and then we were four. again.

September 12, 2011

Once upon a time, after work, we went to the SPCA to look for a new dog. I could be referring to any number of times that we've done so in our recent history, for the number of attempts has grown vast and unending, but instead I'm referring specifically to last Wednesday.

We drove through the misty gray drizzle to what jude happily calls 'the PuppyKitty' and went inside to look at the sad sad doggy faces waiting beyond the angry Feather-Hair desk. I followed Jon and the Jude down the familiar path through the first door and down the long line of kennels. I glanced halfheartedly into the depths of each cage.

Hi. What's your face like? Nope, not the one.

Behind me Jon and Jude had stopped at one cage on the right that I had looked over. Jon rarely stopped to pet any one particular dog. Me? I'm a petter. Let me touch your soft furry noses! I don't want you, but I will love on you! For him it was the reverse, If you first meet all my pre-determined requirements and seem acceptable I will consider touching you with my hands.

I looped back to see what the two of them were doing after I had passed by a few more uninteresting medium-tans. It was, not surprisingly, a dog. If it had been a parrot I might have been scandalized! Horrified! Amazed! Instead, the object of their calculated curiosity was a long legged hound dog. His comically over sized ears and feet told me he still had some serious growing to do. Welcome to puppy, population this already medium-dog-sized dude.

"I've seen him here every time we've come." Jon remarked thoughtfully, as he scratched soft brown ears through the links in the fence. "He's nice."

I took Jude and we followed Jon up to the front desk so he could ask about dog #263. Could we get him out of the cage and try him on for size?

"He's on a medical hold. He has a cast."

"...No, he doesn't."

"Oh."

After ten more minutes of awkwardly milling around in confusion at the front desk wrangling the Jude and his newfound infatuation with the drinking fountain "BUBBLE BUTTONS!!!" Jon stepped up and asked again.

"So, we can't see him then?"

"The computer says he's on medical hold. He's unavailable."

It was all too laughable. After the ups and downs and several other dogs we had unsuccessfully jumped through hoops with OF COURSE this dog was on a mysterious unadoptable medical hold. OF COURSE HE WAS. I shook my fist towards the heavens at the gods of stupid helping-a-dog adoptions and we trudged back out into the rainy mist, defeated yet again.

The next day at lunch Jon rang me up at my desk.

"THEYPUTAHOLDONTHEDOG!!"

"A-wha?"

"THEY PUT A HOLD ON. THE. DOG!!!" –okay, wait. It didn't happen like that. It would have been better if it did. Can you imagine Jon actually getting that enthused about something? Instead it was more like,

"Hey. I called they dog people. They put a hold on him so we can go look at him after work. The medical hold was a mistake. He had some kind of skull fracture?"

"Ok. I am eating yogurt."

clicky-click.

Future note to Jon: We really need to make our conversations more blogable. We're far too ho-hum about possible family-altering events. Step up the drama and suspense.

After picking up the Jude we swept all of ourselves over to the SPCA again. I was feeling vaguely hopeful. I have to admit, anything hound was not on our short list of awesome breeds. I was concerned. On the other hand, I didn't have any particular negative feelings about them. While we drove I contemplated this. A hound dog. Houuuuund dog. Houuuuuund dog. What would we name it? A hound dog cannot be named Box. Or Soup. Or Mingus Dew.

When we arrived they finally let us take dog #263 out of his cage to observe his behavior. He licked jude's face. He walked around. He flopped down on the floor and fell asleep.

DING DING DING, WE HAVE A WINNER!

And that was that.

Fifteen minutes later he was sprawled out and snoring in the back of our car.

Welcome, Harlan T. Pepper: nut enthusiast:

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