A couple of other working titles for this post:
When Pigs Fly
Over My Cold Dead Body
Last weekend Fiddledaddy headed out with Cailey in tow for a little daddy/daughter bonding time. And there’s never a better bonding moment than what can occur in the local dollar store.
Afterward, they took a little detour next door to Petco. You know, to see the ferrets, rodents, and feeder fish. But what luck. A local animal rescue group was there with various cats and dogs in need of adoption.
As the story goes, there was one particularly handsome brown dog that caught Fiddledaddy’s eye. He knelt down to say hello, and this brown dog backed himself into Fiddledaddy’s lap and laid his head on Fiddledaddy’s shoulder.
Fiddledaddy and daughter came home talking about Mater, the handsome brown dog. I tell you, he was positively misty eyed as he described this dog and how the dog reacted to him.
And then he followed with, “Do you want to go meet him?”
And without thinking any rational thought whatsoever, I said “Okay.”
Fiddledaddy looked at me as though aliens had just abducted his wife and left a more carefree and compliant wife in her stead.
After a few more moments of banter, we decided that would be insane and continued on with our day. But the talk of Mater continued on into the evening. With a few tears and some well placed weeping (Cailey). At one point I just said, “Do you want to go back and see him again?” The answer was affirmative but with a quick check on the computer we knew that the Rescue group had already closed up shop for the day.
But. There was a website. And we found the listing for Mater, but no picture. But we were able to get his backstory. He’s a Vizsla, which is a Hungarian hunting dog that can grow to as large as 50 pounds. His breed is a very gentle one, who craves human affection and attention. They are generally quiet, fiercely loyal, and very low maintenance. Except that they require a lot of exercise. They are also very cat like in that they clean themselves with their tongue, and emit virtually no odor. They are also wonderful with children.
This type of dog has short hair and no undercoat, so ideally should be kept indoors. Mater is 15 months old, and his former owners neglected him. He was kept in a cage at night, and outdoors all day. With not a lot of interaction with the family. He is also about 10 pounds under weight.
So I did what any rational person who has declared a No Pet Clause in her wedding vows. Someone who is most certainly not a dog person, and has never owned any animal weighing over 7 pounds soaking wet. I e-mailed the rescue group to inquire about Mater.
And then filled out an online application.
The next day we went back to Petco after church to see if Mater would be there. He was not, as another rescue group had set up camp. So we came home. And waited. And I may have sent yet another e-mail. You know. In case the first one spontaneously burst into flames.
That evening we received a call from Mater’s foster dad, who keeps rescue dogs temporarily until a family can be found. He said he’d be glad to meet us so that we could all see Mater. “How about tonight?” Fiddledaddy inquired. And with that, we all piled into the van to head to a designated park to see Mater.
Mater is housebroken and crate broken, but has received no other training whatsoever. He doesn’t know how to walk on a leash, so his foster dad had a “gentle leader” on him for control. After a good deal of petting and cooing, he removed the gentle lead so that we could take a picture of Mater.
I steadied my camera as Emme took control of the leash. But she was heading in the wrong direction. “EMME, come back here so I can take a picture!”
Her response was inaudible. So while Fiddledaddy was busily engaged in conversation with Mater’s foster dad, I told Emme to let me have the leash so SHE could take the picture.
Before I knew it, I had covered about 100 yards in 60 seconds, heading for a lake. Suddenly I remembered that this type of dog was a really good swimmer, and that I don’t look good wet. So I dug my heals in to no avail, kicking up dirt on either side of me as I dug two parallel trenches. At last I plopped myself down on the ground as a feeble attempt at becoming a human anchor prior to hitting the lagoon. We traveled another 10 feet.
Finally, Fiddledaddy looked up from his conversation only to see his wife and possible future dog as dots on the landscape. “I suppose we should go save her.”
Later that night Fiddledaddy asked me why I didn’t holler any commands.
I DID. I’M PRETTY SURE I SAID “WHOA, WHOA”.
What the dog heard: “GO, GO”.
Needless to say, it was highly recommended that Mater could use a little obedience training course. With his possible future family. Frankly, Fiddledaddy’s been trying to get me into an obedience course for years.
I don’t have to tell you that we all fell in love with Mater. Before leaving the park, Jensen marched up to Mater’s foster dad and said,“Well, do you think we’d be a good family for Mater?”
“It’s not up to me, buddy. The head of the rescue group makes those decisions.”
Still he pressed, “BUT DO YOU THINK WE’D BE A GOOD FAMILY FOR MATER?”
After wearing him down, Mater’s foster dad finally said, “Yes, I think you’d make a good family for Mater. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be buying a used car from you someday.”
Thankfully, the rescue group has approved us as a good family for Mater and he comes home on Saturday.
Our house is abuzz with excitement, planning, and a good deal of panic (mostly from Fiddledaddy). He has been overheard muttering “ARE WE INSANE?” a couple hundred times. I am strangely calm and cool. I feel like there’s a reason this dog belongs with us.
I just thought of another title:
Barko Gets a Brother
And I’m about to get a whole lot of new blog fodder.