Adventures in Dog Ownership: The Leap

Last we spoke I was practically paralyzed, unable to make a doggy decision. But I had finally sent an application in for Bella, a dog living in a prison in Virginia, getting trained for a new life as a pet. Boy, was she cute… and smart. So I faxed my app over on Monday night and Tuesday while I was out walking pound dogs I got a call back.

I missed the call though, and let me tell you, I believe things happen for a reason more than ever. I called the rescue back but didn’t get another return call. I emailed them a day or two later. Still nothing. On Friday I called one last time, and left another message. Still nada. I didn’t know what was happening. Had they decided I was an unfit puppy parent or was I just too far away?

Mother Maybelle

Then Allison came down on Saturday with Alex — her damn-near-a-year old baby — and we talked about going over to the Humane Society in Newington. But we fully intended to just look… I even forgot to bring any proof of homeownership, so I figured they wouldn’t let me leave with a dog.

We walked up and down the kennels, and frankly I was surprised how few dogs they have for adoption. There were a couple of litters of adorable puppies, some little dog, a beautiful pitbull mix  with one of the most beautiful faces I’ve ever seen, and a couple of slightly spastic Shepherd mixes who’ve since been adopted.  And between those two beautiful Shepherd mixes was quiet Maybelle.

I knew it was meant to be… You see, dear readers, my grandfather loved Johnny Cash and any Cash scholar will recognize “Maybelle” as the name of June Carter Cash’s mother. “Mother Maybelle” Carter was famous in her own right, and the dog sitting in the cage had obviously been a mother to her own brood at some point.

Her paperwork said she would be a high-energy breed who might be interested in “extreme sports” but I knew that wasn’t true just by looking at her, calmly napping in her kennel. Surely the cattle dog in her would love to go for walks and hikes, but this lady was not looking to run laps around my neighborhood. Once you’ve had a chance to meet the dog in a room, they’ll send you out on a walk where you can take the dog into the big open yard and play a bit. I tossed a frisbee and a ball and she kind of gave chase but didn’t bring them back in the obsessive manner of your average retriever.

Long story short, I took Maybelle home and since the Humane Society didn’t suspect me of lying about my home ownership status they just let me take her. For $150 I got a fully-vetted dog, a bag of food, a leash, a collar, a toy, and a microchip all registered to me before I even walked out the door. I am also eligible for discounted training, but here’s the kicker: Maybelle knows all of her basics. Most importantly she’s house trained, but she also knows sit, paw, down, how to walk well on a leash, and she even seems to have a basic understanding of leave it and stay. She’s even pretty good with coming when I call her…except at the dog park.

And wouldn’t you know, on Monday after I adopted Mother Maybelle I got an email from Bella’s rescue group. The woman had written me an email the week before and though she sent it, but thank to fate’s intervention that email sat somewhere in her drafts folder, unsent. I’d been afraid that would happen, but as I am genetically predisposed to being a new-age weirdo, I firmly believe things happen for a reason…