A few weeks go by, and Mom decides: Bear is finally ready for adoption.
She creates a special online “adoptable dog” profile for him, which is standard procedure. None of us were expecting what happened next: The applications come flooding in. He gets a bazillion in one day. Apparently, you don’t find a lot of purebred poodles on petfinder.com. Bear is in high demand. It’s quite exciting!
Mom posts some really nice pictures of Bear on his new profile, looking cute as ever.
She also adds a few unfortunate ones.
The first of the unfortunate ones looked like this:
Mom thought it was a great photo. She said she was going for the: “adorable dog searching for a family to call his own” look.
But, to the rest of the world, it comes across more like a: “how the hell does that skinny little neck hold up that enormous head?” look.
The second picture, not shown here ,mostly because my blog is rated PG, inadvertently featured one of Bear’s ….ahem…. special attributes. This particular “attribute”, if you are catching my drift, makes all the female dogs in the neighborhood blush. When we are out for a walk, they glance between his skinny legs and wink at him knowingly. At that point, Bear and I usually stop dead in our tracks, while our naughty bits tingle with a strange and distant longing sensation.
Dear Reader, Picture sitting down to a succulent dinner and you suddenly realize that you have forgotten how to use a fork, but when you think about it, you aren’t really hungry anyway- as a matter of fact, you can’t even remember what food tastes like. That’s the best way I can describe it.
Well those pictures cause quite an uproar. The other volunteers, laughing their damn heads off over those unfortunate pictures, proceed to dub him: “Big Headed Wiener Boy.” Mom and Tommy howl with laughter. I have to admit-it is kind of funny- I chuckle along with them. Hoo-hah, this is fun.
I glance over at Bear. Big head hanging down, crestfallen from the ridicule, his face crumples and he starts to cry.
That makes me feel like first-class jackass. So I put my arm around him and do what any older brother would do- I lie:
“Hey there now, don’t cry. It’s a compliment kid-really! Think about it: Big heads are for holding big brains, right? That’s just their way of calling you smart; everyone knows that poodles are smart. I mean, I’m part poodle and look at me- I’m probably the smartest dog you know! Most likely, they’re jealous”
I hold my breath, waiting for his reaction.
He wipes his nose on the carpet and smiles. He buys it hook line and sinker!
Whew that was close. Sometimes Mom forgets that dogs have feelings too.
Auntie J, the rescue’s “application organizer” extraordinaire, is surprised and overwhelmed by all of the adoption requests.
She sends an urgent email to Mom:
“Oh My God Newbie! (she loves to bust on Mom and call her “Newbie.” Mom dutifully pretends to be insulted, but secretly, she loves the attention) “BEAR IS A POODLE?? YOU DIDN’T TELL ME BEAR WAS A POODLE??? He’ll be adopted so fast your head will spin! Poodles go fast!”
And she should know – She is an expert! My Auntie J has been involved with rescue for a long, long time and she is the funniest of Mom’s rescue friends. Always upbeat and happy, she keeps everyone laughing with her sparkly sense of humor. Mom says that is a real good thing she is around, because dog rescue can be a heartbreaking business and you need a good laugh now and then to keep you sane. Auntie J helps Mom sort through the pile of applications.
Mom spends all her nights on the phone setting up “meet and greets” with interested adopters. In each conversation, once his propensity to act like a complete ass on a leash is discussed in detail, the family politely withdraws their application. I remember Auntie J telling Mom:” Be patient Newbie, we’ll find a home for your little Bear.” I hope she’s right. The applicants are dropping like flies along with Bear’s chances of a forever family. Poor Bear.
Bear is with us for two months- the longest foster yet.
Tommy casually suggests, “Maybe we could just keep him?” And believe it or not- I’m OK with the idea. Mom is the one who presses on.
Then finally, along comes a family that wants to make our little Bear their very own. It’s a match made in heaven and Bear is overjoyed. The day of the adoption, our bouncy( and if you ask me: ungrateful) baby boy jumped into their arms and hearts and never looked back. Which was a good thing, because if he did look back he would have seen Mom, crying like a baby.
As for me? I really miss that big headed wiener boy! ButI think the neighbors are secretly hoping Mom gives up the fostering thing.