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Saturday, March 19, 2011

How Much is the Free Doggie in the Window?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Dogs-R-Not-Us

Why is it when you are trying to get rid of an animal or sell an animal, four horses come to mind, you can never find a taker or buyer; yet when you are trying to find one, there aren't any available, at least within your price range?

I thought when the last adult child left the nest, she would take her animal with her. Not so. We inherited a part yellow lab which isn't too bad. She's been spayed and she stays outside, the dog not the daughter. Her only purpose in life it seems is to race frantically across the yard in pretext of chasing squirrels or deer when we drive up. Otherwise, she is inclined to recline in front of the door. Still talking about the dog.

I even brought home a stray dog from school several years ago. I named her Lizzy B. I should have named her Lazy B because along with the lab mix she pretends to chase squirrels and deer when we drive up and then sleeps the rest of the time. Neither dog barks at strangers. In fact, they lead the UPS man and any other stranger right up to our door. If it wasn't for our advanced early warning system (a yard booby trapped with bicycles, tricycles, broken chairs, assorted metal tables, a precariously leaning basketball goal, assorted dolls, broken wagons, rakes, shovels, and other assorted farm equipment) plus the fact that there is obviously nothing worth stealing from this house, we might not be safe at all.

Still when you are a parent/grandparent and your grandchild/child pleads for a puppy and looks up at you with those big blue eyes, the parent/grandparent gets all combobelated, reason exits the door, and you start looking for a puppy. The nine-year-old wants a small lap dog she can carry around and dress up. This might have an upside. If she has a puppy to dress, maybe she will stop dressing her brother up in tutus and wanting to paint his fingernails. The vet bills and puppy supplies will cost less than therapy for the five-year-old when he turns twenty.

I agreed to puppy hunt provided we were looking for a "small dog". By that I mean a dog that weighs less than ten pounds fully grown and one that actually looks like a dog: not a mop, a rat, or some kind of wire scrub brush.

Normally in the spring the parking lot at Wal-Mart is full of pick-up trucks with "Free Puppies" painted on a piece of cardboard and a truck bed full of yapping puppies. Not so these days. I tried the animal shelters and those offering free adoptions which turned out to not be so free after all. Also the so called "free adoptions" require more home visits and paperwork than I had to fill out when adopting eight children and two government owned donkeys.

I even tried the classified ads in the Houston Chronicle. You'd think a big city newspaper would have lots of small dog ads and they do. The only trouble is that now with the internet I found myself inquiring about "free-to-a-good- home" small dogs that were in Canada, Ohio, and even Hawaii. I just had to pay shipping. Other dogs for sale were sporting champion bloodlines and price tags to match. I didn't pay that much for my first truck!

In frustration, I bought one of those virtual pet games for her. I pointed out that you had the same responsibilities for the virtual pet as you would a real dog except you didn't have to actually pick up poo. You could name your Vpet, toss the Frisbee, walk him, brush him, pet him, feed him, and then when you were through, unplug the sucker and go on to something else. She was not impressed.

Tomorrow Pet Smart is offering Saturday Adoptions. I will be at the store at 10 a.m., first one in line to look over the adoption hopefuls. You may think it mean that I do not take her with me to look over the animals but I know what would happen. She would want to adopt all of them and I, knowing what their fate will be if no one adopts them, couldn't look at them and then at her and say no. There is strength in one, total capitulation if you add a blue-eyed-nine-year-old and sad eyed homeless dogs to the mix.

With any luck, maybe tomorrow I will find a doggie in the window that will not require a second mortgage. At least she didn't want a monkey!


Sharon said...

Great story, Jody. Good luck puppy hunting at Pet Smart. Don't let all those sad brown eyes beguile you.

Marti said...

Wishing you all the best, Jody! Our "free" kitten cost $100 to adopt a few years ago. Great piece hon!

Jody Worsham said...

No dog so far. Maybe that's a good thing.