I’m walking over to PetSmart from an adjacent store and a little anxiety is starting to creep in as I get closer to the adoption area. The possibility of adopting a dog today has me a wee-bit nervous. Just say, I’m a bit shaky, yes a shaky one indeed.
On approach, four people wearing purple tee shirts with an adoption logo across the front giggle and wander aimlessly in front of the store with dog and leash a tow. Upon arrival at their location, the nice lady I met previously comes out of PetSmart’s front doors. She walks right up to me and says, well Hello, again, Sir.
I respond with a casual hello, and she immediately says, I hope this time you will consider adopting a dog?
I proceed to tell her I know very little about dogs other than what to and not to do “doggie sitting” them. Immediately, she says, well if you can do that, than you can successfully care for a dog with just a little help. I’ll just take a moment and breathe easy and relax.
WE MIGHT BE IN OVER YOUR HEAD
We have a five minute conversation on rescue dogs, dog care and health, but mostly she’s trying to calm my fears about dog ownership and it’s learning curve with a bit of ego boosting.
She goes on to tell me there are more dogs up for adoption in the back of the store. “Sir, just go in and look, there just maybe a dog that’ll make a perfect companion for a man with your maturity”.
All that nice and flattering talk a minute ago, now she calling me old?
OKAY, LET’S TAKE A PEEK
Upon entering the store I can hear a low roar of barking coming from the rear. I cautiously make my way to the back aisle of the store and there in small crates are small breed dogs just yapping away.
I want a companion not a four-legged English to Bark translator whose always working overtime. I can’t handle the GPS Map lady’s voice and the radio on at the same time while driving my car.
A cute little girl (9-10yrs) approaches me and asks if I need some help?
I’m still a bit shaky, yes a shaky one indeed, so I play along and tell her I’m looking for a quiet little dog to adopt. She looks confused by my request, but, nevertheless she takes me to a cage with a miniature Doberman who is jumping all about the cage.
I say no dear, he’s really a bit too young for me, I’ll never be able to keep up with him. She looks at me again a wee-bit confused and reaches into the cage and snuggles the little terror.
Cute, but No
She then tells me there are more dogs around the corner (warehouse) and goes back to baby-talk and snuggles with the dog.
I proceeded to the back, this is were the aforementioned “barking roar” was coming from when I entered the store.
Nothing less than a circus cavalcade of caged dogs as I approach from the back aisle’s corner, they come into full view of my eyes while my ears (wax included) flap in the chaos. A quick glance there had to be at least 11 different dog breeds present, enough to fill a canine football team, offense or defense, you pick. Now I’m full blown shaky, yes a shaky one indeed!
Somehow I managed to quickly regain my bearings and out of the corner of my eye I saw a small Black and Tan Dog cowering in the corner of his cage (way in the back). I turned to face him and intently noticed he was not participating in the back and forth barking extravaganza the other dogs were engaged in.
Okay, he’s scared of something with the cowering, I can deal with that, it’s potentially just gonna be him and me in the house. And at that mental moment he gives me a couple of slight peaks of acknowledgement.
OK, …MAYBE, WHAT’S HIS STORY
And at that moment in time a woman approaches and asks me if I needed some assistance? Cautious, I said, yes, and sheepishly told her that I was inexperienced with dogs, but, I’m retired and looking for a quiet companion. Intrigued she conversed on a few different dog breeds that make good companions for seniors (insulted again).
At this point with the barking and human “hushes”, I honestly didn’t fully comprehend anything she said in our 5 minute conversation. That being said, I did a quick 360 pivot and pointed at the little cowering Black and Tan dog. I said, what about that quiet little fellow in the back?
OH, you mean OSCAR!
Well let me tell you all about him, I’ve been his foster mom now for 2-3 weeks, ain’t he a cutie? She went on to say he’s very shy and he pees whenever she picks him up or when someone tries to touch him in anyway. And repeat, A REALLY SHY BOY. She removes him from the cage, he immediately pees down the front of her clothes.
She cradles him for awhile, a little more dog behavioral information, then she suggests that I take him to the front of the store where there are benches inside at the animal hospital. “Go ahead and see if you and Oscar can make a connection and feel free to walk him a bit out in front of the store”.
Again, I’m a bit shaky, a shaky one indeed, as I gingerly walk and navigate my way through a pet store on a busy Saturday afternoon. We make it without incident, but, more importantly no accidents (pee-pee). We sit peacefully on the bench, then a young man races though the area with a dog and now Oscar sits up in my lap and looks directly at me.
ONWARD MY GOOD FELLOW
Well the look Oscar gave me I translated as let’s go outside for a walk. So I accommodated him quickly before the thought of an accident crosses his mind. We enjoyed a good little walk in the Las Vegas sun at high noon. We take a break by a flower bed (shade) as his foster mom again approaches with a water bottle. “So how did it go?”
With cautious optimism I said, it went pretty well, but he was a bit stubborn while I was walking him.
Oscar is now finished drinking and lays down as she retrieves the leash from me. “Well you have to understand that he’s part dachshund and they can be a bit (real) stubborn at times”. So you ready to take Oscar home?
Yes, I think he likes me and … he didn’t pee on me or anywhere else for that matter, and frankly I like his subdued manner.
So, what I fill out some paperwork then pick him up in a few days from the shelter? Oh, no, you fill out the paperwork in the back, buy the required doggie supply and care kit, then you take Oscar home today.
WHAT, NO MANDATORY WAITING PERIOD
She tells Oscar he’s going to a new home, commands him to walk (c’mon), he’s just lying there in the shade, she pulls on the leash, he won’t budge. “See I told you, it’s the Dachshund genes just as stubborn as he can be sometimes”. She reaches down and picks Oscar up, again, he pees down the front of her clothes.
In spite of my better judgement, I had already gotten slightly attached to the quiet little fellow all the way in the back cowering in his cage.
I’m a bit shaky, yes a shaky one indeed, and my name is Oscar!