Reason #21 That He Loves Me
“You Actively Got Me My Dream Dog”
When CAH and I were first dating he kept telling me how much he wanted a doberman, and always had. His initial plan was to buy a puppy from a breeder at some point but, given that my background is in animal rescue, I persuaded him to consider adoption. After that he got into grad school and so the plan for a new dog was put on hold for awhile. When he graduated, I told him we would keep an eye out for a doberman as his graduation gift. Well a mere few months later I was out in Maine, giving a presentation to a bunch of animal shelter workers when I casually mentioned that my husband wanted a big dog. All the hands shot up, half-jokingly, to say they all had big dogs available for adoption. I specified that we were looking for a doberman and all hands went back down…..all but one. “We have a doberman at our shelter”, said one woman in the crowd. I kind of laughed it off since I live in California, and this dog was in Maine, but she persisted and arranged for the dog to be brought to the workshop later. I was half-hoping that this dog was going to be a complete knucklehead; a sheer nightmare of a dog so that it would be easy to say no.
CAH had few specifications for his dream dog:
- Had to be a doberman
- Had to like to play and wrestle
- Had to like playing ball
Well later that afternoon, a beautiful doberman calmly strolled through the door, carrying a tennis ball in his mouth. All I could think was, “Are you kidding me??”. This dog did not have a knucklehead-bone in his body. He was an owner surrender to the local shelter and was named “Jury.” It didn’t take long for everyone in the room, myself included, to fall in love with him. As I was taking videos of him and texting them to my husband, I finally got a reply from him, “I want this dog!!!!”. Part of me was excited to see CAH so excited about a rescued doberman, but I was also concerned about the mountain of obstacles in the way to adopt him: the distance and getting the “ok” from our landlord to bring home a breed that landlords often ban. After Jury left I noticed that he left his tennis ball behind, so I grabbed it and stashed it in my purse. I think even at that point I knew I was hanging on to it until he could have it back once he was in California.
A few days later I was back in California and my husband and I, after surprisingly receiving our landlord’s blessing, brainstormed ways we could get him out to us. He really could not have been much further away. The problem with where he was in Maine was that he was nowhere near a major airport. On top of that, Hurricane Irene was pelting the east coast and many major airports were shut down. So we were contending with distance AND a hurricane. We finally found a husband and wife team who transports animals for rescues, and they were willing to transport our dog. It would be a 10-day journey, but we felt better that they were taking their time. They had a van, so he was not in some big semi-truck, and they sent us updates along the way.
We renamed him “Dexter”, as he was starting a new life with us, and quite frankly, “Jury” sounded a bit too thuggish for us. Being a longtime advocate of pit bulls, I tend to shy away from “status” names with dogs. Granted, we named him after the fictional serial killer, but somehow that seemed better. Dexter arrived in California the day that I had to leave for a conference in Oregon, so it was just CAH and Dexter. CAH was a bit nervous because he did not have a lot of experience with big dogs, and we knew from the shelter staff that Dexter was wary of men. But apparently Dex knew this was his home because, as soon as they walked in the door, he made himself right at home. This was the picture that was texted to me from that first night:
And any problems that Dexter had with men did not get projected on to my husband. Dex bonded to my husband (and me) very fast. If my husband wanted a devoted and loyal dog, he got it. From Dexter’s perspective, it seems that the sun sets and rises with my husband. So now my husband has two adoring fans in the household. 🙂
Dexter having a snooze on the couch with his human dad