Saturday, January 24, 2009

Princess Ruby

I ask for congratulations. I have become a grandmother by adoption.
Today the Chem Geek Princess hauled me and the Boychick off the Albuquerque's East Side Animal Care Shelter to "look" at the dogs. "Now, we're just going to look today," she cautioned the Boychick as we went into the building.

We got three quarters of the way through the kennels in Building A. I was talking to a very pretty Shepherd mix on the female side when the the CGP, who had gone ahead a kennel said: "Oh, Mom, look! It's a mini-Zoey."

Sure enough, there in the next dog run was a small Zoey! She was looking at the CGP and tilting her head toward the outdoor part of the run. Then she sat down and looked positively fetching. We were cataloguing the similarities and differences:
  • look, she's half of Zoey's size
  • she has the same gestures and look in her eye
  • she holds her paw in the same way
  • her ears are bigger and they are all black intead of spotted

As we were talking, with many oh's and ah's, a kennel worker--I think they are trained to know when humans are falling in love with a canine--stepped forward and asked:

KW: "Can I help you?"

CGP: "Can I take her out?"

KW: "Before I do, do you have cats?"

CGP: "No, I don't."

KW: "What about birds?"

We must have looked puzzled, because the Kennel Worker then said: "This dog was adopted yesterday, and the lady was waiting here with her when I got to work this morning. She said the dog barked at her birds and chased her cat. She came in originally as an owner surrender because they were moving and couldn't take the dog. Now she's been adopted and returned. I don't think this lady tried very hard."

CGP: "If I take a dog today, I will make it work. Besides, dogs do chase cats sometimes. They're dogs. Anyway, I don't have any cats. I don't have any animals at all. But I have a house with a fenced yard and a dog run."

So the Kennel Worker slipped a leash on 'Dakota' and the CGP took her out of the kennel building. We walked her around a bit, then we took her into one of the enclosed bonding areas where we could take her off the leash and play. At first the dog made a circuit of the small space, sniffing at the toy ball. We settled on the floor to get at doggie level. Then the dog sat down in front of the CGP and put her paw up, just like Zoey. I think that was it, but we spent some more time with her there, throwing the ball, talking to the dog, who had somehow become 'Ruby.' We found that she had good manners, she let the CGP lift up her feet, and she seemed very anxious to please. So we slipped the leash back on and went out to find our friend the KW. It turns out that she was waiting just outside.

CGP: "I want to adopt this dog."

KW: "I think it was meant to be! We'll just put her back in her run, and then I'll write down her number and you can go into adoption couseling to fill out the paperwork."

But when we got back to the entrance to Building A, poor Ruby heard the barking inside, and shied away from the door. "Oh," the CGP said, "She doesn't want to go back in there. She's afraid we'll leave her again." So the KW let the Boychick and me sit outside with Ruby while the CGP went inside to fill out the paperwork and pay the fees. As we played with her, and let her sniff around, she got comfortable enough to climb right up on the concrete bench with us. As other kennel workers passed by, they kept saying "Hi, Dakota! I sure hope it works out for you." She apparently had made herself known and loved.

As she was filling out the paperwork, the Adoption Counselor said to the CGP: "I have to inform you that this dog chased a lady's cat . . . because, you know, she's a dog!" (I think they were rather disgusted with this lady's lack of any attempt to orient the dog at all). But it all the better for the CGP, because, as she told the Adoption Counselor, "She's so much like the dog I grew up with!"

So we took Ruby home to the CGP's house. She had a snack and played with the Boychick in the backyard while the CGP and I went to the pet store to get a few things. When we got back, decked out in her new collar and leash, Ruby accompanied us on a walk to the park. There, she ran around the park (on leash of course!) with the CGP and the Boychick. My knees are in the grandma stage and I prefer a brisk walk. After that, it was time for a bath--the dogs come home pretty dirty from the pound, er, I mean the Animal Care Shelter. So the Boychick and I left the new dog owner to her work.

I had forgotten to take my phone to town with me today, so I don't have a picture of Ruby. When the CGP sends me one, I will post it.

Now I have a granddog! Zoey and Lily have a niece.

This was not what I expected when I took the CGP's desk to her house this morning.

Life is full of those little surprises that make us smile. Princess Ruby has joined the extended family. What a happy day for us and for her.


Jenn Casey said...

What a sweet story! Ruby is lucky to have your family!

Melora said...

What fun! She sounds like a sweetie. And I like Ruby much better than Dakota. Our Bo also came from the pound, and we consider him a treasure (if a somewhat smelly and hairy one).

Anonymous said...

You shocked me into worry. Or is it fear. I just now realize that my kids are not kids anymore. Matt is 21 and Tiki is 16. I feel frissons at the thought of grandpahood!

Unknown said...

That's a great story!