About two years ago we started talking about adding to our family. Adding a dog.
Fast forward two years and now we are ready. (I’m not taking the dog preparation and decision lightly, many conversations were had and even books read. We talked about breeds and puppies and everything. About training and grooming and walking. It is just that this part is boring so I’m mostly skipping it.)
Crappy Boy and Crappy Baby have been around dogs all their lives and they are good with them. They know the rules about leaving a dog alone who is sleeping or eating and not sticking your face in the dog’s face to kiss it or anything stupid. We read books. We talked about dog training. We watched videos. We spent more time with other people’s dogs.
I even started going on two mile morning walks every day, pretending I have a dog. To see what it would be like to walk one. Every day. Rain or shine. On these walks I met everyone in our neighborhood. They all had dogs. I’d ask them questions about their dog.
All I talked about was dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs.
After the kids went to bed I’d look at dog sites. Adoption sites. Breeder sites.
And I’d look at frivolous dog gear like it was porn.
One night, Crappy Papa watched me swoon over a dog hoodie and had a realization.
We are ready.
We know we want to adopt a dog from a rescue organization. There are so many wonderful and sweet dogs available, feels like the right thing to do. Especially since we are pretty flexible on breed. The most important thing is the personality of the dog and how it will fit in with our family. (And also fit in our car. While I love very big dogs, they are excluded because of our small car.)
So we look at local rescue websites.
I find dog rescue org #1 and they have a truckload of dogs who need homes. I notice that some have been at their shelter for quite a long time. Wouldn’t it be so great to give one of them a loving home?
I call to make an appointment to meet some dogs.
And I’m completely shut down because I have children. “We do not adopt to families with children under the age of ten.”
Huh. Well that was weird. I didn’t expect that. But I was not too terribly put off because there are several other rescues on my list to call.
In looking at other sites, I do notice that some of them say things like only to families with children ages ten and up. Or thirteen and up, etc. And a few said no children at all. Did they all have terrible experiences placing dogs in families in the past? Was that what was going on?
So I find another one, this time specifically looking for any mention of children in their adoption guidelines.
Hooray! This one has several dogs that specifically say “good with kids” in their listings.
So I call them. Right away I tell them that I have two kids ages six and three and I saw several of their dogs listed as “good with kids” and I’d really like to make an appointment.
But again I’m told, “Sorry, we don’t adopt to families with children.”
Their answer was that “our listings are a general assessment of the dog’s personality and some are good with kids but we do not place our dogs in homes with children. It is for the safety of the dogs.”
Again, I get it. Sorta. Well, not really. I mean, I totally understand not placing a fragile puppy or a teacup pomeranian in a home with rambunctious kids. But this particular org didn’t even have any toy breeds. Or puppies. They advertised “good with kids” yet they wouldn’t even consider us. Wouldn’t even take the time to meet us.
They have oodles of dogs sitting in cages who need homes and yet we aren’t better than a cage. Because we’re a family. A totally-prepared-fully-educated-loving-responsible…family.
I was pissed. Angry.
So I did what I tend to do when I’m angry. That night, I wrote an email.
It wasn’t to either of the dog shelters we called before, it was to a new one that I found. This one had great reviews and an active facebook page. I even spied kids in some of the photos. Score!
I wrote about all our planning and preparation. All about my kids. Our home. And I also very clearly voiced my frustration. It was a very long email.
To my surprise, the next morning, I received a phone call:
She laughed and I knew we were in.
Like all dog rescue places near us, they require a home check first.
She asked me if I was okay with the home check.
She asked me if I was okay with the home check right now.
She must have sensed my hesitation and she assured me that she wasn’t looking for a spotless house. They are just checking to make sure the house is safe. That the yard is secure and that we aren’t hoarders.
During this part of the conversation I happened to be in the garage hiding from the kids because they were being loud. (And we still need to donate all that crap.)
So we hung up the phone and I was giddy with excitement.
They were coming to our house! We’re gonna get a dog!
I put the troops in order:
(And that request included Crappy Papa.)
She arrived and the kids were charming as they always are with house guests:
Needless to say, we passed with flying colors.
So that weekend, we went to their adoption fair.
We told the kids that we were NOT bringing a dog home that day. This was just to avoid potential meltdowns in case we disagreed on which dog to bring home. I wanted to them to believe that we were just going to meet them. Then we’d leave and talk it over.
We got there and were bombarded by the sweetest and most friendliest dogs ever.
Those are pugs. Not monkeys. There is a fine line.
The boys say they want all of them and they continue to meet more dogs.
Going in, I had my eye set on two dogs that I saw on the website. One was quite young and black and shiny and beautiful. The other one was older and black and not at all shiny or beautiful. The beauty happened to be hyper and full of energy. He wrangled out of his harness and peed on the floor. While the non-beauty was a mellow fellow. Very sweet. Both Crappy Papa and I wanted him.
And to my surprise, suddenly the boys came to a unanimous decision.
The mellow fellow. They wanted him too!
So may I introduce you to the newest addition to the crappy family:
He is half pug and half other stuff. His body and tail is 100% pug and then someone glued on a different dog’s head. He doesn’t have that vulva face thing going on where you have to clean the folds. He has an outie nose. Which is great.
His bottom teeth stick out on one side like a bulldog so he always looks grumpy. And he has a white muzzle so he looks elderly but really he is five. And he is sweet and mellow like agave syrup.
In other words?
The perfect Crappy Dog.
We’ve had Crappy Dog for almost two months now. He is fully house trained, gives high fives, loves to ride in the car, enjoys baths and is great on the leash. And he loves other dogs, even the scary looking ones we meet on walks. All he wants to do is sleep on the couch and cuddle. And I totally bought him a rain jacket. Still deciding on a hoodie.
Huge thanks to Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles for giving us a chance.
More on Crappy Dog soon!