Crappy Dog

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.


He said:



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.)ย 

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.ย 

More on Crappy Dog soon!


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375 Responses to Crappy Dog

  1. Kim says:

    1. Those ball poppers absolutely belong in the garage. You better hide it before it gets brought back into the house.
    2. I am always asking my kids to put their pants on! What is up with that?!
    3. I knew those were pugs immediately – your crappy artistry is amazing.

    Congrats on the new family member!!

    • amber says:

      Ha! Was wondering if anyone would recognize that stupid ball “vacuum” thing.

      • Michele says:

        I sent my twins’ poppers to Gramma’s house. Epic score!

      • Jennifer says:

        I definitely noticed the ball vacuum but I can’t believe I didn’t put this together sooner – our ball vacuum absolutely scares the shit out of one of our dogs. So, if Crappy Dog ever DOES piss you off, well, there you go ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Fuchsia says:

          Our popper left in the donation box. No one has noticed yet. I hope they never do.

        • Amy says:

          Are you TRYing to get crappy dog removed from their home?! (Is there a doggy DSS?….DDSS?) Those poppers cause insanity in all mammals. Chuck it.

      • Maria Gura says:

        Oh yes! doesn’t every toddler have/need one? Olivia LOVES hers! she still plays with it at 19 months. Sometimes she even drags it around upsidedown, or carries it “hulk style”!

      • Tina says:

        Those ball poppers are evil!
        I told my family they better not get my babies one of those or there would be major paybacks! Like bringing it along on every visit to their homes, lol!

    • Sho says:

      You are not crappy at drawing dogs! Well done

    • Sherry says:

      We had one of those ball poppers when our kids were babies. The cat loved it and somehow learned to turn it on, so every night (if we forgot to hide it) we’d wake up to the sound of whirring and “Pop goes the weasel”. I was happy when we finally got rid of it. (the ball popper, not the cat)

  2. Amanda Halstead says:

    I work in animal rescue and recently brought a dog from a high kill shelter in Los Angeles to Nebraska to foster so I couldn’t be happier to see you adopted from a rescue! Rescue dogs are the best and I wish you all the happiness with your new furbaby!!!

    • Julien says:

      I got really excited when I heard you were getting a rescue! I got mine from a rescue that pulls from high-kill shelters and my dog was pulled the day she was slated to be euthanised (she’s perfect. The fact someone was planning on killing her blows my mind). I hope you have many crappy-happy years with your fur ball!

    • kateincottesloe says:

      God, what’s a high kill shelter? Sounds hideous… I knew that rescue shelters are not all keen on sending dogs to families with kids – but I thought it was because they couldn’t guarantee that the dogs wouldn’t bite the kids! God knows I’ve been tempted…

      • Valerie says:

        A high-kill shelter is one that kills many and sometimes most or very nearly all of the animals unfortunate enough to end up there. Nationwide, the kill rate averages about 50%, which translates to about 4 million animals killed every year, most of them healthy or treatable, and many of them simply lost pets. There is a movement on to end the killing of pets in shelters and to make them shelters in deed as well as in name, something that about 100 communities have done since the first on in 2001. More information is available at

  3. Amanda says:

    I have two pugs and I LOL’d at “vulva face”! You have no idea how right on that is. Baby wipes do the trick.


  4. liz says:

    Awwwww, congrats, he sounds like a sweetiepie. Aren’t mutts the best?

  5. Carrie says:

    I was really worried when you mentioned breeder sites in the beginning. So relieved you adopted from a rescue!

    • Stacey says:

      For the record, there is nothing wrong with getting a dog from a reputable, responsible, registered breeder. In fact, it’s one of the best ways you can encourage proper breeding practices in our country. Most of the dogs in shelters are products of irresponsible breeding and can come with potential unknown health problems. Adopting is amazing but it isn’t for everyone. I’ve had both adopted dogs and dogs from great breeders. All dogs are worthy of love and good homes- the important part is that we encourage the ethical way of producing dogs.

      • Sara says:

        Agreed 100%!

      • Erica says:

        spot on.

      • Hannah says:

        “Most of the dogs in shelters are products of irresponsible breeding and can come with potential unknown health problems.

        This is simply NOT true. The dogs in shelters come from all the same places that the dogs everywhere else come from. There are dogs with impressive pedigrees from “good” breeders and there are dogs without them. I have owned both carefully bred dogs and shelter dogs and the shelter dogs haven’t been any less healthy and my experiences are born out nationally.

        Something that gets lost in a lot of the “good breeder” conversations is that even the very best breeder is putting unaltered dogs into the population and many of THOSE dogs end up having puppies, whether by accident or design.

        I know of plenty of breeders who will take back the dog they produced (though many more who won’t) but I have yet to meet the breeder who will take back the offspring of one of their dogs. So the reality is that statistically any and all breeding contributes to the population of unwanted dogs, whether directly or indirectly. It just does.

        Personally, I’m still glad there are (some) breeders out there because without them we’d lose the best of breeds, but it’s a nuanced issue with a lot of factors and tradeoffs people should think about.

        The myths that good breeders don’t contribute to overpopulation and that shelter dogs are somehow lesser in genetic quality are both bunk. (And hurt dogs.)

        • Lisa says:

          When I was looking at breeders, most required you to sign a contract agreeing to get the dog altered when they were old enough. Responsible breeders do not want their puppies being bought by a backyard breeder or puppy mill.

          • Jaime says:

            Actually, my partner’s mother breeds chihuahuas and she WILL take in and care for any unwanted puppies from dogs she has sold. Also, she does NOT usually sell unaltered (I am assuming that means fixed or neutered) dogs unless the buyer is very, very clear about caring for any future puppies. She has also flat-out refused to sell puppies to people who don’t meet her standards as responsible dog owners. And she has *given* dogs away, or nearly so, to families/individuals that really wanted but couldn’t afford one. I would absolutely consider her the model of an ethical dog breeder. It’s a shame there are so few out there!
            Oh, and sorry to get off-track: I love your blog! I don’t have kids but I *remember* being one, and your stories are spot-on! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Mellissa Doyle says:

          We were required to have our Siberian Husky desexed when we got her as we weren’t registered breeders ourselves. We are getting an Australian Mist kitten in a couple of months, and for the same reasons, he will be desexed before he leaves the breeder.

          • Hannah says:

            Good breeders do have spay/neuter contracts but they’re largely unenforceable and compliance is pretty low. Even if 95% of the buyers comply, that remaining 5% can add substantially to pet overpopulation. Rarely will a breeder be responsible for the resulting puppies if they’re unwanted, but even then – chances are they never even know about them. People breed on purpose without permission or they have an oops litter and give the dogs away themselves. Or maybe they think all the dogs are happily placed and don’t realize when they wind up in shelters. Unless you microchip every dog and keep it registered to yourself, you’ll never know – and even then it depends on them winding up in a shelter that scans, and not in a shelter that doesn’t or just being passed around and around craigslist. I would agree that the very best breeders alter before placement but I can count on one hand the number I’ve ever encountered that do it.

      • Lee says:

        I’m a veterinarian, and I can tell you that dogs through rescue are every bit as healthy as dogs from breeders. If anything, I see more problems from animals that have been purchased (particularly online). I find “responsible” breeders to be few and far between. I think it is very difficult to profess a love of animals, yet keep adding more to the population while millions die in shelters. There are plenty of purebred animals in shelter and rescue. Visit

        • Briony says:

          I didn’t know much about this till recently an old acquaintance posted on Facebook how they got a puppy online having thought it was from a reputable breeder but sadly the little thing died within a week. Turns out in the UK there is a massive problem of dodgy breeders keeping dogs in terrible unhygenic conditions, where the mother’s are just kept in cages as puppy factories. Others are illegally importing puppies from eastern Europe that could have rabies, but they sell from a flat and pretend it’s just the puppy of their own dog.

          Best of luck with crappy doggy, he looks a great character

        • Jennifer says:

          And I’m a vet tech and have been for over 25 years, and I’m here to tell you that mutts from the shelter are no healthier than purebred dogs. I’ve worked everything from a regular day clinic to emergency to surgical, internal medicine, cardiac and oncology specialties. Every specialty saw plenty of complete mutts adopted from shelters with severe problems. There are no guarantees.

          The myth being spread here is the one that says we have an overpopulation of dogs. We don’t. An average of 19-23 million households a year add a new pet. While about 1/6 of those have already decided where to get a pet, between 14 and 17 million have not. If only 20% of those people were encouraged to adopt a pet, we would wipe out shelter killing overnight.(Numbers to back up these statements can be found on Nathan Winograd’s No Kill Nation page,

          The experience shared above is part of what is wrong with our shelter and rescue system. Arbitrary rules about what households and families are suitable for adoption kill animals. This was a prepared, educated, and perfectly suitable family that was repeatedly turned down by several rescue groups simply because she had young children. People like this usually turn to a breeder, or buy a puppy at a pet store. People *are going to get a pet whether you think they are suitable or not*, so it’s in the animals best interests to find a way to work with people rather than turning them down based on some arbitrary benchmark. I say good for Pug Nation Rescue, they sound like they are doing a great job!

          • Natalie says:

            Responsible Chihuahua breeder? When so many Chihuahuas are PTS in shelters? How about we find homes for those ones first.

            Unless its a rare breed on limited numbers there’s no excuse. I spend a lot of my time and money saving dogs that are unwanted with zero behavioral problems so breeding just doesn’t seem responsible to me when 4 million dogs die in the US each year.

            However a big part of that responsibility lies with the shelters for rejecting kids but most of all the people who sue animal shelters for being adopted dogs who bite.

            That’s what it comes down to I am afraid. Liability and insurance.

          • Jen says:

            I agree that the arbitrary rules are just ridiculous. I am a single woman in a condo in Boston, and I was turned down for many a dog. Some rescues said it was because I didn’t have a family or at least a better half, and some said it was because I didn’t have a yard. Apparently, being willing to walk/hike up to 10 miles on most days and 3 or 4 miles the rest of the time won’t give a dog as much exercise as being turned out alone in a yard, which so many are. Sure, right. I finally found a border collie mix through Animal Rescue Network of New England, and I have worn him out daily. Without a yard or a family. The stupid rules of some other rescues made others stay in their kennels who could have had a happy place. That and the fact that so many just never call/email back. But it was lucky for my new guy that some were crazy picky…

          • Christine says:

            Well said, Jennifer. I agree. This blog post highlights a problem and attitudes that need to be fixed so more shelter animals get adopted. There are a growing number of places where animal control works with shelters and rescues to show that it’s possible to adopt your way out of killing. They do it by educating themselves, seeing almost 100 successful examples and deciding to implement the No Kill Equation – .

        • ken says:

          that site is a joke. My friend went three hours away to pick up a Doberman pup that was advertised at 8 months old. When we got there the Amish gent who was raising them brought out the dogs mother as being the one for sale. When we mentioned that the ad stated that pups were for sale, all he said was : Yeah, I`ll have to get around to changing that ad some day”. We left.

  6. jessika says:

    there really is nothing sweeter than a pug, just the most loving little dogs. granted, yours has got the wrong head on but its the personality that matters.

  7. Rachell says:

    I want to see an actual picture of this dog! I’m such an animal lover. I treat my golden retriever like royalty haha

  8. neal says:

    This is a great story. I love the idea of finding souls in need, whether kids or animals, and giving them a loving home.

    It reminds me of the worms I used to have as pets as a kid. I made a little stone shelter for them in the back yard. I loved them very hard. They died. I’m not sure if it was because of the love or if worms just don’t live very long. And those were the last pets I ever had.

    I bet your sons are learning a lot about love, loyalty, and poop from that dog. All things they’ll need to know to have a family of their own someday.

    • rtleeb says:

      LOL. I loved caterpillars and goldfish the same way.

      Fortunately, I’ve had better luck with larger species (cats & dogs)

      Amber, congrats on the crappy dog adoption.


      • neal says:

        Oh, I forgot about caterpillars – those big fat fuzzy ones? They’re all over on the East Coast where I used to live.

        So far, I’ve also had more luck with the larger species, if my daughter counts. So far…

        • rtleeb says:

          i was partial to the tent caterpillars rather than the teddy bear ones (fuzzy fat brown with a black stripe in the middle).

          good point. i haven’t killed any of my children with love and kindness…yet.


  9. Melissa of craftgasm says:

    So are these places that don’t want their dogs in houses with kids — are they going to secretly feed all childless adopters birth control for the dog’s entire life? How ridiculous.

    Glad Crappy Dog was found at a sensible agency and not from Agency of Crazy Control Freaks Who Are Not Logical.

    • Helen says:

      No joke! We encountered the same “control freak animal people” when we adopted a CAT last year. A freakin cat! We had to have an interview with the kids present and a home check. I do think that was a bit extreme.

    • FearTheFool says:

      People won’t adopt animals to people with kids because of the risk.

      Like it or not, no matter how good your kid is with animals, no matter how even temperament the animal has tested to be sometimes something happens. It might be a minute signal that we can’t see, the animal could be in pain or frustrated or anything but sometimes animals lash out. I grew up with 2 cats; and was scratched a few times because I was being mean. I knew how to behave around cats – they’d been there since before we were born but I was showing off to a friend and wanted to hold her and I paid for it.

      Most people accept these risks as part of owning an animal, but there are some people out there who would sue the rescue organization if their kid got hurt by the animal – really hurting organizations that need it; so sometimes it’s safest not to offer.

      • Amanda Halstead says:

        I currently have a foster who we have listed as “good with kids” because he is good with kids, however we won’t adopt him out with younger kids because he thinks he’s a cat and can unintentionally knock my 3 year old down in 2 seconds flat. I’m experienced and so are my children with rescues so we can handle him, but a lot of others couldn’t. Rescue organizations work for the animals not for the people, so their intentions are always whats best for the animal and they want to make sure that after all an animal has been through their next home is their last <3

        • Melissa of craftgasm says:

          I understand the theoretical reasons, but there’s no logic behind them because there’s no way for the agency to determine that the pet will be in the same situation it’s placed in for the entirety of its life. People’s living situations can change unexpectedly, and almost certainly will change over the many year lifespan of the dog that’s adopted.

          * I could adopt the dog without any children and immediately get pregnant.
          * I could have a home visit and be approved, but then have an accident and lose my house because of medical bills.
          * An older person who thinks they’re done with kids could have to be guardian to younger family members because of an emergency.

          I’m just saying that they don’t have crystal balls. I would think the best thing an agency could do if they actually want to make sure dogs go to loving homes is interview adopters and do their home visits as they see fit, but prioritize intentions of the adopter over things that are not guaranteed to stay the same. If it’s a good person who wants a dog for the right reasons, they’ll make any change in their situation work for all members of their family.

          • Maggie says:

            There is PLENTY of logic behind it. In any of those situations that you describe, the dog goes back to the adoption agency. It is also different when a dog is raised with an infant and the child is taught how to treat the child from an early age. Bringing a 3 year old into the situation is different. A three year old is being thrown into a situation where the dog has not been around children 24 hours a day 7 days a week and despite your warnings or your instructions, THEY WILL BE ROUGH WITH THE DOG AT SOME POINT. They are three! I have a three year old and a dog and 90% of the time, he’s good with her. 10% of the time he’s a turd. She didn’t come from a bad situation or an abusive home (like 99% of dogs in rescue do).

            If a rescue places a dog that is “good with children” in your home and that your child pinches that dog in the head or face or pulls its tail and it bites, the dog is going to be euthanized PERIOD. Rescues are REQUIRED to disclose if a dog has a bite history and face potential lawsuits by the adopters that they adopted out a dog that bit their child. It has happened already, why take the risk?

            A rescue is in place purely for the benefit of the dog, not a person. If every person did what they said they would do with a dog when they got it, rescues wouldn’t exist in the first place.

          • Erin says:

            I get all of this, but our family still adopted a young Greyhound with two small children. They are 2.5 and 4, and besides a few other things, we were looking to adopt a dog who, even when provoked, would *most likely* not snap at or bite our kids and who seemed to be mellow and like them. We hit the jackpot with our Betty, but we also carefully weighed out options before we took her home. The greatest risk is when the decision is frivolous, which I’m afraid a lot of families with small children fall into. I accept that Betty might occasionally snap at my kids if they get on her nerves, but I also know, by spending time getting to know her, that she likely won’t seriously harm them.

        • ken says:

          Not always true true. Its been a proven fact that the ASPCA spends more money to keep themselves going than they spend for the care of animals. The Woman`s SPCA in my area is one of the highest kill shelters in our state. If your dog gets lost they catch it, you have three days to find out they have it & get it back or they will kill it. This happened to a friend of mine. The excuse was-“Well we get so many animals that we cant keep them very long, & have to keep killing them to make room for more”. I would not give the ASPCA a dime.

      • Laura says:

        Fear is a terrible way to make decisions.

        Especially letting the fear of a really rare outcome affect the majority of other outcomes.

        Let’s all bubblewrap everyone and everything, just in case!

        I hope the trend there turns promptly around, as people realize how much damage their doing to real, everyday life by fearing the worst case scenarios.

        • Hannah says:

          Laura – it’s not rare. That would be great, but it’s not rare. Child related issues are one of the number one reasons for surrender. They’re absolutely THE number one reason for surrender and returns to our group.

          I don’t understand the logic here – if I have 10 applications for my foster dog and some of them have small children and some of them don’t, all other things being equal, why am I not entitled to place the dog wherever I feel most comfortable? I might place a dog in a family, I might not. Either way, it’s my call. I’m not stopping anyone from getting a dog, I’m just telling them they can’t have THIS dog because there’s another home I think is a better or safer match.

          If there’s damage being done here it’s people trashing rescue groups and shelters with such a broad brush that people who don’t know better think they can’t rescue a pet.

      • Rayne says:

        I’m vaguely amused by the whole “won’t adopt to families with children” thing because around here the shelters adopt out to ANYONE just to get as many pets into homes as possible. Most of them go to families with kids. (then again, these are shelters and “pounds” not rescue facilities I’m talking about). The only time special care is taken is when the animal is a, or has any, Pit. Homes are evaluated for fencing and appropriate size in those cases, and the adopting family or person may be checked out to lower risks of dog fights. They also won’t adopt out any pet that has not been spayed or neutered.

        We adopted a little black…something…on Valentine’s day. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s a spitfire! Sweet puppy, some kind of lab/rot/boxer mix…? She and our three year old daughter chase each other around, ha!

    • Christie says:

      We encountered that also. The rescue that we were looking at also said that they did not adopt out to families that would leave their dogs outside at all. While I could kind of see the logic, it made me sad that a lot of good and willing people are being turned away.

      • Jaime says:

        My mom owns her own home and has lived there for over a decade, makes a reasonable amount of money at a full-time professional job, has LOTS of previous experience with pets (she grew up on a farm!), and has no kids still living at home. You would not have BELIEVED the hoops she had to jump through to adopt a cat from a shelter – the only reason she landed up getting the cat at all was because she works with someone who knows someone at the shelter. AND the cat had “kennel cough” and needed to go to the vet immediately.
        This was a *kill shelter.* I understand why the people at shelters have to be careful, but in this case they would rather have KILLED the cat than given it to my mom (it had been there for a long time and would have been euthanized before too long). I know this is anecdotal evidence, but I hear so many stories about how hard the adoption “screening” process can be and I think it DOES dissuade some wonderful would-be pet owners from adoption.

    • Beth says:

      You guys will find this hilarious, I’m a vet and I can’t be approved because I have 3 children and no fence. I always have trained my dogs to stay with me and always go outside with them. And obviously my kids know how to act around animals!

      • KipT says:

        The ‘no fence’ bit I get. Fences should be compulsory – I bet you’ve had a few dog-vs-car outcomes in your surgery that wouldn’t have happened if the fence worked/existed. Kids on the other hand, I don’t get at all. The decision should be made on a thorough assessment of the family. Make them sit tests if need be! But be nice about it, and don’t write off families with kids under 10. Dogs and kids are good for each other, in responsible families.

      • Laurie says:

        My friend works for rescue group. She said she almost prefers ‘no fence’ because then the owners will have to take their doggies on walks.
        She’s already had to take many dogs back from adoptions that weren’t working. One guy was obviously planning to use his new family member in dog fights. She brought a cop aling for that repossession and he ended up adopting the dog!
        But she’s good at her job. Our ‘foster’ stole my kid’s heart immediately.
        I got turned down by a million agencies (kids under 8, renting, token fenced yard) but perservered to find one or two that would adopt to us. Crazy person email works sometimes.

    • Houndmomma says:

      It makes a lot of sense not to adopt out dogs to homes with small children. If a dog bites a child severely, even if provoked, it is often an automatic death sentence for the dog. Depending on the size of the dog a child could be maimed or even killed. Even small dogs can inflict wounds that cause permanent disfigurement. Adult dogs with unknown histories may have been abused and could see normal child behavior as threatening. It takes time to teach children how to behave around animals and kids who haven’t been raised with pets may not have the experience. Rescue organizations put a lot of thought into where they place their animals. They must put the safety of children and dogs first.

  10. Deirdre says:

    Congratulations on the newest member of your family! Every family with young children should have a dog; can you imagine how much vacuuming up of spilled food you would be doing otherwise? BTW, totally recognized that those were pugs (not monkeys) in the picture. Feeling a little superior about that right now. I need something to feel superior about, because I just got into an argument with my 8th-grader who WOULD NOT GO TO BED and I was laughing at your “pay attention” post while she was trying to tell me “just one more” funny story about her day. And I was hoping if I ignored her long enough, she’d get the hint that the last 3 hours that she’s had my attention since the younger kids were in bed were just going to have to suffice. But no, I had to tell her to save her story for tomorrow, and she yelled at me that I never pay attention to her, which pushed all my guilt buttons. So yes, I recognized the pugs as pugs, and I’m happy about it. Don’t judge.

    • hannah says:

      My 18 month old recognized them as dogs, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was reading the post and all of a sudden she was on my lap pointing at my computer screen saying “dawggy! dawwwwwwwgy! Dawggy, mummy, dawwwwwwwwwgy!”

    • cathy says:

      Sorry about your 8th grader. I have one too. Tough breed some days. There are times I simply say, very honestly, “I need to be done-with-you for today.” and somehow she understands, heads to bed, and I give her a kiss and tell her I love her and it works. Nobody is angry or upset. (and like yours, she’s also a big sister.) … the pugs were obviously pugs. (or monkeys that look exactly like pugs)

      • Laurie says:

        Sorry, honey, but the Mommy store closes at 8pm. Go see if the Daddy store has what you need.

  11. Anne says:

    So many congratulations on Crappy Dog. He is a very lucky dog and it sounds like you guys are lucky to have him, too!

  12. jenny says:

    I am so glad to get to hear some tales of crappy dog now! Though it sounds like he might avoid mischief. good for you!

  13. Katie says:

    Glued on head! Mutts and pugs are the best, congrats!

  14. Crystal says:

    Aww! That’s great! Congratulations ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Marieanne says:

    I have NEVER understood that ‘no kids under such or such an age’ (unless the dog has issues with kids) because what goes better together than dogs and little kids! I have had a dog in my life since I was born and can’t imagine my kids growing up without pets. We even brought our two crazy dogs to Paris with us on expat assignment because they are family and it was never an option of leaving them behind for the next 3 years. BTW, totally got pugs, not monkey, from your drawings!

    • Ana says:

      Because of the roughly 800,000 hospital admissions per year for dog bites, _82%_ of them are kids. And kids are generally at the perfect height to get bitten in the face or neck, which means the bites are generally more serious than if they were to an arm or leg of an adult.
      Unfortunately the general non-dog-owning population don’t realize how easy and fast it is for a child to make a mistake that pushes the dog just a tad too far. Their kid gets bitten, the dog ends up back in a shelter or put to sleep. It’s a big liability for the rescue and they want to pick a PERMANENT home for that dog, so having older kids in the home is just a little bit more insurance.
      Not saying that dogs and kids shouldn’t be together, but these organizations have to look at statistics, and the numbers aren’t in the kids’ favor.

      Amber – good for you for doing your homework! Those of us in the “dog biz” and rescue channels wish more owners were as careful and thoughtful about dog ownership as you have been.

      • Jennifer S. says:

        I think it’s ridiculous that rescue shelters that deem a dog is “good with children” wouldn’t give a dog to a family with children. As far as statistics go, the CDC actually says that about half of the 800,000 yearly dog bites resulting in hospitalization involve children, not 82%. Considering that there are 78.2 million dogs owned in the US, that’s only about 0.5%. Hard to find statistics like that in favor of much of anything! These places should use their common sense rather than making hard-fast arbitrary rules.

        I tried to get a kitten from a rescue shelter last year and they wouldn’t allow me to have just one. If I didn’t take two then I wasn’t even considered for adoption. What?! I also had a rescue shelter tell me I couldn’t adopt a puppy from them because my fence was only 4 feet high, not 6 feet high. Too many arbitrary rules. Definitely not in the best interest of the animals.

        • Ana says:

          Well technically, 50% of the *total* dog bites are to children under the age of 12, which would be 2.35 million. The 82% that I quoted was to children under 15 who required emergency medical care. Many dog bites are less serious and are not recorded as emergency care, which is where the different numbers come from.

          I do agree with you that some organizations have unnaturally lofty standards, and forcing families to adopt TWO animals instead of one is certainly going overboard. I am sorry you had those experiences, not all rescues and shelters are like that, as evidenced by Amber’s successful adoption through Pug Nation.

  16. Robin Jingjit says:

    This is dangerous! The only reason I haven’t been stalkerishly in love with you is because I’m a dog person and you’re a cat person. Or so I thought. Congrats in on becoming my online best friend!

  17. We struggled to find a rescue dog because at the time we had a six month old, we finally found a great shelter and adopted a very sweet dog the same age as the kid, three years down the line and they’re both inseparable.

  18. Hayley says:

    Great post. Enjoy your pooch!

  19. BJ says:

    Vulva face!!! You are the (crappy) BOMB!!

  20. Annie says:

    Nearly every day I ask some member of my family to put pants on, or “Why are you naked?” Also, “Please stop wagging your penis in my face” is high up on the list, too. Sigh, boys.

  21. christina f says:

    So true about pants. Left to their own devices, my kids will strip down to their underwear, especially if it’s warmer than 45 degrees outside.

  22. That’s so nice! We’ve had a few problems with our rescue dog so we struggle a little, but there is something wonderful when he’s being good about having a dog.

  23. Erin says:

    We only have cats and I have no experience with adopting a dog, so the no kids thing surprised me, too.

    You would think there would be a greater risk with people who don’t have children but plan on having them. With cat rescue, lots of cats were returned after babies were born for various reasons (allergies, dog didn’t like kid, kid didn’t like dog, etc.). At least when you already have kids (even at 6 and 3), all of the expectations are laid out there for the dog and child.

    • Erin says:

      and in my examples, clearly I meant “cat didn’t like kid, kid didn’t like cat”. I mixed up the animals, lol.

    • Hannah says:

      I have been in dog rescue for 20 years and actually that IS my experience. Bar none, the worst offenders for returning/dumping dogs (out of all the people who we screened really thoroughly and seemed great at the time) are people who haven’t had kids YET. Previously fabulous homes suddenly decide they need to cut weight and the dog is the first to go. NOT all families are like that. I have both dogs and kids myself and we’re not like that. But playing the laws of averages, I’d much rather adopt out to people who have children already and know what they’re getting into.

  24. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE this post! We have two dogs and they are great with our daughter. What a wonderful addition to your family! Mommy, Daddy, two boys, two cats, and a dog. It’s very “Ouuuuur house, is a very very very fine house…” ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Beth says:

    So I was reading this post and my 15 month old son climbed into my lap. When we got to the “I want all of them!” picture, he started saying: “EEE, EEE, EEE, OH, OH OH!” Which of course means “monkey.” Then my four year old daughter came up behind us and said, “That’s not monkeys! That’s dogs.” My son leaned in toward the screen, looked at it for a second, and then started saying: “Aroof, Aroof, Aroof!” I think I’ll be cracking up a little bit all day today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congratulations on your new family member!

  26. Kristin says:

    I love knowing that you really took the time to do it right. I really wish everyone would. ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Aliza says:

    Having been on both sides of the adoption process (adopting a dog, and screening families), you would not beLIEVE the number of dogs that get returned to shelters because the kids wouldn’t walk the dog, or the dog played rough, or the kids were beating up the dog, or the dog “refused” to get housetrained, or any number of excuses. I hate it, but I can understand some shelters refusing to adopt to families with children. I just think there should be better screening, and maybe an insistence on family training sessions – where the whole family goes for obedience and behaviour training. Maybe something where you have to show the certificate as proof of attendance before being able to adopt a dog?

    Whatever the answer to that problem is, congrats on your new Crappy Family Member. It sounds like he is the perfect fit!

    • Bonnie says:

      I agree. We just adopted a dog, the place we got him from wouldn’t adopt puppies under 5 months to people with kids under 5. They also insisted that every member of the family (including other dogs if you have any) come to interact with the dog you are looking at, so they can see that it’s a good fit, or not. I also insisted that the dog we got, goes to training and that we all go to learn. I felt that it was very important for my 6 and 3 year old to be involved with the training, so that they know how to talk to him to get him to listen and so that he knows that he needs to listen to them, as well as my husband and I.

    • Hannah says:

      This is my experience too.

      I hate the amount of anger that gets directed at rescues for having no child policies or even just no child policies for specific dogs – which is my policy. I adopt out to families with kids but not for dogs that are bad with kids or very very tiny dogs and young kids. I get SOOOOO many irate and hateful emails – how we in rescue are the problem, how we don’t care about the dogs, how I should (somehow psychically?) know that they are the best dogs owners ever, and how they are now going to go to a breeder/puppy mill because I turned them down, so there! This is frustrating. I, like most rescuers, are doing our best to find as many good homes for as many dogs as possible, but we’d be fools not to learn from past experiences and patterns.

      If people want to direct their anger at someone, perhaps it should be all the people who came before them and said all the right things and then abused or dumped their pet, rather than the unpaid volunteers busting their butts to save lives.

      If people really want to rescue, there is ALWAYS a way to do that. With some legwork you can find a rescue that DOES adopt to people with kids, or without fences, or whatever you obstacle is. I myself got turned down because I lived outside the state of that rescue group and they don’t adopt out of state. No problem. I found another dog that needed me. You just keep looking.

      I commend Crappy Family for committed to the rescue concept and persevering until they found their perfect Crappy Dog. Well done!

      • Julien says:

        “No problem. I found another dog that needed me. You just keep looking. ”

        I struggled with a rescue that wasn’t really working for me (long story short- they promised me a dog but wouldn’t actually hand over the dog…. for months, because they couldn’t find time to spay it. yeah.) so I found a different rescue and had an amazing expirence and have an amazing dog. Keep looking and the right pet will come your way. Things work out for a reason!

  28. Kelly says:

    Oh yay! I love crappy dog! The cool thing is that black dogs often have the hardest time finding homes. The only thing harder to find a home for is an older black dog. So you guys are like extrasuperduperawesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (and sorry it was so frustrating. I do some side work in animal rescue… and wow. There is some SERIOUS crazy there.)

  29. Awww, how cool. Look forward to hearing more about Crappy Dog! I had a rescue dog, Popcorn, who lived to the ripe old age of 18. Miss that little guy. Now I have two cats who are at this moment staring at me balefully. Love those little guys, too.

  30. Mariya says:

    I had to explain to my 4 year old why we could not use the computer without pants on (He was waiting to skype with grandma). He now thinks that the Internets from outerspace peek at you whenever you have your computer open and you don’t want the internets to see your pee-er.

    On a side note – enjoy your crappy dog! We adopted our basset/beagle mix from a rescue (because of mandy) and aside from the fact he isn’t really good about letting us know when he needs to go outside, he’s wonderful. My 1 year old screeches with delight whenever he sees him and Beau very graciously accepts all the hugs and pats that my kids have for him.

  31. congratulations on the arrival of your wonderful crappy dog! i have two fawn and one black pug. (yeah…i have a problem) “vulva face” is stellar! new pug nickname. pugs are great with kids and they’re such great companions. unfortunately, they’re a bitch to train, so the peeing on the floor thing…i can vouch for that. enjoy your new fur buddy!

  32. Valerie says:

    I worked in an animal shelter awhile back. There is good reason for the, “no families with small children” However we did not have this hard fast rule. We did use that rule after watching a family. It is actually to protect the kids and the dog. I have actually seen a two year old kill a kitten by hugging it too much. It is crappy that they turned you down though without even meeting you. Your children have animal experience. Totally crappy. I am glad that you finally found a rescue that gave you a chance. I’m glad you didn’t give up and that you rescued a dog. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Dana says:

    Congrats on Crappy Dog! Rescued dogs are the best. You know, I used to volunteer for an animal rescue and we did NOT have that rule about kids. So, imagine my surprise when I try to adopt a lab to find I can’t because of the kid thing. My kids have always had foster dogs, sick dogs, well dogs, crazy dogs. They know dogs. So, I was surprised. I will just adopt from the rescue I used to be active in and currently keep in touch with ๐Ÿ™‚ I understand fully why some rescues do that, but I also firmly believe they are turning away wonderful homes making a blanket rule. We’ve had dogs almost have to be euthanized because a parent let a kid crawl in the crate with the dog while the dog was chewing a rawhide and the dog bit the kid. SO, I do understand fully, but am sad nonetheless that good families that would make wonderful guardians for a dog are turned away.

    • Dana says:

      I should mention that we never did adopt another dog. I’ve always had at least 3 dogs at a time but currently only have 1 dog, 2 cats, and 2 horses. At any rate, my dog got really ill and probably has less than a year left, so it’s in her best interest not to adopt another dog right now.

  34. Misty Pratt says:

    YAY TO PUGS!! We have a pug dog….this is my third pug. We’ve had one in the family since I was born! Did I say YAY PUGS yet?? Pug owners are crazy…watch out. We really, really love our pugs ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. You are so smart for doing all your homework and sticking to your guns. My husband and I had all the same thoughts you did about dog type and then we fell in love with a 3 month old st bernard / black lab / border collie mix. Aka going to be big and full of energy. We are crazy, clearly, and yet I wouldn’t want any other dog… Congrats on crappy dog! He looks adorable (I think? lol)!

  36. Tracey says:

    Thank you so much for adopting an older, rescue dog! Our dog was an older (older than 5 when we got him) rescue dog who gave us 12 wonderful years of being the perfect pet, and Crappy Dog sounds like he’s well on the way to being your perfect pet.

  37. Clara says:

    Did you know you can get a dna test done on your dog? It’s a company out of Toronto, we did it and were surprised to find out that our rescue dog had NO lab in it whatsoever (which is what we initially wanted, a lab-cross). Anyway, it’s interesting to find out what breeds are in your dog and it’s not too expensive!

    • 12tequilas says:

      Wow, I thought the DNA testing *was* expensive, and so I didn’t consider it, but this looks good! Thanks, Clara.

    • amber says:

      That is AWESOME!

      • Clara says:

        I think it’s about $60 (CAD) but we had a facebook coupon from them and it ended up around $50. I was surprised how relatively affordable it was, too! They send you a kit, you do the swab yourself and mail it back to them.

  38. 12tequilas says:

    I also have two sons and a husband. May I print out the “Everybody put pants on!” frame and change “The dog lady is coming!” to “_______ is coming!” and frame it and put it on my wall?

  39. Aleah says:

    After having two rescue dogs, I have NO IDEA why people buy puppies! Our rescues are sweet, house trained, and not insane. Wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on your new “baby”!

    • Cathy says:

      I bought Yorkies because I wanted a Yorkie because and I didn’t want a pit mix which seems to be all that’s available to rescue up here. Sad.

      • Hannah says:

        Try Don’t know where you are geographically, but I have seen TONS of Yorkies in the shelters and rescues here.

        • Cathy says:

          Wow, I stink at proof reading.

          I think it’s a geographic thing. If we were closer to a big city that would probably be true for us too.

          Our local meth heads and pot folks seem to prefer unrestrained pit/pit cross breeding. Grrrrr.

          I looked for six months. As I’d been dogless for 20 years, I caved. I have three awesome Yorkies now. Girls are fixed.

          • cate says:

            Many rescues will arrange to transport a dog to you. You don’t necessarily have to be in the same geographic area.

  40. Rose D. says:

    YAAAAY!!! Thank you for rescuing an older dog. You guys rule. Also, the best thing about adult animals? Their personalities are set! You know exactly what you are getting. (Continue to) Enjoy him!

  41. Kari says:

    How frustrating to call wanting to give a dog a loving home, and to be rejected immediately! That is nuts! I’m so glad you found a dog and all of you loved him before you even took him home! Have fun with the new addition! ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Stephanie says:

    I was worried why Crappy Boy said “cat” in singular.
    Congrats on successfully adopting through a rescue and being a shining example to your kids and readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • amber says:

      Both cats are fine. It is just that one of them (of cat glitter fame) is unmeetable. He is so skittish around strangers that he is like a ghost cat.

      • Karen (scotland) says:

        Our black and white cat came into the living room the other night when we had guests (he didn’t realise they were here) and both cat and guests froze in shock.
        “When did you get a black and white cat?!”
        “At the same time as we got the black one. Thirteen years ago…”

      • Stacy says:

        Our cat is a rescue cat…most people don’t know we have a cat, my son will tell you kitty lives under the stairs. So skittish sometimes we only know he is around because the cat food is eaten.
        Oh and 4 yr old boy currently without pants ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Kyrsta Lenon says:

    Great post! I’m *almost* in the same boat that you were. We’re waiting until we get a house to get a dog and it’s a topic that’s very serious to us, especially since we have a very young boy and will be having more kids in the future. I forgot that we may be denied the chance to adopt a dog because of young children! Glad you were able to find the perfect Crappy Dog for you and your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. DMTabery says:

    We have a rescue too. She isn’t nearly as pleasant as Crappy Dog. But I got tears reading this. Good for you!

    • tibeca says:

      Tears here too. We’re in search of a new (to us) rescue dog. It is a beautiful thing to give them another chance at a good life.

  45. Melissa says:

    We rescued a puggle. Best. Dog. Ever. So ugly its adorable, and SOOO great with out 5 year old and baby!!!!

  46. Melissa says:

    “vulva face” – hahahaha!

    congrats on your newest addition to the family! we have two rescue dogs and they are so loved! unless they are driving us crazy – which dogs tend to do sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Nadine says:

    I’m literally squirting tears of laughter onto my glasses at “vulva face”. Congrats on the new Crappy Dog!

  48. Shanna J says:

    Our family has 2 pugs! Asside from the snoring and fold cleaning they are the best!! Congrats on your new Crappy addition! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. You know they make matching rain booties for them, right? A must have!

    • amber says:

      That is one step too far, my family would send me to a home. Although he really does hate to get his feet wet…

      • Mariya says:

        Just a warning – the pads of their feet are involved in their cooling system so sometimes putting boots on them will make them get really hot. Learned that with our Chessie – I got her boots to wear after she cut the pad of her foot open one time when we had her out ice fishing. She looks like one of those “dancing horses” that pick their feet up really high when she has the boots on.

  50. Laura says:

    Oh my gosh! I LOL’d at the “everyone put on some pants”! Because that is so the case with my 3 year old son!!! Loved that you added that crappy papa had to put on pants too.
    Oh and the “vulva face”-hilarious!!!

  51. Tim says:

    So excited for your new crappy addition! We adopted a rescue dog too. we love him to death and has been a great addition to our family.
    Hope he brings you lots of joy and new material for hours of new posts!

  52. Lauren says:

    You talk about places not adopting to families with children. Try explaining to a rescue that you work full time. No one wants to give a dog to people who work full time. Everyone I’ve spoken to (whether it’s an adoption agency or a breeder) basically says we are going to be an abusive family if someone isn’t with the dog 24/7. On top of that we have a baby on the way (a boy due June 7th). We’re never going to get a dog! Plus what we really want is to rescue a greyhound. That is nearly impossible! Bless you for giving Crappy Dog a home. He is lucky!

    • Christine says:

      Lauren, I hope you find a greyhound to adopt, they are wonderful dogs! I had two adopted greyhounds, during their life times I went from 0 to 4 kids. ๐Ÿ™‚ There was a long break after my dogs passed away (toddler twins plus a pre-schooler and a 1st grader were all I could handle at the time). My kids now have two more greyhounds that live at their Dad’s house. They are the sweetest dogs! I hope you find a good greyhound rescue group; we were lucky to have an excellent group about an hour and a half drive from my town. Good luck!

  53. Allison says:

    I love this post! I have a Japanese chin we rescued from an animal control. He also has the lower teeth that stick out. Yay for the Crappy Family!

  54. Kelly P says:

    It’s like I was reading something from my own life! We lost our dog to cancer last summer and have been thinking about getting a new one, but I have been turned down by bunches of rescue organizations because I have kids! We’re still looking for the perfect fit for our family and may just end up with a second cat.

  55. Kat says:

    Awesome!!! I just clicked “send” on a rescue adoption application…. let the inquisition begin!

  56. Ophelia says:

    What do the Crappy Cats think of the new arrival?!

  57. Jena says:

    Yay for rescue dogs!!! We went through a lot of that hoopla too when we were looking to get a second dog. 2 thumps up to Boxer Rescue LA!!

  58. Elena says:

    This post made me so happy, you have no idea. Thank you for adopting (what’s up with that no children rule??), thankyou thankyou thankyou. Congrats on your new family member, I look forward to more crappy cat/crappy dog adventures along with the rest of crappy family. Woo hoo!

  59. Julia says:

    I find it amusing that a family with kids came across the same problems I did as a single young female in trying to adopt a fur baby. I was told I was essentially a flight risk and unstable for adopting a fur baby because “women get married and move and give up their dogs”. Haha!!

    • liz says:

      No way! THat just takes the cake.

      • sally says:

        From reading this thread and the comments, it seems like most rescue organizations only want their adoptions to go out to SAHPs of teenagers. Which, you know, is a fairly limited group. I’m really sad to see this, though the comments people have posted about dogs biting kids do make sense. I get that organizations want to be careful, and they should, but…

        At least, it sounds like Pug Rescue Nation of LA did an excellent job of handling this and I’m glad Amber gave them a shout-out.

  60. Kristin says:

    Congrats on the new addition! We have two rescue pugs and our black one is also 1/2 pug 1/2 question mark. They are the best (and awesome with kids)!

  61. Michiko says:

    Love your site! For drawing “crappily” you do quite well. I totally recognized the pugs – not even close to monkeys. Congrats on the new family addition!

  62. tara says:

    Yay!! Congratulations! Dogs are the best! Your Crappy Dog looks adorable! I’m so glad you were able to find a place that would let you guys get a dog.

    Can’t wait to hear more stories!

  63. Lauren says:

    You really need some rain boots for the dog. My dog has a raincoat and boots because she is prissy and does not want to get wet when it rains. Jumping in a stream, all good. A drizzle, not good. My dog is a large scary Doberman ! But prissy!

  64. Melissa K says:

    I went through the same rigamarole when we adopted our dog, except with us they had a problem with us being renters. They were afraid we’d be evicted and have to give up the dog or something.

  65. Jacqueline says:

    So so SO happy you adopted from a rescue- and a BLACK DOG no less. You’re wonderful and your family is wonderful and other gushy stuff!

  66. Megan says:

    Lol!!! We have a black pug who we rescued last year! He is perfect. Sleeps and cuddles all day when he’s not eating. I have always had pugs and the rescues are the sweetest! This is my first black one. Did you know that black dogs are exponentially more euthanized in shelters than other colors?
    Your dog sounds fabulous looking! I too would like to see his picture!

  67. Angela says:

    This is amazing, I’m in the same situation! I’ve been turned down because my youngest is four. I’m a fulltime stay at home mom. Like you, I understand where they are coming from but an across the board rule like this without even meeting us just hurts the dogs chances tremendously. We plan to keep trying but those ads on craigslist for puppies sure are tempting. I won’t do it but now it makes sense why people support backyard breeders when it is so darn hard to adopt and do it the right way.

    Good for you for pushing through and finding a shelter that will work with you! If I was nearby I’d call them in a heartbeat!

  68. Madeleine says:

    Congratulations! Hope Crappy Dog enjoys poop jokes!

  69. Lin says:

    Awwwwwww!!!! Loved this post! Love Crappy Dog! So, what did you name him?

  70. I don’t have kids yet but read your blog constantly! I can actually identify with this post! hehe Glad you added a crappy dog to your family!

    • Lori says:

      Congrats! We recently brought home a 6 year old pug to our 6 and 3 year old children also! He’s such a gentle, loving, old soul. I don’t even mind wiping his vulva face every day.

  71. Jess says:

    We bought a dog in October. Yes, I know, we went to a breeder. Shame on us, but we did. One of the reasons being we wanted a puppy to raise along with our boys, and every shelter we went to didn’t have a German Shepherd. And I am glad we made that decision, because he’s amazing with our boys and they absolutely love him. Best of luck with the new addition to your family. I am very happy that we decided to get a dog, even with a one year old and three year old. It has been challenging, but worth it to see how much he cares for our boys. I hope the same for your family!

    • sally says:

      We had a German Shepherd when I was a young child, and she was amazing. Before I was born, she slept in my parents’ room. But after I came home from the hospital, she would sleep on a rug next to my crib every night. Just watching out for me. When my brothers went to play outside, she’d be out there guarding them. She was such a gentle soul.

    • Hannah says:

      GSDs are my favorite breed and unfortunately they are EXTREMELY common in rescue. If you ever decide to look again, try or googling breed rescue groups. There are loads of gorgeous fabulous purebred dogs. Glad your dog is working out and I totally agree with you – mine are great with kids!

    • Absolutely nothing wrong with getting a dog from a breeder, as long as the breeder was breeding dogs to better the breed. Do not apologize! ๐Ÿ™‚

  72. Shannon says:

    So awesome to see a well educated family adopting! At worked at a local shelter pre-kids and it was hard to see what some of the animals go through but it was AWESOME to see them go home with loving families. I don’t have a dog, but I do have 4 cats, all rescues, 2 of which were “foster fails” where we fostered a mom and kittens and ended up keeping one of the kittens.

  73. Melissa says:

    Oh, the part where the Crappy Kids picked the same Crappy Dog as you and Crappy Papa made me cry! <3
    Congrats on the newest member of your family! :0)

  74. Trisha W. says:

    With those age guidelines, I might be dead before our family is old enough to own a rescue dog. LOL. I understand the reasoning but am thinking if these dogs don’t get rescued then a family with kids will eventually wind up buying a breeder dog.

  75. TC says:

    Congratulations! And thank you for rescuing ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband is nagging me about getting a dog. I’d better not let him read this or he’ll think it’s going to take 2 years for me to say yes, LOL!

  76. Kelley says:

    Congrats on your new addition and kudos for prepping and finding just the right rescue pup. Families finding an adult dog to live is a story I never get tired of hearing!

  77. Amanda says:

    I got so excited about this! Congrats! We have a new furbaby coming home soon. We were going to get a rescue dog, too, but with kids … well, you’ve been there. We’re getting a cute little girl rat terrier / chihuahua mix that no one wanted (who’s pictures make her look like a cute little cow – what’s not to love!) to keep her from going into the shelter. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’ll be home in about 4 weeks and I can’t wait to start shopping for sweaters and such. Hey, she’s tiny and we have cold winters. It’s necessary, right? And boots. Ice is no fun to walk on. And bows. Because it would be cute. And … well, you get the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  78. Jenn D. says:

    I’m a dog trainer, and it makes me batshit insane that rescues won’t even consider families with kids. Do a home visit. Interview the family. See if they’re prepared, if their kids will act appropriately around a dog. And *then* make a decision! My kids were 1 and 3 when we adopted our rescue pup – the only reason we were allowed to take him is that I’m a trainer. Ridiculous! I understand the need for vetting a family and finding pups the right forever home, but those concepts and children do not need to be mutually exclusive.

    Congrats on Crappy Dog! I’m so happy for you all :-).

  79. Lisa says:

    We have a half pug half other stuff rescue too ๐Ÿ™‚ He smells like nachos. Congrats on the new family member!

  80. Kat says:

    Oh my god!!!!! He IS beautiful. Crooked teeth, glued-on head and all. I love him!

  81. Taryn says:

    I worked in dog rescue and aggressive dog rehabilitation about seven years ago, before we moved out of state. We bought a house last May and lo and behold when we tried to adopt HAVING WORKED IN DOG RESCUE and as experienced fosters for several years we were turned away because I have two daughters. I completely understand your frustration. And having worked on the other side of the fence I understand their stance too. Rescues that aren’t willing to even consider or meet or interview families are probably really hurting financially and they just don’t have time to be selective. It is sad but it is the way it is.

    I wound up going to the high kill pound in the city near us and did get a wonderful lab mix who is the love of our lives.

    Congrats on your new addition!

  82. Amber R. says:

    Yay! Congrats! We love our rescue too (she’s… black lab? German shepherd? Not really sure what else, lol!). She was hyper when she was at the shelter, but once she got home she got just as lazy as us. She’s seriously THE best dog I’ve ever had. She’s awesome with my boys, and is super eager to please. Even if she thinks all squirrels are planning a world takeover (and addresses them as such), and every random person coming to the door is planning to murder us, she makes me feel safe. She was fully house trained when we got her, and knew the command to sit. She’s since learned the commands for high five, lay down, and go to bed. Now I just want her to realize she isn’t the size of a Chihuahua and does not belong in my lap (no matter how much I love cuddles).

    • Karen (scotland) says:

      “…thinks all squirrels are planning a world takeover…”
      I actually just spat out my drink with laughing so hard at that sentence.
      Pretty sure your dog has it right…

  83. Kayo says:

    Does anyone else find it concerning that we take more care in finding good homes for dogs than we do in looking for a good home for a child in a foster placement? You meet the minimum requirements and passed a home inspection? Great! Never mind that this child isn’t a good fit for your family….

    I’m a pediatrician, and I have seen PLENTY of times that children have been placed in foster homes where it was obvious that it wouldn’t be a good fit.

    • Agreed. I am a big-time animal lover, but sometimes it gets to be ridiculous. There was one rescue in my area that refused to let a family adopt a dog because they brought their other dogs to a clinic for vaccines rather than the vet!

      • Jaime says:

        SO MUCH THIS^^^^^ I posted above about the trouble my mom went through adopting a cat. I am willing to bet money that she wouldn’t have had NEARLY as much trouble signing up to be a foster mom.

    • Grace says:

      Kayo, agreed! However, often it’s the foster families that aren’t a good fit for children – any children.

  84. Sarah says:

    Congratulations!!! And a huge welcome to Crappy Dog!!! I’m so pleased to read that you did a ton of research and thinking before taking this step, that it was not an impulsive decision. Crappy Dog is a forever dog, (as all dogs should be), NOT an “until-dog”… “until we have to move”, “until you get too expensive”, “until you chew up my floor”…
    So many dogs in shelters thought they were forever-dogs, only to find out they were until-dogs. So sad! Congrats and thank you for doing it the right way.

    • Sarah says:

      And, BTW- we have two cats (ages 10 and 6), one dog (5 years) and one turtle (age 20) all of which are our forever animals, and our 10 month old loves them all, and they love her.

  85. Rachel S. says:

    we had a pug. he was the sweetest dogs with kids ever! my son feed our pg so much table (some times right out of my sons mouth) poor thing became diabetic. That dog took his shots like a champ twice a day till the sad day came. We still miss that stinky beast(
    horrible dog breathe).

  86. Too funny! We adopted our dog from a rescue, and many organizations said no families with young kids (especially for smaller dogs), but we found a great one that had no problem whatsoever placing in homes with kids. We ended up with a Schnoodle who is about 15 pounds now that he’s fully grown. A lot of groups would never have let us have a dog that small with a young child in the house, but it has been fine–my son was three at the time we got Ringo, and he is very gentle. To be fair, there are kids who are way too rough with pets, and smaller dogs can be seriously injured or even killed, so I can see where the rescues are coming from. I think they should go on a case by case basis, though, rather than just dismissing the idea altogether–we’re trying to save as many dogs as possible, aren’t we? And who’s to say that a household without young kids won’t have some in the future?

  87. Sharon says:

    When I started reading I was getting all ready to write you and say “DON’T DO IT!!!!!” Ha. As someone who knows literally 5 friends who got rid of their dogs after they had kids, I can sorta understand why they don’t want to consider families with kids. I like what previous posters said though about rescuers checking it out first. We have two French Bulldogs which we got before kiddos and they have taken a back seat to our two boys (4.5 and 2). Sometimes I feel bad but then I realize, they are now 8 and 5 and they don’t need as much exercise as when they were puppies and we do give them a great home. This is what I tell myself at least. I am so happy for you that it worked out so well and that you found the perfect little Crappy Dog for your Crappy Home ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Karen says:

      I think it is different when you go the other way. If you arleady have kids and add a dog you have a better understanding of your time and responsibility levels. Much easier to add a dog then add parenting!

  88. Julie says:

    We adopted both of our dogs from desperately under-funded city animal shelters and have been very fortunate with both adoptions. They called to check references, but they didn’t do a home visit.

  89. Theresa says:

    So glad to hear I’m not the only one living with a pantsless little boy! I long for the day we take the dog plunge. Yours sounds like it would be my perfect dog too. Congrats on your new baby!!

  90. Karen says:

    Congrats on adopting a dog! Especially an older, crappy and black one!

  91. Heather says:

    Congrats! While I salute all these dog rescue people and the seriousness with which they approach their jobs, it can be ridiculous! I was once home visited by two older women with the golden retriever rescue club and they said, “well…you go to work?? During the day?” Why, yes! um, sorry? I wasn’t planning an early retirement to dedicate myself to dog care at age 32. Though that might be pretty sweet!

    Enjoy Crappy Dog!

  92. Laura says:

    Congrats on the dog!

    The deal with the shelters always pisses me off. Here we were turned down bc we don’t have a fenced yard. Srsly!? You’re going to euthanize how many dogs every year that can’t find homes and our unfenced in yard is what excludes us? I told them they have some major whacked out priorities. They also won’t let you adopt a cat that will be let outside. Have they never seen barn cats? Apparently not!

    • Hannah says:

      They HAVE seen barn cats, that’s exactly the problem. Cats with feline leukemia, cats killed by coyotes, cats mangled in car engines. Look up the life expectancy of cats that go out versus cats that stay in. Cats are a lot safer indoors.

      And I would doubt that your local shelter is euthanizing the same dogs you were interested in. Shelters are looking for the best homes available for the animals in their care. If they get 20 applications on a highly adoptable dog, why shouldn’t they choose the home with a fence and an understanding attitude? Shelters that are euthanizing highly adoptable dogs, tend to have minimal adoption standards because the best home “available” is almost any home. If you are sincere in your desire to save a life, seek out one of those shelters.

      • Grace says:

        I think it depends on the family, cat, location and setup. I’ve had indoor/outdoor cats all my adult life. They’ve all had long, healthy, fulfilling lives. We don’t live close to highways and there’s lots of developed land to explore. They can get in and out any time they want to. They get the highest quality food and regular vet visits and vaccinations (which dramatically decrease the odds of FeLV) as well as lots of love, of course. It works for us, and it works for our cats.

  93. bubble says:

    Hope Crappy Cat is dealing with Crappy Dog!

    We have scotties. And though their temperament fits mine and my husband’s – they are a little standoffish with our 2 year old. I mean, they are good with him. Whatever room he’s in, they are in watching over him. But if he approaches them (think toddler running at you with flailing arms and screaming), they calmly get up and leave the room. We even let our toddler be the one that feeds them so that they will LOVE him.
    I did catch our boy dog in bed with our toddler the other night. Maybe he’s coming round.

  94. Micki says:

    Congratulations on being a Crappy Dog family! I look forward to the adventures (misadventures) with the crappy kids and dog. I’m sure you just adopted a whole bunch of new material! Yay for us!

  95. Katie says:

    On the flipside, I was once turned away once because I’m a single, childless woman who works fulltime. So the only people they adopt to is retired or independently wealthy single people? Crazy talk. I did find a nice shelter that did let me adopt and I’ve since added two more dogs into the mix.

    Congrats on your dog, I’m one of the kid-free reading your blog and I loved this one!

    • Sara says:

      I had the exact same problem being a single, childless, full-time working woman! Sorry that I’m not independently wealthy. Sorry that I would like to get married one day. Sorry that I would like to have children eventually. Sorry that I don’t plan on living in this EXACT location for the rest of my life.

      I finally ended up going to a breeder after going through all the shelters in my area. (Ok, maybe not EVERY SINGLE one, but enough to make my head spin and drive me insane.) Eight years, a husband, two kiddos, and three moves later, I can’t imagine my life without my little furbaby. (And yes, I still have the hubby and kiddos too.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Heather says:

      Apparently retired independently wealthy married people, that have 6ft not 4ft fences, don’t let the animal stay outside in said yard, don’t live out of state, don’t get dog shots at clinics, etc, etc, etc.

  96. Moppy says:

    Welcome Crappy Dog!! Great that you have given a dog a second chance at life!!

  97. Mollie says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for getting a rescue!!!! We have one, too and I have small kids and you do have to look around and research but it is worth it to save a life! Well done! Love your blog. xoxo

  98. Cara says:

    Congratulations on your new addition!!! He’s perfectly crappy!!

  99. Michelle says:

    *Vulva Face!!!* As a daily Crappy reader, I thought I was immune to an attack of convulsive CrappyLaughing by this point. Nope! Guess not. That is HILARIOUS! My Beagle furbaby is currently checking to see if mommy is okay…. can’t quit giggling over the mental picture!

  100. Pattie says:

    I love you! Let me say it again, but louder: I LOVE YOU!!!! Having been involved in rescue all of my life in one capacity or another, I have encountered many of these types of small rescue groups. They all claim to want what’s best for the dog (or cat, or rabbit, or guinea pig, or…you get the point), but they shoot you down over the slightest thing. And you look around, and sometimes you realize they aren’t a “rescue” at all, but boarders who managed to apply for and obtain 501(c)3 status as a non-profit rescue just to avoid paying taxes. I could go on all day about this. But I won’t. I have to put my pants on. But thank you for your perseverance, and THANK YOU for doing your research! Extensive, thorough research. And a big THANK YOU shout out to all the commenters who have done the same! You are all blessings to the world!

  101. Okay, this is kind of non sequiter, but as soon as I brought this page up, my nearly-five-year-old daughter muttered, “The poop monster!” then repeated, “I know this show! It’s the poop monster!” Yeah, maybe shouldn’t have gathered my children about me before I watched that trailer… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  102. Mercedes Downie says:

    The same thing totally happened to us!!! We tried to adopt a rescue dog that was desperate for a forever home, but were rejected because we had kids. So we finally gave up on the rescue thing and paid $400 for a puppy from a puppy breeder.

  103. Sara M says:

    Ohhhhh! Heartwarming. I love Crappy Dog!

  104. Kim H says:

    “Everybody put pants on!” can often be heard at our house too. And VULVA FACE?!?!? BWAHAHAHA!!!! I may have to start reffering to my boxer as that. Although if I do, my child might ask me what a vulva is and then I’d have to explain. (But it still might be worthy he entertainment value to hear little kids saying “vulva”…. Well, until they do it at the grocery store.)

  105. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations and Thank you for adopting! Glad you stuck with it after dealing with unhelpful rescue people (argh!). I have two kids, four dogs, no fence, work all the time, travel for work, etc, so I am not the “perfect home” either. I volunteer for a “pit bull” rescue, the focus is on finding “forever” homes that won’t give up on our dogs, not perfect homes. What hypocrites would we be to judge a book by it’s cover! Enjoy your pup, he looks sturdy and sweet and is a great Crappy addition!

  106. tygrr says:

    Now I’m going to spend the rest of the day thinking, “tee he he, vulva face.” So thanks for that!

  107. Kylee Rowden says:

    I am so happy you settled on a pug or pug mix… I have 2 pugs that I adopted from local rescues and they are AMAZING with children. I have a 4 year old Fawn Pug that is VERY mellow and a 1 year old black Bug (Boston Terrier/Pug) and he’s nuts… but my 4 year old was pretty crazy at 1 as well… We watch my 10 month old nephew on Mondays and both Pugs are so excited when he comes and are so wonderful with him. A Pug is what I suggest to anyone who wants a dog, has children and little room. They travel well (mine LOVE the car). They are sturdy… and even the hyper ones mellow eventually. I now raise money for the rescues by making and selling paracord bracelets and key chains.

  108. Congrats on the family addition!
    We went to adopt a sheltie 5 years ago, and couldn’t choose between two of them. So we adopted them both. Our fur babies preceded our first human baby by about 9 months. (Morning sickness + dog smell = torture!) But they’ve been a constant source of joy ever since. Yay for pet adoption!

  109. Melissa says:

    I actually got teary-eyed at the introduction of Crappy Dog! He sounds adorable.

  110. Tracy says:

    I get the deal with shelter “rules” – but I also have many child-free friends who are “rescue people” or “vet people” aka “crazy people” (not ALL of them, but y’all know which ones I mean) who seriously believe that a dog and a human child are the SAME thing and deserve the SAME treatment/respect ALL the time.

    I have had dogs and cats my whole life. I also have a child and am pregnant with #2. I LOVE my pets. They love me. Two of my cats do NOT love my 4 year old. The happiest day of all our lives (cats included) was the day we moved to an area where they can safely spend most of their time outdoors. I miss them – I don’t miss the (deserved) scratches on the child. The third cat came this Christmas FOR the child from a rescue and we matched the temperament of the cat to the child. She’s the most laid back, tolerant cat EVER – but she will defend herself when necessary. She never gets in trouble for scratching the child – the child gets in trouble for making the cat SO uncomfortable that she has to resort to scratching. They are ALWAYS supervised. The cat goes out when she’s had “enough” – and comes in when she asks for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    My shepherd mix is nearly 9. She loves the child, but prefers her space. The child grew up knowing to leave the dog alone – and DOES. That’s the thing about kids – they CAN learn, and parents CAN be responsible people. I don’t EVER leave my child unsupervised with her pets. I taught the dog at the very beginning what would happen to her if she decided the child was a subordinate (she IS an alpha female) and the dog GETS it. I am the alpha of her pack – and the child belongs to ME, not her. She understands – you can SEE it. I am also a crazy shepherd lady (those of you who know…know.) You either get them or you don’t.

    I think rescues and shelters spend way too much time worrying about liability and preventing pets from getting a home and not nearly enough time working on educating potential families (or themselves) on how to positively integrate pets into homes. I KNOW about the resource problem, but I also know in my heart that many foster families/rescuers have a touch of the “hoarder” about them (cue furious retort NOW) and prefer to keep a dog rather than work on placing it in a situation that THEY find uncomfortable (ie, one with kids) when the DOG would be fine.

    Tracy makes inflammatory comment and exits stage left NOW

    • Hannah says:

      I’m not denying there are hoarders out there, but I think it’s far from the norm. Most rescues are foster-based, so the animals are living in our homes. We love them, they love us. We consider it our duty to find them the best home we can. Not the perfect home, because perfect doesn’t exist. But the best home we can. That can sometimes take months and yes, I’d rather hang onto a dog for a few months than put it in a home that I have a bad feeling about. These animals depend on us to do a good job because their lives literally depend on it. You can’t get paralyzed by that, but you do have to keep it in mind. It’s a balance.

      • Lana says:

        well said Hannah. I’ve never had an issue with a candidate because they had children but it certainly is something to consider. Because the animals rescued need time, space and love and to be safe and well absorbed into a family in order for it to work.

        • Lana says:

          you Tracey also have a good point on the “touch of hoarder”
          We aren’t but some of them ARE.
          Here’s my inflammatory comment.. I have NO ISSUES with putting a dog to sleep. None what so ever. In fact when I worked at a vet surgery holding them while they where destroyed was part of my job. It isn’t nice at all I didn’t enjoy it but I also had no question that it had to be done each and every time because more and more animals come in every. single. day. and there just aren’t enough resources to care for them all.

  111. Kamron says:

    Aww, I love how you picked the perfect crappy dog. I have 2 1/2 crappy dogs. Mine are mutts, the 1/2 is my brothers dog who is a lab and we are only watching her for him while he is in training. Oh, and we have a crappy betta fish, crappy cat and a crappy horse.

  112. Liza says:

    Lmao@ vulva face! And we actually just rescued a dog yesterday! We had to wait on her to get spayed, but we pick her up in the morning! The boys have named her Fiona because they said she is a princess. So I guess they think she is ogre-ish.

  113. Maureen says:

    Congratulations! Now you have THREE kids! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Four if you include Crappy Papa.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I preordered your book – so excited! Congratulations on all these exciting, non-crappy things going on in your life…

  114. Virginia says:

    Your article made me tear up with happiness for you. I’m so glad you found your dog!

  115. Sarah says:

    I love your posts, congrats on crappy dog!! Sorry you had so much trouble finding a shelter, hard and fast rules like that always tend to hurt someone, but I can see why they make them. I had to laugh about the “big dog, small car” limitation. I have an Irish Wolfhound, he’s currently 132lbs (still growing) and about 6’5″ on his hindlegs. I drive a Prius ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually had a lady comment when I opened the back to let him out that it was “like watching a clown car!”

  116. Kristen says:

    Vulva face!!!! I’m SO calling the next person to piss me off a vulva face.

  117. Liz says:

    We have a lemon/red beagle rescued from a high kill shelter in Ohio via an Ontario agency. He was around 1 when we got him and is now around 5. Best dog ever…knows all the children and dogs (and cats) on our street. I meet my neighbours and their dogs on our walks and he is good to snuggle with on our sofa. He has added so much to our lives. My kids are now 14, 13 and 9 (their dad died 5 years ago). Love your drawings and stories. They were/are like mine.
    PS all the stuffies I have hoarded have been repurposed as dog toys (minus the eyes :))

  118. Jen Procter says:

    Oh, happy day! Congratulations on your new family member, I am so excited for you! And – good for you for keeping at those shelters and not giving in to the breeder seduction. LOVE those shelter dogs!! Hooray, hooray, you made my day!
    (I have a super-secret-other-business called Portland Dog Runner- I’m a big fan of those animals!)

  119. Jo says:

    How lovely! The no kids thing is … bizarre. I thought it would work the other way round.

  120. June says:

    Husband and I have been talking about getting a dog… glad to see that we are automatically ineligible for at least 8 more years, I didn’t think I could handle it. Sometimes, I tell him, if I’m going to be doing that much add’l work, it had better be for a baby and not for a dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Of all your preparations, I’m super impressed that you took the “practice walks” to make sure you were really up for it!

    Given how our cats were neglected after the birth of our first, I can sort of see why agencies might be against putting a dog in a family of littles, liability issues aside. One of my cats became diabetic and lost 5 lbs before I even realized there was a problem. (Now, almost 5 years later, he’s doing great with his Atkins-like cat food and twice daily insulin shots.)

  121. Katie Ellis says:

    Adopting a dog with two small kids might have been the most stressful thing DH and I have gone through in all our parenting. It took a month and a half to sort through the potential dogs and complete the adoption process before bringing home ‘Abby Burrito Superdog.’ For the first week (or 2), we made her wear a leash at all times until she proved herself around the girls. Whatever the shelter says, your two year old will end up with stitches and scars, not the dog.
    That being said, she is perfect. The most wonderful dog we could imagine. So glad we found a shelter willing to interview the crazy parents with the terrified toddler who wanted to adopt a dog. We’re not ‘home’ until Abby greets us at the door.

  122. Leah says:

    What did you name crappy pug-mixer? I got a pug when I was 3 and she was my best friend ever sleeping under the covers with me, letting me stuff her into old baby clothes, and only whining a bit when I’d insist she sit in my doll stroller on “walks”. I probably would have baby worn her if I had an old bjorn.

  123. wendy says:

    you got a pug type!!!! we have pugs! two of them. i’m totally addicted and want more!! great family dogs. you will love your pug mix… at least the pug part!

  124. Amy says:

    Didn’t even see monkey until you wrote it. Oh the classic “vacuum” popper toy… Sigh.

  125. It’s really quite sad how difficult shelters make it to adopt animals that need homes. I understand there are rules and regulations and that they’re just trying to save their own asses, but it’s definitely a discouraging and daunting process. It’s no wonder so many people turn to pet stores and BYB (back yard breeders) – they’re not being interrogated or judged based on their lifestyle decisions.

    And yes, there is NOTHING wrong with getting a dog from a REPUTABLE breeder. Just be sure to do your research and ask as many questions as possible (they like that!). It’s certainly how I will be getting my future dog.

    Congrats on Crappy Dog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  126. Elizabeth Beckman says:

    aw, this made me cry! congratulations! mutts are the very best. okay, i’ve met some pretty sweet purebreds too, but my mutt was the best. she died when i was 6 mos pregnant with my 2-y-o and i’ve never cried so much…i thought my baby would be born into a dog family! all girls need a dog! now she’s 26 months so i’m starting to think about getting a new one….

  127. Yvette says:

    OMG Vulva face. I think I just peed a little.

  128. Bethany says:

    Congrats! We had our dogs pre-baby and now they don’t get as much attention and seem annoying. But I still love them! They also get more attention now that baby is toddler but I’m sure that will change with baby #2, when ever he/she comes along. I’ve never heard of a shelter not adopting to families with young children. I can understand not adopting certain dogs or cats to those families but it seems silly to me. Especially since most people who adopt a dog without kids, end up having kids later, while they still have dog. I’m glad you found the right dog for your family!

  129. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations on the addition of crappy dog to your family! I’ve had 2 pugs (one a purebred from a breeder, 1 a mix from a rescue), and they are the absolute BEST dogs with kids. Our current pug has a super stinky vulva face, but he is super sweet and friendly. Good choice!!

  130. Erin says:

    As a pug owner myself, I’m so glad you got a pug! (or, a mostly pug). Ours is our dog baby, and we love her to pieces. Congrats on the new addition!

  131. Alison says:

    I recently got a dog from a shelter and went through a very similar process. Only with long, painful applications rather than phone calls. But now I have my dog baby! Two kids, two cats, and now a dog. It’s like you’re copying my life and making hilarious posts about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • HM says:

      To really be like Amber, you’d need an ugly fish too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Alison says:

        I have an ugly fish too! His name is Mac and he looks like his face is rotting off, but it’s just the way the light hits his odd orange and blue coloring. He’s a beta. ๐Ÿ™‚

  132. Jessie says:

    Congratulations on finding a great dog! I had 2 old dogs when my boys were babies and it was a sad sad day when I had to put them to sleep. I didn’t think I would want dogs again for a very long time, too many things needing me and wanting constant attention (between the dogs and the boys I was worn out). A year and a half later I got totally addicted to looking at pet adoption websites and was spending all of my precious nap time looking for a dog (my husband couldn’t believe it!). My boys are 3 and 5 and our house is a bit wild but they are kind kids. I totally understand why shelters want houses with older kids! There were a few candidates that I ended passing on because I felt bad bringing them into our wild world. Glad we waited cause we found the most amazing corgi/aussie mix that is 7 yrs old and perfect! No puppies for me, thank you very much. Zesta (she came with the name and it took my 5 year old a week to remember it) is everything I hoped for. Her introduction into our household was seamless. Its nice to have another female in this house!

    • jessie says:

      what I said about shelters being right about having little ones around dogs I was thinking about all of the things they do without thinking. i took my 3 year old to the vet with me to get Zesta her rabies shots and an exam. now I catch him “checking her teeth” all of the time. luckily for us she is amazing with the boys but not all dogs would be. our new dogs’ one job is to sleep with our 5 year old and ever since she started we haven’t had anymore “I’m afraid to go to sleep” and that is heaven!

  133. Bridgett says:

    Congrats! And thanks for sticking with it and finding a rescue. It sounds like it was a frustrating experience, but it worked out for everyone involved!

  134. Heidi says:

    We had a similar struggle not being allowed to adopt from a humane society because we were going to allow the large dog to play in our large, enclosed back yard while we were gone for a few hours during the day…. apparently that is inhumane! My response was the same – so a cage is better than we are? And what do animals do in the wild? Our local animal control was glad to place a dog with us and 3 years later we’re still one happy family.

  135. Michelle says:

    Congratulations on your new addition! Our beloved Siberian Husky passed away unexpectedly a month ago, we have a huge hole in our family. I’ve been scouring the rescue sites and we’ve been to the shelter once but nothing yet. My kids just want any dog but I told them it’s not something to rush into. Dogs bring so much joy and happiness to a family, I’m glad you can have that experience.

    I just wanted to tell you that I found your blog 2 weeks ago, and I found myself laughing for the first time since my doggy died, so thank you! Good luck with Crappy Dog!

  136. Tara says:

    OMG “that vulva face thing going on where you have to clean the folds”… You are just too awesome. Hahahahaha!

  137. Valerie says:

    I LOVE that you rescued!! Congratulations on your new family member!!!

  138. Lana says:

    A lot of people have commented about breeders. While there are nice breeders and heinous puppymills..I foster animals and this is how we think of any and all breeders..
    there are a finite number of dog homes. and thanks to breeders both registered and backyard there is an INFINITE number of dogs. Your dog has 5 puppies.. even if you find homes for them you have inadvertently killed 5 other dogs who those homes would have taken. GET RID OF ALL BREEDERS at least until we have a dog shortage because it isn’t fair on the dogs already here to breed more just because people prefer puppies to adults

    • Lana says:

      also NO Animal leaves our care unless it is already spayed/neutered. We have no issues with families provided they have adequate space and at least some knowledge. It’s better even that they have a outdoor life than a life in a cage.

  139. Sarah says:

    Yay wonderful! Love you got crappy dog, he sounds lovely!

  140. Alex says:

    Congrats! Sorry you had to go through so much trouble because of your kids though. I get why shelters are more hesitant to adopt to families with kids because those dogs often go back to the shelters, but really what matters is each individual situation. I have a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old and live in an 850 sq foot apartment, and we own a Rottweiler. People think we’re crazy to own the dog we do, but it works for our family, and that’s what matters.

    • Jen May says:

      I wish the shelters would at least give the families a chance. True, there are probably a large percentage that end up back at the shelter, but that means some are still being adopted forever and isn’t that the point? This makes me so sad. ๐Ÿ™

      • Hannah says:

        I think the point that is to place animals in the best homes you can. Shelters and rescues often have many applicants, especially for highly adoptable animals. They are choosing between applicants to find the best match, rather than choosing between an application with kids/no fence/whatever and death. Rescues aren’t euthanizing adoptable animals and the shelters that are usually have pretty flexible/low adoption requirements.

  141. Gae says:

    So glad you got a rescue dog. If I had known you were looking I would have recommended you go to Best Friends. They have a shelter in Mission Hills. Rescue dogs are the best. Glad he is fitting in so well.

  142. Susan B. says:

    Great post. We just lost our Daisy-dog of 15 years recently and are on a dog ‘break”, but look forward to the day we have a sweet pup in our house again. Getting dogs must be a spring thing…Lena Dunham wrote a great piece in the New Yorker about getting a pup recently. Enjoy!

  143. Elisabeth says:

    Awwww! Congrats! Thanks for rescuing too. We tried the rescues back before I had a kid, and we had the same issue with all the adoption forms, etc. etc. They were very thorough and frankly I didn’t have the patience for repeated home visits. We went with the humane society and have had 4 lovely pets ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, my 5 year old begs for a dog, but knows he can’t have one because he’s “lergic” and they make him “scratchy” … poor kid. He wants to be a vet and I don’t have the heart to tell him that he is making poor career choices already.

  144. Jen May says:

    This is the first of your entries that actually pissed me off! Not at you of course, you’re still funny, but the fact that so many shelters won’t let families with young children adopt. What a bunch of bullshit. :-/
    I’m glad you were able to find a rescue. He sounds awesome!! Mellow doggies are the best. Congrats!

  145. Elizabeth says:

    Your posts always make me laugh out loud…a lot! But this one made me cry because it was just so sweet. Good for you for rescuing Crappy Dog! And your dog drawings are awesome. Can’t wait to read more about your mellow fellow. : )

  146. Beth says:

    It’s a great sign that your boys felt compassion for the mellow, adult dog. We went through the same “no adoption to family with young kids” thing two years ago, too. We have a 10 year old daughter and 3 year old son. I get it (rescue agencies can’t risk a dog bite, etc), but both my husband and I had grown up with cats & dogs, so we knew the risks. It was so difficult to adopt a dog through a rescue agency, we ended up getting a dog through a private rescue adoption. A woman near Seattle works with a group of people all around the country who save animals from kill shelters. They adopt the dogs, get them thoroughly cared for by vets, house train them, etc, to make sure they are healthy and minimally trained. The process was no less rigorous, and we made certain to find a dog that would be a good match for our family. Our then 10 month old dog came to us in Oregon all the way from Georgia. She’s a German shepherd/hound mix, and she couldn’t be sweeter or goofier. I have family down South, and they say hounds end up dumped if they don’t prove to be good hunters. My southern cousin was so happy we ended up adopting one.
    Yup, our dog accidentally knocks my 3 year old to the ground at least once a week, or smacks him in the face with her tail. I take the time to explain that our dog didn’t mean any harm. My children are not allowed to “wrestle” with our dog, and I don’t think it’s cute to see babies/kids physically laying on top of dogs. Some dogs may “tolerate” that behavior, but I think it’s disrespectful to the dog, and gives the kid the idea the dog is a plaything vs a member of the family. My kids respect her space. Both my kids take care of our dog (although, 2 guesses who picks up the poop). They’ve learned compassion, responsibility, loyalty, all wrapped up in a floppy-earred dog who’s all elbows & whip-like tail. Welcome, Crappy Dog!

  147. Betsy says:

    Congrats on the new addition! We had a hard time conceiving (7 years) and managed to pick up 4 furkids along the way. We started with a feral kitten – she’s lost most of her feralness. Adopted an abandoned stray cat who we mistakenly took for a boy (surprises galore when Max gave birth!) and then came the dogs. My 11month old adores her dogs – who live happy content lives outside. She wishes the cats were more tolerable to her squeals and affection. Fortunately they walk away or tolerate her furious patting.

  148. Alicia says:

    This story brought tears to my eyes! I know about the search for that one special dog that will fit your family. Ours was a rescue too. Literally off the streets of Burbank. My friend found him, inquired in the neighborhood, and discovered that his family moved and left him on the street. I knew he was the one, the first time I saw his picture. We’ve had him almost a year and are so glad. BTW. The shelters don’t give you a rash of shit over adoption of pets. Enjoy your Crappy Dog ๐Ÿ™‚

  149. Sisi says:

    Congrats to you and crappy family. Great story

  150. Shelley says:

    I breathed a sigh of relief when you didn’t get a puppy.

  151. Elisa says:

    Love this post! Congrats on Crappy Dog! We too had a hard time finding a rescue dog for a family with a 5yr old and a 9yr old even though I would be home all day with the dog. We finally found a group that trains shelter dogs for special needs families, specifically families with autistic children. Our dog didn’t quite make the cut for the special program so he was open for a regular adoption and we got him. He looks like he is half Ewok and half squirrel and he and our now 6yr old are inseparable. There are dogs and families with young children that can benefit each other. I just think it is a shame that so many dogs are missing out on good homes due to blanket rules.

  152. Tiffany says:

    How are the Crappy Cats adapting? Or ignoring as it may be…

  153. Christy says:

    I love you even more knowing you got a rescue and educated your kids on the proper handling of animals. Thank you for giving Crappy Dog a forever home full of love and fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  154. Nicole MacRae says:

    Amazing! Congrats on the Dog! post pics soon if you can!

  155. Kari Anne says:

    So, am I a stalker if I went and figured out you must have the one named “Freddy” on the site based on your description and picture? Also, I’m assuming the other black one was Manuel (who also has been adopted – woohoo!). Probably, I should now back away from the computer, as you are probably afraid.

    • amber says:

      I would have done the same thing! Mad sleuthing skill you have there! And yes, you are right, except he now goes by “Freddie” and we added “Mercury” after that. Because he was awesome and also had not great teeth.

      • Liz says:

        HOLY SHIT! You named your dog Freddie Mercury? Because of the teeth!! LMFAO You are the coolest, most funny family I have ever known! As if I couldn’t fall in love any harder, OMG.

        I’m a huge Queen fan here in case that isn’t obvious.

      • Dan says:

        Freddie Mercury. Best dog name ever.

      • Jen says:

        Wow, Freddie Mercury is such a perfect name!!

      • Kari Anne says:

        Awesome. Also awesome I am not kicked out of crappy pictures, because I would cry. Any chance that a pre-ordered book would come a day early? I wanted to ask for it for my “big” birthday (ends with a zero, yipes!) on the 25th, but if it’s going to come on the 26th, my husband will claim it for HIS birthday. Yeah, back-to-back birthdays sound cool, but they are NOT! Definitely not as cool as Freddie Mercury!

    • Erin says:

      You aren’t the only one – I did the same thing and came to the same conclusion, too ๐Ÿ™‚

      • teagansmomma says:

        siiiiiigh…I got sucked in by the peer pressure and looked myself. he’s a cutie! looks like he’s actually cheezing at the camera! kudos amber!

  156. Chickenpig says:

    I can’t believe this! We just finished adopting a shelter dog, too. We did not have the same “do not adopt dogs to families with young kids” problem. The problem we had was that every…dog…we…saw required us to fill out a 13 page application form before they would talk to us! Then they would tell us that the dog we had shown interest in was no longer available. Then I had a back and forth pleading fest with a dog foster mother because we don’t have a fenced in area yet. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a huge deal to adopt an animal that was abandoned to a kill shelter.

  157. Lore says:

    Your dog looks as sweet as you and your family. I love your stories, they are like little sun rays.

  158. lisa says:

    yeah! we got our dog from a pit bull rescue (no haters please). I purposefully wanted a dog that was not too young (i.e. hyper). She was 2 and has always been mellow and sweet as sugar. She has been a perfect fit for us. The wonderful thing about the rescue is that they place the dogs in foster homes while they wait, so we got to go and meet the dog in a calm, normal setting and see her behavior. I visited shelters and it is just so much chaos & the dogs are all totally stressed out. And yeah, that is totally frustrating about the other rescues excluding families. Stupid. Being a young kid does not automatically make you a dog torturer/killer!!!

    • Molly says:

      My grandparents had a pit bull named Susie. I used to crawl all over her when I was an infant (so I’m told). No hater here!

  159. Dan says:

    Congrats, looking forward to future Crappy Dog stories.

  160. Shannon Lynch says:

    I am a veterinarian, and when I started to read your post, my stomach clenched with tension. I was expecting to see a typical post about what new fancy breed (actually a mutt with the two parent breed names combined in some way to make it seem like a reasonable fee to charge $800) you got. Then have the list of probable health problems go through my head.
    This is why I love you. This is why I have pre-ordered seven (7!) copies of your book.
    Thank you. Thank you for surprising me. Thank you for going to the shelters. Thank you for persisting with the rescue plan despite all the adoption blocks (this is a huge peeve of mine, both in the animal and human world). And thank you for adopting a quieter, maybe a little older, not as pretty dog that might be overlooked by so many. Those are the true diamonds in the rough. It sounds like Crappy Dog is exactly the type of dog I love. And have had three of.
    And I totally knew right away those were pugs. Great job! The “vulva face” is probably the best description of that facial structure I have ever heard. I may have to steal that.

    • amber says:

      Thank you!!

      And I double dog dare you (ha, you see what I did there?) to say “vulva face” to one of your pug owners who visit your office. It really needs to be a recognized term.

  161. Sarita says:

    I am British so I LOLed even more at the “pants” reference!!! My son often runs around with no “pants” on, and almost always without trousers!! Love your Crappy blog…

  162. Kelly says:

    My friend is also trying to get a rescue dog and they told her no because she WORKS.

  163. Amy says:

    I am so happy for you! Good for you for not going for the cutie pie and really focusing on what is right for your family. I do home visits sometimes for a boxer rescue and we really don’t care about dirt! really! It’s those dang legos a puppy could choke on that I mention. If they are adopting a puppy. Crappy Dog sounds like the best. Best name ever!

    • amber says:

      Yeah, a Lego eating puppy would have NEVER worked for us, lol. Fortunately, Crappy Dog doesn’t fancy them.

  164. Sarita says:

    That’s a good point, what’s his name? Please don’t tell me it’s “Crappy Dog”? If so, imagine calling for him in the street!

  165. Pug Nation Mary says:

    Pug rescue is always a mix of wonderful dogs, miserable human beings, fabulous, kind people and more! Reading the tale of Crappy Dog was hysterical! Really good for the soul! Thank you for giving little Freddie Mercury such a great life! Crappy shelter days are a distant memory!

  166. Adrienn says:

    I Love Crappy Dog! AWWW….we are major dog lovers. We have 2. A mellow old-ish Boston Terrior and a puppy Labradoodle who pees on the floor whenever we come home or somebody comes over, yay us! I look forward to hearing more about your grumpy-faced crappy dog! And I know what it’s like to be denied a dog-crappy feeling. It doesn’t make much sense to keep them in a cage instead of a loving family. It probably happens alot. What a shame ๐Ÿ™

  167. Dee says:

    I (silently) laughed out loud next to my sleeping husband at the “We’re not hoarders” pic. Love it!

    My parents adopted a mutt when I was.. oh gosh.. in 7th grade I think. Half basset hound, half golden lab. Looks like a basset body (and personality) with a lab head and basset ears. Such a lovable little thing.

  168. Jamie H. says:

    I love getting my crappy emails. Everytime I get one, I know I’m going to laugh. I always end up reading the one that came …and then another and another. I sit here and just laugh, and that is such a great thing ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks.

  169. Stephani says:

    We have two pugs they are the best dogs ever. One of them lost his leg in the fall.

  170. Leanna says:

    Ha ha I totally LOL about Crappy Papa having to put his pants on too. Just like in my family. ๐Ÿ™‚

  171. Jen says:

    I saw your picture on the Pug Nation facebook page. The first comment cracked me up. The “girls” were so happy about the dog. Hahaha!
    We have a pug that we love. They are great family dogs. In fact, our pug is the reason we have a family…he ate my birth controls pills ๐Ÿ˜‰

  172. Kelly says:

    We have a rescue dog, too! I didn’t write a crazy woman email, but I did fill out an application with a cocker spaniel rescue organization knowing there would be resistance because we had small children, we have had cockers before, and both my kids were infants with the last one, so I was confident we could take in a rescue. As luck would have it, the perfect dog arrived at te shelter shortly after we had our home visit, three years old, from a home with small children that was no longer able to care for him for financial reasons. He was te perfect fit for us!

  173. Grandma Jane says:

    Hi Amber —

    Can’t congratulate you enough for taking a rescue. Maybe we can put the puppy mills out of business, if enough people have your good sense and good heart.
    Hope to see a lot of Crappy Dog!
    P.S. I am addicted to your site — I find I am enjoying the three grandchildren (aged 10,6, and 3) more than I did their parent!

  174. Leah says:

    Hahahaha vulva face
    And the part about the pants… I totally get that. But, frankly, I don’t get people who sit around the house fully clothed with like shoes and makeup and stuff. If I don’t have anywhere to be that day, company is lucky if I’ve even showered.

  175. Rachael says:

    Thank you for saving a dog from a rescue despite it being a bit of a pain in the butt!!!!

  176. Rachel says:

    I am beyond proud of you for going with a rescue even past the several NO KIDS crazy ones that told you no way. I do understand no kids under 10 with tiny dogs and special needs dogs, but I don’t get why they won’t at least give it a shot. I have two tiny dogs both under 10lbs and a 1 year old that’s great with them and they are with him too. Anyways super duper congrats on the dog and I’m so so happy he’s a rescue and a great doggie. Side note: I make dog clothing, blankets, treats, and toys all custom to your taste so please contact me if you want anything fun esp for the holidays. Look me up on Mercedes & Me on facebook. ๐Ÿ™‚

  177. K says:

    Congrats! Good on you for adopting a rescue, it breaks my heart to see lovely homeless dogs being destroyed because people prefer a purebreed, although thy are not immune to bad circumstances, either. We adopted our dog 5 months ago and love him to bits!

  178. Sandra says:

    We have a rescue Chow, he is blind, so he has a seeing eye dog friend, Asia, who is part Chow part shepherd. A friend of one of my daughter’s tiny 3 pound Chihuahua was jealous of her baby and tried to bite her, so we have Bebe. A dog got lost, and we posted his picture in the neighborhood, etc but no one came forth to get him, so we got his shots and got him neutered. He is Eddie. We have a rescue cat, Grimm. House is full, but will only get rescue dogs. Not giving anyone reason to breed an animal.

  179. We had this EXACT same experience. Except with a Greyhound. Now he’s ours and his name is Manny.

  180. Kristin says:

    Haha, what is with boys and pants??? I have a son and a daughter, and while Miss 4 will be wearing a skirt, 2 T-shirts, and 3 Dresses (yes, all at the same time) Mr 2 AND his daddy will be wandering about in just their underwear! LOL… I’m so pleased it isn’t just my family!

  181. Deidre says:

    I love love LOVE that you researched and adopted from a shelter!! It drives me CRAZY when people don’t commit to a forever home. Pets are people too! I have two cats and a little dog, one from the street and the other two from the shelter, and they are my little fur children.

    PS I could totally tell those dogs were pugs without you saying so.

  182. Deidre says:

    I started reading other comments, and the one three posts above mine is my Mom. I didn’t realize it at first, “Hmm, my mom has a part chow named Asia…” LOL

  183. Jill says:

    He sounds like a puggle. I have a dog nephew named Paul who’s a puggle! Good on you guys from adopting from a rescue!

  184. Julie H says:

    I literally “LOL’d” when you told everyone to put on pants!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  185. Amanda says:

    Freddie is SOOO cute (I may have Rescue stalked too!) kinda looks like my old Schipperke in the face. Too sweet! Congrats on the dog. We can’t wait to get one when my boy gets a little older!

  186. Congratulations! I can’t imagine a childhood without dogs. Actually, according to my parents, “doggie” was my first word; “mommy” and “daddy” came later.

    I have heard many similar stories about how difficult it actually is to get so-called dog rescue groups to relinquish their dogs – I think it would be easier to adopt a child. Others have thrown up their hands and purchased a dog. That’s great you stuck with it and found a reasonable rescue group AND your new family member.

  187. Ros King says:

    I just choked on my coffee. “Vulva face” hahaha PERFECT!! I feel like it’s a happy ending too that you all chose the ‘less beauty’ mellower one.

  188. I couldn’t stop laughing at the pics. For “crappy” work, you’re a pretty good artist ๐Ÿ™‚

  189. Christiana says:

    I personally am not an animal person and will never own one…BLECH! Two kids and a husband is quite enough, thanks.
    I am happy for you and your family though, great story gotta love bureacracy!

  190. Monique says:

    Pugs are the BEST dogs ever… Great with kids, just want to be loved and easy to train because they will basically sell their souls for food… We have 2 from Pug Rescue in South Africa. Enjoy!

  191. Carol says:

    Hilarious! That just happened to us when we adopted a puppy a month ago…same lame rescues not adopting to kids, same hysteria that they were coming over ASAP for a house check…so funny. You are a genius and alot smarter than me since you adopted a 5 year old dog and not a puppy with a 4 yr old boy! I must be on crack. Seriously. Actually my husband wanted a puppy so he’s on crack!

  192. Kristin says:

    We want a dog. And we have a three year old. And live in the LA area. Guess who’s googling “pug nation” in the next five minutes? Thanks for doing part of my research for me!

  193. Pekky says:

    Pugs or pugs mixed are great for kids and eldery mobs. They are very sweet, congratulations to your family having a new member :-).
    You guys are so sweet too, helping those poor creatures. Wish you a healthy happy crappy dog!

  194. Michelle says:

    Hi Amber
    I have been reading your blog for a while now. I have no kids but love your blog anyway! It always makes me smile. Your honesty is refreshing. If I hear one more parent goo-ing over their kid I will lose it. Anyway just wanna say I am a fan and I wrote about my dogs today on my blog too. With real pictures because I can’t draw. ๐Ÿ™‚ we adopted too! Enjoy!

  195. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations! I love that you guys adopted a rescue dog! We have three rescues and a stray (we fostered him and tried to find his owner through the local SPCA, but they never surfaced) – but when our oldest dog passed away in October, we started the search for a new dog because it felt like there was something missing in our “pack.” We, too, found that most rescues (as opposed to shelters) were leery of adopting dogs to families with young children unless they were large dog rescues (think Newfoundland). While we love big dogs, we have learned that we cannot handle them and prefer smallish dogs (20-35 lbs). My son, who’s a little over 2, has always been gentle with our dogs (who are not pushovers) because we taught him early how to be gentle, which, oddly enough, is how he is with other kids (he is supposedly the only kid in his preschool class who hasn’t hit/bitten anyone). I think being kind to animals teaches kids a lot about being kind to people.

    Anyway, we finally we ended up adopting from a shelter because they tend to ask very few questions – which is fine because we know we’re responsible pet owners but of course is a little unsettling for adoptions to those who are not! The dog we adopted before this one came from Cavalier Rescue USA (because we love Cavalier King Charles Spaniels), and pretty much all of those dogs are listed as not to be adopted to homes with young children. Some are for health reasons, but often it’s because they are considered “delicate” dogs, even though every authority (read: dog website) will list them as one of the top ten best family dogs. Our cavalier was being fostered by a local breeder/show-er who has kids who grew up with cavaliers and feels that they really are great family dogs – and as the final authority on adopting him out, she was seeking a family with at least one little boy for the dog to play with, which, thankfully, ended up being us.

    So while I’m glad you found a rescue that was ok with your having young kids, if you decide to get a second dog in the future you may have better luck with shelters – though I would zealously argue to be able to adopt a dog that I felt was right for us! Thus I don’t think your e-mail was crazy. Thankfully there are people who work with rescues who would agree that with the right teaching/supervision, young kids and dogs can, in fact, mix quite well.

    I hope you are having a great time with your new dog!

  196. mary says:

    My family had a bichon frise for 14 years. I can relate to your choosing a loveable lap dog. Ours was too. Can’t begin to tell you the joy he brought to our lives. I’m so happy for you all!

  197. Rich T says:

    As a veterinarian I gotta say you got a pug’s mannerism and features down pat in that picture with Crappy Boy and Baby. Crappy Dog sounds like a good little family member. Thanks for a hilarious blog for new parents like my wife and I.

  198. Sue Harris says:
    I know they’re on the other side of the continent from you, but I love Giddy and Twinkle’s Tip of the Day.

  199. Ariane says:

    We’ve had our own shelter mutt for 8 years and he’s awesome.
    I love that you taught your kids proper behavior around dogs (not bothering an eating dog, not putting your face in a dog’s face, etc.) I wish every parent would do that. And also teach their kids not to be afraid of every dog that walks by. Last week, we went to eat lunch at a park and walked by another family’s picnic table. The two children starting screaming and scrambling under the table as the dog walked by. They were freaking out so badly I thought a bee must have stung them! Our dog wasn’t even close enough to sniff them.

    • Rebecca says:

      Agreed! In our old neighborhood, for some reason a lot of our neighbors didn’t have dogs, so their kids didn’t spend a lot of time with them. One day two little girls from across the street and knocked on our door for some reason or another, and one of our dogs got out and ran across our lawn. The little girls screamed and ran away, and one tripped on our neighbor’s driveway and claimed that our dog bit her (meanwhile our dog was nowhere near her and had already run around the other side of our house to our backyard. Of course she went home and reported to her parents, to whom we had to explain what happened, and when they inspected the area where the little girl said she’d been bitten, they noticed there was no evidence of a dog bite. However, we were super nervous until we moved out-of-state that we’d get a complaint or a letter from another attorney or something in the mail! Also, every time I saw that little girl she’d tell me that my dog bit her, and I’d subtly remind her that my dog never touched her.

  200. teagansmomma says:

    My m-i-l has two dogs that we rescued from the side of a major highway. Teddy is a Shih Tzu and looks just like a teddy bear. Pudge is a fawn pug, complete with vulva face. He always looks worried, which makes me laugh. Can’t wait until you experience a pug fart. Those are the WORST…

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh, gross – my BIL and SIL have two pugs, and they have the WORST farts! (Sweet dogs, though.) Considering all four of my dogs have a penchant for jumping on my lap, farting, then leaving, that says a lot that I have to leave the room any time one of those pugs farts.

  201. Kim Hake says:

    Haha, love that pic of crappy dog!
    We had a cat with bottom teeth that stuck out. So cute!

  202. Lisa says:

    I totally understand what you went through with the shelters. We weren’t allowed to get a dog because our yard wasn’t fenced in all the way around — two sides fence, two sides dense hedges, and we don’t leave our dog out unattended. Never mind that we had owned dogs in the past. We ended up having to go out of state. Needless to say, we’ve had her a year and a half with no problems. These rules keep more animals in shelters. It’s sad.

    • Rebecca says:

      The rescue we adopted our cavalier through made us put it in writing that we were going to put up a fence (we intended to, but with as much yard as we have, it was more money than we’d planned on, so we did it eventually but it took a lot longer than we’d expected it to). Meanwhile we had three other dogs and had never lost one. It didn’t matter that the only door to our backyard is through the screened-in-porch, the door to which opens inward and is routinely closed and locked when no one is outside, providing a buffer between the house and the backyard. If the dogs got out the front, that would be a different story, but very few people fence in their front yard, too, nor was the rescue requiring that we do that… But we’ve had our cavalier for a year and a half and have yet to have any escapes or attempts at escape.

  203. Heather says:

    Yay! Congrats on Crappy Dog!

  204. MK says:

    First of all, very impressed by the entirely UNcrappy dog picture!

    Second, try adopting a barn cat. When my husband and I started our farm we immediately began looking for a livestock guard dog and a rescue barn cat. Funnily enough, we found the dog in no time flat–his current owners needed to find him a new home since he was fighting with their other herding dog. It took literally MONTHS to make it through the screening process for a barn cat (we were dealing with agencies that re-home feral cats and barn cats, not house cats). We laughed to no end about how much harder it was to get a cat through an agency compared to a dog from a loving family that simply asked us questions and made a decision based on our responses! Two years later, both cat and dog are awesome.

  205. Kate Wilson says:

    OH YAY! A CRAPPY DOG!!! I’m a Doggy-Mom (no human babies yet) so this post had me THRILLED! My husband and I talked dogs for years, and when he started shore duty I was looking for dogs before we even had a house! I found one on a site that I loved and it was described wonderfully said “very trainable.” I rushed over to the shelter and found out that he was mean and aggressive and then the people there tried to push another dog on me. I was very angry and heart broken. It took almost a year for me to want to look again, and it was on my husband’s suggestion that I started looking. Well, it was on his suggestion that I allowed him to drag me to PetCo for a meet and greet… except that we were apparently a day late. So I started looking online and we went the next week… that shelter was a no show. The week after we went again and the shelter that was there had lots of fantastic looking dogs. I had seen a few on the site and one in particular was standing out to me. I get there and he wants nothing to do with me… but I see this scruffy faced big brown eyed pup watching me. It was love at first sight. The perfect mix for my husband and I. I pet him and he bites my hand. Adorable. The shelter had named him Dennis and I tell my husband that he reminds me of Dennis the Menace. We discussed for a few hours and he tells me “If we get him.. people will make the Mr. Wilson reference all-the-time.” I was sold. He was our dog. Dennis and the Wilsons?! PRICELESS! We had him about a week later and now the little stinker bugs me every day but he’s adorably laying under my desk right now <3
    I'm sorry you had such a hard time finding a shelter that adopts to kids, the rescue I went through adopts dogs to families with children all the time. They were actually worried about adopting to us, though, because they're so used to military families abandoning animals ๐Ÿ™ But I'm glad you found Crappy Dog! I look forward to seeing more about him! You should talk about crappy fish more, too. Just saying.

    • Rebecca says:

      Cute story! One of our dogs we’ve had for 6.5 years, and when we met him at the shelter, he licked my husband on the nose and then promptly nipped it! He was incredibly scared for some reason, but he’s fine now! He’s still leery of men he doesn’t know, but he’s never been aggressive, nor has he bitten anyone since. He just barks a lot and guards me and my son until he relaxes and realizes this person is not in our house to kill us.

  206. What a sweet story! Well getting the dog part that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wanted an older cat when we started searching, but the hubs wanted kittens. He had never had a pet so I guess he wanted to experience the whole shabang. OF COURSE the adoption agency recommended two for a kitten so guess what. B/C he didn’t want old, calm, sleepy cat he got 2 spunky crazy kittens! LOL =) My heart goes out to the older animals…

  207. Lori Zech says:

    Hey I’m the board member at pug nation that did your housecheck, you know what really impressed me the most about your boys? It was the fact that your cat absolutely adored your oldest son and vice versa,and how adorable your younger son was when he said to me “that the kitty didn’t like him as much as he liked his bigger brother”,I have never had children but I do have tons of nieces and nephews and they are all huge animal lovers,it is up to we adults to teach children love and compassion and I knew when I met your Children that they had it in spades.we base our house checks on a lot of things,our gut instinct is first and foremost,the most important one. I’m so happy for you, your family and Freddy,you are our dream applicant!

  208. Ginger says:

    Hahahaha “vulva face” omg I just about choked on my dinner. Anyways congrats on the new addition to your family. My husband really wants a dog for our home but I am not ready. But I do hope to become as well informed as you are before we decide to add to our home ๐Ÿ™‚ And can’t wait for your book to come out!

  209. Lisa says:

    Awww…crappy dogs looks like our rescue. We are pretty sure ours is a chihuahua pug mix (little chihuahua head on a pug body and tail). He loves the kids and barely ever barks. The rescue said he would be good with cats too. Enjoy and thanks for all the laughter!

  210. meg says:

    He is beautiful! Congratulations!

  211. Serena says:

    Congrats on the new dog, so cute!! We love pugs and bull dogs, even my husband who doesn’t like dogs. My last dog was a beautiful greyhound/bulldog mix that we rescued. She was a really sweet dog.

  212. Meghan says:

    It’s kind of hilarious how everyone congratulates people on getting a rescue dog and doesn’t acknowledge how many of those rescue organizations are a nightmare to work with and frequently set the barrier so high for adoption, even for those with no kids, that people end up going the breeder route. Good for Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles for actually making it a positive experience for someone trying to do the right thing.

  213. This was hilarious, but sad at the same time, because it’s so true. Dogs should not die in shelters, nor should they sit in rescues for years waiting for a home… rescues have forsaken their primary task to ADOPT. Loved your story!

  214. TH says:

    I recently stumbled upon your site and I quite enjoy it – you are very funny! This is a great post and I thank you.

  215. Carol says:

    Awww, I love this story. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you found a perfect dog for your home.

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  217. Cassie says:

    Crappy Dog looks just like my dog! Simon, now almost 8 years old, is half pug and half chihuahua, but you’d never guess that half. He has a pugs barrel chest and curly tail, little floppy ears, and huge eyes, but he has longer legs, an outie nose, and an overbite. He used to be all blacky brown with a black stripe down his back and continuing into his tail, but now he’s kind of sandy like an overwashed pair of yoga pants. His muzzle and feet are all grey-white. He’s a doll and we adore him to bits.

  218. Nessie says:

    Congratulations on your new addition!!! Love the story and love that you rescued and are encouraging others to rescue! (boo hisssss to people who buy dogs and cats)

  219. Ali says:

    Unbelievable. Is it just CA that is so crazy about doggie adoption? Congrats on finally finding a reasonable shelter to work with and finding a dog you all love! Love your description of the little critter.

  220. Heather says:

    This story made me cry. I LOVE that your whole family picked the older, not shiny or beautiful dog. Congrats on your new addition!!!

  221. Melanie says:

    Our family has a black pug named Homer. I got him prior to the start of my family. I am a total pug lover. I will never go without one EVER lol
    My daughter (3.5 years) loves her “Homie” as she calls him. He is the same, very VERY lazy and just loves to sit on the couch and cuddle… oh and eat. He is about 33 lbs lol… Just full of love ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!!!

  222. Linda says:

    What a CRAPPY story… that was meant as a compliment ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope you have many, many wonderful years with your new Doggy-love.
    I look forward to reading about Crappy Dog in your second book, as your first book was delivered to me yesterday via Amazon & UPS ๐Ÿ™‚

  223. Ashley says:

    Just adopted a pug of our own this week. Awesome dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  224. Juie Levy says:

    Hurray for pug rescue for seeking out good family homes for its dogs. Rescue groups and shelter often have “control” issues and create intrusive adoption interrogations that even their own members couldn’t pass. I grew up with pets constantly underfoot and am now a veterinarian. How can we expect people to develop healthy responsible relationships with animals if we don’t let children learn how wonderful they are. Kids + pets don’t mix – another shelter myth.

  225. Marie Privett says:

    I am so thankful you did not give up!!! Sometimes we in rescue get too caught up in the rules. Not helping families be complete. Rescues have policies and rules because we have to protect our animals. You would not believe the things we have to spell out. Not because we want to but when had animals returned or even worse turned in to high kill shelters. That is a phone call you never want. Your very carefully screened adopter gave the dog away. Dog was found locked in an abandoned car in New York. Dog was adopted in New Mexico. Dog is in ICU and they don’t if the dog will live through the starvation and dehydration. Yep we have to be careful.Rescue is not easy at all. Pug Nation are some of the best in the country!!

  226. Ben Lepus says:

    I agree with the well explained reasons given in these comments as to why rescues are reluctant to adopt out to families with kids. I also sympathize with the feeling of panic knowing there are so many shelter animals whose clocks are running out. It may seem counter-intuitive on the one hand -thinking, “Anything is better than death right?” Think of giving a loaf of moldy bread to a homeless person and thinking, “Well, it’s better than starving!” and then going home to your full fridge and pantry. In other words, we know we can do better – we believe that the animals who have suffered the most deserve the best homes. I know dogs and children can get along wonderfully- but I also know, as noted by others, that young children have a tendency to frighten many dogs because they are unpredictable and push their buttons. This is not because they are bad kids!!! They are kids. When the dog reacts it is not that he is a bad dog either – but then he goes back to the shelter and has to go through the whole thing over again. Most rescues make the decisions they do after many years of disappointing experiences. Interviews are also important to make sure the animal will be treated as a member of the family (and not considered just a “freakin’ cat”). A family member means that if there is a discipline issue, you work on solutions, if you move, you take your pet with you, if you don’t have time for them, you pay someone to come spend some time with them. Rescuers dedicate their lives to improving the quality of life of the animals they take in – and they are in it for the long haul. Last word – I am so glad the crappy family found their crappy dog because their dedication shows that they will make a wonderful home for the crappy dog.

  227. Melody Brown says:

    Just reading through what I’ve missed while I’ve been busy! (This is why I’m commenting so late).

    I love dogs, pugs are so great. It’s also great that you found one that has a snout and can breath nicely. I checked out the website you linked to the adoption site and I noticed your blog entry on the front page. That’s so cool!

  228. Karen Tsang says:

    You are too.funny. Now I HAVE to buy your book. hahahaha. Vulva face!!!

  229. Aubrey says:

    We have a Puggle!! She’s a pug/beagle mix and she’s awesome. No face folds, sticky-out bottom teeth, floppy ears, and a rectangular pug body, complete with constantly-visible butt hole. She is amazing with our kids, who usually sit on her, take her food, and pull her curly tail. Like I said, she’s awesome. I’m going to go give her some cheese.

  230. TimWebb says:

    I came for the great story on dogs and rescues….I stayed for vulva face!!!

  231. marissa says:

    i’m in love with the fact that the clock has a little arrow with “late” pointing at it. made me laugh ๐Ÿ™‚

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  233. Heather Hubbard says:

    Totally crying. That little guy really scored!! I was so scared when I started reading this that you were going to say you adopted from a breeder. I am so very happy that you jumped through all the hoops to do the right thing!!!!

    I was already a big fan, but now? you own me….

  234. Hayley says:

    May I say, your dog pictures are very un-crappy. I totally knew those were pugs and not monkeys. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  237. Oh I love this! I was rejected for 1. living in an apartment, 2. living in a city, 3. not having a yard, and 4. being single (Ironically all the reasons I wanted a dog- companionship and motivation to get myself out of my apartment and to the park).

    The ONLY shelter (of 10 I applied to that week) that said yes probably worked under the assumption that ANY home is a good home and is better than an outdoor Alabama shelter in the summer. They purposefully listed their dogs in Pennsylvania to get them adopted to the NE and mis-listed my dog as a beagle dachsund when her litter are clearly a staffordshire mixed.

    In considering dog #2 I’m a bit traumatized from all the rejection (talk about making me feel inept) and scared of the rejection a second time around, even from ACC.

    I may not have a yard, or live in a big home, but when it came time to save my dog from terrible mange and a spinal fracture (grad school income, canine spinal surgery, and no pet insurance? sure, lets do it), I stepped up. When my dog was terrified of children, I hired a trainer and read up on training, even went to this past spring’s clicker expo in CT. Seeing how happy she was in nature, I moved next to the park in a ground floor apartment so she doesn’t have to struggle with 4 flights of a walk up post-op and walk her through the park three times a day. She has access to my bed, the couch, my armchair, my ottoman, her crate, and the entire carpeted apartment (so she doesn’t slip post surgery. She is permanently handicapped). I even started driving her to physical therapy downtown for water treadmill and swimming.

    I sure feel like an inappropriate candidate for dog-adoption…

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  240. Shawna says:

    We adopted ours as well and he is a “hug” and husky pug cross lol he was the ugly one , the one people passed by and im confident that , that is why my husband fell in love with him. He is the BEST dog ever … he sleeps , he snuggles, he does tricks and he goes back to sleep , we take him to the dog park and then he takes a nap ๐Ÿ˜‰ it was a great decision for our family.

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