When my children were living at home we always seemed to have a dog. I have not had a dog since my separation from my first husband almost eighteen years ago. Since I started raising chickens, I have had a real dislike of dogs. Every place we have lived has had roaming dogs threatening our livestock. I swore I would never, ever have a dog again. Then I hooked up with BlogHer and BlogPaws. I read more and more about shelter pets. Then television started running public service announcements about shelter pets. One that really tears at my heartstrings is the one with the cat sleeping under the wheel well of a car. The commercial with two shelter cats wondering when they’ll be adopted breaks my heart. The thing about that one is that they don’t portray the cats as thinking they won’t ever be adopted, just wondering when, with optimism. I know they are animated characters but I keep hoping someone comes in the next morning when the doors open and takes them both. It’s ridiculous, but apparently effective. I started investigating shelter pets in my area. I have no interest in cats as they are too independent and would not be a good mix with my livestock. I spend a good portion of my day downstairs by myself so I thought maybe a small indoor dog would be good company. While looking at available dogs online I kept coming across this picture and description:
Meet Kramer! He is a terrier mix, small, sweet, almost two years old, is very mellow and loves to play or watch. He is a very easy going, loving dog and good with kids. He is house broken and weighs about 10 to 12 lbs. Kramer needs the company of another dog, or at least a person who is home most of the time.
Every time I went to the shelter website, the picture of “Kramer” jumped off the screen. There are over 6,000 pages of adoptable dogs on that list and I always came back to “Kramer.” I think it was something about his eyes. When I did get ready to call, I actually called about another dog who had been horribly abused and shot in the face. He required care that I thought would make use of my nursing skills. Luckily for me and for him, that dog was already placed in a loving home. Before I knew it, the words were out of my mouth, “What about Kramer?’ Is he still available?” The response from the shelter operator was “Oh, you mean Tucker.” She went on to tell me that Kramer, now known as Tucker, had been adopted in the last year and had been subjected to cruelty, loneliness, and physical abuse. The implanted microchip helped him find his way back to the shelter organization and to a foster Mom last summer. Now overwhelmed with five dogs, it became urgent that Tucker find a forever home. Despite her efforts to not become attached to Tucker and him to her, this was happening. She said a sudden call out of the blue was probably the best way to let him go. Fast, without time to have regrets. I picked Tucker up last night a short 15 mile drive from home. I was warned that Tucker might not want to approach me for a couple of weeks due to his past history. I agreed to be patient and let him come to me on his terms. I took his paperwork and his foster Mom said goodbye. She was wiping away tears as we drove away. I felt bad but I hoped she thought he would be going to a good place.
Tucker is a great car traveler and he did well on the ride home. We stopped at Petco on the way home and got Tucker hooked up with all the necessities. It was late and the store was about to close so we grabbed a clerk and asked her to help us out. The hardest part of getting out of Petco, aside from the $144.00 we spent, was dealing with the attention Tucker was getting from all the other shoppers. Apparently I adopted a pretty cute little guy.
I brought Tucker into the house and took him off the leash. He took a couple of minutes to wander around the downstairs then came looking for me. Here is a short video I took about five minutes after he came in the house.
He wore me out before we finally decided it was time for bed. Here are some random photos of Tucker getting used to his new home. Michael says life as we know it will never be the same.