Thursday, April 22, 2021

Dog Decisions

This past winter I caught the “dog bug”—that undeniable urge to adopt a small dog. The bug started small, but intensified as Jim and I began to take weekly (sometimes more often) trips down to the Jacksonville Humane Society.

Almost every time we visited, we would see one or two excellent candidates for adoption—the only problem was that they were already adopted! One day, though, I looked on the Humane Society’s website and saw a small dog that appealed to me. She seemed to be a Yorkie-mix. Usually any small dog pictured on the website was already adopted by the time we visited, but this time, the pooch was still there, homeless.

We couldn’t get a good look at her, since she was lying in her bed and did not get up to greet us, but we decided to inquire about her. The Human Society adoption counselor told us that the dog was a senior. She had just had dental surgery and would recover from that trauma, but she had an eye condition and would require constant care for the rest of her life. Adopting a dog in good health would be quite an adjustment; adopting one that required considerable care was more than I felt able to do. We decided she would not be a good fit for us. The counselor understood, but to help us adopt, she provided a list of local small-dog adoption agencies.

That night I started a search.

One link led to another, and I finally found petfinder.com, an adoption-agency aggregate, which allows you to search by zip code. I found a picture and description of a dog that appealed to me; I showed Jim, then I completed an application online.

Several days went by with no word from the agency. Finally, I received an e-mail saying the dog had been adopted. Darn!

I searched again. This time I found two different dogs and completed an application that included references. I said we would welcome either dog into our home. (Incidentally, my references were called!)

Several days later I received a phone call from the adoption “dog lady.” She said that those dogs were already adopted, but she thought we would make ideal “parents” for another dog. She then described a female Pekingese. I admitted that Pekingese was not a breed I had ever considered. We then talked some more, and she said she also had a male Shih Tzu. I warmed to the idea of a Shih Tzu. More talk, and she finally said she would have a female Bichon Frise within a week. I was familiar with Bichons. My sister Dawn had one many years ago. Her Bichon and my Poochi looked like brothers, at least from a distance.

The Pekingese 

Shih Tzu

Bichon Frise


All of these dogs were purebred. Purebred rescues? Yes! Several years ago, the dog lady explained, a breeder in her area had contacted her about adopting out dogs that were no longer going to be bred. The dogs were usually about five or six years old, both male and female. The breeder did not run a puppy mill, the dog lady explained. A personal visit to the breeding facility proved to her that the breeders were kept clean, healthy, and up-to-date on all shots.

The breeder was done working the Pekingese and Shih Tzu; thus, they were being put up for adoption. The Bichon was, too, but for a different reason: The 3-year-old Bichon had just aborted a litter. Consequently, the breeder would not use her again.

We discussed the pros and cons of each of these three breeds. The dog lady sent me pictures of all three and left it to me to make a decision about which I would like to have.

Each was cute as a button, but I leaned toward the Bichon: With her coloring and her curly coat, she reminded me most of my Poochi. And everything I read about Bichons said that they were affectionate and smart, although clingy. I decided on the Bichon. The dog lady told us we could pick her up in a few days, once she had recovered from being spayed. I could hardly wait.

Until next time,

Your Reluctant ROVER

Linda

 

 

 

 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Scam Alert!

Scam alert!

My dog Poochi died in 1993, but every time I see a Benji-dog with a poodle-ish face and blond coat, I feel the pang of his loss.

I had found him in a pet store when he was a tiny little pup, just weaned from his mama. He was not a smart dog. Some would say he was not even a cute dog. But he was my dog, a loyal companion who moved with me from Indiana to Louisiana, Texas, back to Indiana, then up to Michigan.   He was about 14 or 15 when old age caused kidney failure and numerous aches and pains. I knew when he began to cry in his sleep it was time to say good-bye.




 The cats (Charlie and Xena) I adopted when I moved to Florida filled a void created by the loss of Poochi, but despite my treating them like dogs, they were cats—aloof and independent. They tolerated some petting and occasionally sought some cuddling. But there was no way the cats could tug at my heart strings like my dog did.

Periodically Jim and I talked about getting a dog. He said it was entirely up to me to decide. About six months ago, after we sold our truck camper, I started to feel like it might be time. So, we started going to the Jacksonville Humane Society to check out their dogs. (We also went to the city’s dog pound. However, its location is distant from our house—not as convenient as the Human Society.)

The Humane Society separates small dogs from the big ones. I had my heart set on small lap dog, one that would resemble Poochi. I didn’t care about the gender or the breed, but I preferred one that would not shed and had a terrier-like face.

Several times when we visited, we saw dogs that met my criteria. The problem? They were already adopted. We were told we should come by immediately when the doors opened at 1 p.m. to get “first dibs.” We started doing that, to no avail. I suspect that the pandemic contributed to the paucity of lap dogs.

Frustrated, I started to check other digital sites: Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.

I had seen postings on Nextdoor once or twice from neighbors who could no longer take care of their pet for one reason or another. I had not been ready for a dog when I had seen those postings. Unfortunately, now when I was ready, there were no postings. Facebook didn’t have any either.

Craigslist was a different matter.

I discovered a number of ads for “re-homing” pups. Few mentioned the actual cost of the re-homing fee. Were these fees actually breeder fees (which could be thousands of dollars for a purebred)? Or something reasonable? Curious, I decided to inquire. Every response I received was similar (almost verbatim) to this:

We are glad you are interested in our Yorkie Pups we have for adoption. We have one Male (MARKY)  and one Female  (MILKY) they are pure breed Yorkie  puppies, they are vet checked and will come with all necessary papers. The puppies are very playful and are all of absolute temperament as they also love playing with kids and other household  animals. They are 11 weeks old and are brother and sister. I am giving these pups out for an adoption with no adoption fee, this is because we just relocated to a non pets apartment and we can't keep them any longer. 

I will be very willing to give you these pups if you can promise me of never to sell them, also do get back to me with   answers of the few  questions below so i can have an idea of where our puppies will be going to;

-Have you owned a pet before?

- Do you have a vet doctor?

-where precisely are you located?

- Are you a breeder?

- will you take all or just one? if one what sex?

-Do you have pets loving children at home?

- Give me a Brief Description about your Environment?

-Will you take good care of the babies like your own children?

All I need is just a caring and loving home for our babies where they will be well loved and spoiled to rotten. Thanks and will be waiting to read from you again.

Hmm…This sounded too good to be true. I sent another e-mail, “Where are you located?” (Mind you, these were advertised as available in the Jacksonville area.)

The response:

Am so glad, after reading through your mails, you moved to the number one sport in my heart for potential adopters of my lil pups.
More details on their personality.

*** My Lil Girl Milky *
-she is not yet Spayed,
-she is house broken and potty trained,
-She eat 2 times daily,
-She is socialized with kids and other house hold pets especially Dogs,
-She likes to be carried a lot and be spoiled,
-She likes to be kissed and likes Licking your legs.

*** My Lil Boy Marky ***
-He is neutered,
-He eats 2 times a day,
-He is socialized with kids and other house hold pets especially Dogs,
-He likes to keep him self away from the crowd but is also socialized,
-He feels shy when carried,
-He also likes Licking.

My husband and I have decided to give out these puppies to any one who is ready to take good care of them and we are happy you are willing to do so for them. All we need from you is your love for the babies. I really wanted to meet with you so you can pick up the babies yourself but since you are not in our area and it's a distance of long hours drive on car. I don't know if you will make up the ride to come pick up today or tomorrow.

We just relocate some few days ago to TX here is our address: 9310 Salisbury Avenue Lubbock TX 79401

Better still if you can't make it up here, then a pets transportation company with a great team is located close to us here and they can be registered and will be home delivered to you in less than 24 hours. All you will have to do is pay the transportation fee so they will be home delivered to you right at your doorsteps. We are giving the pups for free since they were given to us as a birthday gift ( at just 6 weeks old) and all I want in return is just you to take care of them and send me monthly pictures so I can see their progress.

Did you catch the sentence, “All you will have to do is pay the transportation fee so they will be home delivered to you right at your doorsteps”?

Yeah, right. Craigslist had several postings similar to this one. I wonder if they were all written by the same scam artist.

Next time—how we found our sweet Katie.

Your Reluctant ROVER,

Linda

 


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Her Yippiness

 A few months after Mollie (our neighbors’ Yorkie) died, Tommy came over with handful of a surprise—a tiny Yorkie puppy, appropriately named Minnie. She is a miniature version of Mollie. He swears that getting Minnie was Joanne’s idea. Easy for her to want a puppy, he said, since she didn’t have to take care of it all day long. I think his complaints were hollow, though. It didn’t take much for him to fall in love with that tiny pup.

Minnie is a handful of energy.

Minnie is a cutie, who has enamored all of the neighbors. Whenever she is tied up outside and sees Jim or me coming out the front door, she starts yapping, demanding that we come visit and pet her. She is not satisfied until we do. With her constant barking, she could easily be dubbed "Her Yippiness."

She is definitely a sweetheart, but she is not Mollie, who could be demanding but not too much, especially in her last years. Molly was mellow. After playing for a few minutes, she would go lie down and let you go back to whatever you were doing. Minnie, on the other hand, is a 5-pound bundle of energy, who, despite her tiny size, thinks of herself as an alpha. God help any other dog that comes near her yard! I’ve seen her make 80-pound dogs cower before her! Even when she is in her fenced backyard, she somehow knows when someone (or some dog) walks by on the sidewalk or street. Her barking is relentless until the "danger" has passed.

Several years ago, Tommy and Joanne had asked us to take care of Mollie when they infrequently (perhaps twice a year) went out of town for a few days. I enjoyed Mollie’s company; it gave me my “dog fix.” So, when they planned to take a trip up to New Jersey to visit Joanne’s grandkids, Tommy asked if we would watch Minnie. Jim volunteered us (me). Taking Minnie's energy level into consideration, I was not sure if I was up to the task, but I agreed to dog-sit, provided Jim would help.

We never had the chance to take care of Minnie. Before going on their trip, Tommy and Joanne had to get tested for Covid. Unfortunately, Tommy tested positive, although he had no symptoms. Joanne was negative, but had to quarantine because of Tommy. The trip was cancelled.

I figured that once Tommy was healthy, they would reschedule the trip. They never had the opportunity. Joanne, who always appeared to be in good health, suffered a massive stroke and suddenly passed away. It was a shock that reminded us that each day we have is a gift that we should not squander . 

I think it is good that Tommy has Minnie to keep him company.

I don’t know when the yearning for a dog started—possibly around the time that Tommy got Minnie—but Jim and I started talking about adopting a dog. I had to convince myself I was ready.

But more on that next time.

Your Reluctant ROVER,

 

Linda

 

 

Play time!

You just can’t help smiling.  When we brought Katie home from the dog adoption agency, she was a trembling mess of curls. So scared. No soci...