And because everyone is stuck at home, a lot of people—particularly in Colorado—are adopting dogs right now. Inventory is tight. Dogs are flying off the proverbial shelves.
For example, a month or two ago, my husband (Bob) and I found a dog we liked down in Denver. Right before we got in the car for the long drive down (which would prove particularly trafficky and unpleasant that day), we called to make sure the dog was still available. He was. But by the time we arrived at the shelter, the dog was gone.
So. A couple of weeks ago, I saw this photo of "Nolan" on Petfinder, and I was smitten. I immediately began filling out the shelter's application. It took longer than I anticipated. (What will you do if your dog is destructive when left alone? What is your estimate of the routine yearly expense of owning a dog? etc.) My husband got a little irritated because I insisted on filling out the form RIGHT THEN on a Friday night. But I wasn't going to let this pup get away if I could help it.
We knew he'd be exhausted when we went to get him from Farfel's Farm & Rescue in Boulder. He would be coming straight from the vehicle transporting him and other dogs from Texas and New Mexico.
But things were worse than we'd anticipated.
"There's been a little incident," the woman behind the desk at Farfel's let us know when we arrived for our pickup appointment. The "incident" involved a frightened Nolan and a well-intentioned human trying to pick him up. And, well, a bite. (Dog-on-human, if you're wondering.)
OK. So now we were picking up a "dog that bites." But whatever— we were OK with that. (Just look at his picture.) It was decided that Nolan would stay in his dog crate so we could spare him the stress of taking him out. (And maybe spare ourselves from snapping jaws.)
The next few days were rough. The only way we could take Nolan outside for toileting was to carry him in the crate he stayed in all the time. He was very reluctant to leave it. Here he is on his second day with us: standing with three legs out, one leg in. He stayed in this position for a loooong time.
This dog was such a basket case, in fact, I had to check with Farfel's Rescue about his backstory. They had described him as "a bit shy at first," but this he was beyond shy. He was a wreck. I texted the lovely woman from Farfel's and got the whole story.
But I knew we had a full two weeks to "try out" this dog. And I hoped that with enough affection, safety, peace, and consistency, he might begin to settle.
I wanted more than anything to avoid taking him to the vet for his gastrointestinal issues, because I knew it would only traumatize him more. Could strings be pulled with the Farfel's vets? Could we just give them a "sample" from Nolan (what a euphemism!) and get a prescription?
My sage friend Sara Webster told me what I didn't want to hear about the vet:
I bit that bullet and made an appointment.
By this point, Nolan was starting to make some progress. He'd graduated from his opaque Farfel's crate (see above) to a wire one that let him see out and get used to his surroundings. He'd even ventured out loose in the house a little. I hoped that the trauma of a car trip and vet visit wouldn't take him right back to square one.
On his sixth day with us, we took Nolan to the vet.
He got meds.
He got better.
And Bob's been won over. Nolan is a keeper! 🎉
I'm writing this on day ten. Nolan's belly is all better. He has an appetite. He has energy. He has a personality! Now all he needs is a new name. (Opinions of the following and suggestions welcome.)