Friday, March 26, 2010

Buster Brown

I have been bugging my husband about getting a dog since early January. I hinted that I'd be okay with him getting me one for my birthday. I started obsessively searching craigslist, the humane society website and daily for a dog that I could adopt into our family. I started looking at pugs thinking that they'd be a good fit since they're small and I fell in love with one at a pet store when I was a kid (my brothers too, we nicknamed it 'tags' it was super cute!). Eric was not such a fan of pugs though so I started expanding my search. I took online quizzes that were designed to help me determine what kind of dog would be the best fit for our family. We have 2 cats, we have 3 kids, we have NO yard, we are not runners. I got into a pretty intense discussion with a complete bitch person about whether or not adding a dog to my family was a responsible decision. I got into arguments with my husband about whether or not adding a dog was going to be good for us. He didn't want me to get a little ankle biter dog that he'd have to tolerate, he wanted to find a dog that he could love too! He also didn't want to have to get dressed in cold weather gear at 10:30 at night to walk a dog, if I want a dog, it's my SOLE responsibility. I also had to promise to not EVER bring home a dog while he was at work and say, "surprise!" He definitely needed to meet the dog before any decision was made. All reasonable things and we talked through all the issues at great length. I knew that if I was patient I would eventually find a dog that was perfect for us.

I drug Eric to adoption fairs at PetSmart and made him walk around the humane society with me. I expanded my search to include Shiba Inu's and Akita's and any kind of mutt that had a promising history of good behavior. I probably showed Eric pictures of 10-20 dogs a week and even came close to adopting a Shiba Inu from a couple in Castle Rock. That didn't work out because they said that their dog is a runner that fights to get out of the house and will disappear for two hours at a time, that was not the kind of companion that we wanted to bring into the house. Finally after a search for Akita in Colorado springs on petfinder on March 15th I found Buster Brown. He was listed as an Akita mix and as being good with kids, cats and other dogs. It was also noted on his profile that the only reason the previous family had given him up was due to severe allergies that developed in their two year old son. I have a son who's almost two and during this whole process seemed like he might be the one thing that I couldn't work around. See, my brother has 3 dogs and every time we go over there, they lick Gage and knock him down, so he's not really a fan of dogs. I thought that if I finally found a dog that Gage liked that would be a miracle. I thought it would probably be more of a slow process where Gage got more comfortable over time after we brought our new furry friend home. I found out that Buster was going to be at an adoption fair at PetSmart hosted by Nine Lives Rescue ( on Saturday March 20th. Eric ended up being off on Friday and we had a great day spending time together, playing some games very relaxed.

When Saturday rolled around we went and picked up the kids from my Mom's house at about 10:15 and the adoption fair didn't start until 11 so we went to the AT&T store and I buttered Eric up lovingly purchased a very nice case for Eric's brand new cell phone and then we were on our way over to PetSmart. Now other adoption fairs that I've been to at PetSmart stores have all the dogs spread out in the back of the store so you can kind of go down the line and meet each dog individually which we like, especially when Gage is involved. This was not the case that day. They had moved all the carts out of the little cart area right in the front of the store, put about 15 folding chairs around the edge of the little room and there was a person sitting in each chair with a dog right in front of them. CHAOS! We walked into the store where we could observe the dogs through the glass since trying to wade in there to meet Buster didn't seem like the best idea. Buster was laying down and a border collie was playfully nipping at him, he didn't even flinch. He was just copacetic. We finally walked over to the table and asked to see him, the volunteer had Buster brought over to us so we could meet him away from the other dogs. He sat down quietly and let us pet him all over, he didn't jump, he didn't lick and after a few minutes, Eric was able to put Gage down and he walked over and gave him a hug.

They handed me his personality profile filled in by his previous owner and the information was so beneficial and persuasive.

Is the dog housebroken? yes
Can the dog be trusted in a yard? yes
Can the dog be trusted in the house alone? Yes
Where does the dog sleep? On his bed in the master bedroom
Where does the dog stay when no one is home? free roam
Does the dog tear furniture? No
Tear Carpet? No
dump trash? No
Walk on a leash? Yes
howl? no
Roam? no
Chew? No
Chase cars? No
Ride well in Cars? Yes
Describe this dog: Friendly Obedient, Playful, Easygoing, Quiet, and Affectionate
Any Additional Comments: Great Dog Gets along with everyone, loves hiking, dog parks, fetch and laying around.

I was in love! I asked them what the next step was and they said that we had to fill out an application so I got one form them and then suggested to Eric that we go to lunch. He made a face that basically said, "Crap, we're really thinking about this aren't we. THIS DOG COULD BE OUR DOG!" We opted for cheap chinese for lunch and the conversation was a very in depth discussion of changes in our lives that would/could take place if we added a dog. We discussed scenarios ranging from what would happen if the dog ate their brand new soccer cleats to what would happen if I left an entire meatloaf on the counter and it got eaten. Throughout this conversation I kept reiterating that this was all hypotheical of course because their freakin' Dad wouldn't finally give in and just say YES we weren't certain about getting the dog. I excused myself to go in the bathroom and wipe my tears (melodramatic I know but I really, really wanted a dog) Eric excused himself to go outside and smoke and think things over. I had a really hard time during this because I didn't want to "sell" Eric on the idea, I wanted him to agree on his own, I wanted us all to be happy with the decision and him to not feel pressured.

We went to WalMart to pick up a few things that I'd forgotten when I went grocery shopping and also to price out dog items. I wanted the kids to understand that if the end decision was no that there were many reasons why that might be. I wanted them to understand that one of their stubborn ass fathers our concerns was the additional cost not just of getting the dog but of taking care of him. We priced out dog food, and a dog bed, leashes, collars, treats, toys, kennels, all the things that we would most likely need if we added a canine companion to our family. Then Eric walked over to a different isle talking on his phone. It was his mom. I don't know what she said to him, but when he came back he looked at me and said, "Well, lets go get us a dog!" YEAH!!!!! I started crying, he started crying, the kids were jumping and grinning from ear to ear, there was probably some group hugging in there too. We grabbed the leash, and the two collars we'd picked out and walked quickly to the front of the store, all of us looking like crazy happy people. Gage picked up on the energy and sitting in the cart started giggling excessively and kept asking for hugs, like he didn't know exactly what was going on but we were all happy and therefor should be hugging him!

We checked out and got into the car and I started filling out the application as quickly as possible. When I was almost done one of the kids was like, "mom, what if someone already took him while we were eating?" CRAP. I buckled my seat belt and started driving to PetSmart. "I don't know honey, I guess if that happens then it just wasn't meant to be and we'll just have to keep looking" (I'm pretty sure my knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel trying to remain calm while we made our way back to the pet store. I pulled up right in front and parked and as soon as the car was stopped Miah & Cody hit the pavement racing into the store. Their heads popped right back out and they started screamin, "HE'S STILL HERE!!!!!!!!" YES!!!

They approved our application and we payed the adoption fee only to find out that Buster Brown came from a family that spoiled him rotten so he came with a kennel, his dog bed, his toys, a rain coat (it's really cute!), food, treats, a travel water bowl, grooming brushes, nail clippers and food and water bowls. His foster mom called the previous owners and let them know that Buster was going to be with a family with kids and there were tears all around.

There's more to the story and I'll probably post that later but for now I have a dog to walk and a house to clean.

Welcome to our family Buster Brown. You're a perfect fit!

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