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.)
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,