Of All The Gin Joints In All The World She Walks Into Mine

September 8 | 15 Comments

Bad to the bone Memoir of a rebel doggie bloggerHere’s my adoption story (and an excerpt from my upcoming book). Please feel free to share your adoption story or thoughts in the comments section.

We met back in the early 90′s, December of ’92 to be exact. I just had a major blowout with my first, somewhat dysfunctional family and decided that it was best for all if I just left. My foster dad gave me a ride to nowhere that ended up at a boarding house in Albany, NY. The place was great, warm with plenty of company, and their cheesy poof biscuits were to die for. On the downside, it was loud and smelly, not unlike me.

Even a lowly pug could smell her coming from miles away. It was Monday, as I recall, and the bells on the door jingled to announce her arrival. She was a beautiful blonde with a quick smile and a big heart. We’d seen this type before; they usually left with one of the pure bred puppies, but something was different about this one. My instincts told me that any canine would be darn lucky to go home with a dame like her, so I made it my top priority to be that hound.

She wandered back to where we lived. Frankly, I was a bit embarrassed about the condition of the place. Some of my cage mates were not very clean and some even took to pooping where they ate. My next cage neighbor’s lack of etiquette was particularly noteworthy as he took to eating kitty snickers (that’s slang for cat poo in the big house) openly. Sure they taste good, but you’re not getting adopted if you’re seen eating one.

As she came closer to my humble accommodations, I tried everything I could to grab her attention. When she finally got to me I made direct eye contact with her, angled my head at a 45 degree tilt and gave her my trademark BoPaw’ reach. As a bonus, my head as a pup was fully-grown, although my body wasn’t. While it would have been abnormal on any other dog, my oversized cranium actually made me cuter.

With the paw in the air and the bobble head turned just so, I stared into her eyes. I could see instantly she wanted me. Needed me. Had to have me. Hey who wouldn’t?

With her finely manicured nails, she reached out and petted me. She was clearly enjoying our encounter. How easy these humans are to manipulate, I thought. Her hands were refreshingly cool and her smell put me in a state of delight. I was in love. I could tell she loved me too.

After a few gushing, “He’s so cute!” comments, she took her hand out of my cage, gave me one last look and proceeded to move on to Pumpkin’s cage.

What?? Move on?! Hey, we just made a connection. You can’t move on. But that’s exactly what she did.

Realizing I was still sitting there with a half-cocked head and a paw in the air, I felt my muzzle glow red hot under my furry face as the other dogs chuckled with delight. After a few minutes I got my bearings back, but by then she had moved through the room, out the door and out of my life.

My hope for a better life was gone as quickly as it had come. A depression enveloped me. The brief glimpse of a superior existence with a loving, caring humanoid was replaced with the stark reality that I may spend the rest of my life at this boarding house. What was once a fun and refreshing place became a dark and daunting cave.

This brush with love, and the subsequent loss of it, had me thinking of ending things in this world. I had heard the stories of the different ways it was accomplished but I knew that if I were going to do it, there was only one way. I knew to whom I could turn.

His given name was Charlemagne Brutus the IV, but he was better known in the house as the Candyman. His studded dog collar betrayed an otherwise noble and tame appearance. C’man slept on the best blankets, drank from the shiniest bowls and rarely took to begging for human food. He was well connected and living life that way.

I approached Candyman during exercise time in the yard. While the other dogs were working on their begging routines, he let on to me that he had a shipment of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate candy bars on the way. For the right price he would let me have them. As the reader clearly knows, as did I, chocolate will kill a canine quicker than a game of “chase the cat” in traffic. Yeah, that quick.

I was desperate, I wanted out of this life and this was the easy path. Death by chocolate, as it is commonly referred to in the restaurant business, was only two Hershey bars away for me. Once ingested, I would soon be patrolling the pearly gates of heaven, looking of course for a place to dig out underneath it. Paradise awaited me.

I knew the price, two greenies and a peanut butter filled kong for each candy bar. The only problem, I had no money and I was unemployed. The price too steep, I resigned myself to the situation at hand. At least death would come seven times faster than it does for others on this lonely, desolate planet. I lay down and quickly dozed off.

<Initiate dream sequence, twitching and yelping> “…and if you want any input into what kind of dog we get, I suggest you get your butt over here after work!” the angry voice yelled. The words came from an angel; the very same angel that had visited the dog reclamation center earlier in the day, although in the dream she seemed a little heavier. (Ed note: dreams add 10 lbs to your frame.) <End dream sequence, twitching and yelping>

When I awoke, the angel was standing over me. Next to her was a very handsome young man. So handsome you might think he was gay, but let me assure the reader he is not. The sexiest man alive looked at me and said, “He’s cute. Let’s get him.”

“I want you to look at this one over here too,” the angel countered.

What? Another dog? She’s betraying me all over again. Ice must surely flow through this one’s veins. Did I mention this all happening during the Christmas season? Was I just like a Douglas Fir being picked up, twirled and then tossed aside while the next Christmas tree gets evaluated?

Fortunately Prince Charming had his wits about him. “No, I like this one, he’s so dopey looking,” clearly referring to me, “We don’t need to look at any of the others. He’s the one.” I didn’t much care for his attitude but his decision-making capability was flawless.

Knowing that once prospective parents take a dog for a ‘test’ walk, they will adopt the pet 98% of the time, Nurse Cratchet saw her opportunity. “Would you like to take him out for a walk, just to make sure you like him?” she offered. She was eager to get rid of me after my failed attempt at unionizing the locals to get better victuals.

I was put on a leash and escorted out the door. Once outside I made a beeline for my potential owner’s car. It was easy to pick out; my sense of smell is incredible. In a show of respect I immediately peed on it. I then proceeded to ignore them as they fawned all over me. Once you have them this far, you show them you don’t want them and they’ll want you more. It’s a sick world, but you have to play by the rules. Remember, don’t hate the player; hate the game.

The ploy worked, they wanted me. With the decision made I pranced back toward my former home to pack my belongings.

“Not so fast my friend,” Cratchet cackled, “We need to make sure you get all your required shots before we can release you to these fine folks.”

What? I can’t leave yet? What a shot in the nads, which by the way were already gone. My new parents were informed to come pick me up later in the week.

As they went to put me back in my cage, I did my best to stop this course of action. With a rope around my neck, I sat down and forced two, it might have been three, of the staff’s goons to drag me across the floor and to my destination. What a sight it must have been. I glanced at my new owners who stared at the commotion with a half smile and a half shocked look that said, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” It’s a look they would share many times in our future together.

Like it or not, the ice princess and her prince were now my parents for life. I couldn’t be happier but I would soon realize the more family members you have the merrier it is.


15 Responses to “Of All The Gin Joints In All The World She Walks Into Mine”

  1. Trip on September 15th, 2007 8:17 am

    I am proudly canine and my name is Trip.  I am of the Jack Russell Terrier variety, specificly:  brown , white and scruffy.  I decided to take ownership of two humans back in October '02.  Other canines might refer to this as being adopted, not me, I referred to it as ownership from the get go.  My humans visited their local pet store in October '02.  A demure wag of my tail and coy body posture had them hooked.  Since that time I have trained them well.  My humans have learned to play ball and retreive it when I am tired, scratch my belly when it is exposed, provide treats at my whim, and cover me with a blanket when I am cold.  Bo you were correct, "the more family members you have the merrier it is," those humans are so lucky to have me!

  2. Bo on September 16th, 2007 9:43 am

    Trip, thanks for sharing your story!

    It's nice to see you've trained your parents well. Let's face it, they're suckers for the furry ones. And just think, they still believe they're the ones in control.

    There's one born every day.

  3. Wishbone on September 22nd, 2007 5:05 pm

    Bo, keep those paws typing – can't wait to read the rest of your story!!

  4. Gee Pup on October 18th, 2007 1:31 pm

    Aren't people a trip?  Love your style, can't wait for more of the story!  I picked mine because she always smells like food.  All I know is that my own twin bed beats the hell out of the second tier cage I had at the track, and I love it when she brings home salmon from work.  I so own that woman.  Gotta go, she's here for my pedicure…  Regards, Gee Pup

  5. Freddie on October 18th, 2007 3:00 pm

    I had a rough start in life, especially since black lab crosses are a dime a dozen in these parts. My name is Freddie and in the beginning a nice family took me from my mom and wanted me for a hunting dog. I am really scared of guns. They kept me till I was 12wks old and they scared me all of the time with the shots from that gun. I was dropped off at the humane society, where nice people too care of me.  I was there for 1.5 years! I saw lots of my buddies find their forever homes, while I was left there. A worker took very good care of me, I was her "special boy". The sadest day ever was when my long time resident buddy Baxter had to leave w/his new family. I just knew that by now, I would never find a home. One day a pretty lady and her husband came looking for a dog. They were particulary interested in a blue heeler that was new to the place…but she had read about me and my long time plight for a loving home. So, for the first time in forever I was brought up front to meet people. I was very very nervous and shook alot. The nice lady and her husband spoke softly to me and I rolled over for a belly rub. She was mine! Finally I had a home of my own.
    My new home is great. I follow my mom everywhere. She calls me her "big boy". I love life!

  6. Sarah on October 22nd, 2007 5:27 pm

    There I was…walking along the street when somebody grabbed me & stuck me in the car. My big belly was showing, but I was hungry and hoping they'd take me to their house. Yea, they kept me about a week after I delivered my 9 babies. Then off to the Big House, it was scary. Everyone probing at me & my babies. I heard someone say "They're healthy" then we were taken to a quiet room all to ourselves. I got plenty of food & water and someone always checking in on us. I was about 3 weeks into my sentence when one of the guards came in with some lady with nice brown eyes like mine. Me & my nine packed into her truck & off for a ride. We arrived at her home where we had a huge indoor pen, clean blankets, food, water & all the Milkbone biscuits I could eat…it was Heaven! She had a couple of other mutts running around so I "smiled" at them when they came near the pen. The lady told them to get away from the pen. She also had a couple of cats that would visit me. The lady kept my cage clean, played with my "youngens" & always gave me some special time outside the pen where I'd eat 2 or 3 milkbones…boy they were good! It was just a few days before Christmas back in '05 when she packed us up & back to the Big House we went. I thought I did something wrong… I heard the guards talking about the Lady & how she'd lost a Border Collie after 16 yrs, just a few months back. They said she really liked me because I looked like the dog who went to the Rainbow Bridge. I was black & white just like her other one. The next day I had an operation so I couldn't have anymore babies AND she came back to pick me up. She told me all my babies were adopted in one hour.  The lady takes me for rides…which I LOVE…and all kinds of places! We still have our "special time" where she gives me a couple of biscuits & scratches my belly. She always bringing home these mutts who stay for awhile, then they must go back to the Big House. I know she loves me & my 2 sisters, she tells us so!

  7. Quinn on December 17th, 2007 4:16 am

    Great story Bobo

  8. Luckeyboy from Doggyspaces on May 22nd, 2008 10:06 am

    OH BO I loved your story you are the coolest doggy I know! And your site is pawsume dude! Love your new buddy forever Luckeyboy in Alabama?

  9. Anonymous on May 26th, 2008 4:40 pm

    I love you too?????

  10. Athens, Austin, Braedey, Kenzie and Tucker on October 1st, 2008 9:40 pm

    Well we just want to say what a wonderful adoption story. Mommy read this to us and then she told us she is definitely getting the book when it comes out.

  11. lagene on October 2nd, 2008 1:44 pm


  12. lagene on October 2nd, 2008 1:46 pm

    Bo, if we could all be as clever and happy as you are…..what a wonderful world this would be!!

  13. Dahlia on October 2nd, 2008 3:20 pm

    I apparently suffer from amnesia. My first memory was of me walking lost in the country; barefoot, pregnant, homeless, and nameless. The dog cops picked me up and took me to a high-kill shelter. It seems small gals like me aren’t a valued commodity in rural areas. Luckily a foster family took me in, named me Squeaker (ok, so I yelp when I’m excited….), and cared for me ’till I had my pups. Being cute little buggers, they got adopted easily, but I was too scared to come out of my cage to entice any potential owners.  Don’t know what happened in my first life, but I was scared of strangers, especially men and children. My foster folks took me to a craft show, posted my picture, and some lady took a liking to me. The next thing I know, I’m in a strange lap, shaking like a leaf, and taken to a new home. The lady, I’ll call her Mom, talked to me, gave me food. a bed , and something called love. I resisted a lot of her efforts, but my barriers started to break down. Heck, we went on car rides, visits to other dogs, and some one evil, known as a vet. (You want to put that stick WHERE ?????)  I learned that a leash is a good thing–it takes you to streets where there’s pee-mail, squirrels, birds, and poop to roll in. The first walk to the woods was scarey. I cried and didn’t want history to repeat itself, but it turns out to be a doggy disneyland! Now our second home is the dog park where I’ve learned to make dog pals, and people aren’t all that scarey. (Am still trying to make sense of children, tho-noisy, scarey things…..) Mom says we found each other, and what a good thing!

  14. Jasmine on October 2nd, 2008 4:47 pm

    I’m Jasmine, an American Staffordshire Terrier.  I was rescued by an animal rescue shelter in Murray, KY the day before I was to be put to sleep.  My breed, plus many others, were pretty much banned in the city.  I was given up, rescued, placed in on foster home where a lab pup bit me while playing (which left a scar), another foster home where I met Duke, an american pit bull terrier.  He was the best.  Then, my family came and got me, my new family, anyway.  We are so chaotic, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I’ve got my brother and sister trained to take me on walks when I want to go.  It’s so fun!!  And I have a BIG family!

  15. Bogart on October 5th, 2008 6:20 pm

    Dude, I totally identify with your story.
    In my first family, there were kids who were supposed to walk me while the mom was at work, but didn’t. WHen I had accident, instead of them getting punished, I was the one who went to jail.
    The people at the jail called a lady who they knew liked Schnauzers, and she came and bailed me out.  I kissed her and sang to her all the way to her house.
    She said she was going to find me a home, but I decided I liked hers just fine, and convined her to keep me.
    She thinks I’m wonderful, and says she just can’t believe what people throw away.

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