Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dog Hunt

It's getting better but every now and again the loss of my Cheyenne still hits me hard and I look around through my tears and there's no dog waiting for me. Not at home, in the car, for a walk, or snoring alongside when I wake up in the afternoon. I don't like it.
After my last dog died, months of cancer ended with a needle, I took three long years to get over the trauma. Cheyenne died peacefully of her own will last Friday, in my arms, no vet and no decision on my part and that ease gave me hope that I can handle another dog much more easily and quickly. 24 hours after she died I found myself ready to get another dog. My wife felt the same way after a couple of nights home absolutely alone while I was at work. Then I got this message:
I don't buy dogs because I think there are too many dogs in the world as it is. So I turned to the SPCA website. My ideal dog is a Labrador and I like them because they are my personification of a true companion animal. I don't like controlling my dog, I like to share the road ahead with them and in that respect Cheyenne was ideal. She was stubborn but she was smart and we developed a trust that allowed me to live with her in a form of partnership. I know the next dog won't be the same but I know the next dog has to share that attitude.
There is a black Lab at the Key West SPCA called Kona and I got a chance to see him Monday night thanks to a friend of a friend because the pound was closed on the holiday. They are only open weekdays and Saturday so my wife who works in Marathon has no hope of being able to meet a dog here but once a week so she relied on me to get the first impression through their rather nice beahviorist Cathy a true animal lover. Kona was barking wildly at the cat pen and the unseen cats inside. Loud barking, unrestrained and full throated was followed by digging like a four legged back hoe.
I just don't see this as a partnership in the gentle middle aged style that I like. My modest plastic temporary gate to keep a new arrival contained on our deck would be no match for this eight year old bundle of energy:
So I went to the Marathon pound yesterday, a building behind the airport staffed by dog-friendly youngsters with sunny dispositions unlike the Key West dour city staff who prefer to treat their dogs as errant parking problems than sentient beings. Marathon is open weekends and my wife works ten minutes away so her lunch break was enough to convince her Murdock might be just the job. I showed up later and we went for a walk.
He's younger, around five but he is obedient though curious, he looked around and sniffed everything but didn't react to a fenced dog barking at him as we passed ( just like Cheyenne!) and he ignored a bird taking flight in front of him. He responded to my commands didn't tug and was ready to keep on going in the 81 degree heat. I was impressed.
He started out with this irritating habit of a cocking a leg but by the end of the hour he wasn't even fooling himself that he had any scent left to leave behind. It's one reason I prefer females.
 He looks to be the ideal candidate for us and we for him. Great. He is listed as ready for adoption but not so fast!
It seems he is in suspension until Thursday as  another family has "put dibs" on him. How one does that I don't know. It's not that complicated. You fill out the form, call ahead to your landlord to warn him a call will be coming (Mike is fine with us having dogs) pay the fee and take the dog home. Not here. Had I known I should put dibs on a likely candidate I should have been down last week when Cheyenne was on her death bed "reserving" her likely replacements. Grotesque thought. Simply showing up ready willing and able to adopt isn't good enough.
I walked in to adopt Cheyenne that December day in 2009 and we walked out together by lunch time (my wife worked five minutes up the road from the Key West SPCA in those days and came by to say she agreed and that took two minutes). Now it seems nothing can be that simple and I am filling out forms to become a candidate for Labrador Rescue adoption in Florida. I'm also thinking about going to the pound in Ft Myers and seeing what they have. I'm really not sure how ready the Monroe County SPCA is to actually give up their charges. Maybe they need to hang on to them for reasons I can't grasp. Too bad for me and the dogs.


Aodhnait said...

Sorry to hear about Cheyenne.

I think most dog pounds work hard to place their dogs with the right candidate to ensure the rehome situation works out.

Good luck with the search for a new dog - Murdoch seems great. Fingers crossed the family how have dibs on him change their mind.

Bradybunch said...

I looked forward of daily reports of Cheyenne. I'm so sorry for your and your wife's loss. Hang in there. The right companion will come along. It took 3 weeks to find my boy.

Anonymous said...

Miami -Fort Lauderdale rescues & SPCA is just full of dogs but to make it simple, have you not tried using Petfinder website?
You type in information after hitting Petfinder website and already, within a 100 miles , you have 420 LABRADORS of various colors, temperaments , ages, etc...420!
Please try it!
I will scan through a few and maybe try and post some candidates on your blog tonight.
They all need out so badly, but Saturday could be the day!
( show them your blog for heaven's sake!)

Anonymous said...

Quick List- Petfinder:
1. TIMMY- 8 years- Ft. lauderdale
2. PEBBLES- Wilton Manors- black female-100 Plus Animal Rescue
3. LUKE- Beautiful! -Lab Retriever Rescue- Fort Lauderdale
4. BATMAN- LOVES WALKS- Lab Rescue - Fort lauderdale
5. BOO- female- black- 11years- sweet- LOVES EVERYTHING
6. BLANCO - no info- Male
7. TAHOE - black- beautiful- N. Miami
8. BELLA- Parkland , FL- lost her home- LOVES EVERYTHING- 70 pounds- black - gorgeous
9. JENNY- Boca Raton- no info- black
10. GAL- lovely black- Miami Animal Service-
11. GORDO- Key Biscayne- Born Free Shelter- -2 years- black sweetheart
12. NORA- Born Free Shelter- Key Biscayne- black- beautiful
13. DEXTER- very happy- involved- Key Biscayne- black
14. CAFE LATTE- female- sweet happy
15. BAXTER- loves adults-
16. ELSPETH- pretty - happy- black- Big Dog Ranch- Wellington
17. ROOSTER- HW + but healthy & happy- black- Big Dog Ranch - Wellington ( how's that for KW!)
18. ANTOINE- dumped in Redlands- Big Dog Ranch- Wellington
19. BABY GIRL- loves to play- smart- black- Big Dog Ranch
20. TRINA- same personality as CHEYENNE- 7 years old- black
21. MIDNIGHT- Big Dog Ranch- black- 68 pounds
22. SISSY- West Palm- gorgeous- smart- black- Peggy Adams Rescue
23. ALLI- black- Peggy Adams Rescue
24. ZEKE- beautiful- 4 years- Palm City- Homestead - This is the Dog Rescue
25. STELLA- obedience trained- Homestead- This is the Dog Rescue- ( made to order!!!!)
26. JENNY- puppy mill mother dog breeder- 11 puppies when rescued- Nala's Rescue- Palm City- ( very sweet)

No more excuses Michael!!!!

Conchscooter said...

I have looked at Petfinder but is rather take a locally placed dog. So I look locally first. I have to wait till Thursday first but I assume I shall have to go further afield. I have looked at Petfinder. However this weekend is not possible as there are other things we need to do and my wife is away Friday- Tuesday. Another reason I was hoping to land a dog this week and have time to acclimate it.
I am not making excuses and I rather resent the upper case implication that I am avoiding looking for a dog. Impressing upon me the desperation to house unwanted dogs seems rather counterproductive in a world devoted to the purchase of very expensive dogs bred to impress.
The only lesson I hope anyone takes away from this journey of mine is that even going down this path the human made obstacles overwhelm the needs of the animals. Rescuers will be turned to puppy mills and pet shops. Which shouldn't be the goal.

Anonymous said...

On your own terms and time, Michael. It will be the best for you, your wife and your next furry friend.

Everyone mourns and grieves the loss of a dog differently. The passing of our last dog was sudden and heart wrenching. My wife couldn't get out of bed for five days and it took over two years before she was ready for another four legged child. She readily admits, that was far too long to not share our home and heart when there are many dogs in need.

I think Anon's exuberance in searching for you is meant to be helpful in your journey to find you next best friend, but as I said above, on your own terms and time. Best of luck on the journey. I look forward to your posts.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right.
I do know Petfinder lists their names in Upper Case capitals and it helps remember their names.
I also know Peggy Adams ( W Palm) seems to be incredibly helpful with almost immediate adoption and gives 8 year old dogs and older , free, to retired individuals .
You need not go too far to find many stray dogs, dumped dogs, or confiscated dogs.
Good luck and hang in there.

joe fortin said...

I am so sorry to hear about Cheyenne. I always got a chuckle from the pictures of her laying in some random mud puddle. You blessed each others lives for sure.

Trobairitz said...

When did they make things so complicated?

I hope you find the perfect fit, like you found Cheyenne at the right time.

Anonymous said...

How about we let Michael find a companion on his own, in his own time, the way he wants. He is not looking for the best place to find tires for a car. He has done a great job picking his baby's and I am sure he will find a perfect match for him. Michael thanks for adopting another buddy. Scooter Vic

SalParadise said...

Our dog lives seem to bee running parallel. I find that when I go to the shelter and pick out a dog, the ordeal of actually trying to get the dog begins. Why , no one knows. But its inexplicably hard.

Still, I am stubborn and a pawshake is my contract. Try and stop me. Good luck - Be stubborn.

Cody Goldman said...

Hi, check and you can search for labs specifically under your zip code. Check out Stella in homestead, she is pretty and looks young enough.

Cody Goldman said...

Sorry I just saw the other posts, good luck