Thursday, May 14, 2015

Introducing Henna

Henna, the adorable Corgi / Cattle Dog mix lying on her back with a ball in her mouth
That beautiful dog up there is Henna; the latest addition to the Matejka family. She's presumed to be a mixture of a corgi and a cattle dog, which is why she's so adorably short and short-haired.

The Story of Her Adoption

The story of her adoption is a funny one. It all started three weeks ago on a Monday when my dog-starved wife told me that she'd decided that adopting a dog wouldn't be ideal this early in our home-ownership since it would increase monthly cost and decrease free time, both of which are necessary to complete the finishing touches on our home such as installing a patio in the back yard and finishing the basement. Then, on Tuesday morning, she was browsing the local Humane Society website and found this adorable dog that she told me we just HAD to adopt, partially because it's a mix of her favorite breed (corgi) and mine (cattle dog) and partially because the dog was two years old and would thus likely need little-to-no training. I scoffed at the idea at first since I assumed she was being impulsive or making a joke, but she convinced me to use my break at work to drive to the Humane Society, see the dog, and report back to her for possible adoption later that night.

You see, while the Humane Society that this particular little dog was at happens to be about an hour away from our house, it's only about fifteen minutes away from my job, and I get an hour-long lunch break. I cleared the break with my boss, recruited a fellow coworker to come with me for added perspective, and at noon we drove together all the way to the Humane Society only to find out that it did not open until 2pm.

I reported this back to my wife, who was determined to get to this dog before anyone else. She gets off of work half an hour before I do (and lives much closer to our home/further from the Humane Society), and proclaimed that she would drive to see the dog herself after work and I could meet her there to discuss possible adoption.

So I get out of work and, for the second time that day, drive over to see the dog that may or may not become our future pet. I get to the shelter, find my wife, and guess what she tells me?
"They won't let us be with her," she says, a tremble in her voice. Though I do detect sadness in her tone, it is overwhelmed with anger and annoyance.
"What do you mean?" I ask, worried that all this has been for naught.
"She's going to be on Fox news tomorrow, and they won't let anyone near her until they open tomorrow at 2pm."
"So we can't even play with her to see if she's a good fit for us before wasting our time with another trip tomorrow?"
"So they're using her to promote adoption, but they won't let anyone genuinely interested in adopting her get close to her?"
"So they're turning it into a game. They're turning the adoption of a dog in need into a show and a contest."
"I'm calling Fox."

It turned out that the Fox offices were "closed" for the day, and we had to settle for talking to the woman (a volunteer) at the front desk. She explained that, because Henna would be on the news the next morning, there might be people waiting as early as 20 minutes before the place opens to adopt her. She advised that I arrive 30 minutes early to be first.

So I decided to arrive 40 minutes early in case she suggested 30 minutes to anyone else. After arriving 40 minutes early (thanks to an understanding boss who allowed me to take off early for the day and make up the missed time later), I was let into the building by a volunteer, but other people who came after me weren't so lucky. I got to gleefully watch them try the locked door, see that the building was closed, and leave. One mother arrived and stayed early with their kids, and it turned out they wanted to check out Henna as well. Luckily the Humane Society is very strict about their first-come-first-serve policy, so I got to see her, play with her, and adopt her without any of the kids even getting close.
Henna, the adorable Corgi / Cattle Dog mix riding shotgun
She rode shotgun all the way home.

Henna's Demeanor

Henna is the type of dog who's almost always ready and willing to play (especially with toys that make noise) while also being comfortable with relaxing for a bit instead. She's very polite, friendly, and outgoing.

She's also doesn't respond to any commands, did her "business" inside the house for the first few days (and occasionally still does), and is terrified of getting into vehicles. The Humane Society didn't know anything about her except that she was from Kentucky, so we don't know if she had any training or even if she had an owner. Luckily she's a quick learner, so while my wife and I have had to train her more than we'd expected of a two-year-old dog, we've had to be less vigilant about it than we would have to be for a new puppy.

Here's a video of her madly squeaking a toy:
It's been a few weeks, and she's making progress in her training. We're also working very carefully with her to get her comfortable with riding in cars, which is very important since she'll be taking a five-hour car ride with us when we go vacationing up north in a few weekends. As a bonus, I managed to get my hand on the footage of her on the news from the day we adopted her!

Henna is already providing many more laughs, "awes," and much more love to the Matejka house, and my wife and I are proud to give her a forever home.