Sunday, April 23, 2006

How I Met My Dog, Part 2

How I Met My Dog, Part 2 [or "I can understand why you might want to beat a child but who beats a dog?!" --Jagdish]

So last week where I left off I was preparing for my move to Iowa and trying to figure out how to get a dog.

I came here in May with Maria and Gaya to look for an apartment. I could only find one apartment that allowed dogs, and unfortunately it smelled like it. When the realtor took me to see the apartment there were cages of rabbits lined along the floor and no furniture but rather mattresses and dirty couch cushions everywhere. The realtor was grossed out too and just tried to hustle me out the door. Who knows what kind of bizarre Scientology rituals took place there. I decided to rent a gorgeous apartment I found that unfortunately didn't allow dogs.

So I finally did move here, and was very happy at first by myself in my big double apartment with a WASHER AND DRYER and a BALCONY and a DISHWASHER and a GARAGE. (Obviously still v. excited to have those things.) For the first time in my life I didn't have a roommate.

After about 3 days I realized I was slowly starting to go nuts left only in the company of myself. I'm kind of annoying! However my last roommate situation was so retardedly bad that I decided I'd rather live with a dog than take on another human being so I decided, "To hell with the rules!!" (I'm just a bad ass like that. Live fast die young.) and I decided to go look for a dog anyway.

I went to the Humane Society in IC and asked about a dog that weighed less than 15 lb. I wanted a big dog but I thought a small one would be easier to hide. (Besides, as Maria said, "Big dogs take big shits" and I wasn't too keen on handling all that poo, despite my poo-lovin' facade.)

They didn't have any dogs that small so the director pointed me in the direction of this awesome website called Petfinder. I searched the website and I found Pasker Small Dog Rescue, which is basically this fantastic and dedicated woman named Kim Pasker in Solon, IA who takes care of the small dogs dumped off at shelters at her own home because they have a hard time fending for themselves with the other dogs.

So Kim had 2 little male dogs I thought I might like to meet and she said she could bring them over for a home visit, but first they had to background check me and have me hand in 3 letters of recommendation. (Also, I made the mistake of telling them I did research at the U so they might have been extra suspicious because apparently there's a big problem here with people "adopting" homeless pets and then just using them as research subjects. I should have specified that I was doing gynecological research. On the womanly parts. That a male dog wouldn't have.)

The first dog was a 6yo Shih Tzu named Mr. Nicky Nickers, or "Mr. Nickers" for short. (Insert your own snarky comment here.) Mr. Nickers' previous owner was a woman who had him for his whole life, then had to give him up because she decided to go be on the road with her trucker boyfriend. He came with a whole boatload of toys, 2 dog beds, and was already suited for living with a single female. He knew 20 different tricks and was perfectly housetrained. He also had 3 more home visits lined up for later that week, and Kim wasn't too worried about adopting him out.

The other dog was Luscious. Luscious was a 14yo Lhasa Poo who was blind, deaf, suffered urinary incontinence, and had a long history of abuse so he was scared of everything. And when he got scared he would just pee more. I wish I could say it was "love at first sight!" or that sad story just made me want to whisk Luscious away to a cloud of dreams where he could pee on the carpet without worrying about being beaten, but the truth is in my first meeting with Luscious I was really turned off because he spent the whole time at my apartment chasing Mr. Nickers around and trying to hump him. Because oh yeah, his stupid owners had forgotten to ever have him neutered too. (There's probably a whole army of little Lusciouses out there peeing on carpets.) He was so socially stunted and maladjusted that Kim thought he must have come from a puppy mill, which are still legal in Iowa. He concluded our magical first date by getting trapped between the side table and the sofa and peeing on my carpet.

As I was helping Awesome Kim pack the dogs back up in her car, she said to take my time and think about what I wanted, it was totally up to me. She also casually mentioned that no one had expressed any interest in Luscious, and they were planning to have him put to sleep because they couldn't offer him a permanent home, and then I called after him.

I'm a heartless bastard so that didn't really sway me in any direction, but the truth is I was just psyched about the challenge of housebreaking a geriatric dog suffering PTSD. KIDDING. This seems trite but I couldn't even sleep that night because I was so torn. I think I called everyone I knew to discuss this situation. The general consensus was that Luscious had a hard life and might be better off being put to sleep, and also that he probably didn't have much time left, so it didn't make a difference anyway. But then Grace said if I could make the last few months of his life nice, that might be a good thing to do.

I thought long and hard and decided that such clear cut opportunities to generate good karma are few and far between so I emailed Kim and told her I'd take Luscious! And then, to salvage any last shred of masculine dignity this poor pooch might have left, I promptly changed his name to Hero, but I think the stress of the move from the pound, to Kim's, and then finally to my home gave him some bad acid reflux because when I first got him he would throw up every 5 minutes. (His charm was neverending, let me tell you.) And thus, Reflux was born.

Somebody is VERY SURPRISED to see you!

In conclusion, Don't Shop, Adopt a Pet and Save a Life!


another dog lover said...

Reflux is a very lucky dog to have such a great mama to take care of him. Thank you for having such a good heart but... why oh why do keep putting bow clips on the poor critter.

punchberry said...

I love Petfinder. This is where I met Berry! Reflux is very lucky to have found you.

square peg said...

Y'know, you're not the first to comment on the indignity of the bow clips, but it's a matter of compromise...he gets to sleep on my pajama pants and pee on my carpet, I get to dress him up in a bow clip. Let's all just be grateful that I don't have a fancy for this:

And pb: and Berry is so lucky to have you! It feels good to be adopted by a pet :)

Chai said...

so cute!!

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