Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pooches: 'The One'

When I was younger, I was responsible for picking out our new puppy. Responding to a "free puppies to good home"ad,  my 5-year old mind was overwhelmed with the swarm of puppies and no logical way to choose. So, I chose the one puppy that came up and licked my hand. While it seemed reasonable at the time, we always joke that I chose wrong. This was pre-Ceaser Milan days, but we ended up with the craziest mutt who would escape our yard, run across our dining room table, and bark uncontrollably at the neighbors.
So when I decided to adopt my own dog as an adult, I knew I needed to think logically and rationally. I wanted a big dog who would run with me every day, and I didn't want it to have any trace of pitbull. Instead, I ended up with this one:
Despite all my intentions and misconceptions, the moment I met Miss M I was smitten. She was the last dog I imagined myself adopting, but there was just something about her attention and her engaging personality where I knew she was meant to be my dog.
At the same time, E picked Mr. B from his Petfinder photo. Much like that episode of The Office where Michael Scott fell in love with the photo of the chair model, E knew he had found his dog. And while I was skeptical as we were driving up to Michigan to meet him, I have to say we think he is the perfect for us all:
These were just our circumstances, but I'm curious if most people find their best dog through logic or happenstance. Or maybe we just all have our dog 'soulmate'?

38 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

We met Flash in a gas station parking lot about 45 minutes from our house. As soon as I saw her in the guy's jeep, I knew she was going home with us. She was so happy to meet us and D and I both fell in love.

Ollie took a little more thought for us. His background broke my heart and we finally realized he belonged with us. We couldn't imagine letting anyone else have him. He's not always the easiest, but he definitely belongs in our house.

Flash will always be my girl, probably because she was my first dog as an adult. She follows me everywhere and always wants to be with me. She's good for my confidence!

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

My mom has placed over 300 dogs and she can tell you from experience it is all about chemistry. Forget what Cesar Milan says. So many people had a specific dog in mind only to end up adopting the complete opposite of what they thought they wanted (or should want according to Cesar) and ended up with the dog that was perfect for them. This is why mom would never allow animals to be adopted as gifts - you cannot choose a best friend for somebody else.

Leila said...

I had chosen the shelter I would adopt from, I had my list of 'criteria'. It all went out the window when Quizz pushed his way into the front of the pack and chose me. I was lost the moment our eyes met. 7 years later, he is the best friend ever.

Lola said...

Oh, I do think humans have their dog soulmate. It was Alpha Mom who wanted me instead of the younger, very beautiful, Pei at the shelter. And Blog Mom had to bring Franklin home even though there was no logic to even getting him at all. Before me, Blog Mom and Daddy didn't even really want a Shar Pei. Blog Mom wanted a pug and Daddy had his heart set on a Golden Retriever. And now it's all worked out so well that it very much seems meant to be.

lotsa licks, Lola

Coleen L. said...

Just curious, do you follow "Cesar's Way" in training your dogs?

HP said...

I found Ben in the junior surgery ward at my school after he had ripped out all his sutures after his neuter. he was sprawled out on his back getting his incision iced and loving every bit of attention the girls were giving him. I fell in immediate love and my future fiance brought him home the next day.

with my beagle, Jasmine, I also fell in love from her petfinder photo. she was all jazzed up, wearing a string of pearls and had the most adorable head tilt in the photo. again, immediate love. she is my furry soulmate and shadow and as neurotic and stubborn as she is, i'm so happy we found each other.

loveandaleash said...

So far it seems unanimous that it's chemistry, and I agree. I was volunteering at a shelter when I met Chick, my pit bull soulmate. He immediately struck me, and I became infatuated (all the while having no intention of adopting a dog-- in fact, thinking it would be impossible, as a single girl living in a shared house while doing an AmeriCorps year). I started trying to get every nice family that walked through the doors to adopt him, giving each of them the hard sell about how sweet, well-behaved, and lovely he is. But no luck-- even in the creative, progressive, rebellious stronghold that is Austin, there is an anti-pit bull sentiment. Knowing that his time at the shelter was almost up, I became frantic. When I started crying while telling a coworker about him, I knew he was meant to be mine.

Winnie said...

Me and my family definitely believe in pet/people soulmates.

We know we were made for each other.

Love and licks Winnie

Olivia said...

My only criteria was to get a dog I could pick up if I had to take him to the vet. I got Petey at Animal Control in NYC. He was all curled up in the back of his cage looking bereft while all the other dogs were standing up barking in the front of theirs. When they brought him out he flew into my lap, started licking my face, and rolled over onto his back. I burst into tears and the rest is history!

Alison said...

I adopted Winnie Cooper sight unseen, because I wanted a shih-tzu and she needed a home. It was love at first sight for both of us.
My pit bull, Sharona lived with my brother and sister in law and needed a new home. My sister in law called me b/c she knew I had a soft spot for pit bulls...I thought it would be hard for her to adjust and become "my" dog but it only took one invitation onto the couch and I was head over heels in love.
Both were/are a combination of chemistry and me being a total easy sell!
You can meet Winnie and Sharona on my blog: http://theotherwinniecooper.blogspot.com/

Two Pitties in the City said...

Coleen L, we don't use the "Cesar's Way" of training, but before his show we never thought that much about training dogs. Now we take classes at Anti-Cruelty Society and at Unleashed with Curtis Scott. "Curtis Scott's Way" of positive training has been the most effective and we both, human and pup, respond very well to his method.

BaltimoreGal said...

My friend found a dog outside his work in East Baltimore one day- a pit mix. I still don't know why he brought her home, except that he's a nice guy. He told me about her and I encouraged him to try and keep her. Two weeks later? Eight puppies, to everyone's surprise (including the {former} vet. I immediately volunteered to take one, and when they were two weeks old I came to see them. I picked up each one and they all squirmed and squealed. When I picked up Stella she was calm, and when I held her to my shoulder she kind of melted against me. I knew right then she was mine. I visited her every weekend, and at eight weeks I brought her home. We've rarely been apart for the last three years and everyone that knows us knows our bond. It's been a challenge sometimes but I haven't regretted it for one second.

Two Pugs in a Pod said...

I chose the love of my life (and my first dog), Klausie, from his photo on the Internet. We got him from a breeder, and there were 7 nearly identical photos of wrinkly, wriggly black pug puppies. My boyfriend and sister were drawn to "Black Male B," but something about "Black Male C" spoke to me. Not realizing the importance of my decision, I decided to go along with their choice...only to be told that "Black Male B" was no longer available. Black Male C (my Klaus) it was! I believe he was meant to be mine, and fate made sure we ended up together :) He's my heart, and I can't imagine it any other way. Natty, our rescue, was matched to us by her rescue organization, before I ever saw a picture of her. But when we went to meet her, we just knew she was the one. (We'd previously tried to adopt a male frenchie, who just wasn't the right match for us or Klaus.) She interacted perfectly with Klaus, and when I asked her if I could be her mommy, she stretched her neck up and gave me a tiny puggy kiss on my chin. I was SMITTEN. :) And we've never looked back.

mayziegal said...

I can't remember if you saw my New Year's Eve post or not, but Mayzie took me completely by surprise. I still can't believe I made the leap but I just "knew" deep in my heart that she was meant to be with us.

Ranger was a much more logical choice. We decided we wanted a dog, we researched dog breeds and then we asked lots of questions of his fosterdad before making a decision.

The funny thing is that the picture of him the rescue had on their website was terrible (taken from a long distance away) and we couldn't really see what he looked like. His foster dad finally sent us some better pictures and the first one I saw of his adorable face made me cry. Even though we had already logically decided to adopt him, I think we both fell in love with him the instant we saw that picture. He was in rescue for much longer than some of the other dogs and I truly believe it's because they didn't have THAT picture on their website. Lucky for us!

Amber

Trissi_V said...

Apollo (sheppard/ridgeback) met my bf Sean at the local shelter (I think he was looking for a husky). He was 6 mo and a return, Sean fell hard for this pup. Those people don't know what they are missing. He is so smart and just a big lovable goofball of a dog (and he has perfect floppy ears)

Laci (husky?/healer) was chosen by Apollo for me. Sitting on the petio of a local restaurant, a near by shelter was walking the dogs. Apollo couldn't help but gaze at the cutest little girl ever (her natural bobbed tail sticking straight up, yep it is adorable). All I could say, "If I was going to adopt a dog, I would adopt a dog like her. She's perfect". We took her home that day.

I have to say our choices have been perfect match for us and for them. We couldn't be happier.

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

Ms. M's sleeping habits are too funny. I love that photo of her.

We definitely got our dogs through a combination of logic and happenstance. T's family got Molly just before he left for college and then he quickly decided to bring her with him. Melanie was a complete fluke since we just found her on the side of the road, but Nemo was definitely planned and deliberate.

For us, we definitely have a "type" of dog that we're drawn to but each dog has their own personality so it really is unique for each individual. I love each of the dogs for their own ways and it's really worked out perfectly.

The Mama Monster said...

We found our Lola on accident. After our female boxer had passed away and our male boxer had been in a deep depression for about 6 months, we decided it was time... I found a basset hound on petfinder and decided to take Havok to go meet her at the local shelter... She was nice and he seemed to think she was alright but as we were leaving we passed by the quarantine corner and there was a little black pug in the corner... We asked what was wrong with it and they said that it had been hit by a car and dumped in the overnight drop... There was something wrong with her eye... Well after meeting her, there was nothing wrong with her eye, she had completely lost her eye... It's been 3 years and Havok loved her like no other up until his last day (he passed away from cancer about a year later) and we still love her... She has been the best dog and was the only thing that pulled Havok out of his depression after losing his best friend.

~The Mama Monster

Kari in WeHo said...

we are still impulse adopter of a sort. Baily was all because we fell hard for the puppy and it worked out well. Mesa I fell for but Ian had reservations but I convinced him. Big Carl Ian fell for but we were at least smart that time and fostered him first.

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

rescuedinsanity.com said...

That top photo is just brilliant. So many people seem to choose their dogs on a random whim, despite all of the research they had done beforehand. I am glad I am not the only one.

We chose Shiva pretty much based on her Petfinder photo as well. She was this scrawny, spotted, floppy ear-ed cutie, and the look in her eyes told me all she needed was a little understanding. Because we have a small-ish space, we couldn't adopt the giant dog of my dreams and her size seemed to be just right.


There was actually another couple that wanted to meet her at the same time but we arrived there first. I had basically five minutes to decide if I wanted her otherwise the other couple was going to adopt her instead. Talk about pressure! My husband decided he didn't like the looks of the couple and convinced me we couldn't let her go to them. Somehow I caved and that was that!

brooke said...

Jason chose Darwin... it was love at first sight. And I have to say he chose right!

When we were in Chicago the weather was actually pretty warm. It was colder back here in Seattle than it was in Chicago!

houndstooth said...

Oh, good question!

Well, we researched and decided to get a Greyhound just after we got our house. We had two cats at the time, so needed a cat-safe Greyhound. The adoption kennel had four. We met all four, but Treat really just clicked with us! She was the only one who looked back at us as she was being led away. She chose our second dog, Hawk. We figured, she had to spend more time with him than we did, so we followed her lead on that. Lilac was a foster who just never left, and we are glad that she didn't. Blueberry was supposed to be a dogsitting deal, we agreed to keep her because Lilac is her mother, and then the lady decided she couldn't keep her and wanted her to stay with us.

Flash forward to picking out another dog for me to work with after Treat died. I wanted that same connection that I'd had with Treat, and wasn't sure I could find it. We took Blueberry along and she wasn't nearly as helpful as Treat had been. lol But when Bunny finally walked in that room after we'd met a dozen dogs who just didn't click with us, I really knew she was the one! I haven't been the least bit disappointed!

Pauley James Foster Baby said...

I had not thought about it before, but I have never picked a dog out. In my adult life, I have had 4 dogs and each one was found; Ms. Piggy (who ended up being pregnant & had mange)jumped on the hood of my car; Ginger was tied to a tree with no food or water; Annie was a puppy who fell out of the back of someones truck; Chloe Belle was tied to a tree on the riverbank with no food or water. I had a connection with each one & have been blessed to have them in my life :)

Heather (Pauley's foster mom)

Heather said...

I think they choose you. I did all this research when I decided I wanted a dog and the number one thing I wanted was a mutt - I didn't want all the complications that typically come with a purebred. And then I met Sophie at the Humane Society, a purebred Italian Greyhound and she hooked me. And yes, she definitely had all the complications of a purebred, but I wouldn't have changed our time for the world.

Benny and Lily said...

momma found us accidentily. The best find ever
Benny & Lily

Bobby said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG PITBULLS HAVE SUCH A BAD REPUTATION IN THE UK. I THINK I SAID BEFORE MY BROTHER HAD ONE AND SHE WAS A LOVELY DOG. THEY ARE A BANED BREED HERE NOW, THAT IS THROUGH THE STUPID PEOPLE WHO OWNED THEM AND USED THEM FOR FIGHTING.
IT IS GREAT TO SEE HOW GOOD THEY BOTH ARE.

HoundDogMom said...

I would say that two found us (our shelter basset babes) and made sure we were taking them home. Winston was an internet baby that captivated me with his eyes. He still has those eyes today, that pretty much will get him his way.

Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

The only dog I ever picked was Indy and believe me, I love him but I couldn't live with him on all the time. However my parents picked Koda and we have that connection. We do everything together.

Mr. Pip said...

I am not a very logical person, not a planner, follow my heart rather than my head, etc. I have not planned for any of my animals - they have all been by chance (or accident) and they have all worked out perfectly.

As a shelter volunteer, I am not sure I encourage my way of doing things, but it works for me. I am also someone who never gives up - so even if one of my animals turned out to be the "wrong animal", I would make it work.

Pip was completely by chance. We had 4 cats and hadn't planned on a dog, but 10 years later here we are ...

emily said...

GREAT post! I was the same way...I remember early in my relationship with Adam having a big argument. It was because he liked pit bulls, and I thought that they should all be put to sleep!

Fast forward 4 years, and we have 3 pit bulls sharing our house. I can't imagine life any other way! :)

AC said...

I had to laugh at your story about Ms M because Kona's is so similar. I said I wanted a dog I could take everywhere...well, you know Kona.

I joke with people who know Kona and say she was the pick of the litter because I was the first one to adopt any pup from her feral litter. The lady at the shelter ask me why I chose her. I shrugged and said, "intuition." I didn't have a clue but I'm glad it turned out like it did!

parlance said...

I found Penny because I was volunteering at a vets, and he said it was time I had a mammal as a pet. I had kept lizards, birds, insects, fish, yabbies (crayfish) - oh, I forgot, I had kept mice.

He had a litter of puppies that needed a home and I fell in love with the delicate little lady of the litter. I think it was one of the best days of my life when I picked her up and sat her in my lap.

T2 - My life with pit bulls said...

Toni was a bit of both. My 40th birthday surprise was an appointment to meet some of the pits in the Anti-Cruelty system. Chris had seen Toni online and when he stopped in to set up the appointment. I think he would have been crushed if I hadn't agreed that she was the one for us. Téa was supposed to be a foster, but when I bought her a collar before we even brought her home and when we renamed her (from Nilla) by the end of the weekend, I had a feeling she was already a part of our permanent family. (We're also huge fans of the "Curtis Scott Way!" His influence has made a pack a lot more cohesive and balanced as well as a lot less chaotic!)

Mary said...

We met Levi at an adoption event. He was so calm, just sitting there amongst the chaos of the other dogs. Calm dog equaled potentially good bird companion, so we decided to try him out. Having volunteered for awhile already, I was hoping to get a pit bull-type dog and had even applied for a dog named Taco, but she already had an application.

It's funny because my mom has asked me so many times how we were drawn to Levi. He's not overly friendly, doesn't generally wag his tail when he meets new people, and is pretty aloof. But I guess his calm demeanor really pulled us in. And I can't complain because he NEVER wakes up before we do-total lazy bones!

bitt said...

When I first saw my dog Zuki I knew he and I were soulmates. I do know what you mean. With Sienna, we were going to the shelter to get her anyhow, so who knows if we would have picked her out? I was also fearful of pitties a bit.

Oonafey said...

Both of our dogs were definitely "meant to be".

I started writing how we found our dogs in this comment, but realized it was going to be 6 paragraphs long, so you've inspired me to do a post about my dogs! I've been meaning to...

ForPetsSake said...

I agree with Shawnee's mom - it's all about chemistry. My 2 were very different. One was an amazing stroke of good luck and the other was a premeditated "let's go get this one" situation. I love them both and thankfully, our chemistries all blend.

jet said...

Bender just arrived in my life. I had just lost my first dog, and the house was very empty. I decided that I should get a dog and a cat at the same time so they could bond. I was chatting on MSN messenger to a friend of mine who mentioned she was bottlefeeding 6 pups. I decided I wanted the 'biggest boy', and 3 weeks later she turned up on my doorstep with him. The cat came from the car junk yard my dad was working at at the time. My parents had already adopted 4 cats from the junkyard and wanted to take this little one home too but didn't have the space, so I ended up with her.

Barbie was about chemistry when we met. I always wanted a greyhound, GAP matched us up with her, and when I went to meet her she came and licked me and asked for pats even though she had been shy up to that point, and not even given that much attention to her foster mumma who had had her for 4 weeks.

Traci said...

It's true - somehow you just tend to know when a dog is right for you :) When we first decided to rescue a greyhound, we began visiting various dogs in foster homes to try and get a feel for which would be the right dog for us. The first one literally was so scared that he ran from us and we couldn't get near him, the second one came to our house and wasn't very interested in us, but proceeded to pee on the floor, but we knew that the third one was the one for us as soon as we saw him! We went to his foster home, where this huge black and white greyhound immediately came over to greet us. After getting as much attention as he wanted he went to his crate and began bringing out all his toys. After he brought them all out to another bed, he decided to lie down amongst them all and chill out. We said "this is the dog for us!" We had him for approx. 8 years and he was such a great dog.

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