Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Poochless in Seattle

Pooch Watch 2007 has started with a whimper. I did not get the sweet dog I applied to adopt. It was a long shot but I had very much hoped I would be chosen. There are several things going against me as far as being a future dog owner.

First of all there are literally next to zero small dogs for adoption within a 100 mile radius of my city. While this is very good news showing that dog parents are living up to the responsibilities of their charges it means I am shit out of luck for a simple and easy adoption scenario. I called a nearby shelter today and they told me they hadn’t had a small dog for adoption in over a year. Mind you if I wanted a Rottie or a Pitt Bull there are hundreds of them available. However, I am smart enough to know they are too much dog for me.

I have to break here for a 'mo and tell you about the one single small dog available for adoption in a nearby city. It is a Yorkie that was picked up wandering the streets of L.A. He has no teeth, a bad heart, bad kidneys, incontinence, and only one eye. ONE EYE!!!! Doesn’t this story sound like a Quentin Tarantino movie? Seriously. Holy crap!

Ok, back to my whinge.

Another strike against me is that I live in an apartment and people with fenced yards always get priority in dog adoptions. This is very unfair as I live in a fabulous dog friendly neighbourhood surrounded by parks and trails in the woods. I also have a very large and secure roof garden for off leash fetch sessions. There is an off leash beach and park a 10 minute drive away. My building is exceptionally dog friendly with, I estimate, 40%-50% of tenants owning at least one dog. I was talking with a neighbour who said she tried to adopt a dog for several months and finally gave up and bought one. She loves her dog but thought it was crazy she was passed over due to the yard situation. Honestly, I think it can work out better for a dog because the fact that we live in an apartment and have to physically take a dog out for bathroom duties it ensures they get more productive walks versus a person who just lets a dog out into a yard to do its thing without any kind of interaction. I’m just saying…

So I looked in a couple of local papers for what sounded like reputable breeders and found that mixed breed small dogs cost about $1500 to buy while pure breeds cost about $3000. Well, that kind of purchase is not going to happen for me any time soon. Initially I thought that this range of prices would probably deter emotional and unsuitable purchasers which was a good thing for dogs in general but changed my mind when I saw how many pure bred large dogs are in shelters. We all know people often have more money than sense.

So I am being steered toward out-of-country adoption such as a lot of prospective parents do for non-furry children. Sadly, the US has loads of small dogs in shelters and rescues. In fact the sweet dog I applied for was located in Seattle, a 3-4 hour drive away. There are problems with this as well. Many rescue shelters do not adopt out to out-of-state or country applicants because doing home checks and after adoption checks are so time consuming and expensive. I can totally understand this but with the small dog shortage here they are missing out on a huge group of willing adopters. I have decided that if I do manage to adopt a dog from Washington State I will volunteer to perform home-checks for them in my area so they can facilitate more adoptions up here.

But saying that it can still be quite expensive to adopt a shelter or rescue dog from the US since they often charge adoption fees as high as $500. Take in account the exchange rate to Canadian funds along with at least two trips across the border using a few tanks of gas on top of all the supplies ones needs to get and obedience classes and a vet check needless to say it can get very pricey.

Now I know what a lot of you are saying. If I can’t afford to shell out aprox $1000 for a dog then I probably shouldn’t get one. Believe me I have taken that into consideration and totally understand this point of view. The fact is I can (with some recent lifestyle adjustments) afford supplies for a dog as well as a reasonable adoption fee. I can afford pet health insurance so I don’t have to worry about large vet bills and I can certainly afford food and an obedience class or two. What I don’t have is a huge lump sum to hand out all at once.

So the plan is this. I will continue to check local and US adoption sites on the internet and by phone. I will continue to contribute to my Poochum Fund so I can afford a higher adoption fee as the funds grow over the next few months. I will continue to be open to the whole process and see what comes my way. But I now realize I will have to be more patient. Waaaaayyyy more patient.

So thank you, Universe, for once again placing me in a situation where I become brutally aware of how grossly impatient I am. I’m working on this issue, honest! Cut me some slack.

In the meantime I am cuddling Yoshi and spoiling her rotten. Enabling her Q-Tip habit and lap addiction. Crushing her head any way I can think of.


elizabeth said...

it's funny that you pointed out the fact that apartment dwellers have to physically walk their dogs, because when i was being interviewed to get my dog from the breeder (and a good breeder will treat it like that), she had the same opinion.

i had talked to a couple of breeders, and some had been reluctant about an apartment, but she made the exact point you did, and would rather her puppies go to a home where daily walks were a must, as opposed to the open-door-go-pee-and-poop type homes. i'm sure you'll encounter someone who sees the sense in this.

still crossing fingers for the successful krankipooch.

happy and blue 2 said...

Sorry you didn't get your dog.
I have heard that Mexican breeders are quite good at sneaking their dogs across the border. You could try them.

I also don't think I would tell places that you could play fetch with your dog on the roof. Secure or not it probably makes them think of the dog jumping off the roof to "fetch" the ball. Unless you could show them photos of trampolines surrounding the apartment block at ground level. Then it probably would be ok..

lawyerchik said...

Awwww - that's too bad, Kranki!! I know this isn't much, but look at it this way: this wasn't your dog. Your dog isn't ready yet, and if you already had another dog when yours wasn't ready, what would happen to your dog? :)

Hang in there!!

eclectic said...

Pssssst..... hey Kranki? I live in Washington state. And there is a wonderful shelter here that does adoptions for very reasonable. They're online at, enter zip code 98801. If you need a local connection to "adopt" the dog for you, we can talk.

kalki said...

Patience is so overrated.

Lazy Lightning said...

Man, we must have had good luck with shelters. In oregon, adoption fees were around $100 and they didn't do a home visit -- all they did was require proof of ownership of your dwelling, or else required a phone number where they could call your landlord and make sure the landlord allowed the pet at your apartment.

I'm sure you'll find a pup who needs you and yoshi!

JP said...

Those fees and costs for a dog are unreal! I know that the rescue we support has way lower fees than that and we get in small dogs all the time. Interesting that there's a shortage where you are. Maybe it's a regional thing. Cross the border baby!!! There's a pup out there just waiting for you, I know it!!

alan said...

I can't believe you're going to have to import a dog, but it sounds like "eclectic" has the way to go!

I have to stay away from "Petfinder" because I cry over them all!

Good luck!


Sharkey said...

There's one other option that you might consider checking into . . . if you find a rescue in your area that you like and then you find a dog somewhere else that you want to adopt, you might ask the rescue who has the dog if they'd allow the rescue in your area to do the home visit. They might be willing to cooperate.

I totally get it about adopting from a foreign country and the outrageous expenses! :)

Squirl said...

I think that Yoshi is putting a hex on your poochum search.

Sorry about that. I hope something works out for you.

thinking_woman said...

dont forget the most important part of this process ~ no matter what you intend or how you think this is going to go, Your Dog Will Choose YOU! :)

sending you wished for plenty of patience until Your Poochum finds you!

Twisteduterus said...

one will come along and it will be a very very lucky dog.

SassyFemme said...

If there's a specific breed you're interested in check the rescue for that breed. Many (most?) purebreds have their own rescue groups, where the animals are fostered in homes, and available for adoption.

Susie said...

This is unbelievable! Our newspapers are always full of "free to good home" ads. Cheez! The shelter dog we adopted years ago cost us $35 at the SPCA. The VBD we have now was abandoned in a state park. Your doggy is out there somewhere. Don't give up. xxx

Anonymous said...

Contact me ASAP I have a yorkie. We need to find a good home from him. He's a great dog but has a few problems like nevus peeing and pancrentitice(spelled horrible wrong). Email me at if you want more info. Oh and we live in seattle.