Yesterday in the midst of spring cleaning, I took a break and decided to read a few blogs. Then I check the Humane Society website which I do every few days, looking for a Shih Tzu that might fit in my family. I've found several in the past that fit my needs, but they are always a long way off. Yesterday there were two dogs at the top of the page that were p.e.r.f.e.c.t!! Max and Mia, both nine months old, cute as bugs, and in El Paso, just three hours away! Unfortunately the Animal League Shelter was closed yesterday, so I couldn't get information. It would be open today at 11.30.
What to do, what to do? If I waited until 11:30 to call, they might be gone by the time I could drive there, but if they weren't gone and I was actually there at opening, I stood a better chance of getting them. If I drove down then and then they were gone it was a wasted trip. Either way, I was up against a risk, but I decided to take the chance, drive down, be leaning on the door at 11:30 and hope for the best.
I called my friend Linda to see if she was doing anything today. She rattled off a long list of tasks and errands, and I said "Oh, OK." She asked why and I explained, and before I put the period on the end of my statement, she said, "OK, I'll go with you!" A day trip is always fun, she said, and the prospect of seeing dogs and cats to adopt is always a bonus!
I spent the rest of yesterday "puppy proofing" my house, just in case. Then I went to the basement and got out the big kennel, just in case. Then I found extra harnesses and leashes, just in case. I talked with my vet's office for advice, just in case.
This morning Linda was at my house bright and early and off we went. I didn't take the kids. Sunday's outing was just about too much for China, and I didn't want to risk it. It was going to be around 100° in El Paso today, so they couldn't be left in the car (like when we had lunch), and it would be hard on them. They don't deserve to be taxed like that. I knew that it would be good for them to meet Max and Mia, but not essential. They've both been around other dogs enough that I know they are fine, so that wasn't a big concern for me.
We got to the shelter about 20 minutes before they opened. They actually let us in a little before opening time, and when I explained I wanted to adopt Max and Mia, they said there were two others ahead of me on that. I guess their pictures went up over the weekend, and the others saw them and called ahead. :( The first one was iffy, and the second a stronger candidate. I asked if I could see them anyway, and they said sure.
Well, Max and Mia were even cuter than their pictures, and adorable little guys! I sat down in the kennel and they were both right in my lap, not obnoxiously, but quite friendly. I kept telling myself, as I had since yesterday, don't give your heart away just yet!!
So thee staff called both the other prospective adoptive parents while Linda and I looked at other animals for adoption. I have to keep myself really in check doing this, because I always want to bring them all home! When we went back in the office, they told me that the first woman had to decline, and a message was left for the second couple with no answer as yet. Linda and I decided to go have lunch and do a little shopping and check back.
Lunch at Applebee's was really good, then we went to PetSmart to see a cat Linda was possibly interested in from the shelter. While there I bought beautiful bird cage for the finches. I'll do a picture tomorrow. And I stocked up on dog treats that I can't get anywhere locally. Next was a stop at ...... ColdStone Creamery!!! Oh, YAY! My phone still hadn't rung, so I knew the possibility was still open at the Shelter, and we made one more trip to Hobby Lobby, YAY!!
Linda is decorating a burro (not a real one! An aluminum one to be auctioned off) and she wanted some "trinkets" for decoration. And while she picked those, I spent a small fortune of things for some of my own "projects." Still no call.
I decided to return to the shelter rather than call them. I wanted to give a donation to thank them for their efforts and to help them as a no-kill shelter. It was nearly 5:00 by this time.
When I came in, they told me that the second couple was taking Mia and Max. Damn. But then she said they were supposed to be there at 3:00! I thought a minute and asked .... if I hang around until 5:30 and they have not shown up, can I take the puppies home? Yes, I could! So Linda and I sat in the breezeway waiting and praying that they were stuck in a horrible snarl of traffic!!! I know, that's bad. Don't care! I decided that at 5:10, I was going to ask them to begin processing the adoption. Just in case.
At 5:05, a couple walked past us. We looked at each other, wondering. They were inside filling out papers, and I hoped it was an application for some other dog, but one of the volunteers stepped out and said ..... Well, you know what she said. Damn.
After some thought, I went in and talked to the couple. I asked that, if for ANY reason the adoption did not work, if there was a misfit in their home, whatever, please call the shelter and I would take them in a heartbeat. They were nice people and said, yes, of course they would. Now, Linda wanted me to offer them $100 or $150 more than the adoption fee, and it was tempting, but no, I just couldn't do that!!
I talked with the staff/volunteers again, asking about the frequency of Shih Tzu's, and they have put me on their list to call. In fact, they put me at the top of the list. they had told me before the couple arrived that they really wanted me to have Max and Mia. One lady took me to see another dog that wasn't out in public view yet, a sweet Maltese-Poodle mix who has a baby ready to wean. She is precious and I like her, but my heart is so set on ST, that I'm having to think it over. I may decide to take her and then add a ST when one becomes available. Not sure yet, just too exhausted to think very clearly yet.
We started home. We were driving and talking up a blue streak, and just a mile into New Mexico I saw a man on the ground at the side of the road!! I wasn't sure if he was dead or drunk or passed out from the heat. I pulled off the road and called 911, gave the the location information, but since there isn't much in the area to define the location, I said I would wait until they arrived. Then I circled back to fine the exact place. As we passed him, I put on the emergency blinkers and pulled to the shoulder. Linda said his eyes were open, so probably alive.
In the rear view mirror, I saw him walk to the shoulder of the road behind us, and I didn't want him to think we were going to pick him up. That would be dangerous enough, but it is also isolated desert, close the the US/Mexico border and never safe to consider letting someone unknown get close to the vehicle. I pulled a little farther away, and watched him
take a few steps, stop, look around, take a few more, stop, several times. I called 911 again, saying that he was alive and moving around, and gave them a closer landmark, and just then he again went off the road and disappeared between the yucca and shrubs. Once more I circled to see where he was, and as I did a van pulled up beside him on our side, another van stopped on the southbound side, and as I waited to turn into the northbound lanes again, a sheriff's car pulled up behind the first van. The men driving the vans were wearing military fatigues, which I thought was odd. The officer and the military guy were talking with the man, so we went ahead and drove off. a few miles up the road it dawned on us who the military personnel were there. The highway cuts across Ft. Bliss! It was actually on a military base!
Linda commented that this was turning into quite an adventure, and I laughed, telling her than my daughter used to say that any little car trip with me was so!!
A few miles up the road I saw something on the side of the road that made me think it was something like a small billboard sign, very out of place in the desert and very close to the road. As I was trying to process that, Linda said, "Look! It's an antelope .... or something!" But it was bigger than an antelope and has long horns, probably nearly 3 feet long! Oh, yeah, I know about those, what is it called, an ibex??? I recalled an article in the paper about animals formerly endangered, having been bred back to better numbers and many being released in the wilderness areas of NM and AZ, and those were one of them.
A few more miles, and we had to pull into an immigration check point where we were asked if we are US citizens, and the young man was kinda looking into the back seat at our purchases. I asked him about the antelope-like animal, was it an ibex? He said no, it was an oryx! Oh, yeah!
These guys aren't "normal" sights here, but I guess they soon will be. They are adapting well to the climate here, hot and dry like the African desert they come from. But still, seeing them in New Mexico is .... startling!
Linda leaned over and said to the guard, "We're the ones that found 'the body' beside the road, Did you hear about that?" He looked a touch surprised and said they had. I guess between the border issues and the military reserves in the area (several close by), everyone gets alerted!
The rest of the trip home was uneventful. I'm home empty handed, but reminding myself that for whatever reason, it wasn't meant to be the day for me to adopt. It's OK. I'll think more about the cuddly little Malty-Poo, consider how she might fit in my family, weigh the options in every way I can think of and see what happens. Little Miss Malty-Poo isn't the lively personality that I was looking for in hopes of perking up my kids in their final days, but on the other hand she is gentle and snuggly, perhaps could be a comfort for Ali and China at this time. I'll let you know what occurs.
And now I need to get some rest. I was gone for over 12 hours today, most of it behind the wheel, in and out of the hot car, emotionally charged but held in check, and I'm just worn out. I have to take A & C for grooming tomorrow, so another early arising is in order. Everyone, please keep their fingers crossed for me, OK?
Life is beautiful!!!!
Even without Max & Mia! :')
Even without Max & Mia! :')