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Extra nice - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
Extra nice
A Costco, an Office Depot, and a positively steroidal Toys 'R Us in an isolated sprawl of a shopping center surrounded the PetSmart I reported to on Sunday. It was beautiful weather, and Bob and I decided to have fun with our duty as adopters. When I arrived, there were about twelve other volunteers and we were all given a dog for the day. Our goal was simple: to find a good, stable environment for our charge.

I was given Lanna; the extra “n” was for extra nice. She was a sweet and needy little Shepherd mix who still had her spay stitches traveling down her shaved tummy. Lanna was about a year and a half old and she knew her commands but the leash was a buzzkill for her, and she fought it every second. They had a dog masseuse on site and I sent Bob in for a good rubdown. It gave Lanna and I a chance to bond and talk, and soon we were sitting on a little rise just in front of the front door. She was sitting, tucked between my legs as I petted her, and waited expectantly as customers arrived.

Most came over to greet her and I went into my increasingly elaborate background story on her. I started not knowing anything but by the fifth or sixth family to come and greet us, I had her nailed as a German Shepherd and border collie mix who had been put into the adoption system by loving owners who had to move into an apartment that wouldn’t accept dogs. She was housebroken, loved kids, and she could fetch the morning paper without provocation. I had her doing everything except turning on Mr. Coffee and giving an executive hand release. Lanna and I were prepared.

The two overweight parents and their fifteen-year-old daughter kept circling Lanna, stopping briefly each time to pet her. The girl was all smiles with full-on train track braces glistening. After a half-hour of shopping around, I saw them huddled nearby, deciding. They shyly came over and asked about the procedure. They didn’t flinch at the $200.00 fee, and I was confidant Lanna would be sleeping in a little girl’s bed last night. While dad hunched over to fill out all of the paperwork, the girl and Lanna were bonding like long lost friends.

During the interview process, however, a thin and stern blonde who was one of the interviewers deemed Lanna “not good with cats” and this family, unfortunately, had a feline at home. I looked to the girl whose eyes welled up. Dad looked angry while mom slid her hand behind her daughter’s back, in comfort. I asked the interviewer if there could be a trial period to see how the two animals adjusted and was quickly shut down with, “We don’t want to see a dead cat, do we?”

Lanna looked after the family as they left the store and I promised her we would find another, even better family for her but that didn’t happen. Lanna spent the next two hours tugging on her leash and giving me blisters on my fingers. Bob and I said our good-byes, and we drove home, wishing that next weekend, a family without cats would see the same beauty in Lanna as that little girl did and hoping someone would note what that extra “n” stood for.
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Comments
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: March 8th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a nice idea, with an extra n. I've never heard of that method of seeking adopters, but I wouldnt mind being involved. It sounds fun.

I bet Bob liked it too, right?
From: inkprincess Date: March 8th, 2004 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
awwwww, that sucks! but very understandable.

Hope she gets a family soon!
twillhead From: twillhead Date: March 8th, 2004 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderfully sweet and heartbreaking story. I would like to get a dog, but I don't think the cats would ever adapt. I'm trying to find someone with a dog that is cat-friendly to come over with their pooch and see how they react. No takers yet. I loved this account . . . it's just wonderful.
raptusanxieux From: raptusanxieux Date: March 9th, 2004 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I think if you try with a puppy that the cats can push around and dominate, it works out pretty well. Then again, I know a full grown, 100 lb golden retriever who wets himself when he sees the family cat he has moved in with.
My kitty made a basset hound cry just by looking at her.
poohbearjim From: poohbearjim Date: March 8th, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing there must have been an incident if they were that adamant regarding cats - I mean, most cats can take care of themselves (in fact they usually end up being the dog's master). Probably for the best, though - I'd rather see Lanna wait for another home than get sent to the Humane Society at the first sign of a problem.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: March 8th, 2004 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Weasel is so cute in that picture and I see now that she is standing on that Scrabble rug which is, like, the best rug ever.

Lanna was acting aggressively around the cat cages, lunging at them. It was bad geography. I agree that most cats end up being the alpha dog anyway. Lanna is a very sweet little girl who will no doubt find loving parents.
brianrdu From: brianrdu Date: March 8th, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jeez, this kind of thing is tricky. I think animals can get used to each other. I remember my friend Jeanne had a dog named Maggie, and she always seemed like she would just EAT any cat if she could...well...somebody gave Jeanne a red Manx kitten she named Gunther (Gunny for short), and I have never been as amazed at how two completely different animals with completely different personalities bonded. Granted, the cat was a kitten when this all started, but I watched Maggie go from cat hater to total Gunny puss-lover. They were they same color, even (sort a sesame orange)...kinda like a matching set.

With the right people involved, this kind of thing can work. I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: March 8th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
what a sweet and sad post.
I love that the story got fuller as the day went by. I can just picture you filling in the details... lol

be well
raptusanxieux From: raptusanxieux Date: March 9th, 2004 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope the extra nice Lanna goes home next time. It just wasn't the right family for her, and the right family is at this moment thinking "we need a good dog."
I loved this post!
quuf From: quuf Date: March 9th, 2004 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
When I read the first paragraph, I longed for accompanying pictures, but your beautiful writing brought it all to vivid life, as always. Who needs photographs? I have specific images of Lanna, the steely blonde, the crestfallen little girl -- and Bob, getting the full, ten-finger treatment!
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