Alfred is a seventy-pounds-of-pure-muscle, blocky-headed, slobber factory who loves long walks in the park, playing with his canine brother, and snuggling on the couch with his mom and dad. But Alfred wasn't always all smiles and snuggles. When I first met him, he was tied up out front of our neighbor's house, in the rain and covered in mud, at 7am on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. My then-boyfriend, M, was with me as we got in the car so I could drop him off at work, and we both knew that this scene just wasn't right. I looked to M and said "if that dog is still there when I get back, I have to do something about it," and, sure enough, half an hour later he was still there looking as sad as ever and so I slowly approached him and untied the leash, then brought him up to our back porch and out of the rain.
|Thank you! *wag, wag, wag*|
Here I was with an emaciated, muddy, strange dog tied to my back stairs looking at me with those big, sad eyes and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. M was stuck at work all day and our other dog was staying with Grandma and Grandpa all week since we had plans to travel out of town the upcoming weekend. I gave the poor guy a bowl of food and he scarfed it down in an instant. I tried giving him a bone to chew on and learned that he had some serious guarding tendencies. He had obviously been through a lot before arriving on my doorstep and so I just let him rest out on the porch while I made phone call after phone call trying to figure out what on earth one does with a dog you pick up off the street.
The rain finally let up, so I took the beastie man out for a walk around the block to clear my head. I'd have to take him to Animal Care and Control: the responsible, safe thing to do. Safe for me anyway. I didn't want to think about what might happen to the sickly-looking, resource-guarding pit bull once I'd dropped him off, but all I knew was there was no way he could stay here. Not with M and myself leaving town in a couple of days and returning with our own dog and back to our normal lives. It just didn't seem possible. I had to drop him off.
We got back from our walk and I called my friend B for some help getting him to the shelter. I figured he might have a better shot there if he at least wasn't covered in mud, so I hosed him down in the back yard. He stood patiently and licked my face, looking at me as if he knew his fate.
Please just hurry up and get this over with, I thought to myself, waiting for B to arrive. There's no way we can keep this dog. He needs to be somebody else's problem, not mine. Not now. My mind was made up.
|Are you sure??|
B finally pulled up after what seemed like forever and we made our way out the back door. Just then, my neighbor F was pulling up and stopped us to ask about the dog. I shared our morning's activities with him and told him we were on our way to the pound...that's when he reaffirmed all of the fears that had been swimming in my head about the fate of this unlucky pup. He offered to accompany me to (and pay for) a vet visit. He even offered to watch him over the weekend until M and I got back. Anything to keep him from taking that final trip: how could I say no?
And so the adventure continued, and Life with Alfred began. Why 'Alfred,' you ask? Well, M and I had promised our other dog that our next pet would double as his assistant and confidant, and we never break a promise...
|"Everything's impossible until somebody does it."|