Widgets Magazine

Mar 15, 2011

Dogs (part 3)

Catch up on part one here.

So I grabbed my son-in-law who isn’t scared of dogs (as opposed to my sweetie who still has nightmares about being trapped in the closet by a maniacal dust mop) and my autistic soon-to-be-dog-owner son and we headed for the animal shelter. I had never been in the dog part of the shelter before…what a ruckus! Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors were barking and yapping and howling. There was a blue heeler that was jumping five feet off the ground – straight up! I quickly steered my son to the other side of the compound, there was no way I was putting up with that. 

Blue Heelers can jump amazingly high just google it.

We walked past cage after cage, some with single dogs, and others with half a dozen noisy canines. A pit bull, a yorkie, hounds, and labs all clamoring for attention, affection, and adoption. I must say I was totally overwhelmed! My son wasn’t faring much better…he had both hands clasped tightly over his ears. Only Gamer held it together. He stopped at several cages, greeting dogs and trying to make friends. He finally made a choice for us and we got the dog out of the cage. After a few minutes in the yard with that particular make and model, it became obvious that it was not the right fit. 

We took it back and again started up and down the aisles. A medium-sized brown dog with velvety ears and short hair caught my attention. I think it’s because she seemed to be the only dog in the place with her head down. Her big brown eyes stared at us, and surprisingly, she was not making a sound. I looked at the tag on her cage…name: Diamond, age: 2 years, housebroken, and then: Pit Bull. "No way!" I said to Gamer as he looked at me expectantly. "I’ve heard about pit bulls. They are fighting dogs and we have lots of little kids." He rolled his eyes at me. "Let’s just get her out and see," he suggested. "Fine," I mumbled. Honestly, I didn’t see anything any better. This was all starting to seem like such a bad idea. We took the dog out into the yard. 

She liked both boys and didn’t seem to mind me either. They played catch and fetch and just chased around. After about half an hour we took her back inside. A kind worker led us into a small amphitheater and told us to take all the time we needed. I turned to my small son. "Do you like this dog?" I asked. He thought a minute. Then he signed the letters for Y-E-S. "Maybe you need to say a prayer," I suggested. "Let’s see if Heavenly Father agrees with this choice." I figured He was the one repeating the message in my ear until I finally heard it so I wanted to make sure we were getting the dog He was recommending. I helped my little guy with a short sweet prayer. "She’s good…" he said and smiled at me. Gamer was all business. "Let’s go then," he said. 

We gathered our things, stopped at the counter to pay, and suddenly I was a dog owner again. That was six years ago and that dog still drives me nuts! She doesn’t obey any better than the kids do. They often forget to feed her (so of course she complains to me) and when they do she pushes her food bowl into the laundry mountain and then I end up picking mushy dog food out of my washer. She poops all over the yard and they aren’t small! We got in trouble with the neighbors because of her barking, and we had a run-in with the city when they found out she was supposed to be a pit bull. Animal Control came over to tell us that pit bulls weren’t allowed in our city. But after one look at her they reclassified her as a lab mix. She is gentle and forgiving when the kids climb all over her. She only bit somebody once, but that’s a story for another time. I guess we’ll keep her…but don’t be getting the impression that I’m happy about it!

She is camera shy too.

1 comment:

Katie said...

The absolute best dog I have ever owned was a pit bull! We got him at the pound when he was about 6 months old. He thought he was a lap dog, was scared of everything, and took over our reclining chair (if someone sat in it, he HAD to be up there too and there was no getting him down!). He never once bit, snapped, or growled at anybody including kids. But, we moved 2 years after getting him, and the town we were moving to had a pit bull ban so we had to find him a new home. It was one of the hardest things I ever did! I understand there are mean pits, but I think it is completely unfair to ban them when there are so many good ones!

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