Where's the Dog Whisperer when you need him?
NOTE: We are having some technical difficulties, as we slowly make the shift from Blogger to Wordpress. We are hopefully moving there soon, just as quickly as we can get it ready. Until then, well, sorry for some Blogger blips as we import data over to WordPress. But, prepare to be dazzled! Anyway, bear with us. Thanks. The pet saga continues. To recap, we used to have a dog. He bit a child. He's dead now. We used to have a bird. She flew into the toilet. She's dead now, too. We still have a snake. He's not dead. In fact, he's doing rather well. He's really rather pretty, but cuddly, not so much. School has started for everybody on the planet except us, so, to divert my small son from gouging out large pieces of his wall in his bedroom out of sheer boredom, we drove to the Humane Society yesterday, just to see what they had, and to get some good dog petting therapy time in. Nothing lifts the spirits like dog slobber and the stale smell of urine, I always say. I was actually impressed with the quality of the canines they had at this shelter. Most of the mutts were pretty calm, and J was completely charmed when he commanded a very soft looking pit bull to "SIT!", and the cur obliged. Not that I'm thinking about getting a pit bull, mind you, but certainly the whole experience put an extra confidence in my 4 year old's strut, which is pretty dang cute, if I do say so myself. We asked the overworked, underpaid, doggie-hair covered staff to spring some of the dogs from their cages so we could play with them and see if they would make a good family pet, or if they were really just the cast-offs for the part of Cujo. We've done this several times before (like I said, doggy therapy never misses), but this time we actually found a dog worth looking at again. He was a black lab, pure-bred, and had been given up by his family because he was a gift, given to them by somebody who clearly didn't know them very well. And this is just a general FYI: people don't like to be given gifts that require yet another reason to be cleaning up stinky poop all day. Seriously, people, give a goldfish instead. Or, better yet, if you are really committed to the animal theme, just send gummi bears. While playing with this rambunctious dog, who was dubbed "Ribs", I pulled out my best Dog Whisperer techniques, complete with claiming a certain bench for my son, employing the ever effective "shhhht", and concentrating on emanenting calm, assertive energy. I'm telling you, this dog went from jumping maniac to calm, submissive playmate who sat happily at the foot of my son's bench, chewing on his ball. Perfect. I went home, fed my son, and then called DH to meet me back at the shelter to look at this dog again. DH checked his profile out online, and agreed to meet me there. We pulled up, and just as we were going in, Ribs was coming out. He was walking his new owner. "Hey, are you adopting Ribs?" I asked. "Yep, I'm taking him home," his new owner said, a large woman who clearly had no control over this dog. He was straining at the leash, pulling at her and his collar, choking so much he sounded like he was coughing up a hairball. One of the hair covered staff volunteered to assist her with Ribs, and the two of them left the shelter, Ribs pulling all the way. It was pathetic. Another woman, who had been 'browsing' with me, if you will, said, "You don't want that dog. WAY too hyper. Was all over the place with that woman. He would definitely knock over your child." But, you see, I have been educated in the Whisperer's Ways. And he didn't knock over J when we were in the play yard. I knew that Ribs would be just fine with us, after we had established some ground rules and some authority. Besides, he was a lab. Labs live to please. J started to cry when we saw Ribs leave, asking why we couldn't take our dog home today. And DH was just not impressed with any of the other dogs. We've decided that we are retriever people, and that dogs who won't fetch a ball for you just aren't true canines. We left, stinky and hair-covered as the staff, but without a dog. So much for dog therapy. Maybe it's all for the best. After all, we have had some lousy luck with dogs, and, really, pets in general. And according to The Whisperer, it's our fault. Maybe we just weren't meant to be pet owners. And we probably have quite a bit to make up for our previous pet owner sins. I think I'll go eat some gummi bears.