Saturday, April 4, 2009
Rigby Comes Home
So my daughter and her roommates had adopted a little female puppy. She was part Schnauzer and part Australian cattle dog. She had been given her first round of shots and worming, and came with a reduced cost coupon for spaying at a western Massachusetts Vet's office. Almost immediately, my daughter and her friends started to learn how much responsibility a dog is. The girls were in classes most of the day and out at their jobs, the library, the bars, or parties most nights. The little dog was crated for most of this time, and her barking quickly annoyed the other tenants in the building. After a few weeks, the landlord called to inform them that they were in violation of their lease, and the dog would have to go immediately.
A few miles away, their friends lived in a big house with no restrictions on pets. This was a house full of young men. The boys were initially enthused about taking in the little canine orphan, but soon, the realities of house training, feeding and exercising a growing puppy became apparent. This was not as easy as it had seemed, especially when there were mid-terms to study for and keggers to attend. She was crated too much of the time and she barked a lot. She was still not house-trained. She was not happy, and neither were the boys. Tentative plans had been made for one of the girls' parents to eventually take her when school got out.
One day, about a week before Thanksgiving, my daughter called me to talk about the dog. Things really weren't working out. They were thinking of posting her for sale on Craig's list; that was it for me. "Bring her home", I said. It would be a long, holiday weekend, and Mac and I said we would think about what to do with her for those three or four days.
So, just before Thanksgiving weekend, my daughter arrived home in her tiny, little car, with a huge crate in the back seat. Out of the crate popped the funniest looking little dog I had ever seen (I submit the photo up at the top left as evidence). She was skinny and had long tassles sticking up off her ears. My first impression was that she looked like a little alien dog. She was wild, and ran in crazy circles around us, and could jump up as high as my head. She peed on my brand new living room carpet. But that first night, she crept up onto our bed as we slept and nuzzled between us.
She clearly needed a stable home and some real training. The other parents were no longer willing to take her, due to unforseen circumstances. I could not possibly let her be put up for auction on the internet or sent back to the shelter. This little puppy was between a rock and a hard place, now, through no fault of her own. She was a victim of circumstance, and there didn't seem to be any alternative but for us to keep her and try to give her the best life we could. She deserved that, at the very least. She would be our dog now.