I got a call from a buddy of mine the other day. He decided he wanted another dog and rather than use the traditional methods we were used to, he opted to go the animal rescue route. He found out it was easier and cheaper to adopt a Chinese Orphan.
I say traditional methods because dogs typically came into our lives a number of different ways. We have both lived in the country and have had strays that showed up and said, “heard you were looking for a good dog.” Usually they were true to their word. Or we answered an ad. Best dog I ever had, I bought from a Bandito. He named a price and I paid it. He didn’t seem concerned about the puppy’s living situation, then again he was a Bandito and the step up in living status was taken for granted. The third way was usually when a fellow officer was given the choice between the dog and the girlfriend. We would tell him to go with the dog, but they never listened. It wasn’t long afterwards that they had neither dog nor girlfriend.
So he had gone off on his own to plumb the depths of animal rescue. He found the water cold, deep and murky. “What’s up with this animal rescue shit?” Ken called me because he knows my sister-in-law is involved in a breed specific rescue effort. I explained to him that animal rescue operations were created by people who cared about animals but had absolutely no ability to interact with humans. Rescue operations have significantly cut into the singles bar customer base of middle aged divorcees. I think I read somewhere that lesbian enrollments in truck driving schools is down 50% with the advent of animal rescue operations.
Ken related that he had contacted one rescue operation and they gave him an application, like the one here Pet. They also demanded a fairly hefty sum for the privilege of adopting a dog. On top of that he would have to endure a telephone interview and a home visit. After all those hurdles were met and he received a dog, there was no guarantee that he could keep it, as the application/contract specified that the rescue operation reserved the right to, in effect, re-rescue the animal.
With a good word from my sister-in-law and admirable restraint of his part he got his rescue dog this past week. The adoption was not without some provisos. The rescue people foisted a follow up interview off on my sister-in-law. I have taken on the responsibility with a great deal of glee.
I think Ken and I share the same bias. You adopt a child. You buy or otherwise acquire a dog. With a stray it is a mutual agreement thing. The dog is not part of the family. The dog is a member of the household and as such is due considerations consistent with that role. As the head of the household I agree to feed, provide medical care and shelter the dog. I agree to set boundaries that are clear and within his abilities to perform. We will each endeavor to build a relationship based on friendship and trust. The dog agrees to fulfill his role in the household the best he can, with the understanding that that role is subject to some doggy interpretation. The dog normally has no expectations as to inheritance, however this can change based on the actions of the heirs. What can be simpler than that?
Now for the counseling, Ken, have you considered the effect of second hand smoke on your new addition? For the sake of the health of your dog you should quit smoking or barring that take it outside. Think of the example you are setting. The second issue is your new addition is neutered and Newly is not. Is this fair and equitable? Since they can’t put em back maybe you ought to consider leveling the playing field, Newly won’t miss em.