Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dingo Memories - Recalling Our First Meeting

Now that we're in a state of balance with Dingo's cancer, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on key moments in our time together. Many memories come back to mind so I thought I'd start writing about them here in his blog. For those who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Dingo, this might give you a little more insight into this special pup and let you know him more than just the cancer dog.

I call this Dingo's 'Head Shot' which shows his sweet and gentle nature.

I remember the day we found him in the Los Angeles pound just before Christmas 2003. We had already made one visit and spent time getting to know a couple dogs. The holiday was just a few weeks away, and a new pet being a popular present for many kids, meant the pound was fairly empty. There was one dog, previous to our meeting Dingo, who we really connected with. However, it was evidence in a case against someone arrested in unscrupulous puppy milling and the court date was several months down the road. We decided to go back to visit this dog about a week later and were surprised by how packed the pound was this time around. For whatever reason, they seemed to now be at maximum capacity with every dog jockeying for position to gain our attention.

My mother was visiting for Christmas and came along to see our potential future housemate. However, the dog was no longer there, as it had been moved to a separate facility due to the legal proceedings. With great disappointment, we decided to look around the rows of holding pens to see if any of the others caught our attention. To say the experience was overwhelming would be an understatement. Hundreds of dogs grouped together in teams of three or four per pen, all panted, wagged, leapt, charmed, drooled, sat, trembled, growled and barked for us to listen to their story. None of course new why they were there and each was desperate to leave.

None of us could really focus on any one dog. After nearly an hour of going from room to room, and debating amongst each other about the ones that stood out, we couldn't really agree on any. I know I was getting frustrated and at the point where I thought we should just step out and clear our heads. Then mom called out to us. "Hey guys, come here and see this little one". Barry and I stepped beside her, looked in the pen and there he was.

It was pure chaos inside Dingo's pen. He shared his space with three other dogs twice his size that were all extremely agitated running around in states of panic. One dog was literally barking relentlessly into Dingo's ear trying to pick a fight. But this little guy just sat there peacefully, poised in a very proper upright pose and looked at us as if to say "I am the one, we found each other, now lets go home".

"Where was he hiding", I asked. We had all looked in the pen several times and Dingo had not been out front. He must have been sleeping in the back behind the wall, or out in the small bit of yard they have behind the pen. Regardless, we all new immediately that he was the one.

We talked to one of the staff members who looked up his chart. Unfortunately, Dingo too had a past, which meant he couldn't go home with us that day. It seemed he was microchipped and a letter had been sent to his previous owners that their dog was waiting for them in the pound. Only just arriving the previous day meant we had to wait three week before he could be adopted. This gave his registered owners a chance to come collect him after they received notice from the pound.

So with heavy hearts, we said goodbye to him and headed home to wait it out. We were hoping for the best but we figured our chances were pretty remote that he'd still be there. After all, what loving owner would not be desperately searching for such a wonderful dog as Dingo?

To be continued...

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