I like symmetry. Matching pairs make me happy and fulfill my slight OCD tendencies. For the last few years, I really had it perfect: two cats, two dogs, two kids; one boy and one girl of each. Then Mulan died, and things felt off-balance.
I didn’t want another dog simply to be balanced, though; my intentions were pure. Zoe missed having a dog to play with; Emmett is very ambivalent about the children. Emmett missed having a companion. The cats and my husband could care less.
I was thinking in that non-rational part of my brain that I really, really wanted a pug or a Boston terrier. I tentatively started to explore the routes for obtaining one, even going so far as to sending in an application for pug rescue. (I considered sending in an application to Boston rescue as well, but the one in my area said they don’t adopt to people with children under 8. I was hoping there was a points sytem whereby having kids under 8 = -5, being a vet = +100, but I didn’t feel like going there so I just skipped it.)
I briefly talked to breeders in the area, but it took all of an hour for me to realize that I am fundamentally incapable of buying from a breeder. i understand why people do, but for me, it just wasn’t an option. I watched craigslist and petfinder. I put the word out at work. I waited for pug rescue to get back to me.
Then, as always happens with people in my line of work, fate dropped in.
A dog arrived in need of a home: young couple, military, has to relocate. They have a one year old dog they have to rehome. Can I help? And that was that.
Skippy is just about as far from from what I was planning on as you can get. He’s a maltipoo, one of those dogs you carry around in a purse (which he spent a great deal of time doing.) He doesn’t snort, but he yips. My god, he yips. I took him home and coached him on how to behave in order to endear himself to my husband: “OK, now, don’t bark, OK? Don’t pee or poop in the house, be good, and just kind of sit quietly on my lap, OK?”
I thought we had an understanding. Then Brian walked in the door, exhausted after a 30 hour travel day from a business trip, to be greeted by a 7 pound ankle biter hysterically barking at him and occasionally letting out a nervous piddle. If I could capture the look he gave me, I could sell it to greeting card companies, istockphoto and Hallmark. It’s called “Displeasure”, or, alternatively, “You can’t be serious.”
It kind of looks like this:
To his credit, he is housetrained, tolerates the children well, and the cats outweigh him by a factor of two.
He is cute, right? Right? Kind of? Look, I know the tearstaining is distracting. I’m working on it.
I have a trial version of Photoshop on my computer. This is where we are headed. Better?
He’s not my style, exactly, but he has potential. At least I won’t have a stenotic nares repair to look forward to. Should I get a Coach dog bag now, or just plan on giving him a Mohawk and spiked collar?