Looking for pups in all the wrong places

As the Mister and I are preparing for the Big Move down the road, we’ve been looking for a dog-like individual to join our happy home. In our happy home, we have breed and size restrictions, plus self-imposed breed restrictions, so it’s been a little rough finding a pooch that checks all the boxes. It kind of reminds me of apartment hunting, except apartments aren’t cuddly.

We’ve turned to PetFinder (whose Foundation I support via SurveyMonkey Contribute) to look at dogs with local rescue groups. We’ve fallen in love several times, only to be disappointed (but happy, I guess), to know that the dogs have actually only just been adopted, or will be adopted within the week by other loving families searching for the exact same dog we are.

Now, the Mister and I got pretty impatient while apartment hunting. We just like to find what we want and be done with it. Blame it on the generational “instant gratification” thing, or the Midwestern ideal that things shouldn’t have to be impossibly difficult for no good reason. And now, we’re getting pretty impatient as we look for a dog to adopt.  Because, if I’m being completely honest, some of these rescue groups have pretty high standards for the area where we live — or for any area, honestly. How many boxes do you think most families who live in the NYC metro area can check on this one particular rescue’s list? (see below)

  • Fenced back yard required
  • Must own your home
  • Must have good credit
  • Must be able to comply with what we believe to be the dog’s needs after fostering the dog for a week (i.e. no children at all not even if they’re 16 and mature enough to know how to act around a dog, no children under age six [because five-year-olds are way different than six-year-olds?], no other pets, no cats, must have another dog to keep it company, no other dogs, must have a cat, must not smoke in the house)
  • In-home visit without the dog, three supervised visits with the dog, and two in-person interviews (Weekdays only)
  • You must, regardless of where you may live then, return the dog to the same rescue group from which you adopted it in the event you can no longer keep the dog. Even if you’re living in Germany. Or Morocco. Or Timbuktu. Get the dog back here. But we don’t ship dogs.
  • You must be at least 23 to adopt (again with the weird age restrictions! What is different about someone who is 22 versus 23? I was equally stupid at both ages.)
  • Adoption fee ranging between $400 and $1,500, regardless of breed, state of health, or amount of money the rescue group actually has invested in this particular dog

I’m not saying the work these rescue groups do isn’t admirable, because it really, really is. But we’re being rejected for things that are well beyond the scope of what most people can provide in this area of the country anyway. How successful is your rescue if only one in 50 applicants are even considered eligible to adopt from you? How can you deny someone you haven’t even given a chance or contacted or visited? It’s been so disappointing and full of such rigid restrictions that the Mister and I have been toying with the idea of purchasing from a breeder and have gone so far as to (gasp) contact a few to see if they have any litters available. (I feel really guilty about this because I don’t believe in buying from breeders when there are so many wonderful, homeless dogs out there. You know, the ones that are effing impossible to adopt.)

And then, the rescue groups send emails to people to deliver the news that the dog they fell in love with via a single photograph on a pet database has been adopted. Could they maybe at least not be condescending?

“Jack is meeting his new family today. They are a pre-approved home.”

Maybe I’d be a pre-approved home, too, if you’d at least try to get to know me.

The Things They Bought

From the Big Box Hardware Store:
Three bags of organic mulch (smells putrid)
One pack of plant markers for the garden (because all baby plants look the same — all babies look the same)
Two two-by-two boards (Noah’s ark?)
Pruners, for cutting back plants and pruning them for reasons I still don’t understand
Shop light and fluorescent bulbs, because who knew plants needed that much light
77-cent work apron (a very generous gift)

From the Overpriced Home Decorating Store:
A tiny owl stuffed animal, dubbed “Schnoingle” to keep its larger, similar-looking counterpart company (because we’re three years old?)

Lavender-scented car air freshener, on sale!
Two espresso mugs with matching saucers
Ceramic dish to put next to the sink to hold wedding rings so you don’t lose them and then cry
Two mismatched fabric napkins

From the Grocery Store Across the Street:
A 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi (yum)

Two cans of corned beef hash (canned meat, yum)
One slice of pound cake (yum)

From the Big Box Discount Store:
Yogurt (two kinds, because yogurt isn’t exactly the same?)

Gushers fruit snacks (again, three years old)
Ham and cheese
Convenience dinners (lazy)
Convenience lunches (lazy)
Giant can of coffee
Gift bag that the intended gift does not fit in (incompetent at understanding sizes)
Tissue paper (at least this works for the gift)
Oogled purses, but did not purchase (good job)

From the Gas Station With the Weird Entrances:
Gas, enough to fill car’s tank (a necessity)

Deli sandwich (it was good)
Two lottery scratchers tickets (worthless)

From the Internet:
Baby’s onesie with a tomato on it (for the non-existent baby)

Two books (duh)
Soil test kit (science-y stuff I don’t understand)
$65-worth of makeup from a company that probably tests on animals (shame on us and them)

From the “Corner” Drugstore Next to the Competing Drugstore:
Wedding card ($1.99, because I’m spending $1,000 just to attend)

Contact lens solution (with a coupon, because I’m not rich or anything)
Candy (duh)
Photo printout of an attempt at making a photograph look like a watercolor (only mildly successful)



Today was a very rotten day for me, which was remedied in the most adorable way ever (OK, not EVER, but it was pretty adorable nonetheless).

The Mister cleaned up from dinner and went to check on our greenhouse. He yelled a very loud, scary yell that sounded like a danger warning. In a panic, I rushed over to find…


These itsy-bitsy marigold sprouts, four days before they were expected.

These itsy-bitsy marigold sprouts, four days before they were expected.



this tiny, perfect cucumber sprout -- already!

this tiny, perfect cucumber sprout — already!

Pardon my terrible cell phone photos. I’m no photographer, that much is clear.

However, I might have a green thumb.