Monday, August 07, 2006

Hello Claire

This is Claire. She's our new dog and we love her. The humane society said she's part Basenji, an African hunting breed. Dave said he thinks the other part is Holstein.

John and I credit our decision to get a dog to watching one too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer, with which we are obsessed.

We thought about a Newfoundland, but when I found out they sling slobber onto your ceiling when they shake their heads I had second thoughts. Plus their turds are the size of firewood. We decided I would go the Humane Society to see if there might be any matches for our family there.

There were four "green tag" dogs. Green tags are put on the cages of dogs who are ready to go home with most any family that same day. Yellow tags are given to dogs who are "challenging," as in "the jaws of that 80 lb. Pit Bull will challenge your arm to stay attached to your body."

I didn't notice Claire at first. When I finally saw her she wasn't barking or excited like the other dogs. In fact, she just rested her head on her paws and stared up at me with a sad and slightly annoyed look on her face. I thought to myself, "that is so how I would feel if I had to be here." Ashleigh, the volunteer who was helping me let me take Claire to one of the "get to know you" rooms they have. Even then she wasn't effusive and she wouldn't look at me. She just leaned against my leg and occassionally licked my hand. I told Ashleigh that I was definitely interested in taking Claire home (btw, her name at the H.S. was Kiki. I couldn't bring myself to call her that so we renamed her). John needed to meet her too and couldn't until the next day, so Ashleigh took Claire back to her cage.

When John and I returned Ashleigh saw me and said she was glad I came back because Claire was very sad for the rest of the day after I left (I know it's a line, but it totally worked on me). This time when they brought her to the room she was much happier to see me and warmed up to John right away. He liked her and we decided to adopt her, but it was too late to process our request that night so she had to go back to her cage. She got inside without a fuss but then turned around to give me a look so confused and deeply disappointed I felt like spending the night in the cage just so she would know we weren't abandoning her.

But it turned out we needed the extra night to get ready for her. I rushed around the next morning and got supplies and a couple of toys. I picked her up as soon as the Humane Society opened. They made me sit in the lobby so they could bring her out to me. She was the happiest I'd seen her when she came through the door. You never know how things are going to go once a dog is on the "outside", but she was fine. She climbed up in the passenger side of the Jeep and just sat there as we drove. Didn't try to stick her head out the window or get in my face, just sat there looking at me or at the passing scenery.

Her bio at the H.S. said her family had to leave her when they moved. Surely they were heartbroken. She's so great! She's sweet. She doesn't bark. She stays off the furniture. She's housetrained. She walks on a leash well. She loves the neighbors. When it is time for bed she just lays down on the floor on my side (John is trying to make her switch to his) and stays there until we get up, no noise, nothing. John took her to the vet today (she has a bad cough and an infected eye). He said everyone talked about how well behaved she was.

Claire has had a few visitors. John's mom came by to see her and we took her up to play by the lake near her house and she loved that. I wish I'd had my camera, but I didn't. Will remember next time. Dave came by Friday night. Laying on our extremely dirty floor with her made Claire a big fan. Dave also helped get her used to the crate we keep her in when she has to be alone. He models his technique below.

How did we ever get along without this dog?


Anonymous jennie said...

How did you ever find a friend like Dave? He got IN the crate? Now that's a true friend.

Claire is adorable! I'm happy she has a new home. Can't wait to meet her.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

Congratulations on your new addition! Of course, I already had seen Claire, having got two cameraphone photos from her "Uncle David". She seems like a really sweet girl and I know that you and John are just going to love having her in your life.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Claire rocks!...but why do I look stoned? To all growing sense readers, I must say that Claire is an absolute joy and John and Troy are blessed to have her. She is gentle, affectionate, sweet, and every good thing you can say about a dog. Congratulations guys and congratulations Claire for scoring a good home!

7:24 AM  
Blogger juliebelle said...

Yay Claire!!
She needs to meet Bob. I think they could be fast friends.
P.S. We like to hide treats in Bob's crate so that he knows that good things happen when he goes in his crate.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Citizen D said...

I personally believe that dogs are tangible evidence of God's love for us. I know of few things that can make me smile or teach me patience as much.

Claire is lovely. Her name is a huge improvement from Kiki.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

When I first got to your sight I saw the picture of the COW first along with your line of "we got a new pet" and my first thought was--crazy folks....but Claire is so beautiful--almost makes me want to be responsible and get a dog.
Maybe she could kill the snakes before I see em.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

When we adopted our boys last year one of them was named Amore, we changed his name to Simon. He was just a kitten though. How is Claire adjusting to her new name. Kiki and Claire sound similar.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's pooped on the floor more?

David or Claire?

10:59 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Jennie: Dave has a sixth sense for blog photo ops and will do just about anything (obviously) to maximize them.

Julie: Good idea, and we'll have to have a play date with Bob!

Crystal: She loves to point small animals, not sure if she would kill snakes though. I hope I never have to find out.

Sally: Thankfully, she is answering to Claire like it has been her name all her life.

Anon: Dave would be more likely I think, but neither has left a package in the house yet.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Marcie said...


2:00 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Great dog, Troy and John! I, too, particularly like the pix of David in the crate with Claire. They are clearly roommates made in heaven. Doesn't sound like Claire needs the dog whisperer, though (but David might).

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

I just wanted you to know I put the picture of David and Claire in the crate up as my wallpaper on my computer. I am eagerly awaiting word of The Great Indiana State Fair. Tommorow is my day to go.

11:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home