It’s not like I am unfamiliar with adopting seasoned dogs.
For years, I worked with the adoption of former racing greyhounds and groups who find new homes for dogs at the age of 4 and 5.
Retired greyhounds make great pets. They are used to being around people; lots of different people. Mostly, by the time they are retired, they are couch potatoes though you wouldn’t think that because they “love” to run.
On the farm as a kid we often “adopted” dogs. Most of them were dumped off by people that didn’t want them anymore.
I can’t recall the sequence.
But we had Patches, named because she was a mutt of many different colors.
We had Collie, because she was a collie like Lassie. (Please, no comments about her owner Timmy.)
We also had a pet skunk called Snoopy but that may be a different story.
Readers may recall the story of our other two dogs, Cupcake and Twister. They were just six weeks old when we got them.
Recently, we did a similar thing. We took in a dog that was dumped in the country.
Oh, she wasn’t dumped off at our house south of Abilene; she was let loose on a farm near Marysville. After getting into rat poison from which she recovered, she ended up at a foster home in Concordia.
When Julie Patton, the Reflector-Chronicle advertising representative, read about our recent trip to a pet store and learned we “might” be interested in another dog, she got us in touch with a foster home in Concordia that had some dogs to adopt.
And we learned that one was a Cairn Terrier much like our last dog, Twister.
“I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog, too.” Yes, Toto was a Cairn Terrier, also.
One Friday afternoon, we drove to Concordia for a visit to this foster home. We looked at and played with two dogs both about two years of age while visiting with the adults at the house. We thought over the dog situation during an enjoyable dinner at Heavy’s BBQ (the BBQ restaurant run by Robin McKee Isaacson formerly of Abilene and her husband John) and we chose Maggie to bring home.
We named her after Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch) and Margaret Pelligrini (the little munchkin who woke up in an egg and who signed my wife Kathy’s Wizard of Oz script in Wamego at Oztoberfest). Her cost included her vaccinations and spaying which made her WAY cheaper than those pet store puppies.
We did stop by a pet store to stock up on supplies on the way home, another $150. One of those was a $45 bed. But when it came time for bedtime the first night, she jumped up on our bed.
Now, none of our other dogs slept in bed with us but Maggie is the new boss. (Anyone need a cushy dog bed?)
We learned there are advantages to adopting (I hate the word rescuing) an adult dog:
• She’s housebroken (Yeah, no getting up at 3 a.m.);
• She’s not interested in chasing frogs at the pond, though she does like bugs;
• She rides well in the back seat of a car;
• She is not afraid of thunder (Another yeah for a good night’s sleep.);
• She loves people, even me.
Just one problem: she does not like big dogs.
Shhhhh! Don’t tell her about our granddogs who live with our son’s family: one a huge black lab or the other who Ryan calls a dingo.