On Saturday morning Jason and I decided to take the advice of our friend, Josh, and check out the Seattle Humane Society. It’s technically not in the city limits and therefore seems to be a bit more laid back when it comes to the whole “dog adoption situation” that I discussed with you last week. Feeling skeptical, we prepared ourselves for more frustration and red tape, but within a few short hours, we were on our way home with our new dog! May I present to you… Mr. Bates.
Breed: Spaniel/Shepherd mix (supposedly – he doesn’t look like he’s got much Shepherd in him but… whatevs, he’s a mutt).
Original name: Bama. We immediately changed it. In the car on the way over to Petco we batted around a bunch of ideas. In the running alongside “Mr. Bates,” was Taco, Hot Dog, Fancy Mama Car, Fast Running, Poncho, Dumbledore, Huck, Chicken and Larry. We finally settled on Mr. Bates because it originally looked as though he might have a little limp (he doesn’t) and it was apparent that while he has clearly been through a rough patch in his life, he’s still got a whole lot of dignity. If you are not familiar with his namesake, go get yourself a spot of tea and queue up Downton Abbey on Netflix. You’re welcome.
Anyhow, here’s how it went down. We arrived at the humane society and found the parking lot to be an absolute zoo. Cars everywhere, people milling about, dogs barking. We were almost scared away but we pressed on and found a parking spot on the other side of the property. When we got indoors, more chaos ensued. So.many.people. People everywhere. But thankfully, I had done this sort of thing before (remember the lady who told me I needed to do more homework?). I knew what to do. I worked that humane society like a boss. I told the fam to follow me and we were off. I had made a list of the dogs we wanted to look at (Bama/Mr. Bates was my first pick) based on the descriptions on the website so I was hoping to look at each dog and then decide which ones we wanted to “meet.”
But as we were trying to get a glimpse of the dogs amidst so many strollers, toddlers and would-be doggie owners, I overheard two things that made me shift into high gear. First, I heard one of the volunteers mention to another hopeful family that it was first-come, first-served. And THEN I heard another family say, “oh, look! Bama is pretty cute. Maybe we should meet Bama?” That was all I needed to hear. I took off running. I left the boys and a bewildered Jason and went to find a volunteer and promptly announced that we wanted to meet Bama & Anabelle (our 2nd pick).
SHS volunteer: “Oh, Anabelle is already going home with someone. She just met her new family! Have you filled out the pre-adoption form? Fill this out, front and back and then we’ll put you in the line for Bama.”
Having heard that Anabelle, our second choice, was already taken, I went into beast mode. I filled out that pre-adoption with lightening speed. When I was nearly finished, Jason and the boys came back in.
Jason: “There you are! We had no idea where you went! What are you doing?”
Me: “Don’t talk to me.”
Gryffin: “Mama! Where were you? Why did you leave?”
I raced up to the front desk and threw my paperwork at the closest volunteer and said, breathless, “Bama! We want to meet Bama!” It was like our version of the amazing race or something. I was going to make this happen. I was tired of looking at pet profiles on the interwebs. I was tired of sending pictures of our yard and our fence and our house and our kids and our passports and life insurance. Enough was enough. It was time to get our dog and I was going to WIN this one.
Jason was eyeing me warily as the volunteer came over with Bama/Mr. Bates’ paperwork. She went over his health history and discussed his former situation with us in great detail, all the while I’m wondering if we could just MEET the guy before we got into a lengthy discussion about his eczema. I just wanted to meet a dog. One dog. That was all I wanted.
Finally she released us to the care of another volunteer who took us to meet Bama. We spent about 5 minutes with him. He was very timid and obviously unsure but he warmed up within a couple minutes. Everything we had read in his online profile seemed about right. Likes to snuggle. Mellow. Good with kids. Big enough to go on hikes with us and join us on our camping trips but small enough to enjoy our yard.
While the boys continued to throw the ball to him, Jason and I had a quick conversation. We both thought he was pretty great. But the pressure was on. Another family had also expressed interest. Did we want him? Jason is not known for his swift decision-making ability. But he surprised me when he looked back at me, his eyes all bright and eager, and said, “yes! let’s do it!”
Giddy, we called the volunteer back over and said we were interested in possibly adopting Bama and could he please tell us what the next steps are? We braced ourselves. We were ready though. Home visit? No problem. Need pictures of our back yard? Done. Want measurements of our fence slats? Got ’em. Do we need to lie about the ages of our kids? We just might. Background checks, fingerprinting, reference-checking. Bring it on, folks. But the volunteer simply said, “You take him home.”
To which we responded eloquently with an, “Uh…wait, what?”
We assumed that this was just a first step. Surely we’d have a chance to hang out with the dog more, maybe do a couple additional visits while things were finalized over the next few weeks. But no. If we wanted him, we would be driving home with him within the hour. If not, someone else was ready to meet him.
You already know what we decided. Bama came home with us that day. We finished the scanty paperwork, paid the fee and walked back to our car with our new dog. It was that easy.
Here he is on the way home. He was as dumbfounded and awe-struck as we were. We headed to Petco for some supplies and we were on our way.
Straightaway I made him a bed cover befitting the dignity of his new name and we’re slowly settling in to some routines with him. After taking soooooo long to meet a dog, just ONE dog, it’s hard to believe we actually managed to adopt one. My friend, Erika, is having her homestudy today to adopt as well. She’s wants to adopt a child, though. An actual person. If she has any trouble, I think I’ll offer to write up a profile for her. What can I say? Worked like a charm for us!