My stomach is all a flutter. Yes, it could be the excessive amount of leftovers I've been grazing on while trying to stay awake at work tonight. Sure, it could be the ingestion of THREE bottles of Pepsi... a beverage that I don't drink regularly. (I've had maybe six in the last twelve months, including the three I had tonight)
But I think what's got me all excited is the thought of a new pack member. I call The Wife when I'm working the overnight shift, just to check in and say hi. Say goodnight to the kiddos if they are still up. That sort of thing.
Flashback for a moment here. When we went to the local shelter, we agreed that we would not bring a dog home that night. This rule was proposed by The Wife, and I agreed readily. Because she knows, and I know that I am a particularly easy sell on a dog that is down on it's luck. She knows, and I know, that if I win the lottery, a chunk of it would be spent starting my own dog rescue center. And we are both very aware that if one of those pound puppies gazed at me soulfully and asked to come home with me that very instant, I would say yes unless there was a rule in place forbidding me to do so.
So when we got to the pound, we were met by much barking. Of the dogs there, only one stayed quiet, although he looked terrified. The other dogs were all pretty aggressive and loud. The little brown guy though just hunkered in his kennel. We met him later in the 'visitation' room. The warden said he'd probably be timid and shy, especially around women. But he slinked his way around to all of us with his little tail wagging. He was cute, and will make someone a fine dog. But he wasn't 'our' dog.
Dog people out there can probably relate to this. When I look a dog in the eye, I can tell a lot about that dog. By reading it's face and ears and body and tail, I learn even more. But the eyes really are a window to a dog's soul. Shoba, Rascal and Ben all have soulful eyes. Or at least eyes that I connect to on a personal level. As I watched this little chocolate dog, we didn't connect. I watched the Boyo with him. Again, no connection. So we left the kennel empty handed, but also knowing that our dog wasn't there.
Going through the Petfinder dogs, I think both the Wife and I looked at eyes the most. I did anyway. Searching for that familiar feeling that I had with Rascal and Shoba and Ben. And with Biz and Chip. (I was pretty young when Tiger died) The dogs I chose for my favorites list all had that spark in their eye. There were a few that I really wanted to meet to see if the pictures were accurate in relation to the eyes. One being the White Shoba of a couple of posts ago.
One being this guy - Skunk
who has Rascal eyes.
One being this guy...
Young Tobias, whom you also met a couple of posts ago.
And when I narrowed my favorites down to ten, then five, then three... These three were my top three. And while I would absolutely love to have a White Shoba, I'm worried that I would spend too much time comparing her to Shoba. And that's not giving Snowflake the chance she deserves.
Skunk reminds me very much of Rascal. Again, I still miss Rascal greatly, and don't want to worry about comparing.
That leaves Tobias. He is a new kind of dog for us. A dog we can know the history of. A dog that we can bond with as a family. A dog who will forge his own personality into the history of our pack.
So when I spoke to The Wife tonight, we got to talking about our top picks. We both agreed that Tobias had risen from the lists as being a good dog to pursue for adoption.
Having never been through the process of adopting a dog before, we are entering new territory. Shoba, Rascal and Ben all found us by hook or by crook. And though they were "free", we still went through the process of shots and fixing and checking for worms and all of that 'Vetting'. It's strange to go looking for a dog, and knowing the dog is already 'vetted'! Seems almost too easy... But what we will lack in vet visits and flea and tick baths and medical bills to fix up our found dogs, we will make up for in paperwork and other official procedures for adoption. And I am very excited!
Having been on the other side of the coin, when we sheltered and fostered dogs and found them families, I know that the process of finding a good fit for a dog can be trying. Remind me to tell you a story about that later. :) So we will jump through what hoops there might be, and hope that the adoption people see in us what we already know to be true. That we are ready, willing, and able to care for this new pack member if we like each other. And we will gladly be vetted ourselves so that they will be comfortable and willing to place Tobias with us at the end of the process.
Now, in all my excitement, I am also aware that at any point in the process, the decision might be made that we are not a good match. Either by the agency, or by us when we meet him. So I'll try and curb my considerable enthusiasm. It's just tough, because when I see those eyes, I get the feeling that he'll feel at home and part of the pack.
Ah, prepare for a great many posts on this topic. I'm flush with anticipation, and with remembered stories from our dog fostering days. Those were good times. Here's hoping I win the Lotto! Until then, one dog at a time. And hopefully we've found our newest pack member!