Monday, October 8, 2012


Warning! This post tells a somewhat unethical(but well-intentioned) story, so if you think you may disapprove please skip the words and just look at the cute photos instead.

The friendly neighborhood walrus.

When I first told my brother that I had found a stray pit bull(Shaka) and would probably have to find her a home, he told me he was actually looking to adopt a dog. I was torn though, because I really wanted to keep her, but also I knew my brother would give her a great home and then I would still get to see her! But then a couple weeks went by and he hadn't asked me about her again.

Shaka on the day that I found her.

Then one day he called me and asked for my advice on something. He told me that he and his girlfriend had fallen in love with a pit mix puppy at their local shelter and tried to adopt her. However, the shelter was not willing to adopt her to them for a few reasons. 1) They did a meet & greet with my brother's girlfriend's dachshund and the puppy kept wanting to play with her, while she just stood there. The shelter employee said they prefer to see the older dog correct the puppy when she has had enough, but she didn't. 2) Although their lease said dogs were allowed, the shelter required it to say pit bulls specifically were allowed. 3) Although the shelter closes at 5pm, they did not allow adoptions after 4pm and seemed very annoyed that they were even inquiring.

Puppy's Petfinder photo

So my brother jumped on things the next morning and asked his apartment building for proof that he could have a pit bull. They said they actually do not allow pit bulls, but if she is a 50% or less mix it would be fine. It really had to do with their insurance company and not their personal ideals. I advised my brother to ask the shelter if he could do a DNA test on her but they were not impressed by the idea. Even if they had agreed, he was worried she'd be gone by then. And the shelter would not take a deposit or payment up front to hold her for them. I told him if he really wanted her, he should have someone else adopt her, do the DNA test and hope the results came back in his favor. He knew the risk in it all not working out and said he would be more than willing to move if it didn't. He loved that little puppy.


Now gee, I wonder who would be willing to adopt the puppy for him? So I agreed to go the next day and try to adopt her for him. Unfortunately, I was busy all day and was cutting it dangerously close to the 4pm adoption cut-off time! Plus, I was going to be busy all weekend and did not want to risk her being adopted by someone else. So I grabbed my trusty steed (aka Norman) and sped off to the shelter. They seemed less than thrilled that I was there so late in the day and told me to look around to see if there was another dog I liked also. So I pretended to look around, though honestly all they had were yapping leaping small dogs or kennel-stressed lunging barking large dogs. Then I saw the puppy, she was curled up on her bed, sound asleep amongst the chaos. So cute!

Let's go!

I told them I wanted her to meet my other dog and they scolded me, informing me that I needed to meet her myself first. I obviously knew that, I was just telling them that was what I wanted to eventually do. And I was trying to watch the clock at the same time. It was already after 4 and I highly doubted they would even allow me to adopt her that day. Her kennel attendant was very attached to her and was wary of letting her go. I took her for a quick walk, which she spent mostly rolling in the grass. I returned and asked if I could have her meet Norman. They asked me a few questions and I could see the red flags going off in their heads as I told them he was a 9-month-old pit mix. They said it usually doesn't work well to have 2 such young, strong and active dogs together, but to bring him out anyways.

What the problem is?

I got him out of the car and as I walked him around the corner, I could see them just melt. They were pretty much ready to shove the puppy in my car right then and there. The puppy climbed, jumped and chewed on Norman's every limp and extremity as he stood there wagging his tail with delight. They told me, as they did my brother, they usually like to see the other dog correct the puppy, BUT since he was so sweet and calm and friendly, they decided he was just perfect...they were perfect together. A whole group of employees were gathered around by now and they were pretty much squealing with delight of how cute the pair looked together. They were over the moon that I wanted to adopt her and no one minded that it was now past 5 o'clock.

Hi guys.

I'm cool, I'm cool.

I filled out the paperwork and we were ready to go. I'm pretty sure the entire staff followed us out. They took several photos of the dogs and there was not a dry eye in the house due to the adorableness of the pound puppy(to-be-named) and her "big brother." We attempted to walk off as the puppy hung from Norman's neck and then flung herself to the ground with glee, wiggling around and getting tangled in her leash. They asked me if I needed help and I eagerly said "no!" since Shaka was in the car just around the corner. Due to her separation anxiety, she would bark and whine whenever left home alone, yet was calm and quiet when left in the car. So I couldn't risk any more anger from my neighbors and she came along too. She had been around puppies before with me so I knew she'd be fine, but was sure no one would want to see me pile the puppy in the car with another pit bull.

Norman & his new "Sista"

I silently begged the puppy to walk normally to the car. She actually slipped out of the leash as we reached the car so I scooped her up and planted her in the back of the car. If she was nervous, I would have put her in front with me, but this was one outgoing pup so I'm sure she would have declined the front seat when there were two new friends in the back! Shaka, sweetie-pie that she is, gave the puppy a wag and a sniff and was not bothered by the antics either. Kaya would have been happy to meet her also. As intolerant as she can be of rude adult dogs, Kaya loves puppies and all their craziness.

Shaka wuvs everybody.

Kaya, Puppy, & Norman sharing the back seat a couple weeks later.

Kaya hates it when dogs are pushy with her, but she loves to get in the middle of a puppy pile!

I called my brother right away. "You have got to come get this puppy," I told him, laughing. He was super happy and surprised it worked out after hours and everything. I told him he had Norman to thank, winning people over wherever he goes. My brother told me that they were actually drawn to this puppy because she reminded them of Norman. He must have meant looks-wise, because she had way more energy than Norman would even on puppy crack(whatever that could be)! We agreed to meet at his place and it was his girlfriend's birthday so this was this perfect surprise present! But OMG, good luck brother!

Puppy with her new collar & toy that I gave my bro's girlfriend for her B-Day

Updated details:

I do not mean to denounce the rescue system in any way by this post as I admire and respect it greatly. Both my dogs are shelter dogs. The fact is that this puppy was stuck in a small, dark, filthy and loud kennel in an overrun shelter which is not in a major city and gets very little foot traffic. She had been there for 6 weeks already with little to no interest yet. The shelter staff were unwilling to work with all of my brother's offers to make the adoption work. 1) DNA test, 2) Hold her with even a non-refundable deposit, 3) Offer to have her fostered in the mean time (by me - in a pit friendly building). He was also more than willing to move if the DNA test didn't work out. He is financially stable, employed, responsible and there is a lot of pit-friendly housing in our area. I really doubt that they would have adopted her to me either even with proof that I could have a pit bull at my place. They were very rude at first and really didn't seem to want her in a home with another dog. There was something about Norman that changed their minds.

This happened 3 months ago, the DNA test came back successfully with her at 50% American Staffordshire Terrier(Pit Bull) & 50% Irish Gorden Setter(who knew?!) so their landlord is happy and they love their puppy to death. She is doing really well with her training and she loves her little wiener dog sister!

On a side note: Not that we would have gone into this if we thought re-homing her would be an outcome, but Norman was actually a Craigslist re-home when he was adopted from a shelter and the existing dog in the house wasn't happy about it. I am thankful every day that his adoption failed!

Another Update:

It's been almond 4 years since this post! For anyone wondering, there have been a lot of changes since this little puppy, Motlie's humble beginnings. My brother joined the military and so his girlfriend, Motlie and their little wiener dog, Kaylie, moved into a tiny studio while he was in boot camp and training out of state. He was then stationed in Southern California and the whole group moved south. My brother married his girlfriend and they were able to buy a nice condo by the beach.

Motlie has grown up to be a sweet and loving dog, a lover of fetch and wearing clothes. After a couple years they were itching to add another dog, a pit bull of course, to the family. They found a little black pit mix puppy to adopt and named him Crue. Motlie and Crue got along right away and they play and play and play, while Kaylie watches from the couch.

A few months ago my brother and his wife welcomed a baby girl to their family! The dogs are doing great with the baby and everyone is happy and healthy. This fall they are making their biggest move yet to Italy where my brother will be stationed for 3 years. Yes, all 3 dogs and all 3 people are going! The good news if that my sister-in-law will not be left alone during another deployment since she can go along. They are looking forward to the adventure and the rest of us are looking forward to visiting them in Italy!

Looking back on the point of this story, to show how hard it was to get Motlie to join their family, it makes me think about the shelter's point of view. How hard it must be for them to trust that adopters will stand by their dogs. Some must seem like ideal candidates yet fall through and others, like my brother seemed to not have what it takes and yet here he is after career changes, a new wife, a new dog, a new baby and multiple moves, a loving and committed dog owner. If only shelther's had a crystal ball, right?


  1. I love your unethical story! It has a happy ending and it was about getting a pup out of the shelter, so what's not to like? So glad it worked out for everyone.

  2. This is also unethical, so I'm commenting under not my real info, but if it were me, I'd just show the apartment folks a test where the dog (not necessarily theirs) is <50% "pitbull".

    I actually live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow pitbulls, but they never asked for tests for my two and just accepted the breed mixes we wrote down.

  3. Thanks for your support! I thought about not posting about this at all, but it's a real life situation and (I think) a really cute story. At the end of the day, this puppy was sitting in a slimy cage in the midst of a lot of chaos and had already been there for other a month.

    I knew that with my brother was going to give her a great home for life and would never have returned her or re-homed her had he been faced with the choice. Oddly, I would have told him to do the exact same thing you did, but he didn't ask me first and tried to do the right thing by being honest with everyone:/

    A little update: She turned out to be 50% AmStaff and 50% mixed breed! His apartment building has yet to ask though so they are leaving it alone. She is an awesome pup and gets along great with her wiener dog sis:)

  4. I like your unethical story but I really hope it works out with the 50% thing since that would mean the puppy could once again be without a home :(

    Stop on by for a visit

  5. your story is nice but not something i would do. I would feel to responsible if somethng went wrong with the adoption. But then again she's in a better place than in a shelter. Tell your brother good luck with her. She looks like something special!

  6. So what were the results of her DNA test? Oh .. never mind! I see it in the comments! She looks like a "pitbull" to most people, but it sounds like the landlord isn't enforcing their no pitbull rule. That's great!

    Good post!

    1. It's true, she does look like a pit bull, but in their case it was more of a technicality with the insurance company and not a strict "no pits" rule. Oddly, they have their own renters insurance that allows pits, but it is the building's insurance for common areas that does not. So basically the 10 feet of hallway that they use to get outside could have prevented them from having their dog:(

  7. She is sooo pretty? Of course Norman charmed everyone! What did her mix turn out to be?

    1. 1/2 American Staffordshire Terrier, 1/4 Gorden Setter, 1/4 Mixed Breed:)

    2. I had to Google Gorden setter. What the heck... I'd never heard of that. She looks all staffie to me! Soooo pretty!

    3. I had to google it also! That's why pit bulls are such mixed bags...the pittie traits are dominant and they come out mostly looking like one:)

  8. I loved the story and Norman sounds like the cutest dog ever <3