Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Right Dog

Well, I made my son cry today. I didn't mean to. I thought I had it covered. We'd talked. I'd explained.

But it didn't matter. Apparently.

You see, today was the day I brought him to the OSPCA to meet a potential new family member. I've been keeping an eye on their online adoption site, watching for the perfect dog for us. There's been some good candidates, but we've not been fast enough to scoop them up. But this time was looking good. Hubs and I both thought Coda had good potential from what we saw online. Little Boo was loving his pictures.  So we decided a meet and greet was in order.

This is a delicate point in the pet adoption process. We need to be sure that the dog and the child are compatible. Does the dog like children? Is he too rough? Is our child terrified of this animal? All are valid concerns, and really necessitate the child coming along for the ride. At the same time, what happens when your child thinks the dog is perfect, yet you are not so convinced?

Tears. Tears is what happens. And guilt. Followed by ice cream.

Little Boo and I talked a lot before we hit the road to Newmarket. I explained that we were going to meet Coda to see if we were all a good match for each other. We needed to learn more about him. We might not be the right family for his needs, or he might not be the right dog for us. No promises. You understand that we may not come home with a dog today? Yes? Good? (Conversation repeated several times for good measure.)

Turns out, although Coda is really adorable and affectionate, he is also really strong and exuberant. I'm not sure our home can contain him and his jumping. Perhaps he'll settle down once he's in his forever home. Of course, he was also very intent on humping. That too could be dealt with, and may improve on its own. He was just neutered, so hormones are still in play.

There was a new addition as well - a female beagle whom I loved! But she apparently doesn't get along with cats. Although PJ Tricky firmly believes he is a dog, I'm pretty sure no dog is actually convinced of that fact. So she was out.

image from
We were at the shelter for almost an hour, and had a couple of visits with Coda, but in the end I wasn't sure. And it would be so unfair to all of us to bring him home if I'm not sure. The staff were amazing with LB, reassuring him that new dogs come in all the time, and we would for sure find our perfect dog. But we need to be patient.

Little Boo is sure Coda is our perfect dog.

So, when Hubs is home this weekend we will visit again. If Coda is still there. If Hubs loves him. If he seems to be calming. Then maybe he will come home with us. Then maybe it's meant to be. Or maybe someone new will be there waiting for us. Who knows.

Bottom line, my child's tears were not a valid reason to bring a living being into our home. We talked about the commitment, how Coda would be with us for many years so we needed to be sure we'd all get along great together. I'm hoping our next visit will be more fruitful, but if not, at least it might be less tearful.

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