cute now, but what about when he grows up?'

When I sent him Jonah's picture, I was clearly tired.  The title of the email was "Just One."  Here's the body of the email:
could you look at this guy:
> now i'm done with puppies for the day.

The link is still working as of the time I'm writing this post...who knows how long it will last.  Here's the text in case it's down:

On the weekend of May 1, the middle Tennessee area was hit by devastating flooding resulting in more than 30 deaths and historic destruction. 
Many wonderful rescues were heavily damaged by the floods and are in danger of permanently closing their doors. In order to help them, we are assisting them in placing their dogs. 
This handsome gentleman is one such displaced dog. Laddie is a one year old sheltie, possibly a mix. 
He is medium sized, 35-40 pounds. He is excellent with other dogs and cats. Shelties are active, smart dogs who need homes with smart owners who know how to entertain a smart dog. When rescued, he had a broken leg which required surgery and has been repaired. He is now back up and running like nothing ever happened. 
Laddie has been through a lot and is, despite everything, a happy, outgoing boy. He will make a family a very wonderful pet. 
He is available to meet and although he does not belong to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue directly, he is an honorary big fluffy and our resources are at their disposal including our foster network. Here's a chance to adopt a wonderful dog and help a flood victim at the same time. 

Dave's response? "Unadulterated adorableness."

Now when I look at this ad lots of red flags come up:  needing smart owners, broken leg, been through a lot...

But, I thought he was pretty darn adorable myself and I figured it was worth pursuing, so I called Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.  Since I'd already been approved, they had me call the organization who 'Laddie' was with, Hickman Humane Society.  Now, BFDR is located about 25 minutes away from us.  Even when they said this dog did not belong to BFDR, when it said the foster network was in use I sort of figured that 'Laddie' would be in New England.  I was wrong.

I talked to Laddie's foster mom at length.  I learned about his injury.  He had been attacked by a pit bull who grabbed and shook him until his leg broke and they could pull the dog away.  Apparently they'd had to put the attacker dog down due to this demonstration of aggressive behavior.  shudder.  Laddie had  undergone surgery, but the foster mom said he had fully recovered except that he would hop sometimes when she put him on a leash (another red flag?).  I knew we wanted a fit, active dog, so I asked a lot of questions about his leg but she convinced me not to worry.

She was very concerned that Laddie needed room to run, and was very impressed to hear we have a large fenced yard waiting for him.  I was told that he loved his crate, that he was not a big barker, that he was probably a full-bred sheltie, and that he loved to eat shoes.  When we got him, it was instantly clear that he did NOT love his crate and he was NOT a full-bred sheltie.  We've never seen him eat shoes, although sometimes he mysteriously takes my inserts out of my slippers and puts them elsewhere in the room, unharmed.  Luckily she was right that he's not a big barker.

Anyway, I spoke on the phone twice with Laddie's foster mom.  When I learned he was not local, I was very worried.  I had been certain that I wanted to meet the dog before we adopted.  They promised me, though, that if it did not work out one of the BFDR fosters would take him.  We would lose the transport fee, but that would be it.  It was a bit of a gamble, but Dave and I were so excited we just couldn't say no.  So, he was scheduled to be put on transport a few days later.

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