Kelly's Dog Blog - Adopting Dogs - Part 1

How a pack of four became six

October 26, 2018

Not a fan of crowds, there are some things I will make an exception for. The Howl-O-Wine event at Witch Creek Winery in Carlsbad put on by SPOT is a prime example. 

SPOT — Saving Pets One at a Time — holds a special place in my heart, as it was through them that I obtained my latest two rescue dogs, Homer and Curly.

In a nutshell, the event was a huge success. I met some interesting people, tasted some great wine and had a fabulous time — all for a good cause.  I was proud to have had a hand in getting the word out on air and via social media with two of the stations I work for, and the organizers were quite appreciative of the role I played. 

It was a role that came naturally to me, but not until July of 2017. My husband Chuck and I were looking to add another dog to our family. We had four dogs, but we knew we could handle five, as we had only recently lost our 15-year-old Boston Terrier Trudy. I was feeling a powerful and unexplainable pull to rescue another dog, and surprisingly, Chuck was somewhat on board, providing I found the right fit.

Since it was close to my gym in Mission Valley, I would visit San Diego Humane Societyonce or twice a week. A lovely facility to visit, I would go with the best intentions, only to come away in tears half the time. I even got into a fender-bender in the parking lot one morning when a volunteer, distracted by her carload of dogs, backed into me pulling out. 

It wasn’t that I couldn’t find the right dog; I did, a number of times, but there always seemed to be either a hold on the one I felt would be right for our family, or a dog that needed to be in a home with no other dogs. Time and time I was met with some sort of disappointment. San Diego Humane Societyis a great place that does wonderful work for the community; I was just having no luck finding a dog there that would be a good fit. 

At the gym one morning I expressed my frustration to my friend Yolanda, and she suggested I touch base with a friend of hers, Sherry, whose passion is finding homes for displaced dogs. I reached out to Sherry that afternoon via Facebook  Messenger (Sherry was a Facebook friend of mine I had briefly met once before), relayed my issue, told her what type of dog I was interested in (Terrier mix), and within ten minutes she sent me a link to four different dogs. 

All four seemed to fit my criteria, but two, both from SPOT, jumped out at me: a wispy-looking terrier mix named Elmo, and a Poodle-mix named Kermit. Not normally a Poodle fan, there was something about Kermit’s pert expression of hopefulness resonated with me. 

After a few email exchanges with the SPOT dIrector Maureen, the following weekend I drove to a Petsmart in Oceanside with two of my dogs, Griffin and Maggie, to meet two prospective pooches from SPOT, Elmo and Kermit, along with their foster people and Maureen. In the back of my mind I was thinking that after all I had been through, if I liked both dogs, I would take both. 

Elmo and Kermit had originally been adopted out together, placed in separate foster homes, yet would find their paths crossing at various pet events. At the meet-up, they seemed like old friends, romping together, yet interacting nicely with Griffin and Maggie. I noticed how, in spite of the fact that Elmo had a smooth golden coat, while Kermit had more of an apricot curly coat, the pair shared some distinct physical characteristics. I mentioned this to the group, but no one seemed to share my observation. 

After about 20 minutes I informed the SPOT folks that I wanted both dogs. Their faces all took on a look of surprise, delight and slight skepticism. Maureen was hesitant, and suggested a trial basis, as Elmo tended to block other dogs from being near Kermit. I was puzzled, as I had seen no such behavior during the interaction with my dogs. 

I gave them all time to discuss the arrangement as I walked to my car to get two more leashes. I was determined to make it work, no matter what. Meanwhile, I imagined Griffin, once a rescue himself, whispering to Elmo and Kermit, “Yo, knuckleheads! Trust me on this, as I have been in your place; you want to come home with us!”

When I returned, they all happily congratulated me, also expressing that I had come “highly recommended” (thanks, Sherry!). I filled out all necessary paperwork, wrote a check and soon I was heading south on the 5 freeway with four dogs in tow. Kim, Elmo’s foster parent, recommended that Homer ride in the front seat, as he was prone to carsickness. We started out that way, but soon he hopped in the backseat to be with the other dogs, and almost immediately threw up. Oh, well, live and learn, plus it was a small price to pay for the joy I was feeling in my heart. (to be continued)