Courtney and I have been talking for some time about adopting a dog. There were several must-have qualities that said dog must possess:
- Travel size
- Travel friendly
- Not a barker
- Must not have “cat issues”
We’ve explored corgis. They’re travel size and don’t bark too much. Those herding instincts though, might be an issue with George. Also, they have two shedding seasons: February through May and June through January.
We looked into Italian Greyhounds, Whippets and “retired racer” Greyhounds. From current and prior owners, we learned of the inherent health risks of those breeds and decided against them.
Some people say that you don’t choose your pet…they choose you.
Buddy has been making appearances here at the KOA for several months.
The first time, he wandered up the road to the kampground and made friends with all the camp dogs and their humans. He had no tags and no collar, so animal control was called to take him to the local shelter, but not before everyone noticed he was a kind, gentle mutt that just wanted to be everyone’s friend and pal.
A few weeks later, he re-appeared. That could only mean he was probably “chipped” and the owner contacted to bring him home, only to get out again!
This happened one or two more times before tonight.
Tonight, we watched him until the only animal control officer on duty was able to get here. It took about 3 hours, but in that time, these things became apparent:
At about 20lbs, 15″ tall, Buddy is travel size. As it’s been about 3 months that he’s been coming around and he hasn’t gotten any bigger, we figured he’s probably full grown.
He’s not a barker. We sat with him, walked with him. Dogs walked right by us and off in the distance. His tail wagged so much it could cool our trailer on an 80 degree day & he whimpered a little because he just wanted to play with the other dogs that would surely be his pal, but not one bark.
We hesitantly introduced him to George. George has lived with dogs before but he’s not happy about it. Also, George is an asshole. Buddy wagged his tail, checked George out but certainly did nothing near trying to chase him. Buddy just wants to be friends, but George is having none of it.
When the animal control officer arrived, we told him how strongly we were interested in taking the gentle soul in to our home, if the apparently non-concerned owner didn’t want him (why else would you not tag your pet and not take steps to ensure it didn’t get out again- let alone 3 or 4 more times!?)
The officer had said, “Off the record…the dog could have gotten away before I could catch him. Then sometime after I left, ‘oh! here he is again!’
We thought about that for a long minute, but ultimately, we’d feel guilty about doing it that way.
The officer scanned Buddy’s chip, obtained the owner’s contact info and called them.
The owner didn’t want to come get Buddy — even though we were just up the hill — so the officer agreed to bring Buddy to them.
Again we emphasized how much we’d love to take Buddy in and gave him our contact information in the event the owner changed their mind…
Twenty minutes later, who rolls up to our trailer? Animal Control. With Buddy!
When the officer relayed his conversation with the owner, we knew we had to take Buddy:
The “owner” is a woman whose 25-ish year old son broke up with his girlfriend and took Buddy (2 years old) in the process. He didn’t want Buddy — he neglected to care for the poor creature. Buddy was collateral damage from the breakup.
As a result of his actions, or rather LACK thereof, mom took the heat — warnings, court dates, etc.
The officer told the woman how much we wanted Buddy and if she surrendered him, he wouldn’t cite her (making her already ugly standing with the courts even worse). He also talked to the son, explaining that his mom is taking all the heat for his [stupidity] and there’s a couple that would take proper care of the dog…
So, yeah. We got Buddy tonight!
We made a quick, “Oh crap! We need doggy supplies!” trip to PetSmart.
A trip that quickly answered the “Yes, but how does he travel?” question.
Upon entering the truck, he immediately hopped in Courtney’s lap. She was stressed (surprise!) and driving so I took him in my lap. A few minutes later he was dozing off!
The staff at PetSmart was SO helpful. They helped us get an appropriate leash, collar, food, shampoo (Buddy is a bit, shall we say “outside-y” — dry skin, fur a bit matted but not too bad), toys, a bed & crate and scanned a ton of coupons, saving us $100.
On the way home, we stopped for some dinner — we were getting ready to eat when the whole thing started and we were hangry.
While Courtney was in ordering, Buddy made himself comfortable on the floorboard:
There’s a couple of things we’re going to have to stay on top of with him:
- Buddy seems to have lived on a diet of table scraps. He looks longingly at us while we eat and so far has snubbed his tasty vittles. Eventually, he’s going to get really hungry.
He’s been an outside dog. The last camper that took him in said Buddy peed straight away when brought inside the trailer. That hasn’t happened yet. Each time Buddy needed to “take care of business”, he’s gone to the door, got my attention with his puppy dog eyes or a whimper and a wag. We go out for The Walk and he does The Things.
Of course, I’m offering heaps of praise for a job well done, so let’s hope the behavior continues!
Tonight we set up his crate and he wasn’t too happy about it. My thought is because we were on the other side of the door, eating and he wasn’t.
Also, probably because outside dog.
He’s in the bed with Courtney right now (and GEORGE is there, too, which leads me to believe the Old Man is not entirely aware of the situation). She’s such a pushover.
We definitely were not planning to just up and adopt the first stray that came along and there’s never a ‘right time’ to do things like this. Buddy sure turned that idea on its head.
Oh, and why “Buddy”? We did learn his name was “Zero”, but he doesn’t respond to it at all, even at 2 years old.
We’d “tested” a couple different names (among them “Frank”. Nah). “Buddy” was what we were calling him before we even knew his name (“hey buddy, who’s a good boy?”) and it just rolls off the tongue nicely.
Courtney, I and family unanimously agreed his name should be “Buddy” because he just wants to be everyone’s friend.
Welcome to A Roaming Life, Buddy.
Hope you’ll be happy, you adorable half-pint pooch.