Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rescue pets, part 2: Wonderdog

Anne Wheaton has inspired me to write my pets' adoption stories. Yesterday I wrote about Cat. You can check out Anne's tumblr, Rescue Pets Are Awesome, and you can donate to the Pasadena Humane Society through the Team Wheaton Page.


Our sweet Darwin (pictured during a walk for BARC, where we adopted both him and Henrietta) Passed away less suddenly in 2010 after a long decline. When he passed, I was relieved that his suffering was at an end, but I missed having a dog terribly. I missed him specifically, but I also missed

the routines of having a dog--walks, giving a biscuit when you walk out the door, having someone sleep on your feet while you watch TV. It wasn't like Henrietta's death, where I was so devastated that I couldn't imagine having another pet. I needed another pet.

I thought I'd start researching on Petfinder and give myself a few weeks to find the perfect dog. See, I had found out a year or so before Darwin passed that I'm mildly allergic to dogs and majorly allergic to dust mites, so we thought it would be good to get a dog that doesn't shed. Poodles and Doodles are popular, which means both that they're hard to get from rescues and always present at rescues. 

But just a few days into my search I happened upon a litter of puppies at a foster care in Westchester, NY who appeared to be partially wirehair. There were eight of them, and I liked the idea of choosing a puppy from a litter so that I could choose the friendliest and calmest pup. However, we couldn't get to the rescue fair that weekend, and by the time our application was processed by the rescue organization, there were only two puppies left. I took a chance and called the foster.

This was the perfect foster mom, because she specialized in puppies. She had had about a hundred litters go through her house over the years, sometimes whelping the puppies there, sometimes taking in pups that were rescued elsewhere. These pups, she said, were unusually smart, already taking to house training at only eleven or twelve weeks old. And one of the two pups left, she said, was the friendliest and most laid back of the litter. Pretzel was the kind of pup you could do anything to. He didn't care as long as he was getting attention.

That sounded good to me, so we made an appointment to meet them. The rescue was over an hour from home, so we decided we'd all go. When we got there, I watched the pups play and I thought they were too energetic and aggressive. The foster dad said they were puppies. Hopper didn't see a problem. Boo said, "Please can we take one home?!" (Never bring your kid to look at puppies. Just don't do it.) 

Sure enough, Pretzel came home with us. 

Don't get me wrong, I love Wonderdog to death. He's just as smart and sweet as the foster lady said he was. And it's because of him that I've gotten into Obedience and joined a dog club. But he's just as assertive and energetic as I thought he was, and he's not the dog we wanted. Too bouncy by far. Very much a terrier. 

But he couldn't be sweeter and we love having him around. I've never really bonded with a dog the way I've bonded with him. He's my buddy who would follow me everywhere if he could. 

Rescue pets are awesome. 
Wonderdog took first in his category, got a Companion Dog title, and was Highest Scoring Mixed Breed. Cat is unimpressed.

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