Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scout's Story

Early December, after much thought, we decided to get a dog. For financial and philosophical reasons, we planned to go the rescue/adoption route. We searched online and visited shelters around the city, looking for a dog that would fit in our tiny apartment. We were beginning to feel discouraged because all we could find were huge dogs; mostly pitbull mixes.

After weeks of searching, Ainsley found the Havanese-Yorkie with one ear. We met her 'foster mom' (a kookie woman from New Jersey) who rescued her from a puppy mill. We met in the dog friendly Hotel Pennsylvania and began to become attached. We paid the fee to cover her shots, signed a contract, took pictures, posted them online, called friend and family, and bought her food and treats and toys and a bed. The woman offered to hang onto the dog over the holidays so we wouldn't have to fly with our new puppy. We were thankful for this option and planned to pick her up as soon as we arrived in New York from Seattle.

Needless to say, the holidays were spent showing off more pictures, brainstorming names and preparing ourselves for life with a dog.

Ainsley called to check in on December 26 - no answer.
She tried on December 27 - no answer.
December 28 - no answer.

Finally, from the Sea-Tac airport, Ainsley gets ahold of this lady and the saga began. Here's her side of the FISHY story, in first person:

* I didn't want to spoil your holiday so I didn't call you back until now.
* The dog has had an accident
* It was staying in a crate, 7 ft off the ground
* I heard a loud bang from the next room and came running
* The dog had somehow opened the door of her crate and fell to the ground on her head
* She is now 'neurological,' twitching eyes and all
* No, you can't come see her - she's at the vet
* No, I won't give you the vet's number. The vet doesn't appreciate prospective parents calling about their dogs. We have a unique relationship and they cut me a deal because I rescue dogs and I can't afford to jeopardize that relationship.
* Once she comes home from the vet , you may not see her until I give you permission because I won't release her to you until i know she is 100% recovered.
* I will give you one daily update via text message - no more.

All of this information came while we were waiting to catch our flight. Ainsley was sad - I was furious.

It all seemed super shady to me. After days of being strung along we finally came to the conclusion that:
a. the dog was dead and this lady had fabricated the story and drug us along to get us so frustrated and hopeless that we gave up and moved on.
b. she sold the dog for a profit and created this story to make us move on.
c. she had become attached to the dog and created the story so she could keep her.

She was extremely rude, unapologetic, and defensive each time we spoke with her so we decided, reluctantly to turn the dog down. We texted her giving her our mailing address and requesting a refund. She responded with "as per your contract, you will recieve your money within two weeks."

Wednesday marks the 2 week mark. We'll see.

All of this drama left us feeling pretty bummed. When we finally let this dog go, Ainsley and I looked at our pile of dog food, treats, bed and such with a sigh.

We had planned to go the movies but decided to stay in and search for another dog on our laptops. After 3 hours of searches and applications, we found Scout. Ainsley applied at midnight and recieved a response at 12:15am saying that we had been approved for adoption. We looked at each other, then read the address of the puppy rescue where she was - Olmsted Falls, Ohio.

Long story short, we booked a ticket at 12:30. I left the door at 6:45 the next morning and flew into Akron. I rented a car, drove an hour to the sprawling suburb, met the dog, learned her story, signed the papers and was back on the road within an hour, puppy aboard.

When I finally, got back to the apartment it had been a 24 hour trip.

In a nutshell, here's Scout's story.
* Rescued from a puppy mill with two siblings
* The founder rescue agency had a house fire where she lost everything including several dogs and cats
* Scout and her siblings were staying in the barn so they were safe from the flames.
* In order to deal with her incredible loss, the woman gave the surviving dogs to her friend who also ran a puppy rescue so she could adopt them out.
* 'A New Leash on Life Rescue' is the name of the second agency.
* She had only posted Scout's availability online for 12 hours when we found her.


roddyboy said...

that is sooooooo sad. ugh. beauty from ashes?

The Cornwells said...

First of all..SHADY!!! That lady sounds like no good. I hope that you get your money back. But most importantly you ended up with Scout. And you seem to have found the perfect fit for your family:)