Your dog? No.

I take Henry in for his initial exam with the same veterinarian that the shelter took him to after taking him away from his previous owner. The first thing I noticed was that Henry loved the vet and I mean l-o-v-e-d the vet. The minute he realized where we were he began jumping around and pulling on his leash to the point of almost suffocating himself. (My initial hypothesis was that this particular vet was the first place that Henry was shown love and positive attention – later I would discover he just plain loves going to any vet).

The doctor seemed genuinely endeared by Henry and pointed out to me the spot on the initial evaluation where he had written “Nice Dog.” He told me that Henry’s skin condition was so bad when he first saw him that he couldn’t close the exam room doors because Henry smelled so bad.

In our two weeks with Henry we couldn’t help but notice that he was hyperactive. Every day I took Henry on longer and longer walks and the only result was that I was exhausted and Henry was recharged, rip roaring and ready to go. And so I was impatient to ask the doctor, “I hear that puppies usually calm down by two years old?” The doctor replied, “yeah, but with your dog you’ll be lucky if it’s three.”

Henry’s first valentines day came and we celebrated by getting him neutered. I dropped him off in the morning and was instructed to call when I got out of school to see if he is ready for pick up. After school, I did as I was instructed and the receptionist states, “Hmm, let me see…” (I can only assume that she placed the handset through the door into the room where the kennels are kept because I suddenly could hear Henry barking) “We’ve already had to sedate him again, oh yes, I’d say he is ready!”

So when I picked him up I couldn’t wait to ask hopefully, “is it true that sometimes dogs calm down after they are neutered?” The receptionist snorted and said: “Some dogs: yes. Your dog? No.”

Oh, Henry….

The name dilemma

We agreed that Kilo was not the name for this dog.

The vet that saw him after he was rescued wanted to name him Troy (which neither of us liked).

The shelter named him Spud because they saw a resemblance to Spuds Mackenzie (it’s the single eye brow). Here is Spuds:
Here is the photo the shelter posted on Petfinder:

From Oh, Henry.

Every time I heard the name Spud it made me think of Rudy on the Cosby Show saying, “Buuuud.”

I had always wanted to name a dog Larry, but Jensen didn’t think he looked like a Larry.

“What do you think he looks like then?”

“He looks like a Henry.”

Oh, Henry.

In less than 24 hours...

In less than 24 hours I had found the dog.
He was listed as "Spud" an adult, purebred American Pit Bull Terrier, and lordy was he cute! I raced to the shelter frightened that someone else would get my dog. I met him, fell instantly in love, and despite him weighing in at approximately 50 lbs…realized there was no way he was an adult.

There were other clues that, perhaps, should have indicated I was in over my head.
  • Spud was brought to the Seattle animal shelter after they received a report that he was being abused. He had recently been listed for adoption after insufficient evidence had been found to charge his previous owners with neglect and possible abuse.
  • Spud’s original name was Kilo. Could have been someone being funny OR could have been someone involved in illegal activity.
  • Spud was on antibiotics for a skin infection, the skin in between his toes was so swollen he walked flat-footed, and he was recovering from a right distal radial fracture.

I was questioned about prior experience with the American Pit Bull Terrier, why I wanted a dog of this breed, and my dedication to being a dog owner (in general and to this breed). I was asked under what conditions did I see myself surrendering as his owner. I was informed that the next step was to go home and do some research and was provided with some web sites, such as I proudly informed the officer that I had been to all of these sites but still had to wait until I could bring Jensen in to meet Spud.

The minute Spud’s kennel was opened he leaned against Jensen’s legs and looked up over his shoulder at him. Ah, he got him!


The deal was...

The deal was that certain criteria had to be met before we could get a dog:

  1. Jensen had to have a separate room for his records
  2. We had to have a house with a yard big enough for a dog to run around in 
  3. I had to agree that the dog would under no condition, ever, be allowed in aforementioned record room or our bed
This meant that for three years Jensen experienced feelings of guilt as I frequently e-mailed him links to posts of dogs in the Seattle metropolitan area (or our hometown of Reno, Nevada).
            Six months after we purchased our home, I realized the criteria had been met. I had recently started the most stressful experience of my life (also known as grad school) so decide that the responsible thing to do would be to only look at adult dogs. I get the o.k. from Jensen and the search begins.