Looking for Mr. Good Bark
When this edition of the CV Weekly is published, it will be one day short of exactly five months since we said goodbye to our remaining family dog. Not that I’m acutely, achingly, painfully aware of the exact day that old guy left us, or anything like that. You may remember, he was a goofy, ridiculously pampered, joyfully loving Yellow Lab named Darby.
As I’ve written before (probably too often for some readers), I’m a dog person from muzzle to tail. I’m not losing my hair, I’m shedding. If I’m not feeling well, my wife has been known to feel my nose to see if it’s cold and wet or dry and warm. I have pants and coats hanging in my closet even now that I would bet have dog biscuits in them. I find it remarkable but not surprising that my wife and I have spent more money in vet bills over the past 20-or-so years than we have on medical treatment for our own four human kids. (Thankfully, our kids have been blessedly healthy!) We have spent countless nights clinging to the edge of our queen-sized bed because our dog(s) were sacked out and snoring smack dab in the center of it and we didn’t want to disturb their slumber. Yes, dogs tend to live a mighty cushy life at our home.
That said, I’m amazed that our house has been sans-dog for these past five long and lonely months. While my wife, bless her heart, enjoys the dramatically less frequent use of our vacuum cleaner, along with not tripping over a dog or two every time she opens the refrigerator or pantry door (not to mention much more available real estate in our bed every night!), I have been not-so-patiently waiting to begin the process of finding the next dog(s) to welcome into our family. You might even say I’ve been panting to get started. (Seriously, how could I not have just written that?)
And so, for several weeks now we’ve been in the process of browsing animal shelter websites, visiting the shelter in person, and emailing or calling dog breeders about available puppies or upcoming litters.
Now I can already hear the outrage and gnashing of teeth from well-meaning animal activists screaming, “Don’t shop, adopt!” and other less-printable comments in my direction. Believe me; our hope is to find a young dog of the Lab persuasion (or Labradoodle, Golden Retriever, Italian Waterdog or some Heinz 57-like combination thereof) that needs a dog-loving home and doting, overly permissive adoptive parents. But, from our experience so far, the reality of the “adoption” process today is not an easy one. In our limited experience to date, unless you want a dog that had either Pit Bull or Chihuahua parents (or both, somehow and incredibly!), you’re out of luck. Any and all larger dogs in the retriever family simply won’t be going home to your family. As the very nice woman at the Pasadena Humane Society told us, “Oh no, the waiting list for any lab is full almost immediately after they arrive at our shelter.” Bummer.
At the risk of offending fans of the breed, let’s just say I’m not the Pit Bull type. And as for Chihuahuas? Well, we have an old, geriatric, exceedingly cranky and belligerent house cat that not only would eat a pocket puppy’s dinner, it would probably eat the dog itself. She is one mean, mutha of a cat.
And so we continue our search. I’ve got a bucket of chew toys, coat pockets full of biscuits, a nicely re-grown lawn in our backyard, and an ultra-cushy, super-plush, extra-large dog bed all ready and waiting for whatever lucky dog(s) is out there waiting for us to find him and/or her.
Not that I have any delusions that any dog of ours will actually sleep on its own bed.
I’ll see you ‘round town.