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Waiting For the Puppy Stork

on February 25, 2012 - 7:14am

I have not created a thing since I last posted. Instead, I've been on a different mission.

A puppy mission. Researching breeds, breeders, and rescue groups. Eventually I focused my search on finding a female Boston Terrier puppy.

I was beginning to lose hope that I could get one. Well, I could get one easily but not from reputable sources. Even a number of - what appeared to be - legitimate breeders were a bit...sketchy. I didn't want to give money to people who were exploiting dogs for profit.

I told the universe (through anyone who would listen) that I was ready to find my puppy.

Three days later I spotted a photo (right) of a googly-eyed Boston Terrier up for adoption through Loyal Rescue. I knew there would be many people applying for this darling little puppy saved from a Missouri Breeding Kennel because in the two months I'd been scouring online, I'd never seen a puppy Boston Terrier for adoption in my province. 

The adoption process is very thorough (a real nail-biting, nerve racking experience for someone eager to be paired with the dog they've already started to get attached to). First, you fill out a long, detail-heavy application. If your application is approved, someone phones you for a 30-60 minute interview (I was sweating through my shirt by the end of my interview. Not only were there unexpected questions, but I'd already started to imagine her as my puppy and the pressure was on not to spoil my chance).

If you do well, they phone your references.

Assuming those pass the muster, they schedule a home visit with a different volunteer interviewer. We had ours last Saturday night. By then, interest in "Honey" the puppy was so high they'd stopped accepting applications for her. 

After the home visit, you are either approved or denied general adoption (so even if approved, it doesn't mean you will get the dog you originially wanted). 

At this point in the process, the reports from the home interviews and the phone interviews are sent to an adoption board who reviews all the applicants and chooses the new "forever home" for a specific dog. In this case, Honey. 

Finally, on Tuesday morning I received an email stating Yetch and I (or "Team Puppy" as we now referred to ourselves) were officially approved to adopt her and the current foster mother would contact us soon to arrange a time to pick her up. After making some very excited phone calls, I ran out to buy the last of the puppy supplies on my list (I had already accumulated a small stockpile in the dining room) with the exception of kibble (I don't know what food she's eating). I also sent off an email expressing our deepest thanks to the folks at Loyal, with a quick question tacked at the end. 

Tuesday night came and went without a call. Understand that everyone involved with Loyal is a volunteer with busy lives of their own, so I knew that when the email said "soon", they probably didn't mean a few hours later. A ghoul can hope, though.

Wednesday also came and went silently. I sent a second email asking if they could have the foster mom contact me to tell me what puppy food they were using so I could have it ready at the house (since I was in full nesting mode with little else to check off my list).

On Thursday I decided I would call the main number (which leads to a voicemail checked by volunteers), and left a message asking if someone could contact me just to let me know what is the general timeline for getting a puppy once you've been approved (perhaps there's something else that needs to happen in this process before the foster mom calls). The logic, of course, was that if I had an idea of when to expect a call, I could manage the anticipation of welcoming the pup to our family. 

It's hard to not fixate on the arrival of the puppy when your house is a minefield of pet supplies. She's not here, yet signs of her impending arrival are everywhere. And of course friends, family, and the extended online members of "Team Puppy" are all asking for updates on her whereabouts. So much love and support is waiting for this little girl.

Friday was no different. Alas, still no email or phone call. I channeled my distracted energy into assembling the large, black, metal, free standing exercise pen in the living room (which I have now dubbed "Puppy Thunderdome"). You have to keep the brain busy, because at this point it starts to whisper things like maybe the puppy is sick, or maybe they changed their mind. Maybe someone has taken the puppy hostage and they're negotiating ransom demands.

It's hard, too, as Yetch and I have been careful with our plans because we're in puppy limbo; we're hesitant to say yes to social engagements or yes to some work requests for the coming week because we both want to be free to pick up the puppy together. We also want to make sure, especially during the first week of her arrival, that one of us will be free of distractions around the clock for the time consuming task of house training (as well as bonding with her and getting her settled into her new environment). 

Which brings us to Saturday morning. Will today be the day someone relieves the suspense and contacts us? I know Loyal Rescue is still up, running, doing good for canines in need, and hasn't been swallowed up by a wormhole of evil. They continue to announce newly adopted dogs on twitter each day and promote pups that need a home (like poor, sweet little one-eyed Missy here).

At this point, I'd be ok with Murphy's Law kicking in and having them call me while I'm on the subway and can't get a signal, or finally email me this afternoon since I won't be able to check my account until later tonight.

While I've only known about Honey for a couple of weeks, I've been searching for her for a couple of months. It's hard knowing we're so close to having her be part of our family, and then suddenly there's this last mysterious bit of delay and silence that will last for an unknown amount of time.

So come on, Universe. Honey's status is still set to "Adoption Pending". We're eager to shorten that to "Adopted".

 

Comments

dave the dead's picture

Honey is a real cutie, and Bostons are a great breed. Hope the call comes soon because just reading your post has turned up my anxiety meter...so I can't imagine how high yours is reading right now.

ShellHawk's picture

It sounds as bad as waiting for our little Samhain to get born!

Sending all good, responsible "Team Puppy" thoughts your way!

Ghoul Friday's picture

Update: Yesterday I sent an email via their contact form on the website. This morning at 7:30 I received a response from a volunteer (who I could kiss at this point, since my stress levels are at record-breaking highs with worry) who promised to forward my email & contact to the foster mom who should contact me immediately. If I don't hear from her in 24 hrs, then I should contact the lovely volunteer again.

I've started the clock.

Update again: 2 pm. No call yet. Perhaps the foster mom doesn't check her email. Ever. Or her junkmail folder? (benefit of the doubt). Or maybe she doesn't understand the word "immediately" and thinks it refers to doing something a week later? There's a number of conspiracy theories floating about. 

 

 

Jules Kelly's picture

Ack! I feel your pain! As dog mom to two giant German Shepherds who are currently wrestling behind me I remember the wait for Ziva that seemed to stretch on forever! I most heartly recommend Cesar Milan's website & books, even though I have had a dog in the house for over 20 years I learned a lot and like his gentle philosophy. Congrats on your upcoming arrival!

Ghoul Friday's picture

I grew up with Bouviers and Irish Wolfhounds (my mother always wanted a German Shepherd but she's highly allergic to them) ;) I have read my copy of "How to Raise The Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond" by Millan 4 times over now, and watched his entire DVD collection of training videos. Like you, I really like his gentle approach with young dogs. I've read a few books by the Monks of New Skete who have a cool philosophy too though they can sometimes be a bit heavy handed with correctional techniques. 

I picked up his lavender spray that he uses when he grooms/massages the dogs ;)

Yetch laughs at me because I get excited everytime I watch older episodes of the Dog Whisperer and Daddy comes onto the screen (Daddy has the same gentleness and expression that my Ludo had).

 

Bonnie (aka RoxyBlue)'s picture

...and hope it all works out in the end. Our current dog Willow was a rescue, and we were fortunate to work with a group of folks who were experienced, professional (though all volunteers,) and efficient. We also went through the application, interview, and home visit process as part of being vetted (no pun intended) as prospective adopters. Having dealt with a few other rescue groups, I can vouch for that being a good sign - the good groups don't want to just get the dog into a home as fast as possible. They want to ensure to the best of their ability that it will be a permanent and happy home.

And I too love Cesar Millan and Daddy:) We watched his shows religiously after we got Willow since she was our first experience with helping a rescue dog adapt to new surroundings.

Ghoul Friday's picture

Yay rescues! And yes, while it was nerve wracking, we took it as a good sign that they were interrogating...er...interviewing us so thoroughly ;) When I tell people about the process, they are shocked because their experience with other places was completely different.

Bloody Melly's picture

So, what is the status of your puppy?? I've missed your posts and had to come looking. Hope you are well!

Ghoul Friday's picture

Sorry for the late reply Mel! It's been crazy here. Posted an update to the blog just now :)

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