At the beginning of the month I found the cutest little dog on Petfinder, which if you’ve never visited the site is a virtual shelter where you can search by animal, breed, location – in short, a wonderful resource if you happen to be like me and have a hard time with visiting shelters in person and not trying to take home every dog. So back to the beginning of the month, I searched on “Bearded Collie”. I know what you’re thinking – “what??? not a Golden!?” But my rationale is that right now I am not ready to have another Golden and am planning on going the foster route with my local breed rescue. My search returned the sweetest little guy you can imagine, who I’m calling Mr. Adorable since I don’t think it is right to put his real name out there. He reminded me completely of Benji and with the first look at his upturned face gazing into the camera I was absolutely hooked.
As much I thought Mr. Adorable was, well, adorable, I didn’t fire of an introduction email right away. I felt a bit like I was betraying Teague by taking a casual search a step further and acting on it. It took a lot of convincing on my mother’s part to get me to even send the initial inquiry letter to Mr. Adorable’s foster mom. I’m not sure if I was more nervous that he would be available or to find out that he’d already been adopted out. I asked about his temperament - sort of hoping that the response would be that, yes, he did have what I would consider a dealbreaker problem. However, the response came back that Mr. Adorable was as sweet as he appeared to be in the photo, if not a little submissive. He already had a little repertoire of tricks, was housebroken, and got along great with everyone and everything. He’d come out of the pound with parvo, but they had gotten him through that and, other than a problem that they thought might be a strained or sprained rear leg, he was the picture of health.
My hopes began to rise. Mr. Adorable was available and he sounded like he would make a good fit. Maybe I was ready for another dog. Maybe Mr. Adorable was the dog that would be the perfect companion for the next fifteen years. The foster mom and I wrote back and forth several times. I found out that there had been well over a dozen inquiries, but for one reason or another they had been disqualified. There were two other parties that were seriously being looked at as potential homes, and neither of them had offered to pay for follow-up care of the dog’s leg like I had. I thought that might give me a bit of an edge. Anyone who has read this blog for any time knows that I’ve sunk a small fortune into Teague and Duke’s medical care and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again for any future dog. The foster mom had explained that she was going to take Mr. Adorable to an orthopedic specialist to get a full picture of what was going on with the rear leg so we knew what we were dealing with.
Throughout my correspondence with the foster mom, Steve would say that he thought it was unusual that someone would post a dog on several adoption sites in the beginning of February and still have the dog at the beginning of March when there have been dozens of inquiries. I think he was trying to gently keep me from getting too attached to the idea that Mr. Adorable would be coming home with me. And while I did have the same doubts, I allowed myself to fantasize about what it would be like to have this little guy to take care of, to go on walks with and play with and train — all the things that I haven’t done with a dog in so long. I talked about Mr. Adorable and what it would be like when he got here. I thought about the things he would need and even told my vet about him. Yeah, I had some doubts, but I really hoped that Mr. Adorable would be filling the void in our house that Teague’s absence has left.
Day before yesterday the foster mom sent out an email to everyone who was a possible adoption candidate with the news of the orthopedic appointment. It appeared that Mr. Adorable had been hit by a car before being picked up by animal control. His hip and knee joints had been smashed. He would need a very expensive surgery that the rescue group would not pay for, so the foster mom had made the decision that since she was picking up the tab for the surgery and had already invested a hefty sum for the parvo treatment she would keep Mr. Adorable.
I can’t say that I was surprised at the news. I sort of saw it coming. I am the tiniest bit heartbroken. I’m telling myself that he wasn’t meant to be mine because he was already at home and the right dog is still out there waiting for me to find him.