Puppy Voodoo (by NWAS volunteer Tara)
Guys.. it happened. A couple of Saturdays ago, my ice-cold, puppy-disliking heart just shattered. Ugh.I wanted this puppy so bad, I was ready to take him home and deal with the consequences later. The adoption co-ordinator walked in during my shift and as I’m professing my love she said “Great, he’s yours!”
I sighed, not helpful. But fair, she’s probably tired of us volunteers all swooning every time we fall in love. But this wasn’t me. This broke a few of my rules. I sat on it for a week and did what sounds like the silliest thing the following Saturday; I took him home for the afternoon. And we had fun. He pooped several times 1 foot away from the paper I set out for him. He tromped around puppy style, carting off things I thought were well out of reach. My husband and I laid out on the couch and he looked in heaven as he ran between us biting each of us until the other person looked like a more enticing target. He looked adorable chewing on my sandal. Far cuter than a 50-pound pitbull doing it.
And the 50-pound pitbull? She needs slow introductions, so we crate rotated the two over the course of the afternoon as this was their first meeting, and he is the size of her head. And girl.. girl got baby fever. She was so excited, touching noses through the grate and bowing in front of the door, tail wagging like crazy. She knew when to chill out and just go about her business because he wasn’t coming out. I was so proud of her.
So what did I take away from this? Spoiler alert – not a puppy.
1. I am vulnerable right now. My best friend of 13 years was put down just weeks earlier and I’ve been surprised how the grief has come out. Like in falling for puppy voodoo.
2. I have no idea what to do with babies of any species, nor does my husband. When my husband is gone, the dogs are home alone during the day. How would he ever get potty trained? He pooped twice in the house while I was there watching!? And frankly, I miss them during the shelter shifts too. He always poops in the hallway on my watch. Oops, I just don’t think puppies are for me.
3. I have a list of breeds I never want to adopt, and even after 3, pitbulls isn’t on it! But he is one of those breeds. It’s a breed that I just don’t think I can give a good life (based on general breed characteristics). Working dogs need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay balanced. I certainly have no “work” for them in the ‘burbs and my bush work is likely morphing into long office days. Not great for a setting up a puppy, let alone of a working breed. And how will the resident pit deal with this? My experience is if they get their 1-1.5hrs of exercise, they are very content to be couch/deck pit-ato’s the rest of the day. No problem.
4. The Sunday after the visit, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My face was stuffed and my large black eye bags made for a day at home, paper bag over my head. I used to feel like this all the time. Sorry Porter, but apparently, I was only allergic to you. Just kidding, but Stevie is somehow almost hypoallergenic. I don’t want to dive back into living on Reactine just yet.
5. Stevie loved Porter so I worried about her being lonely in his absence. But I’ve noticed a few things in the last few weeks. While Porter was less possessive and intense when sharing the house with another dog, it seems Stevie may be the opposite. She could still be grieving, but she’s been awesome the last few weeks. But she needs friends and dog time. What I had really hoped this to accomplish was see if there was any hope of fostering at some point when the right dog comes in. I think we can one day.
So, this is not an article about our new rent-a-puppy program. That is not a thing. What it is about, is knowing yourself. Knowing your lifestyle. Knowing what you’re willing to do or not. Knowing the needs and wants of the other members of your household. Be realistic. When you fall in love with that adorable face, are they really going to be the perfect fit in your family? No? Or can you wait, knowing they aren’t for you. Knowing that they will find their perfect fit. Because they all do.