I've become quite the NYCACC connoisseur, perusing the Web site daily and attempting to call (despite the absurdly long hold time) regularly about dogs of interest. I came thisclose to adopting a doodle last weekend, but he was adopted by someone else in the 90 minutes it took me to drive to the Staten Island shelter.
This morning, I saw a segment on The Today Show featuring four NYCACC dogs ("From Bow to Wow") including a huge, black, shaggy poo mix. He tended more towards poodle, but his curls looked a liiiitle loose to be a purebred. Knowing that adoption hours start at noon and guessing that the dog would be headed to the Manhattan shelter, Tuli and I jumped in the car for the quick trip to the city.
I got there and received confirmation that yes, the dog was on the premises, and I filled out an application. And then, I waited. I watched the police bring in a lost and found German Shepherd. Then I waited some more. I saw a woman turn in a sweet but scared stray collie. I chatted with several people waiting with their dogs for the mobile vet care parked on the street. Mostly, I just plain waited.
An hour and a half later, a nervous looking shelter worker told me that the poodle boy was bad with children. He was an owner turn-in, and his former family's children used to try to ride him like a pony. The dog would growl, and he'd be hit by his people for growling. No wonder he associates children with unpleasantness!
Although my boys are reliable with dogs and past the stage where they'd bother a dog, we feel very strongly about only adopting a trustworthy dog. We can be sure of our own children, but we have to worry about their friends too.
I didn't look at this as a sure thing when I set out, but I was undeniably excited to find out the beautiful boy was available when I got to the shelter. I toured the kennels, telling every dog I wasn't taking home "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry."
I struggle with my choice to rescue a doodle or other large poo-mix. What makes a doodle more worthy than any other breed? What about just pulling a dog who's facing certain PTS if he stays in the shelter another day?
I have no answers.
Driving home with Tuli next to me, I thought about how hard I've been looking. I've been treating the hunt for a dog like the hunt for a job. Networking. Searching online. Responding to ads and posting a few of my own. Going to shelters. Filing applications. I'm dedicated to the search and I know I can make this happen for me and my family. But there have been so many almosts. And they don't count when it comes to rescue.