Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dog Day Mornings, Afternoons and Nights

I want a dog. Seriously. Like it's almost an obsession at this point. I think my youngest child has somehow transferred her desires into my brain and I'm now possessed with this need. I joined Petfinder a while back.  Now Petfinder you see, will do just that ~  find you a pet.  You can click all the specifics you want and they will e-mail you when a pet matching your criteria becomes available.  Pretty nifty.  Unless you have OCD. Like me.  Then, not so much. 

Where to start with the craziness that is my life? Where to start?  Hmm.  Well, LAST year, I was completely totally utterly obsessed with getting my husband a bulldog.  However, not only are we dead broke, but we do not believe in buying dogs, we want a rescue dog.  Enter in Bulldog Rescue.  Well, we already were on Bulldog Rescue's list, since 2009, when our dog, Clancy, had to be put to sleep and that hadn't gotten us anywhere. So I expanded our search to other Bulldog Rescue organizations. I found one and we were approved, they did a home visit with a dog and though that was impossible to hide from the girls, we didn't tell them it was because they had found us a dog; a two year old male, named George and we'd have him before Christmas.  Then, we never heard from them again.  After a few e-mails and phone calls, I found out that the owners decided to keep him, because their other dog passed away (unfortunately) and the two dogs didn't get along and that was the reason they were surrendering him. So, now that there wasn't another dog...Luckily we never told the girls! 

Back to Petfinder! Every time I'd get an e-mail about a bulldog, it either A) wasn't a bulldog (their definition of bulldog is pretty loose) or B) was but was too far away from us and didn't adopt out of state.  Petfinder for some reason has miles as either "100", "500" or "any".  And some of these places had astronomical adoption fees!  But man oh man, have I seen some pretty darn cute puppies and have filled out so many darn applications I can do it in my sleep.
Now - my husband, doesn't want a dog right now. And the girls can't agree on the breed.  McLittle wants a chihuahua and a poodle and the big one wants a "those big fluffly orange doggies" and a German Shepard.  Which is also why we had originally stuck to bulldogs.  My husband had one growing up and the girls both love them.  But being a rather low income family doesn't lend itself to being owners of a bulldog sadly and I don't need a new butt to wipe.  They are quite high maintenance and really, why would a low maintenance girl, get a high maintenance dog? Oh but I just love them! Ugh!

Our house is not dog-friendly at the moment either. Well, not puppy friendly anyway.  I keep trying to tell the girls that if they really want a puppy, they need to put their stuff away. That puppies are a lot of work, are very small and will eat nearly everything off the floor and they need to be super careful about picking up after themselves.  So now every time I find some odd piece of puzzle or a Barbie shoe, I pick it up and yell "Dead puppy!"  or "You just killed the puppy!" Hoping that would inspire them to pick up their stuff. Nope, they couldn't care less.  Please don't get all crazy on me and say I'm traumatizing my children, they obviously weren't even listening - as usual. 

I receive e-mails from Petfinder a few times a week with their newest puppies - my current searches are for Boxers and, yes, God/dess help me, bulldogs still. The girls and I ooh and aah over the cutest of the cutes but mostly I delete them.  It's torturous and I think what I really need to do is take myself off the Petfinder list entirely and just set this whole dream aside for a while. Because winter is coming and puppies need to be trained and that will be left to me.

Which brings me to a funny story about Clancy's training.
Clancy was a pitbull/black lab mix.  Cutest thing.  We were her third home in nine months so she had some issues. From what I was told about her first home, she was abused, left outside tied to a tree most of, if not all of, the day.  She was much loved in her second home by a little girl who was then taken very ill and they had to surrender her.  My sister knew my mom wanted another dog, another black lab, and she knew the mother of this little girl, so we took the dog.
She was wild and crazy and jumped up on everybody.  So we took her to training. Well, me being me and my life being what it is, training wasn't normal. The trainer was deaf.  She was able to read lips and speak.  She was a good trainer and I suppose you don't need to hear to train animals.  Clancy did well in the class, but not at home.  I did all the things the trainer taught me, used all the tricks, but nope. Not getting the behavior I wanted. So, I decided maybe I should talk like the trainer. Now wait a minute, I wasn't being cruel - if you knew me, you know that's very nearly impossible - I was being logical.  That was the only difference I could come up with between what I was saying and what she was saying.  Or more precisely HOW I was saying it.  So I started to say my commands like Marlee Matlin and BAM!  Clancy listened.  No problem.  Now, though, when we were out and other people thought I was deaf because of the way I was speaking to my dog.  Then they would exaggerate their mouths while speaking really loud or use sign language and if I said "Oh no, I'm not deaf her trainer was", the looks I would get! Geez.  Like I was committing a crime or something!  So I kept her walks rather quiet as much as possible. Here's a pic of Clancy girl. =) 

So needless to say, should this puppy, my imaginary boxer/lab mix with mismatched eyes like David Bowie and a spot on his nose shaped like a heart, should HE need training? NOT going to the deaf broad.