My son has always wanted a dog. When we lived in Hawaii we were always in apartment buildings that did not allow pets. When we moved, my son asked if we could get a dog. I was reluctant. I knew that I would end up being the caretaker, especially because I work from home. I was told that where we are now, a dog would be fine. We’ve got a cat that is ours sort of but not really. She kind of came with the place but that is another story.
We do not have a lot of space and technically live in a glorified studio. So any dog we did take was going to have to get along with the cat. We went to an adoption event at a local venue and chatted with the ladies who were there. One told us that we should go to the shelter. She mentioned a corgi mix that she thought was super cute. We ended up at the shelter that day. There were many large and barky dogs. We walked around a bit. We looked at them. There didn’t seem to be any that really did it for me. My son pointed out this corgi looking dog off to the side. Not barking at all. I gave him a glance but that was it.
We left that day but my son liked the small, silent dog. We ended up going back and passed by the dog driving in as he was being walked by his former fosterer. We parked the car and gave him a pet and found out that his name was Chuloh. It took me a little while to come around but somehow I found myself packing the dog into my car one day with a bag full of stuff from the shelter. Chuloh was from the Cayman Islands and had heartworm. We could only foster him until he tested disease free and that would not happen till the spring.
The shelter told us that they had “cat tested” him but it quickly became apparent that he was much too interested in the cat in the house. At one point he shredded the pillow that she liked to sleep on which seemed like he was saying that she was next. I tried treats and stern warnings but when a coworker told me about a shepherd that she knew that had killed stray cats, we started leashing him to a chair unless I could referee.This was not ideal for anyone. I would decide in the evening that in the morning I would call the shelter. I was taking him back. But it never happened.
I enrolled him in a Petco obedience class. He was smart and learned “come” and “leave it”. He would, however, not sit. No matter what. He had some scarring on his back legs and sat infrequently so we thought that maybe he had been injured and that it was not comfortable for him to sit. At first, he did not bark or play with toys. We got him bones but he ignored them. I noticed that when I would walk him he would strut around like he was surveying the property and every now and again he would just roll in the grass. He loved to chase small furry beings like squirrels and bunnies.
The first time we heard him bark was when we left him in the back seat of the car to go to a farm stand. Barking became a thing. Mostly when he could see us but not get to us. Or if he was leashed to the chair for cat protection. He began barking at the cat which was not ideal in the middle of the night. He eventually started to chew on bones. He liked the ones with the stuff inside and I started making him frozen peanut butter bones.
He had some rough patches with the other dogs in dog class. And with one of my mom’s dogs but he was a super sweet guy. And he loved me like crazy. If my son took him out for a walk he would come barreling in the door straining on his leash till he got to me. He would always be curled up on the floor at my feet. Or next to me. Or behind me. He started to ignore the cat more. It seemed like it could work.
And then he tried to bite my son’s friend. There was no food involved. No rough housing. No tormenting of the dog. The pants my son’s friend was wearing had dog tooth holes. I was mortified. One thousand what ifs ran through my head. And I could discount the cat thing. But this was undiscountable.
So I made the call the next morning. And I took him back the next afternoon. We are as sad as sad can be. I miss his weird dog smile and the way he would skip. And when he barked at me wagging his tail and his two front paws would come off the ground.I miss having him in my car when I went on errands. And seeing him stretch himself out in the mornings. I am dreading Monday morning when I have to work and we won’t share two o’clock treat time. I miss him putting his head on my leg and looking up at me with his big brown eyes.
I burst into ugly crying in front of the woman at the counter when I took him to the shelter. She told me that maybe it was the corgi in him and he was trying to “herd” my son’s friend. I really wanted to believe it. But I feel like I can’t. We think about going to visit him but I don’t think that I can do it. I think that it will make me sadder than I am already. We are not going to try a dog again till maybe the spring. We had been looking forward to taking our dog out in the snow. But we no longer have one. We plan on paying the adoption fee for when he finds his real forever family. We thought that it was us but it was just not meant to be. I wish that we could have made it work even with all his sharp edges but we just didn’t have enough love.
We remain dogless in Mattituck.
We remain dogless in Mattituck.