Thursday, December 3, 2015

The dog that shall not be named

On Sunday morning, Bill went out to start the car to let it warm up. While he was out there, he saw a dog under the neighbor's truck. Bill looked at the dog and the dog looked at Bill, and the dog growled. Bill told the dog, "It's okay, I don't want anything to do with you". Then the dog took a few steps closer.

Bill looked at the dog and the dog looked at Bill, and the dog growled again. Bill told the dog, "It's okay, I don't want anything to do with you". Then the dog took a few steps closer.

Once again, Bill looked at the dog and the dog looked at Bill, and the dog growled again. Bill repeated, "It's okay, I don't want anything to do with you". Then the dog took a few steps closer.

I should stop here and say that Bill loves animals and has been begging for a dog for a few years now. I don't mind dogs, but our cats are not fond of dogs. If we get a dog, I would prefer only having a dog and not having any cats. So, at this time in our lives, I do not want a dog. Not to mention that you can't just leave a dog for a weekend like you can cats.

I would also like to point out that as a child, Bill was bitten by a dog. Severely enough that he had to have stitches. As a result, Bill is a little hesitant around growling dogs (as everyone should be).

Back to the growling dog on the street, by this time Bill realized the dog was just a puppy and was cold and scared. The dog did not have a collar. Bill talked to the dog and reassured the dog. Then Bill noticed how skinny the dog was. Bill decided he should at least try to give the dog some water. When Bill came in to get the water, I looked out the window (in time to see the dog putting its paws on Bill's car) to check to see if I recognized the dog. I did not. When Bill took the water out to the dog, the dog came up to the house. It was very clear that this dog was hungry, cold, and scared.

Bill and I had a quick conversation, in which we agreed the dog should at least come inside to be warm while we looked for his owner.

We posted the dog's picture on each of our Facebook pages, on our local neighborhood FB pages, the GR Police FB page, and on "For the Love of Louie" FB page (for lost & found dogs). Friends reposted the dog's picture. We were sure if someone was looking for this sweet puppy, we would connect with them.

Bill walked the dog up and down our street, two other streets, to the mailbox, to the store, and back. We asked our neighbors who have dogs if they recognized him from the park. No one had ever seen this dog before.

By Sunday evening, we started to realize that perhaps no one was going to claim this dog. Bill had taken Dog (that's what we started calling him) to the animal hospital where they checked for a microchip (he was not chipped).

While Dog is very sweet, and very cute, the cats weren't having any of it. They were self-quarentined to our bedroom. Atticus was angry with Bill (so much so that when we went to bed that night and Bill tried to pet Atticus, Atticus turned around, jumped off the bed, and hid under it all night). Bill stacked up three Christmas totes on the stairs to keep Dog downstairs (the first attempt used two totes, but Dog is very athletic and jumped right over those).

We both knew we couldn't keep Dog. We just weren't prepared to have a dog, let alone another pet in the house.

On Monday morning, I made a flyer to hang in the break-room. I couldn't remember if I needed permission to hang it, and I could have waited until Melanie arrived to ask her. Instead, I had a nudge to go ask Sara. There are several other people I could have asked, but Sara kept coming to mind. So I took my poster down to Sara's office and held it up. I asked if I needed permission to hang it and she said, "No. That's a really cute dog. We're thinking of getting a dog."

That was my cue to sit down and tell her how we came about housing Dog and why we couldn't keep him and how sweet he is. I didn't hide the fact that he would need to be neutered. She said she would have to talk to her husband and in the meantime I could hang the flyer in the break room. I also told her I would send her the pictures of Dog so she could send them to her husband.

About an hour later, Sara stopped by my desk. She asked if it would be possible if she could bring her family over to meet Dog later that night? I asked her if I should take down the flyer and she said yes.

When I got home, I took Dog with me on my run. He showed me how not-in-shape I am. He is fast. I am slow. He is very well-behaved though; he didn't stop to smell every tree. He did try to drag me along to chase a squirrel, but fortunately I saw the squirrel and held my footing.

That night, Dog met his new family. He warmed up to Sara first, then her kids. Since Dog had become pretty attached to Bill, Dog took a little longer to warm up to Daniel (Sara's husband). But pretty soon, "Can we keep him, please?" came out of the mouths of the children, who were sitting in front of our [half-decorated] Christmas tree.

It was a scene straight out of a Christmas movie.

Sara and her family collected the dog food, dog biscuit, rawhide, and leash and Dog followed them, happily out of house and into theirs. He hopped right into their car. He never looked back.

That is the story of the dog that shall not be named who is now called Kipper.

And also how I may, in the future after our cats have used up their nine lives, think about the possibility of getting a dog.