So, this morning started our new, new normal (for now).
Friday, Bear was walking the mall and found the pet store. It’s kind of an iffy, shady pet store, but it’s a pet store. The store has been there for at least several years. I have gone in a few times (they have the most beautiful 1500 dollar cats trapped in the window) but it always leaves me uneasy. I saw a cat with an eye infection… puppies in fish tanks… it just feels wrong. But in the middle of the store there is a playpen made out of wood where there are always a half dozen or so dogs. Friday there was a bulldog in that playpen. She was 4 years old. She came from a breeder and had recently whelped. She needed spayed. She was $800. He really liked her. We never even looked at bulldog kind of dogs before. His dad had pugs. He was suddenly taken with bulldogs.
And, if that had been where it ended, that would have probably been where it ended. Dogs are not cheap to keep. And bigger dogs are way less cheap to keep. Dog food (for grain free) isn’t cheap, even when Chewy.com has it on sale for buy one get one free with free shipping. THEN it isn’t a horrible price but… still not a cheap endeavor.
But we were at the mall on Saturday and we didn’t just pass by the pet store. We went in. And he started looking at what the whole deal was with the bulldog. She was awfully skinny, but you could tell she just had a litter not too long ago. The breeder’s home she came from was a good one (what were they going to say? She was in a puppy mill and got too old?… If it were someone who really loved the dogs, I don’t think she would have ended up in the store). She was so cute but she was a little pricey for a 4 year old basically rescue who would have to be spayed like NOW (also with an older dog a little pricey). With all of my heart, I hope she goes to a good home. But I fell in love with the bulldog look. And it stayed the topic of conversation for a while.
Sunday rolls around. Still the topic of conversation and now I’m starting to really really want one. Plus, ever since the neighbor got her nickers in a twist about the SECOND dog (“two’s company three’s a CROWD you know”) I have kind of wanted to irritate her just a little. None of her freaking business what we do in OUR yard. And maybe dogs will keep her little babysit girl from throwing rocks in our yard.
Animal shelters NEVER have bulldogs. When they come in, they go in a heartbeat. When we got Goofy they had a Wilbur that was a good healthy looking bulldog but again he was kind of older and I wanted not PUPPY puppy but someone who I knew was going to be around a while. So we talked about it and decided that, if we were supposed to have another dog, there would be a bulldog at the shelter. NEVER dreamed there would be one, let alone one with such a heartbreaking story.
We went to “our” shelter (where all of our doggos seem to come from now) and two others. Ours was the only one that answered the phone on Sunday. We were heading up the highway to another shelter when I called and was put on hold and we kept going and going and going. We were ALMOST past the turn off to our shelter when they came on and said, yes, they have an English Bulldog but he won’t be available until either Monday or Tuesday. So we QUICKLY (we were ALMOST past where we could turn off the exit) turned up to go see.
And there he was. THEY called him Mr Wiggle Butt because when he wags, he as no tail to speak of (very very tightly curled against his butt… so apparently there is pug in him). He was a rescue from Georgia via the Puppy Pipeline. He has marks on his back, scabs, where it looks a lot like he was abused. He gobbles food (apparently a sign he was starved). Another family adopted him (Thursday or Friday)… took him home… he had diarrhea and he wasn’t an outside dog (because they obviously did ANY research on bulldogs to know they overheat and get chilled very easily) and they wanted a dog who could be turned out into the fenced back yard from 6 am to 6 pm every day with their other dog. It’s Ohio. It’s been being upper 80s and low 90s this summer. Winter is VERY cold. He can’t be an outside dog. He can BE outside but not for 12 hours a day every day. So within 24 hours of taking him home, they brought him back. Not even a day. He went to a forever home for less than 24 hours and then was given back. He had been in the shelter (this time) about a day when we saw him for the first time.
He’s skinny. He’s between 1 year and 2 years old and 32 pounds right now. He should be topping out at about 50 pounds right now. I tried to buy him on the spot. But he had to see a vet before he could be re-released and the vet wouldn’t be in until Monday morning (yesterday). And it’s first come first serve after they are released for adoption. They open at 10 am and you can line up early at the door if you want to try to be sure. The earliest that they had had people lining up ever was 5:30 am but that is usually for puppies.
We, technically, went to two other shelters to look at dogs. One was a nice shelter where we could probably have taken someone home, one was a very cautious shelter where you had to be interviewed and approved. Neither, however, had a bulldog and the discussion was… if there is one, we are supposed to get one.
We went back to our shelter, took pictures… reached in through the cage bars (until vet cleared him, no taking him out)… petted him… tried again to buy him. No dice.
So… 8:30 yesterday morning (again… if we were meant to have him… we would be first) we went to the shelter. I was the first person there who wasn’t working at the shelter. I was first come… Now all I had to do was hope he passed the vet to be released. At 9:30 I found out that he was available to be adopted… he passed. Still had to wait until 10, but I was there and he was available. At the STRIKE of 10, I went to his cage, and petted him. The people working remembered us and remembered that we said we would be back. I hooked a leash to his collar and lifted him down out of his cage and we walked out front. We were standing there getting to know him (he’s Max nowand letting Goofy get to know him (Roxy doesn’t do car ride well and three in a car not knowing would have been hard). A man walked in, saw us with Max… got REALLY irritated, turned on his heel and walked out. If we had waited until 10, we would not have gotten him. But we did. He cost more (popular dog, popular breed) than the last people paid for him and almost twice what Goofy and Roxy cost, but he was WAY cheaper than the pet store.
Yesterday was a day of getting to know each other. Some snarls and growls. Some runny poop on the floor… but more poop out side. He is a little scared of the dog door. The three dogs are getting used to the new living arrangement. But we now have a rounded out pack.
And this morning, everyone is asleep around my desk and snoring softly.
This is our new new normal.
This morning walkies were a bit shorter (I had to scrub the crate, wash the bedding, blah blah blah) but our new routine is settling in.
Love and light