Last Friday my kids were out of school but the neighbor kids had school. I couldn't handle the thought of them coming over and ruining the rest of my day off so shortly before they were due home, I took the kids and left. I wanted to pick up my paycheck stub (I have direct deposit but my vacation time, etc. is on my stub and I needed to check it) and figured the animal shelter is close to the zoo- we might as well check out the dogs.
This was our umpteenth shelter visit and my expectations were low. I figured we'd quickly wind our way around the kennels of pit bulls and giant, unruly mutts and then seek refuge in the cat room. Seriously, I have been to the shelter MANY times since Brady died and have only been interested enough in ONE dog to actually request to see him. That dog was already taken and was adopted by one of Kaylin's friends! Anyway, we quickly made our way past the barking mess of the usual and were practically rushing toward the door and the promise of the wonderful cats when- WHAT? What is this adorable, young, small, silent dog doing here? This is the exact dog we've been searching for! We grabbed the card and asked to visit with him. We were placed in a small "meet and greet" room and one of the shelter girls brought "Ridley" to meet us. We played and played. Shelter Girl got bored and left us. We played and played and played. Shelter Girl checked on us a dozen times. We didn't want to leave! One of the rules for adoption is that EVERY family member must meet the new pet before adoption is finalized. We tore ourselves away from the dog and went outside to call Gene. It was late in the day and there was just no way he could leave work and make it to the shelter before 5pm. I filled out paperwork to put a 24 hour hold on the dog.
To say Gene was surprised by our news would be an understatement. I had to convince him that I completely assumed our shelter visit was about rushing past the usual motley selection of undesirable dogs and then (laaaaaaaaaaa!) playing with cats for 30 glorious minutes. There was no part of me that actually thought today would be the day! Gene slowly recovered from his shock and proclaimed Ridley reminded him of his beloved childhood dog Toby. (This from one crappy cell phone photo...) Anyway, Gene spent the evening moving from shock to excitement.
Saturday morning was unbearably long. Adoption viewing doesn't start until noon. Kaylin and I went to Farm and Fleet and Big Lots and picked up some doggy essentials. Kaylin's art class was from noon to 1:30 and I used that time to shop some more. Kaylin and Logan decided they hated the name "Ridley" so Kaylin and I came up with "Duncan" (a character in the series of books we're currently reading.) We spent a good hour playing with Duncan and then finalized the adoption. Gene loved him. During the ~2 hours we spent with him he never once barked or whined. He is very mouthy (bitey) but very gentle (soft mouth- his play biting doesn't hurt.) He is 8 months old and maybe 15 pounds. Duncan definitely weighs less than fatty mcfatcat Tiger.
I'm not deluded enough to think we're bringing home the perfect dog! He was picked up as a stray so is most likely NOT housebroken. He's a terrier mix so I'm sure he'll be a stubborn pain in the butt to housebreak and train. I'm also sure he'll show his true colors and start barking immediately. However, he seems like he will be a great match with the kids. He's sturdy enough that they won't hurt him and small enough he won't hurt them. In the limited time we spent with him he seemed intelligent and happy and good. He was neutered Monday and if all went well should be able to come home today. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I'm trying to devise ways to get out of work early (I've already been given permission to leave early, but I mean EARLY :) The kids have been bouncing off the walls for 3 days. Ack! I hope everything goes well and by tonight we have a dog!