Then, I left him behind. At the adoption place. The puppy adoption place.
Today, I found a friend. Crap.
What stinks is that he wasn’t even a puppy! Ok, granted he was a dog, but not one of those dorky, needy, peeing puppies that any self-respecting Colorado adoptee would pay 600 bucks for. No, he was the “Granddaddy” of them at a whopping 7 years old. He was my favorite. His name was Jackson, and this reassured me that I had good taste.
I told myself that if I was going to move forward, out of the phase of crying about my newly deceased dog, Millie, and into the phase of ….well, moving forward, then I would AT LEAST have a few rules this time.
1. No stupid names that are not real names. No “Frufee” or “Punkin” or “Diddums”. It had to be something I wouldn’t get glared at when calling him/her (by the dog, as well as neighbors and family. I hate that.) So I was looking for something more like “Ted” or “Lilly” (if i had to go with flowers, i mean), or “Sam”. “Jackson” was close enough.
2. No shedding. AT ALL. Not kidding. Nothing worse than walking though the house with a plate of spaghetti, going from the kitchen to the dining room table, and knowing that there will be hair on my meatball. Yark. I am unmoving on this. Period. ew.
3. No No NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO SLOBBER!!!!! It is my 3rd and final, and most sacred rule. It’s common sense. I won’t spit on them, and they don’t spit on me. That’s just good manners.I just went in for cat food, I reasoned.
This was my reason to myself that not even I believed as I walked into Pet/smart/club/ville, or whatever they are calling this particular chain that is closest to my house. It also happened to have a pet adoption center. I went in for cat food, mind you, and just thought I would browse. Mosey on over and have a look-see.The nice lady walked me straight away to the puppies. Apparently she didn’t see my nose wrinkle in distaste. Oh. That’s right. She didn’t notice because I wasn’t wearing a sign for my 4th rule:
4. NO PUPPIES. Meaning, No Pee or Pooh on, around, or in my living room/kitchen/bathroom/hallways/bedrooms/stairs/… you get the picture.
Pee and Pooh are meant to be contained, either in a throne that is dedicated to it and you can flush away, or to some distant part of the yard that I never mow. That’s it. Puppies don’t follow the rules well.
I let her show me the furry things anyway. They were cute, and mewling like they were taught to, just graduating from The Cute And Fuzzy Academy of Pets On Display. I looked, and then asked if there were any other dogs. Dogs that were not cute and fuzzy. She had no clue what that meant, so I looked around on my own, and found him. Jackson.
A Boxer that was quiet and looked pretty dad gum intelligent. More intelligent than me, on this particular day, because he simply looked at me and then at the locked door, and then at me again. A clear message that it was time for us to get to know each other.I caved.He came out and we both got a room at the Try them, you’ll like them…room. (You know the ones, the 4 foot square rooms with a half wall, all made of concrete that lets you “Relax” while you get to know your new investment) And this guy was amazing. Strong, quiet, knew what he wanted (which was to go home with me, obviously, as he went over to the outside door and simply started pushing the bar to open the door.)
And this guy slobbered. And shedded a bit, for a short-haired dog. And I was ready right then to break all my rules because I simply fell in love with him. I became the Colorado Pet Owner. The I MUST HAVE HIM AT ALL COSTS owner. The I’ll Deal With The Consequences And Let My House Go Downhill owner. The mushy, CALL HIM POOPSY owner.
I took him for a quick walk, just to seal the deal. And he totally ran me. He trained me to walk him on my left side, not the right. He let me know that we would be stopping 3 inches from the road, not 3 feet, thank you very much. He trained me that we would be going a brisk clip, instead of a fast meander. And I loved ever second of it.I took him back to the store, pronounced that he was mine, and (after a casual call to my family to come look at our new pet before we walked out the door), asked a simple, almost whispered question to the lady at the front of the store.
It was the smartest, (possibly the only smartest) thing I did all day.
As my family rushed in to see this rash decision I made, and were petting and loving on him, I asked, “How does Jackson get along with cats? We have a cat, and she has ruled the roost for a bit.” A look of confusion crossed this woman’s face as she looked down at Jackson and said, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” She then brought out a cat in a cage. Her reasoning, as she did, was that the cat would be safe. It sounded reasonable to me. What happened next went like this:
Cat: Hanging around, looking like a cat. Aloof, yet relaxed.
Jackson: Being an amazing dog, Being petted and standing tall and proud.
Jackson: Looks at cat, and pops in demon eyes, large claws, and enormous, venomous teeth.
Cat: Brings out long, bristled hair and shoots each and every one into the sky, at least 18 inches from its skin, making it the Halloween cat that is on the back of any candy wrapper in the month of October. (It wasn’t October.) It’s claws extended and it’s teeth became needle-like fangs.
Jackson: Breaks from our hold with no regard for our muscles or calls to him, or any other normal form of stopping a dog. He then grabs the cage with his enormous teeth and claws and proceeds to mangle the cage, venomous goo raining on the Halloween Cat.
Security: Runs down the aisle, slips on a bit of bird seed, recovers, and joins the hysterical woman at the counter that caused this hullabaloo. They both wrangle Jackson from the cage, and yank him back into his kennel.
Us: Shocked and terrified.I had found my pocket pepper spray in my bag, not even knowing I had it out. The kids had taken on the defence stance of their only 8 Judo lessons.. Husband had put on his cape and rubber boots, ready to take on the thing in our honor.
Cat: Melded itself with the farthest wall of its cage and looked much like a taxidermist had finished it off.We didn’t get Jackson.I don’t think I will look for another dog for a while. They drool. And shed. And it will take me a while to get over that pesky demon side they could have for cats. I need a drink.