I first posted this as a comment on Lazy Daisy’s blog to her Monday Memory. But she suggested that I post it here and since I already typed it up, I figured why not. So here it is with a few more details…
In 1999 our family included DH, Darly, one dog, two rabbits and myself. However, the Air Force decided that needed to change and sent us to Korea. So with a very heavy heart, we gave up our beloved pets to awesome new homes.
As soon as we got back to the States and got our own house I wanted to return our family back to normal and get pets. DH did not think that was a good idea. I think mostly he wanted the freedom of not having to find someone to watch the animals when we were gone. I thought that was “Hooey!” because we barely go anywhere anyway!
So we bought our house in October of 2001 and by January of 2002 I had adopted our rabbits Trina & Trudy while DH was out of town. DH wasn’t thrilled, but didn’t put up too much of a fuss.
By the end of 2002 I had been hinting to DH that we needed a dog. He was still protesting. I explained that a dog would be good for Darly and provide some protection when he was out of town. He still wasn’t convinced. I said I wanted one before he went out of town again. He said maybe… Then he went out of town…
I had been searching online for a dog at our local shelters. The one near us had a listing on Saturday for a Lhasa Apso mix puppy named Sue Lee that DD & I were very interested in. She was 4 months old. I couldn’t get to the shelter until Monday. By Sunday her listing was removed and we were disappointed.
On Monday I checked again and her picture was back up...so we went to the shelter to find out what was going on.
Sue Lee was there when we got to the shelter and they shared her information with us. She had been dropped off on Fri night after her owners had found out from their landlord that they were not allowed to have any pets. Apparently Sue Lee was adopted from a box of puppies at the grocery store.
She went home with a family on Saturday who had just lost their older dog Lhasa Apso.
She was returned the next morning because the family soon realized that they were not ready for a puppy. Apparently Sue Lee kept them up all night.
When we got to the shelter on Monday there was a HOLD on her. The interested party had to see if their landlord would allow pets. I asked if we could be the second hold, the shelter said no I had to be there when the hold expired. At the time I was miffed, but thinking back now it made sense to not have that many holds on the dog. She was very cute and couldn’t be left in limbo.
So DD & I went to the mall that was across the street at around 12:30 and returned at 4:30 (hold expired at 5pm). No word from the hold family.
But this lady who comes to the shelter everyday looking for a dog wanted the dog too...but after she met DD she said that we could have her since we were there first and DD was almost ready to turn on the water works. hee hee I found out from the shelter guy we had been talking to that this lady comes in almost every day and they really did not like her much. She had taken a few dogs home only to return them because they were not what she was looking for. They were very happy that I had talked her out of the dog.
At 4:45 still no word from the hold family, we've been "there" all day and the shelter guy starts processing the paperwork for us. YAY! He asked us a bunch of questions about our family and our house and then brings in Sue Lee for us to meet. We told him that we wanted to change her name to Lilly and he was thrilled. He thought that was a much better name for her.
The very first thing that Lilly does when she meets us is jump at Darly. She was a ball of fluff and energy! Darly who was almost 5 at the time was startled and began crying. I hugged Darly and we ignored the dog. The shelter guy said that was the perfect thing to do because it showed the dog that she can’t get our attention by jumping. Bad things happen to dogs who jump. I ask Darly if maybe she doesn’t want the dog now and she says that she still wants her. After Darly calms down, I tell Lilly to sit, which she does and we pet her. Of course she doesn’t stay seated long and she wiggled the entire time.
We get almost everything done (it is a long process to adopt a dog!) and the original owner shows up. Her landlord said they could pay a pet deposit...but the shelter said she couldn't have her back because they don't allow you to take your dog back after you surrender it. Their thinking is that if you surrender your dog once, you don’t have a very close bond with it and they want dogs to go to homes that they will be in forever.
We finish our paperwork but can't take Lilly home with us because they have to spay her first. (I still don't understand how that one family had her overnight with no spay. The shelter couldn’t give us a good answer for that.) So Lilly is put back in her pen and DD & I "say good night" to her. DD is in tears because Lilly “wants us”. Lilly is jumping and barking at us through the glass. And 1st owner is still there she figures out that WE took "Her" dog...so she follows us to our car and tries to talk us into giving her the dog back...she'll pay us.
I say no because DD is in the car ready to turn on the water works. A guy from the shelter comes out to make sure we're okay. Crazy 1st owner is trying everything she can think of to get the dog back and I say no...but I did tell her that I would think about letting her visit...yeah right. I wasn’t about to begin a relationship with someone who wanted my dog.
On Wednesday I called the shelter to make sure that everything went well with Lilly’s spay and they say that we can come to pick her up. They tell us that she may be groggy, she isn’t. I have her go potty and put her into her crate for the ride home.
Once we get home, I ask her to go potty again before allowing her into the house for the very first time. And I take her out every two hours after that (yes all night long!)
I knew that we wouldn’t want Lilly going into our dining room/living room, so I put up some gates to keep her out of there. I soon realized that she needed to not go upstairs either (she kept going potty up there) so we had a gate at the bottom of the stairs too.
It took about a month to get Lilly trained to sleep in her bedroom (aka the laundry room). I camped out on the couch.
DH called the night before he was to return from his trip and silly me, I had put Lilly in the laundry room to answer the phone…she barked and Dh could hear her. He was pretty mad! He didn’t say a whole lot to me for a while after he returned. But he softened up to Lilly pretty quickly.
The guy at the shelter had said that Lilly was scared of men. But when DH got home she went up to him happily as if she had known him her entire life. I can only assume that she knew he belonged there from his smell in the house.
I signed Lilly & me up for obedience classes and she was a star pupil. It seemed that either she had already been trained or she was showing off for all those other dogs. The instructor said that I should train Lilly in agility classes. I’m sure she would do really well, but I just don’t have that kind of time.
Lilly is now a well behaved member of the family. She still forgets that she isn’t allowed to jump, but she has learned everything else very well. There are tests you can do to see how smart your dog is and Lilly showed that she as a really good memory…which I should have known before I did the tests because she will go and get her toys if you ask her to (and she wants to). She also is a really good camper. She just doesn’t like when we leave her to go out of town. I suppose that if we went more often she would get used to it, but we’ll take that as it comes.
Do I feel bad about taking the crazy lady’s dog? Not very. I knew that I would give the dog a better life with no worries of a landlord. I figured out pretty quickly that her first owners (probably the husband) hit Lilly as she is hand shy. She is very happy here and we have never once thought about getting rid of her for any reason. She's an awesome dog.