Saturday, June 13, 2009

Decisions, decisions

For the past few weeks, we have been going to the Humane Society to look at dogs. Knight and Shannon have two dogs and one weekend last month, Hay, Rye and I went over and Hay really took to the dogs. She cried herself to sleep that night wanting a dog (re: tired), so the following day, we went to take a look. We didn't see anything terribly enticing, plus, we're really in no position to adopt, so it was really just looking.

At home, we started looking online at pets and the associated things that go with pets. It'd come and go like the tide. As the weekend drew closer, we'd find ourselves over at the Humane Society again, looking and listening to the barking dogs, then leaving.

In the meantime, Haley's been going over to her friend Erin's house every couple days to walk Erin's dog Lulu. Lulu is a boxer and she's a kick in the pants. She's super strong and playful and is just a sweet little dog. Erin's mom is pregnant and can't very well walk Lulu so Marci, Haley and Erin take her out. As such, they've gotten fond of that dog. Even Riley seems to like her and if you know Rye, you know Rye isn't the biggest fan of dogs.

Two weeks ago, there was a cute little beagle there named Jody. I forget the specifics, but we asked to see her and were allowed to take her to one of their meet and greet pens. Evidently beagles are very nose oriented as Jody spent pretty much the whole time sniffing the pen and ignoring us. Again, we weren't adopting nor were we planning to, but Jody didn't sell herself very well. I hope she's found someone by now.

Anyway, today we were out and about and on the way home from Riley's occupational therapy, I asked if they wanted to go to the Humane Society. We pulled in and looked around. No dog really caught my eye, but Haley was really drawn to this dog that didn't have any info on its kennel. It (no info, remember?) was brown and whimpered a little. It had a soft tongue that licked through the crack in the door. It was very cute and seemed happy to see us. After some finagling with the fine volunteers at the Humane Society, we got to see this dog, Bella, in the meeting area.

Unlike our last visit with Jody, this one was much more entertaining. Bella, an 11 month old boxer/lab mix, was happy to see us and seemed to enjoy being out of her kennel. She played fetch with a tennis ball (until we accidentally rolled it under the fence) and would sit for treats. She'd walk around on a leash and we all felt really comfortable around her. Riley really enjoyed being around her as well and was very excited about playing fetch prior to losing the ball. We've also read/heard that dogs are good for therapy, and goodness knows that Rye might like some therapy that didn't involve going to Seattle Children's. Maybe playing fetch with Bella would do him some good...

Though I don't consider myself a dog person, I don't not consider myself a dog person and, dang it, I kind of liked Bella too. Apparently when I snuck out to get my camera, Marci said Bella whined the whole time I was gone. Is that good?

Anyway, we had to cut it short because there was another couple interested in Bella. Evidently when Marci got helped at the front desk, she got in *just* ahead of these other two ladies that wanted to see Bella. If they'd gotten to her first, I'm pretty sure they would have adopted her right then and there. As it is, we did put a hold on her and we've been discussing it all night. These folks have second dibs.

From the HS, we headed to Nancy's (Erin's mom, where Lulu lives) house to pick her brain about dogs. I got a chance to play with Lulu and, you know what? I enjoyed it. Of course, the consensus at her house is to get the dog.

I got home and called my bud Evan. I remembered he has a Golden Retreiver and I picked his brain. Of course, the consensus at his house is to get the dog.

I've put a picture of Bella on Facebook and, of course, the consensus on the Internet is to get the dog.

The thing is, I can't get a dog because of what everyone says. I'm pretty sure if we get a dog, my mom and Marci's mom will disown us. My brother (he of the 2 dogs!) may not approve, but in the end, I know he has my back. My niece Megan in Ireland will now have another reason to want to be back in the US (the other 2 reasons are Knight's dogs. She really wants a dog).

But, the thing is, I can't not get a dog because of what everyone says.

So I guess I need to think of what's best for my family and I. One other thing to consider is that cat of ours. She's been with Marci and I since '95 or so and she's pretty mellow. Knight's brought his dogs here once and though the cat didn't like it, she survived. Of course, if we adopt Bella, they do a cat test and if Bella eats the cat, well I guess all bets are off.

But back to us. I see two main factors. One is money. In talking to Nancy and Evan, they estimate yearly dog care to be approximately $500 or so. Managable. In talking to my brother, keeping in mind he has 2 dogs, well, the cost is much more. In addition, with me being unemployed (but finally receiving unemployment!! Yay!) and Marci being partially employed, maybe it's not the best time.

The other factor would be the added responsibility. My bro is always running home to let his dogs out (either that or he's avoiding us!). We'd have to feed and water and walk the dog. More poop, too. Added wear and tear on stuff, furniture, etc.

But are those "responsibilities" enough to make us pass this up? I don't know! Was this dog fate? After all, it was me who suggested going there. And they happened to have a dog that Haley just gravitated to. And tonight at dinner, the pot Marci cooked the pasta in had a label on it. Bella Cuisine, it read. For real.

I guess the bottom line is I'll be giving it some thought tonight and tomorrow. Stay tuned.