A Shaggy Dog Story

Anyone who has tried to adopt a dog will understand the heartbreak and frustration of scouring the classifieds, Kijiji, Petfinder and the local shelter websites looking for a dog that’s the right age, breed, gender and that’s actually available.

There is a shelter in Mission I have phoned and emailed many times and never heard back from.

We ended up buying our wee Molly from a breeder because we had spent months unsuccessfully trying to find a dog as a companion for Josie.

And we love Molly to pieces – she is a joy to both of us but she was a bit of an accident because we did not intend to get a dog that small. At 11 months old she has just weighed in at her full-grown adult weight of 5lb.

The other thing that we didn’t anticipate was Josie’s complete disinterest in this little hellion. In the entire time we’ve had Molly, they have never played together, though they do sleep together and snuggle now. Josie is so tolerant *snort*.

Mollie throws herself at Josie’s head continually. Jose stands there with her 4 feet firmly planted and with her teeth clenched. She never takes her eyes off me “See how good I am Mum”. She sometimes will actually vibrate with anger and frustration and NEVER reacts. She also never plays or joins in.

Consequently Jim and I spend a couple of hours a day playing with Molly because she needs the exercise and the attention – and it’s fun because she is so fast and incredibly agile. But it’s hard to get things done when you have to stop down and throw a ball for an hour.

Several times a week I have been going onto Petfinder and putting in all my criteria:
– small

– female

– young or puppy

and then I’d select a bunch of non-shedding breeds and the most important criteria of all


I always select 7 days.

Then I have to filter out all the dogs from China and Iran and California where the adoption fee “includes airfare to Canada”. Seriously, it seems like such a scam to me, and all the “stories” are like badly written romance novels that are regurgitated over and over again.

A couple of weeks ago I found a beautiful little puppy in Washington, wrote the application and was called the next day by the rescue lady and we arranged to meet the following day for me to meet and collect the dog. I was shocked that it all was happening so quickly. I woke up the next morning to an email from the breeder apologizing profusely that she had to cancel our appointment because she had an application from someone who wanted the puppy AND her litter-mate. Ack!

So, back to Petfinder…and voila!

On Wednesday night I found “Ollie” at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society…in Port Angeles. It’s 4.5hrs from here. But “Ollie” was a white shih tzu terrier mix and about 12 months old. NOT a puppy.

I showed Jim. He said “write the application”, so I did.

The shelter said that applications should be followed up with a phone call, so on Thursday I called and left a message. And another message. I was trying to work between puppy play times with Molly and it was nearly 5pm and I realized the shelter would be closing soon so I made one further call…thinking they might think I was too pushy, but “oh well”.

Lo and behold I actually got through to a real person who transferred me to the “Dog Tech” Brad.

Brad was lovely and said that he had seen the application and I told him we could travel through Sunday night and be there first thing Monday. He said that he couldn’t hold Ollie that long for me, so I said I would talk to Jim and come by myself on Friday if he would hold her for the day and he agreed.

When I told Jim, he said he would reschedule his day and that we should ALL go. And that we should leave TONIGHT.

I packed an overnight bag for us, booked a room and when he got home we took off straight away-ish, which is straight away for JIM but really means a lot of pissing about in anyone else’s frame of reference. It was a definite “straight away” record for Jim though. [in case he reads this].

The weather was fine when we left and we made really good time right through to Bellingham, where we stopped for a potty break for the girls and a sandwich for our dinner.

Then it started to rain. Then it started to sleet. Then I thought we had a flat tire because the car was swaying…and we realized we were driving through a mess of ice slush and the snow just got heavier and wetter. We were in a white knuckle white-out and we were going to miss the frikken FERRY. Additionally, there was a really good chance that we might die. We couldn’t see the road markings….it was treacherous. My Albertan husband who has driven in all kinds of conditions said it was the worst he had ever driven in.

FINALLY it eased off. Funnily enough the weather forecast for Everett said “light rain”.

We made the ferry, amazingly – the 10.30pm sailing from Edmonds and landed in Kingston 30 minutes later with another 90 minute drive to Port Angeles. Checked in, got the dogs settled and then poor Jim had to finish two estimates for work before he could get some sleep.

The shelter doesn’t open til 11 and we got there fashionably late at 11.30. They brought wee “Ollie” out. She was sweet and friendly and both our girls were calm with her.

The shelter didn’t know much about her – she had been transferred in from California the previous Saturday. All they could tell us was that she had been spayed and tattooed so had obviously been someone’s pet at some stage. The good thing about that was that THEY had named her and she was not accustomed to her name. Which was really great because “Ollie” and “Molly” are too similar. “Ollie” is a boys’ name and my grandson’s name is Ollie.

We were all done and adopted by around 12.30 and loaded the three girls into the car thinking we were slightly crazy. Actually a lot crazy.

I came up with Angie as a name right away. She is a blonde and “Angies” are blonde. Right?
We got her in Port Angeles and she came from California. It just seems to suit her and weirdly enough she responded to it immediately.

Angie – Right after we picked her up

After the mad rush to get there we decided to take our time getting home and explored the area a little. We took the girls to a dog park in Sequim and were amazed at how chill she was and how she and Molly immediately started interacting and playing.

She is very loving and cuddly and was very sweet but she was dirty and smelly.

When we finally got home, I bathed and brushed her and gave her bangs a trim. Then yesterday I made an appointment with our groomer, Joyce to give her a good clean up and trim.

She has the most beautiful eyes.

She is well house trained.

It’s like she KNOWS basic commands but definitely needs revision…but she comes and she is fine about being leashed.

I wish I knew her story.

She does NOT like to be confined and the first night she jumped out of the cage, which is 4 ft high – from a standstill.

Last night she ate her way out of her crate…so we aren’t sure how we are going to figure that out…

I guess, like most shaggy dog tales, this one might go on for a while.

Stay tuned.

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