Sunday, September 07, 2008
The search continues...

Tried to do a good thing and add to our household at the same time. Found a dog that sounded fabulous on petfinder.com. Called the rescue facility housing said pooch and talked at length about his appropriateness for me and Praline. Sounded good. His profile said he was housebroken. Great! Knew this would have its challenges, but based on what the lady told me, I thought we could manage the hurdles.

As we were leaving the shelter, I told the woman I was stopping on the way home to buy him a kennel. She told me not to get a plastic kennel, to get a wire one. I said okay.

Got him home, and he wouldn't pee outside, but didn't pee inside either. Let him choose where he slept that first night. Awoke to Lake Urie on the kitchen floor. Probably cleaned up at least a quart of urine. Um, okay. KNEW that would be part of the deal. Called the shelter, though, and the woman told me THEN that she never put the dogs up at night, that they could come and go 24/7, so he was accustomed to going out any time day or night. Um, that is not house-trained, in my book. (Petfinder listing said he WAS housetrained to a doggie door, and that she'd told me so long as he got to go out every couple hours or so, it would be okay.) Okay, at this point I thought it'd be more of a challenge than I originally expected, but not insurmountable.

Spent a LOT of time outdoors with both dogs throughout Saturday. Cleaned up lots more pee in the house. Fine. Bedtime came, and I put him in his kennel. I'd no more than climbed in bed than he started rattling his kennel door and thrashing about. I thought he'd quit eventually, and i drifted in and out of sleep several hours. At 3:30, he began barking. I came downstairs and took the two dogs into my back yard for about 30 minutes. Back inside and back into the kennel, he started howling and moaning. That really sealed his fate. I let him loose for the remainder of the night so I perhaps could at least get a few hours' decent sleep.

I have common walls with two other apartments. If someone complained to me their neighbor's dog was baying at 4am, I'd cite that resident and issue them a $250 fine the next occurrence. (company policy, not one of my own creation). The pee thing I could work around as long as necessary, but there needs must be a short learning curve on the bark/noise issue.

Sunday morning, I called the lady again about him and I said what a disaster the kennel thing was, and she said "you can't put him in a kennel! He's claustrophobic!" Again, this is a bit of information that would have been helpful when I was making the decision to take the bundle of joy home, and she could have mentioned this instead of advising me what type of kennel to buy. I feel misled, at the very least. She said I could let him roam free and never kennel him, and I said that would mean he'd never learn to be housebroken, plus, my little dog who must be kenneled for her own safety would bark incessantly if he had free run of the place as she was cooped up. This dog was just an unfolding series of nasty surprises.

Yes, I took the dog back to her. I thought I was doing a good thing for the 3 of us. Funny how the important questions turn out to be the ones not asked-- the ones you'd never THINK to ask. I've never heard of a kennel or shelter where they don't pen the dogs up at night. I would think that people who wanted the best outcome would try to be as forthcoming as possible to facilitate the best possible outcome for the rescued pets, yeah? I'm so disappointed.

Update: In a state of distress Sunday morning, I emailed mauser*girl who works extensively with dogs, and someone whose opinion on same I value. In her response, she wrote:
While any dog needs to have time to settle and get used to a new routine, this has nothing to do with patience. A dog is either housebroken or he is not, and a dog is either crate trained or he is not. As both are absolute requirements in your situation, I agree - you were hoodwinked. I would return the dog and ask for a refund. I don't know whether their contract states that they don't give refunds or not, but they LIED to you. It's not like you simply changed your mind.

Thanks, mauser*girl. I wanted this to work out, but this equation of partial or false information about the dog set us all up for failure, unfortunately. After all, we are talking about how several lives will be affected, and not the fate of a used car. I'd like to think things here can be held to a higher standard.
Written by phlegmfatale
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.
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