by Phyllis McCrossin
We added to our household
After we put Cindy Lou down, I swore no more dogs for a while. A long while.
And then King suggested I check to see what is available on the Adopt-a-pet website. So I did. There are a lot. In fact, there are thousands in the San Diego area alone.
A few days after King made his request he said to me, “So did you find anything?”
I feigned innocence.
“Oh. You mean you wanted me to send you their links?”
I received an eye-roll in response.
So I sent him links to about eight or nine dogs. I had some criteria. They could not be an aggressive breed dog and they had to be good with children and other dogs.
Now before I get jumped on for insinuating there are aggressive breed dogs, let me clarify… I know it really depends on a dog’s situation. However, there are campgrounds that have lists of dogs they do not allow. Not my call, but theirs. King and I have a difficult enough time finding campgrounds that will accept a 38-year-old trailer we don’t need more strikes against us. We can’t always camp in the boondocks. An occasional foray into civilization is a necessary respite.
The first link I sent King was of a yellow-ish, lab-ish looking dog. He had soulful eyes and his description said he had a rough life. That is a bit of an understatement.
After being rescued from the streets of Tijuana he had undergone surgery to have a huge hernia removed from his abdomen and additional surgery on his ear canals to alleviate some deafness. His name was Arnold.
“That’s the one,” King said.
So I made the necessary inquiries, filled out the necessary forms and had a telephone interview. Turns out in addition to having the aforementioned health issues, Arnold has “slight” hip dysplasia. Several people have looked at him and decided not to adopt because he is so weak in the rear end. Undeterred by this information, we drove to Carlsbad to meet Arnold last Thursday.
First impressions were not the best. He is skinny. Oh so skinny. And because of his “slight” hip dysplasia, he walks crooked — his backend literally follows his front at a 20-degree angle. His coat is dull. He has scars on his face. (We hope, for his sake, it is from life on the streets and he wasn’t used for some other nefarious activity).
He also has soulful eyes that tell you he’s tired and just needs to be loved. We took him home.
And just like that he became our new traveling companion.
Since King and I have not had Spanish since high school we decided renaming Arnold would not be that bad. (I’m not really sure he can hear us anyway). So we named him D.K. after our twin grandsons who were acutely aware of the passing of Cindy Lou.
D.K. is slowly acclimating to life with us. There is no way he could ever get into the truck by himself, but he’s easy enough to lift. Right now he spends a lot of time sleeping. He’s been through a lot. But King and I are slowing down as well. So it’s a good fit.
He loves to be scratched behind his ears. He has discovered sleeping in a human bed is preferable to sleeping in a doggie bed on the floor. His tail wags are getting more frequent. We go slowly. We don’t push. I bought some dog treats so someday I can teach him English and he will learn to sit.
I don’t believe we will ever have a problem with him jumping on people or stealing food from the counter. He’s pretty slow. In fact, King and the woman from the organization we adopted him from debated having him micro-chipped, since it’s clear he won’t or can’t run. But then again, he’s not feeling 100 percent… so who knows. I insisted he be chipped.
He’s accepted our grandsons and I have no doubt he will love the grandchildren in Michigan.
I’ve been in touch with the gentleman who rescued him in Tijuana. Apparently he does a lot of rescuing of street dogs there. Arnold/D.K. holds a special place in his heart. We will keep him updated on his new life with us.
It’s remarkable how a skinny street dog can bring people together.