Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Golden I Almost Kept

I came very close to adopting this amazingly gentle and loving Golden Retriever over my Thanksgiving break.

With my friend Andy, I had driven over an hour to get to her, then spent another 2.5 hours bonding with her and asking questions of the rescue agency who had brought her over from a shelter in Taiwan.

After lots of paperwork, I drove her home, hoping that she'd stay with me forever.

But first we would stop at the mall to visit my friend Shawn who was working at Swarovski and was desperate to meet her. It was Santa's presence in the mall that made our entrance permissible; people were having their pets' pictures taken with him.

Lots of passers-by asked if they could pet her, and my heart was overjoyed to see how many people instantly loved her. I felt proud but also exceedingly anxious about the new responsibility I had just taken on. My stomach was doing joyful somersaults, which aren't exactly the most comfortable thing to experience.

Eventually, we left the mall and drove home. She seemed to love my house immediately, and she paid no attention to my doves, even when I directly showed her them and even when Innocent cooed and flapped his wings.

I was delighted and so excited to have her company that I walked her four times that night before we went to bed!

But, as time passed, I began to realize that her needs seemed to exceed that which I was capable of giving her. And so I took her back.

Maybe I have lost my mind.
She was a great dog.
So how could I have parted with her?

Well, upon bringing her home, I discovered that she wasn't housebroken. She peed all over the hardwood floors in my living room. To train her would be a time consuming process, and--in the meantime--she would have to reside in a place that would be forgiving to accidents, such as my basement. But her bad hips made going up and downstairs a complete impossibility, no matter how hard she tried when I coaxed her. And she was much too heavy to lift.

She also had asthma or breathing problems of some kind, for at night--when we tried to sleep--she couldn't catch her breath AT ALL. She panted loudly and breathed quickly, and--after several offers of a walk--I finally realized that when she hung her head out my kitchen door, her breathing would return to normal simply because of the cold, dense, oxygen-rich night air.

To allow her to sleep, I would have to turn off my house's heat, close my bedroom door, open wide up my bedroom windows, and cover myself with an enormous pile of blankets. This I did, and this she appreciated, for she fell asleep right beneath a window.

But her conditions of not being housebroken, not being able to go up or down stairs, not being able to breathe correctly, and not having good teeth caused me to re-think the adoption.

With sadness, I returned her the next morning, vowing to pray that she would find a good adoptive parent who is willing to give her the care she needs.

If you are interested in adopting this gentle sweetheart, do leave me a comment and I will put you in touch with her! I love this dog and am on a mission to find her a good home!