As everything else in my life, adding a new family member happened in a whirlwind. My husband & I had talked in the past about possibly getting a 3rd dog. The city we live in allows only 3 dogs max so the discussion ends at 3. We didn’t know if we could handle 3 so just tabled the idea. Since our beloved Jack Russell Terrier Bridget died in May 2008, we’ve missed having a Jack. Occasionally hubby would look online at JRT puppies but hadn’t seen any that called to him. Then Oct. 28th he was looking under the website Petfinder and saw the face that would melt 1,000 hearts. He showed it to me and I thought it was adorable, as did my mom who lives with us. Temporarily named Rascal, he was (then) an 8 week old male from a Kill Shelter in Georgia. Just to think of that poor, sweet puppy being killed hurts me through and through. Rascal was saved by Catahoula Rescue of South Elgin, IL and had been placed with a foster mom who had 7 other dogs. She had him since Oct. 14th and was fostering 2 other similar aged puppies from the same shelter. We had never heard of the Catahoula breed of dog and found it odd they were rescuing outside their breed.
My husband emailed the rescue to see if Rascal was still available. He was and they sent back an application that needed to be filled out before any further discussion went on about even seeing the puppy. We’ve always avoided any type of application process when adopting our other dogs because it just seems like too much trouble! This application was 5 pages long asking for references and every question under the sun pertaining to current dogs. From what dog food we give them, to if we crate them at all, the size of our yard and if we have a fence, etc. My husband filled it out and sent it back that night. We knew they had to call our vet to see if we keep up with vaccinations and how we are as pet owners. They don’t seem to take anyone’s word for anything. It sounds like a lot of people lie about things…
Then we found out we would need a home visit! That just about did it for me. My first reaction was to say no way. If I wanted to go through all that, I’d adopt a human child! I don’t like feeling like I’m being treated like a criminal. I also am very funny about having people come in the house. Don’t get me wrong, I like entertaining at times under the right circumstances. I haven’t been able to have the house the way I want since we started running a home business and the basement keeps flooding. It makes things not as organized as I’d like. If I know we’re not having people over, I don’t stress about it. I vacuum and clean every week but don’t dust as often as I should or knock myself out. If it’s between dusting or playing with the dogs, you’ll find me playing with the dogs.
I don’t judge others on how they keep house. If someone opens their home to me, I am just grateful they invited me in and enjoy their company. I know others are not this way and so I worry about being judged for a less than perfect house. My husband doesn’t worry about such things but I say it’s because it only reflects on me, not him. Anyway, it was a really big deal to me to have this home visit and be scrutinized. At first I told him no, I couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. Then I thought about it and decided I couldn’t deny him his dream of having a Jack Russell. So then we had to figure out when the home visit would take place. We couldn’t do it Monday Oct. 31st because we were having trick or treaters from 3-8 pm. So then we decided on Wed. That would basically give me 1 day to clean and get ready. I’m happy to say I got the living room almost to my standards and just basic stuff in the other rooms. If I’d had a couple weeks, I could’ve done more.
Tracie (the foster mom) came on Wed. at 11am and brought all 3 puppies for us to see. First she came in alone and got to meet our dogs. Amber barked a little but then settled down and was fine. Ivy loves everybody so took to her right away. Then she brought Rascal in and we fell in love with him. He is just the sweetest, most loving pup. He ran up to both dogs right away and they all started playing. Then we took them outside, into the backyard. Rascal ran around like crazy and had a great time. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to catch him. Tracie saw we’d be fine with him. She mentioned that she had one couple return a dog because it was too affectionate! That it wanted to be up on the couch with them and they had just gotten a new couch so returned the dog. I can’t even fathom it!! I had told Tracie on the phone before I met her, “You can either have nice things or you can have dogs. I choose dogs”. That pretty much sums me up in a nutshell.
We found out we couldn’t get Rascal that day. Tracie was taking him to the vet for shots and he was getting microchipped. The adoption fee was $350 but that covers some of his vaccinations, the microchipping and his neutering. We have to take him to their designated vet in Jan. to have the procedure done. So we set up a time to meet her in Elgin the next day. We store our RV in Elgin so figured we’d go early and clean and vacuum it before picking up the new puppy. Hubby had us leaving on vacation 5 days after adopting the puppy! Within 2 hours of picking up the pup, we had taken him to our vet to be checked out. It turns out he had Coccidia (an intestinal parasite) which is common in puppies. We had to give him 10 days of antibiotics and then get a stool sample checked to make sure it was cleared up. We were down in Mississippi on vacation then but found a vet in Hernando, MS to visit. Puppy was fine and I just about fell over when they didn’t charge us!! Talk about southern hospitality! Our vet charges a minimum of $50 for the same thing and we’ve been going there for over a decade. To have strangers do such a nice thing really lightened my spirit.
I’m sure people wonder why anyone needs 3 dogs. 2 is plenty. Most people couldn’t handle 2. Why does anyone need 3 (or more) children? I guess the answer is they don’t. They just want them. It’s kind of crazy that a city limits the number of dogs you can have but not the number of kids. If properly cared for, dogs are a true family member, like real children. I’ve seen some moms complain that they hate when people compare pets to children. They just don’t get it. If you don’t have kids, they ARE your children.
The temporary name Rascal was cute but we wanted to name the pup ourselves. We all agreed on Elvis and now he’s finally answering to the name. He also follows me everywhere and wants to nap on top of me when he’s not roughhousing with his sisters. This is our first shelter pet and I didn’t know they could be so wonderful. Elvis has made himself at home in our home and in our hearts. He is our forever dog, as all of them are. The irony is that the day we adopted him was Bridget’s birthday (Nov. 3). I’ve got to believe she was happy about our new addition. Now our family is complete.