On September 17, 2016 I woke up and turned to look at my boyfriend Kyler. I told him how glorious of a dream I just had which involved me owning a dog. His response was passive with a slight eye roll followed by “not again”. Clearly by his tone it was clear that he was not having it today. For the past four years of dating, I have asked/pleaded/requested promises to get a dog and him always saying something along the lines of “It’s not the right time Ky, maybe in a couple years”.
This, as anyone could understand, was really frustrating. He just didn’t understand how I felt. I grew up with dogs and he grew up with hamsters. NOT A GOOD COMPARISON. He didn’t realize how much you could love a dog. So I did what any manipulative girlfriend would do. I took him out to brunch. A hungry Kyler is not a pleasant Kyler. I then asked him, “can we go look? Just look?!”. My small inner voice was giving myself a high five because he agreed.
We decided to go to the closest animal shelter which turned out to be the Irvine Animal Care Center. It was nice, to the right you have a large grass area where I assumed the newest member of the family could meet everyone in an open space. On the left there was the office and then as you look on you see designated areas for each specific animal available: rabbits, cats, dogs. Kyler and I initially walked into the office and noticed that it was packed, it was around 11:30AM on a Saturday. So instead of waiting we walked towards the dog cages. We spotted him there after 5 minutes. His name card read “Waves”, his mom a miniature poodle/terrier mix, just hit 10 weeks old and weighed 5 pounds. He was recently neutered so he was rocking the cone of shame. Not whimpering, sitting, and had different coloring and hair type than his 4 other siblings. I played it cool at this point, happily looked and Kyler and suggested we play with him.
I should have read up on the process but for anyone that might be interested in adoption you must follow the below criteria :
- You need to be at least 18
- Fill out a pre-adoption questionnaire and counseling session
- common questions like: do you rent or own your home, how many people live in your home, where would the dog stay, personalities wanted, etc.
- Copy of rental agreement if you do rent, and if you have roommates all of them must meet the dog
It felt like an eternity but that is because I am into instant gratification. In reality it was 15 minutes for a volunteer to meet with us and ask us a couple questions based off our answers of our questionnaire. Then we were able to take Waves to a larger cage where we sat with him 30 minutes. During that time, there were at least 4 couples asking us if we were going to adopt him. They were clearly hoping that we would say no, inside my mind I was fantasizing that Kyler would say yes. So I asked him what he thought and I knew he was sprung, but being a right minded/calm individual he suggested we put him on “hold”. “Hold” is a term I knew from shopping, where I knew that I wanted something but felt guilty so I would walk around the mall and contemplate. For our adoption, it meant paying a non-refundable $25 to put Waves on hold for 24 hours. Within that time he would be temporarily claimed by us so no one could see him or adopt him.
We utilized the “hold” time to get our ducks in a row. We individually called our roommates and asked if they were okay if we did this. We guaranteed that they didn’t have any responsibilities, it would just be up to Kyler and I to take care of him. Then we reached out to our landlord and asked via email if he would be okay with it and we even offered to pay an additional security deposit per month. (Our rental agreement stated we needed his consent). I nearly cried when I received a response at 3AM clarifying that we didn’t need to pay more and we can have him as long as we get him trained.
So the following day, Sunday, September 18, 2016. Kyler and I woke up early and went HAM at Petco. We then brought our roommates to meet Waves, paid the $200 adoption plus puppy wellness fees ($50), and received a 8 minute vet counseling session. We were warned that Waves had Luxating Patella, grade 2 out of 4. This is common in smaller dogs where there is floating kneecap that can dislocate but depending on the grade, can be minor over the course of his life. We then took a picture at the adoption center and took him home. We renamed him Graham, after the cracker. I never thought Kyler would be the type but he started an Instagram account @insta_graham714. He’s obsessed which makes me extremely happy.