Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Revolving Door Puppy

.. or, as my co-worker says, Rent-A-Dog.

We had a lot of foot traffic in the store today because of the elections.  There is a major polling place at the library next door.

Around 11:00ish this morning, a sweet looking blond girl appeared at the puppy window.  She's looking for a puppy.  She and her boyfriend want to get a puppy.  Her boyfriend has constraints, though.

"No Beagles, no Beagle mixes.  No Pugs, no Pug mixes.  No big dogs.  Nothing that's hyper.  Nothing that sheds.  Nothing with long hair, or a lot of hair."

For some reason (I'm a little bit autistic, I mis-read social cues all the time) I think she's saying this with a slight tongue-in-cheek tone, so I laughingly reply, "I guess he really doesn't want you to get a dog," thinking she'll be right there with me on the joke.  I mean, clearly, he doesn't, that's just ruled out almost everything I can think of off the top of my head.

She looked at me with this expression of bewilderment and said, in a hurt tone, "But he does.  He loves dogs."

Except the ones that like to move, shed, or have hair.  Or are otherwise dogs in any way shape or form.  So, really, he loves all theoretical dogs.  Virtual realty dogs.  Maybe he was thinking of Nintendogs when he said she could get a puppy.

Her brother, who is there with her, asks me about the Puggle, and she quickly interjects, "No, he won't like that, that's part Pug, right?  Yeah, Pugs do that snorting thing when they breathe, he doesn't like that.  And he said no Beagles.  They bark a lot."

I said, "Well, at least he knows what he can and can't deal with."  I like that in a person who is looking for dogs. No, I respect that in a person who is looking for a dog.  She shoots me another bewildered look, and says, this time slightly defensively, "He can deal with it.  He just.. doesn't like it."

Instead, she asks about the Chigle (we don't make this stuff up folks, they come in with those names).  A Chigle is part Chihuahua, part Beagle.  I fight the urge to point out that He said "No Beagles," and just focus on the fact that the Chigle is rather hyper.  "Really, they're all hyper," I tell her.  "They're puppies.  Puppies have a lot of energy."  She knows that.  She didn't have the Chigle in the puppy room for more than 2 minutes before she gave him back to me saying, "Yeah, we're looking for something with a little less energy."

She ends up playing with six different dogs in the puppy room.  The Pekingese would fit the low energy qualification, but they have the pushed in faces and shedding and a lot of hair that He doesn't like.  The Maltese fits the no shedding rule, but Maltese have very long hair that requires maintenance, and He doesn't want that.  One by one, every puppy in the kennel fails to bear up under His standards.  If the puppy doesn't shed, that's because it grows very long hair.  He said no long hair.  If it isn't a Pug or a Beagle mix, it's a terrier, and terriers are too hyper.  If it it doesn't have very long hair and it's not a Pug or a Beagle mix, it sheds.  He said no shedding.  She really wants the Chihuahua, but he is not for sale right now.  She laughs about how she only really wants it because she can't have it.  I thought she was joking.

I was on the verge of suggesting that perhaps she look into retired racing Greyhound adoption when another couple came up and asked to see the Chigle.  I glanced at her when I took the other girl's ID, and I saw the chagrined expression that crossed her face.

As soon as the other lady had the Chigle in the puppy room, she decided that she wanted that puppy.  Because now, of course, there's a chance that she can't have that puppy.  Maybe the other couple will decide to buy him.

She's not going to let that happen.  A minute and a half goes by and then she informs me, "I want to buy that dog." 

Now I'm starting to feel sorry for Him, whoever He is.  He clearly stated what he did not want, and here she is about to do the exact opposite.

We get all the paperwork filled out.  She cuts me off in the middle of the reconsideration policy, telling me, "That's not going to happen," meaning they won't be bringing him back because they changed their minds.

I hate it when people do that.  They are always, without fail, the ones who end up returning a dog.

As soon as they go out the door with the puppy, I turn to the general manager and say, "That dog is coming back.  If he's not back by close tonight, I'd be surprised."

Two hours later, the boss man informs me, "I think I see that dog you just sold coming back."  
"Yeah.  I knew that was going to happen."

He said no Beagles, no Beagle mixes.  He made it pretty clear, I thought, considering how clearly I got the message.

As the girl stands at the counter, eyes brimming with unshed tears, she clutches the puppy to her chest and whispers to him.  A man standing in line behind her wants to know why she's bringing the dog back, if she wants it so much.  "My boyfriend said I can't have it," she said.  "So?  Get rid of him and keep the dog," the woman with the man standing behind her says.  At this point, the tears that have been threatening actually spill over, and she whimpers, "But he pays the rent and all the bills.."

I'm not sure what they said to her after that, but she sobbed at them, "He SCREAMED at me!  He's never SCREAMED at me before!"

That shut them up.

Meanwhile, I was thinking, man.  Your boyfriend sounds like a huge dick.  It was a pretty dick move to show up with a Beagle mix when he made it clear he did want Beagles in any way, shape or form, but there are more adult ways to deal with the situation other than screaming.

Of course, the way she was, maybe he couldn't get it through to her any other way.


  1. Yeah, good luck there chica.

    I also have deep respect for people who know what they can and cannot deal with/handle in a dog. At least they are aware of what they are getting themselves into, right?

  2. I was kind of surprised she reacted that way when I said that. It was as though I'd insulted him when he wasn't there to defend himself. Really, to my mind, it was the exact opposite. No, it's a GOOD thing. You can love dogs and still not want to live with certain characteristics.