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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The SPCA Experience

ES1 & I have both grown up with dogs. Her parents had a series of Cocker Spaniels, mine had a series of English Springer Spaniels. A house just doesn't seem like a home without a dog running around in it.

We finally decided we'd bite the bullet, head on down to the SPCA's Tonawanda location, and see what they had.

Our problem is simple. We don't mind big dogs, but we don't have a yard big enough for anything too much larger than a cocker. We would have loved to take home that Great Dane they had. Or, even better, we would have loved to adopt one of the Boxers who our neighbors foster at their house. The problem in both cases, however, is lack of space.

When we went to the SPCA a few weeks ago, we were told that small dogs generally go pretty fast. If you want one, you had better come in around opening time on Saturday. The next week we did that.

The SPCA takes great care in adoptions. They refuse to allow anyone to adopt an animal unless they have spent at least 20 minutes, preferably a half hour with them. There is an outdoor area for walks, and two indoor rooms with some furniture for one-on-one time. The indoor room has outdoor furniture which small paws can easily get stuck in, but it is easy to clean.

We met a Beagle/Blue Tick Hound mix named "Dusty." He was cute and had some very nice coloring. We took him into one of the indoor rooms.

He was very docile.

I mean very docile.

No, seriously, he was docile. You could pet him and scratch him. You could pick him up or set him down. You could do whatever you wanted. He would just sit there. In the 1/2 hour we spent with him, he did not pay the slightest amount of attention to us. What was worse, he didn't even respond to his name - not even the slightest hint of recognition. Apparently, his previous owners had kept him outside and paid little attention to him. Unused to human contact, he was simply oblivious to everything. Not a good match for us.

One of the volunteers pointed out that wanting affection was natural, and that any animal would learn to crave it. We, however, did not have the time to teach him love. Someone else, however, apparently did. We did not see him the next week.

The next Saturday, we arrived just before opening. There was a line of about 6 people already. We, however, already had our pre-approval card. We went straight to the kennels.

The first thing we saw was 3 Beagle puppy noses sticking under a door. We're not home long enough to take care of a puppy, however, so we had to leave them be. 2 doors down, however, we found Molly.

Molly was a 2-year old stray tricolor Beagle. She was jumping so high she almost got out of the kennel. We decided to meet her.

We took her into one of the inside rooms. Nicole sat down on the couch, I sat down on the floor. Molly immediately climbed into my lap. It was all over.

On Monday, the SPCA spayed her and installed a microchip in her back (I can usually resist the urge to call her a "borgle") On Tuesday I picked her up.

Included was also a coupon for a free vet trip for her first checkup. All this for a grand total of $135.

I was wondering how she would handle her first night. My question was answered when I went upstairs to brush my teeth, and emerged to find her on the bed waiting for me. She has since spent every night on the bed between us.

Currently, she is sleeping on ES1's lap. For a view of how she's settling in, see here. We couldn't be any happier with the experience we had with the SPCA. I highly recommend trying them out if you're in the market for a quadruped.


Anonymous Jenn said...

Awwwww. I had less than a stellar experience with the SPCA around these parts when I got Sniff, so it's good to hear that they're better back in civilization.

9:37 PM  

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