MAKE IT A GREAT DAY (Part 1): Gotcha Day for Erma = Trust the gut!

I accidentally got on the wrong bus that Saturday afternoon three years ago, mistaking RTA No. 16 for No. 17, and as RTA No. 16 pulled away I decided to simply enjoy the ride.

My iPhone bus app was not working while in full motion so I had no idea where it was taking me as it meandered south on Wayne Avenue, then Smithville Road, then Wilmington Pike, and into the northern neighborhoods of Kettering. I would figure something out.

As the bus passed through the intersection of Forrer Blvd and Wilmington Pike, I began getting a “nudge” to get off the bus, which I did.

I don’t even remember why I felt compelled to cross to the east side of the street when I would soon take a turn westward toward my home 1.5 miles away.

I do remember seeing a folks moving through the parking lot of SICSA and for some reason, I joined the crowd. It was a rather warm day and once inside the A|C was refreshing.

“Welcome to SICSA!” a warm voice volunteer greeted. I was asked several other questions and before I knew it I was in a larger room filling out an application.

But, for what? Why? I had Chief, Bailey, and Harrigan at home. Three was plenty and quite manageable.

“We’ll let you go back in smaller groups,” another SICSA volunteer directed some of us into the first dog room by the lobby while the other half of our group moved through the door to the kennels.

I stood in the middle of the large tile-floor room still wondering why I was there. I finally moved by some of the cages, not engaging with any of the dogs who seemed subdued and not interested in greeting their guests.

I walked to the back kennels. Suddenly, the world came to life with dogs barking and clamoring for attention. I was hooked.

I spent at least thirty minutes, perhaps longer, stopping to chat with each dog, taking time to read their profile sheets.

One particular pooch, “Precious,” seemed loud, ferocious, and far too demanding than my taste permitted. I tried to spend time with her but she exasperated me with her constant barking.

I was accustomed to a well trained, orderly, but still energetic team back at The Haasienda. They executed commands in English, German, and adapted sign language, and firmly knew procedure for my in-home studio teaching schedule.

This “Precious” pooch was aggravating.

“Is there one or several that we can assist you with more information?” the sweet SICSA employee asked.

HUH???? I wasn’t there to get a dog! I was just…

I handed her a card where I had listed six dogs.

We went back into the main lobby and into the first cubicle by the check out station. The SICSA agent began pulling up the profiles, none of which seemed to be a fit for The Haasienda. I was becoming distressed.

But, wait! I wasn’t even wanting another dog.

After pulling up several more pooch-files, she turned and asked, “Now, did you happen to see No. 7?” I shook my head that I didn’t believe so. She pulled up the profile that belonged to Precious!

I pulled back a bit and reported that all Precious did was bark at me and didn’t seem to like me.

“Precious?” asked the employee? “Really? She’s everyone’s favorite, here. We’re really surprised no one has adopted her. I would but I’ve already got two and my husband said I was to bring home no more dogs.”

Precious? Really?

We read through her profile and she seemed like “the dream dog,” “the perfect pooch,” or (I’m almost done) “the caring canine.” But, she was obnoxious and agitating.

Per my comments, the SICSA lady rose and said, “Let me bring Precious in so you can meet her away from the other dogs.”

A few minutes later, this bold, energetic dog burst into the cubicle. She seemed to ignore me and was busy exploring the small space and smelling the floor and walls. I was accustomed to dogs coming right to me but this little lady seemed to care less I was a potential adoptive dad.

(Or, did she already know? Hmmm…)

Another SICSA personnel leaned over the cubicle wall and asked my assistant something who turned to ask if I was interested in Precious.

Yes. (I have no idea where that came from but it seemed decided.)

My SICSA gal turned back to her colleague and before she could say anything I asked if something was wrong.

“Oh, no. Someone else inquired about Precious and she is very interested.”

Without reconsideration, I said, “Please let her meet Precious. If she ends up taking her, that’s fine. I have three at home.”

They wanted to be sure that I wasn’t feeling pressured. Nope. Not at all. “If the lady doesn’t want her, I’ll take her.”

With Precious out of the cubicle I felt some relief.

Why was I there?

What I’m the hell was I thinking?

How would I bring a new dog into The Trio?

It still did not feel “right” but I didn’t budge. Ironically, I didn’t pull out my bus app to see when the next RTA would be approaching. I wanted to leave SICSA but my gut glued me to the cushioned bench in the cubicle.

The SICSA associate returned with Precious. “The lady’s not interested. She thinks Precious is too old.”

“How old is she?”

“She just turned nine last month.”

Gulp! Chief was a year younger than Precious. Ugh. An older dog? A much older dog. All my others had been between 8-10 weeks old when I brought them home. And, what’s that phrase about teaching an old dog new tricks?”

Even at this juncture, I was not feeling a connection to Precious. Oh, and the name made me want to hurl. When we got Chief and Navi, Jose wanted to name Navi something like “Pretty Girl.” Barf. We don’t do cute or insignificant names with our pets. Even though I couldn’t change the names of the sons when I adopted them, I could change the names of an adopted pet. In fact, I didn’t even inquire at SICSA for fear she’d turn into a typical soft voiced concerned welfare worker, “Well, we don’t recommend changing their name because it make affect their bonding…”

I would take care of that later.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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