Sunday, March 15, 2009
A Tale of Two Dogs and One Puppy
A guy goes to an adoption event to pick out a dog as a companion for his grown neutered male dog.
He considered three choices from among the 10 dogs we had with us on Saturday at our local PetsMart--an adult female black-and-tan hound mix, an 8-month energetic female retriever mix, and a 12-week-old black lab puppy.
First, he looked at the black-and-tan hound—she was very playful and the guy’s dog seemed to like her. Next he looked at the young retriever—a beautiful, red-spotted girl with hound-dog ears, one blue eye and thick, silky fur. But the adolescent dog was wild on the leash and kept grabbing the strap in her mouth. The guy’s dog didn’t seem particularly impressed or put off by this dog. Then the guy looked at the black lab puppy. The puppy was a floppy, soft, bundle of sweet-smelling fur and big paws. The puppy was already exhausted from being at the adoption event, so he snuggled down into the guy’s arms and sighed with joy. The guy’s dog didn’t pay any attention to the black lab puppy.
The guy and his wife debated the choices—the black-and-tan hound (the choice I would have recommended, as I had fostered this girl for a week at my house and so knew her temperament) was dismissed without a backward glance. The guy’s wife was afraid that the 8-month old dog was “too hyper” and would be too hard to handle. Besides, the guy’s wife said, “Look how calm that puppy is.” Of course, the puppy would be as boisterous as red-spotted girl in five more months, but perhaps better trained, since the guy’s first dog appeared to have fairly decent manners. It was clear who was going home to be the new “companion” for the guy’s dog. As usual, the guy picked the puppy.
I hope this puppy won’t come back to us, or be turned over a few months later to some other shelter. Or end up on Craig’s List with ads saying, “He’s too energetic for us…” Or on a poster at the vet’s office that reads “Active Dog Needs a Big Yard.”
So, a great adult dog, a perfect “playmate” choice, and an energetic, untrained (but not hyper) adolescent dog are once again passed over.