Remember this guy?

Cooper

I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I checked the Humane Society page at least 3 times a day to see if anyone had adopted him yet. On Thursday night, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose, and so I e-mailed our homeowner’s association board to see if they’d grant us a one-time exemption to the “two dogs per household” rule in our CC&Rs. I didn’t really think they’d be flexible, but on Friday night I got an e-mail back from them saying to go ahead and thanks for asking permission.

I hadn’t even told Mr. Vox that I e-mailed them; I didn’t think there was any point in it unless they actually did say yes. But Mr. Vox is a softie where dogs are concerned, and is usually up for change (one of his best features), and after we spent the next 36 hours thinking about it and going over and over it in our heads, we decided this morning to make Cooper a part of our family.

We loaded Junior Vox and her dog, Daisy, into the car. Daisy is a golden retriever we rehomed via Craigslist three years ago. She’d been exclusively a backyard dog for the first two years of her life, in that she got walked maybe once a week and didn’t get to live in the house. The only dogs she had contact with were her litter-mate, and a Jack Russell terrier that lived in the neighbor’s house. She and the JRT would antagonize each other through the fence. When we got her, she’d never even been swimming before, which is pretty sad for a dog that was bred for the water. Daisy and JV bonded instantly, and it’s been a love story for them ever since. However, due to her poor socialization earlier in her life, Daisy has had some troubles with some other dogs. It’s not every dog–she has done great with both the springer spaniel we owned when we first got her (he died a year ago), as well as the springer pup we got (another Craigslist rehomer) after that. Daisy has had issues with other dominant female dogs, but we’d never seen her have a problem with a male. Still, we figured we’d better make sure before we brought Cooper home.

We took Daisy out to the Humane Society exercise yard, and one of the employees brought Cooper out and walked him around to potty for a couple of minutes before calling us to bring Daisy over. Daisy and Cooper got within a couple feet of each other, then they both went crazy. They reared against their leashes and snarled and tried to get at each other. Mr. Vox and the employee kept them apart. The employee said, “That’s not going to work out.” I said, “You don’t think we could try it again?” He said, “No. You don’t want to get them home and have them get in a big fight with one of you in the middle. It just won’t be a good fit.”

Junior Vox and I looked at each other and we both had tears in our eyes. She said, “We can’t have Cooper?” (She’d been so, SO excited when Mr. Vox and I told her this morning that we were going to go adopt Cooper.) I said, “No, I don’t think so, honey.” So we both got down on the ground, cuddled Cooper and gave him lots of scratching, and we said goodbye.

I cried all the way home, and I’ve been crying off and on all day. I feel like I left my own dog at the shelter today.

I know he’ll get adopted and he’ll have a great life. I just wanted it to be with us. In the meantime, we need to get Daisy some help. We don’t want her to get hurt, or to hurt someone else’s dog. I have an ad up on Craigslist right now, explaining the situation and asking for recommendations for a trainer or behaviorist. We don’t know what to do.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 4:27 am and is filed under Anonyvox Junior, Casa Anonyvox, My Vox. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

6 Comments Leave a comment

    Morgan said:

    Feb. 25, 2013

    So sorry to hear you lost the chance to have this sweet guy in your life. I’m envisioning joyful outcomes for everyone involved–all you Voxes, Daisy, and Cooper.

    Donna said:

    Feb. 25, 2013

    OK, not to be a jackass with the assvice here, but lots of dogs act aggressively with each other when they are on leash but given the chance to greet each other and sniff each other they way nature intended, they do fine. Is there any way you could figure out to let them do this, to see for sure? I so want Cooper to be a Vox! (sorry if I’m annoying)

    Kate said:

    Feb. 25, 2013

    I agree with Donna. It’s the leash thing, I swear. One of our dogs is a TOTAL shit to other dogs, doing exactly what you described, if he is on a leash. Off leash, he wags his tail and plays. I maintain it’s because they feel defensive if they have a leash on. When we introduced him to our second dog, we met at a park (neutral territory) and they played like crazy. Once home, there were a couple of knock-down drag-outs (over food), but once they established who was boss, they’ve gotten along beautifully for the past 6 years. Just saying. It might be worth another try.

    Shelly said:

    Feb. 25, 2013

    Oh, my heart breaks for you all.

    Mouse said:

    Feb. 26, 2013

    I’m so sorry for you and your family. I see both sides of this. First, an animal’s behavior in a shelter is never a good indiation of their true personality. I’ve know this from experience. The cat we rescued in December was labeled a Queen Bitch who should be the only cat in a home, and she became BFF’s w/ our existing cat w/in weeks.

    No matter how great the shelter is, it’s a stressful and competitive environment for the animals and they will behave accordingly. On the other hand, it’s not fair to your existing animals to introduce an animal into their home that isn’t a good fit. Then, everyone becomes stressed and acts out.

    There’s no win, and my heart is broken for you. I hope Cooper finds his forever home quickly.

    Persistence | Anonyvox said:

    Feb. 27, 2013

    [...] I can be a little bit tenacious. I still felt not quite finished in pursuing adopting Cooper the Dog. I went back to the shelter yesterday and gave them a pitch for letting us introduce Cooper to our [...]

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