Misadventures Into The Canine World


My cat Smokey passed away from cancer on December 3, 2011. Since that day I have been thinking about a new furry companion. After house and dog sitting for just over a month this past October I came to the conclusion that I want my own canine partner. I haven’t had a dog since I was a child, so this will be my first since being an adult.

A dog has many benefits that a feline just doesn’t (no offense Bob Marley). For one it makes you get up in the morning (always at the same time, dogs need routine) no matter how crappy you feel to take him/her for a walk. Every afternoon it’s off to the dog park for a good run or power walk, which makes you more active too. Dog people in general are just healthier all around, mentally and physically. A dog will elevate your mood, which is important for me as I suffer from manic depression especially in the gloomy Vancouver winter months.

When I began my quest to adopt a canine I really didn’t think it would be that colossal of a challenge. Of course, my new pal had to be below 20 inches (co-op rules) from the ground to the top of his head so perhaps it does make the search a bit more difficult. I also wanted a dog that wasn’t too old, as I don’t want to go through the grief and agony again in a couple years. I began my search via “Petfinder” and ended up with all sorts of rescue societies across both sides of the border. I soon found that they want all kinds of information short of a criminal records check (in the U.S. it is easier to get a gun than adopt a pet).

I then resorted to “Craigslist”, what a mistake that was. When it comes to Craigslist they aren’t short of liars and cheaters. The first dog that I saw was George he was half Shih Tzu and Poodle. The description the woman gave in the ad made him sound like the perfect dog. I thought George was the dog for me, after all his owner was a dog walker so she must know how to take care of dogs. When I arrived at her home, George looked as bad as her house did. He looked like he had never been brushed, his fur was so matted that it was falling out in clumps. He also smelled as bad as he looked, which was no fault of his own. In the end it turned out that George had diabetes, degenerate eye disease, gum disease and possibly a tumor in his stomach. The vet said that he had the health of a dog much older than his 7 years. The vet suggested that if I wanted a dog to go to the SPCA. He said, they have the hospital so they can run tests etc. and they have to be upfront if there is anything wrong with a dog. Well… instead of listening to my vet I tried Craigslist again…you would of thought that I would learn; sometimes it takes some of us longer than others.

I see an ad that jumps up at me, a one and half year old Jack Russell. I have a soft spot for Jacks as my “Dog-son” is one. When I get there I am in shock the dog was anything but a Jack Russell he was a Heinz 57, not that I have anything against such dogs. It was the fact that she lied to me. Once again she made the dog out to be the perfect canine, well mannered, trained and socialized, the other bonus was that the dog was free to a good home. While on my walk with her and Charlie the so-called Jack Russell, all she kept mentioning was how she had an ad on Kijii and she was asking 350 dollars for him. The dog needed so much rehabilitation that you would have to spend 24/7 re-training him. He couldn’t do the walk; he was scared of everything from people to cars to bikes. He wouldn’t even sit for me or take a treat (I have never met a dog that wouldn’t). He was just insane all he wanted to do was take craps and pull on the leash and run. In the end she might have to pay someone to take the dog off her hands.

I now have learnt my lesson and will refrain from seeking a dog or cat from Craigslist. I better stick to the photo and video sections on the site. I am tired of getting my hopes up and then being disappointed. I am now back to square one and I am still trying to decide between a canine or feline (if a Maine Coon comes my way). After the New Year, I will try my local SPCA’s and have a gander at the kennels. Hopefully 2013 will bring a furry companion into my life once again.