Friday, March 17
“Come here, Reg. Today may be the day we find your forever friend!”
I stand at the open door of the Perfect Tow Vehicle. Reggie hops into the driver’s seat. I clip the retractable leash I bought yesterday for this special occasion to the ring on the back of his harness. I lift him out of the Perfect Tow Vehicle and set him on the pavement.
We walk toward the people and cages at the front of the store.
I review the qualifications I have in mind.
Playfulness, alertness, energetic but not too hyper, fearfulness is understandable in the circumstances but not too submissive, short coat, good bones, photogenic –no black faces — somewhere around Reggie’s age — and, most importantly, Reggie must approve!
~ ~ ~
Adopt-A-Rescue-Pet’s event is held at the back of the Petco store where a row of crates stacked two courses high hold the dogs. A few crates are placed outside on the sidewalk.
While waiting for the doors to open, I watch the puppies.
Oh, the cuteness!
I’m familiar with these pups from having seen them on ARP’s website. They’re all chihuahua-mix females about three months old. The one in the bottom crate is the runt of the litter.
A woman exclaims, “Oh, is that Reggie? Reggie! I knew it was you when you were walking over here!”
She’s a volunteer with ARP.
She’s familiar with this blog and our lifestyle. After scratching Reggie behind the ears, she exclaims, “I have to call Joe! He’s in New Mexico right now visiting family. He’ll be thrilled to see Reggie! May I take a picture?”
She sends a pic via her phone to Joe (Reggie’s former foster dad). Then she asks me if I’d like her to take the puppies out of the crate.
“Sure,” I respond, hesitantly.
I wasn’t going to consider puppies . . . .
“Put these gloves on while I take one out for you. The one in the bottom crate is no longer available.”
The volunteer places the biggest, most rambunctious puppy, the white one, on a sheet on the sidewalk.
I fully expect Reggie to be all over this pup, because he’s always eager to play. That’s his first reaction with any dog.
I’m stunned by what happens.
The puppy bounces over to Reggie and what does Reggie do? He jumps away! He moves so quickly that I hardly capture the moment!
Gee, that was weird . . . .
The volunteer returns the big puppy to the crate and picks up the smaller puppy.
I love those ears . . .
Again I’m surprised.
The puppy walks boldly toward Reggie!
I like that! She’s curious and not intimidated.
Reggie responds with what looks like surprise.
His tail wags. He lets her sniff his face and then he makes a fast move, inviting play.
This is too much for the puppy. She dashes to the security of the ARP volunteer kneeling close by.
Back in the crate, the puppy doesn’t cower.
Good sign. Instead she plays with the toys. Legs are slightly bowed. Not enough to be a problem. Strong back, good jaw. Bone structure is sturdy, slightly finer than the bigger puppy. I like her!
“This one seems right for us,” I say to the volunteer. “It’s been a long time since I’ve cared for a puppy. She’s three months old, right? About ready for potty training?”
The volunteer says, yes, the puppy is ready for training.
“Reggie could help her learn that. What about spay and shots?”
“If you decide to adopt, she would be spayed right away and you could pick her up on Monday. She has two more vet visits to complete the series of shots.”
“How would they be scheduled? I mean what is the timing on those?”
The volunteer looks at the puppy’s file and explains.
In short, the last vet visit would be due on April 27th.
Ooh . . . Over a month away.
“Until the puppy has that last parvo shot around the 27th, she cannot be allowed out. Parvo is transmitted by feces and she could pick it up outside. The vet suggests waiting a week after the last shot before allowing the dog to walk outside.
Immediately thoughts of all the ramifications fly around in my head.
“Oh, no, that’s a problem, what with the way I live,” I respond, disappointed. I search for a solution. “I keep a large patio mat at the door of my trailer,” I offer hopefully. “What if I restricted her to the mat?”
“That would be okay, but you’d have to treat it with bleach and . . . . ”
Potty training. Puppy pads. Vet visits. Can’t walk her. Have to bleach the mat. This is too complicated.
“Right. I see. Reggie might contaminate the mat . . . and the floor . . . with his paws and it would have to be treated again and again.”
I thank the volunteer and decline the adoption.
So long, sweeties. You’ll be adopted before this day is over.
Reggie and I go inside the store to see the other dogs available.
Most of the dogs are too big or don’t qualify for one reason or another.
“Well, Reg. Not today. Maybe it’s for the best. Let’s go home.”
Connected to me via the leash, Reggie trots cheerfully beside me as we cross the parking lot to the PTV.
“Here, pumpkin. Have a drink. You must be thirsty after all that excitement.”
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