The Great Pooch Pursuit, continued

Yesterday afternoon, I told my co-workers that the family and I would be checking out another dog today. I promised them that if it worked out, I’d be sure to post a picture of the newest addition to our family.

We’ll get to that in a minute.

On Tuesday last week, the last day before school, the Puddinette took the kids to a local animal shelter to visit a new potential family friend. She always likes to do something fun on the infamous Last Day of Summer before School, and that certainly fit the bill. Who doesn’t enjoy going to meet loveable new doggies?

Somewhat to my surprise, the Puddinette sent me an instant message after the visit saying that the dog seemed great, and that she loved the kids and they seemed to like her. Having been on the lookout for a canine pal for a while and having had one or two seemingly good matches slip through our fingers because someone else got to ’em first, I was afraid to do nothing. Losing out getting a new dog is only slightly less disappointing than seeing your outlandishly tall McDonald’s swirly ice-cream cone do a header onto the pavement.

But…it was Tuesday afternoon, and since I’m a software engineer that pretends to write rather than an actual writer, I work a normal day like a normal person. For those of you that aren’t aware, Animal Shelters have some extremely flexible, work-friendly hours. Well, they’re work-friendly if you’re a professional welfare recipient or you happen to work nights. I don’t really fall into any of those categories, so getting out there to meet that prospective pooch between 10 AM and 4:30 PM on a weekday just wasn’t feasible.

So I called them to drop a hold on her and said we’d be there Saturday morning so I could check her out. Based on what we’d seen so far, I was optimistic she might be the one but still felt the need to make sure she wasn’t the kind of animal that would rip your hand off if you try to take her bone away.

There’s only room enough from one food Voice in our house.

So we waited out the week, and I spent last night with the usual fantasy visions of a devoted mutt panting happily at my heel while the wind whips through my hair on a bright, warm spring day.

I was even going to promise to eat my broccoli.

So, anyway, I promised a picture. Here it is:

Disney's Pluto.

(Thanks to Disney for letting me link a picture of Pluto; I look forward to the cease and desist letter*.)

So what happened? Well, we arrived at the shelter, giddy with the prospect of taking home a new pet. We found our new friend in her cage, and she happily licked my fingers through the metal.

Ah, she’s cute.

I knew she’d show plenty of shine for the kids while inside the shelter, but that’s really only half the equation, especially with a dog purportedly with some beagle mixed-in. So we asked the staff to take her for walk outside since I wanted to see how she would react out there, as well as whether or not the older boys would be able to control her on a leash.

Now, I’d like to tell you that as soon as we got her outside, we spent an hour playing fetch and the kids ran back and forth across the yard with her until eventually everyone fell into a heap of giggling and tummy rubs.


Unfortunately, as soon as we got her outside, our new friend immediately lost interest in us completely. And I don’t just mean she start doing some sniffing around from the clump of weeds to a tree to the bush to the sidewalk. No, no. I mean we were instantly and totally forgotten; we might as well have been a heap of peas on a toddler’s dinner plate. That dog hit the yard and charged away from me so hard and fast that you’d have thought I was following her with a vet’s coat and a loaded hypodermic. She nearly pulled my arm off. My kids had no hope of controlling this animal.

I’m thinking she might do some fine work strapped to the Anheuser-Busch carriage, though.

At any rate, it took me about 16 seconds to realize that she just wasn’t the dog for us. Which was about 15 seconds longer than she needed to start making a run for the Mexican border. I can only assume she’s wanted in connection to drug trafficking.

Once we knew this wasn’t our girl, it took quite a bit of time to get her back inside without dragging the poor thing. I hope that whoever ends up adopting her has a good fence. A big fence. Tall. And strong. Otherwise they’re likely to find a basset-shaped hole in the side of it soon after they take her home.

So, anyway, today was not the day. Someday, we’ll find the right dog to share in our pandemonium.

For now, the quest continues.


*Just kidding, sweetheart. There’s no need to fear the Disney legal machine.