Stray Puppy advice needed in FW; sooner is better

Fellow Dopers,

I hope that MPSIMS is a good place for this, if not, Mods, please re-align this.

I don’t post here often, but I can’t think of a better place to ask several thousand brainy, eclectic and compassionate people their advice.

Crawling home (NW Tarrant County) Sunday night at 3 a.m. CST, I found a small puppy shivering at my apartment door. After some coaxing, I got her to come into my apartment. The following are my best guesses, she’s about two months old, a black-and-tan shephard/hound mix (the black roof of her mouth would indicate a pure-breed of SOME kind, AFAIK). She has a very friendly temperment once she trusts you but she is very wary at first. The closest thing to any health problem I can see is that she drags her hind legs slightly and will put them straight behind her when laying down in a way I didn’t think dogs could do. However, whenever she’s needed to run or climb, she does that just fine.

I had thought she belonged to someone in my apartment complex, had simply gotten out/lost and found her way back to any door/my door. However, a solid day of bulletin board notices and flyers has not gotten any response. I have to assume the owners aren’t from around here/or don’t really care. I have asked friends and family if they want to take her in, all agreed she was a sweet dog (she is) but for various reasons (mean dogs, long work schedules) they can’t take her in.

Here’s my dilemma, with difficulty, I can keep this dog. I live alone, in a tiny apartment, and neither of these things is likely to change soon. I don’t have a lot of money either. She would be left alone at least eight hours a day. This is not the best thing for a young, social animal. I think she would be easy to housetrain, though.

My first choice, and the best logical decision, is to take her to the Humane Society tomorrow. I would drop her off in a heartbeat, but I’m not sure how likely she is to be adopted. And, this may be an urban legend, she might be sold to a science lab or who knows what. I honestly don’t know any better, would someone who does know please inform me what the REALISTIC odds of her getting a good and decent home are.

I need to make a decision soon (tomorrow would be best), the puppy is beginning to get attached to me, I’m already her favorite person of the several she’s met by a long shot. The longer I wait before taking her to the Humane Society, the harder the sudden separation will be (much longer and it will tough on me as well).

Finally, (and I realize this may be skirting the fuzzy edge of the SDMB rules: Mods, do what you think is right). if any doper or friend of doper, in the Northwest Fort Worth area, would like to adopt The Sweetest Puppy on Earth, please e-mail me. Although it goes without saying (yet I will say it anyway), please be serious about wanting to give her a good home, I have a feeling she knows the difference from experience.

That’s it, I’m done. To some of you, this may all seem more than a little silly. I think most of you will understand…

I can’t speak to the dragging of her hind legs, but stretching them out behind is a common “puppy thing” – in fact, our 13-month old springer still does it. Nothing to worry about.

I do hope you can find her a good home, whether with you or someone else!

I was in your situation 2 1/2 years ago, with a stray cat. He showed up one day, let himself in through the dog doors, and wouldn’t leave. I’d chase him off and find him back on my kitchen counter the next morning. He was a beautiful Himalayan, obviously taken care of since he was declawed, groomed well, and neutered.

I did the same thing you did - I put up flyers, called the Humane Society and listed a “found” report, and generally did my best to find him a home. I was always going to take him to the Humane Society “next week” or “tomorrow”. But I knew that the chances of him getting adopted weren’t 100%. There’s a lot of adult cats out there that need homes.

2.5 years later, he’s still hanging around. I’ve named him, got him his shots, and spent way too much $$ in medication & vet supplies when it turned out he has kidney problems. I’ve grown incredibly attached to him, and am very happy I never found a home for him.

That said, I agree with you that leaving a puppy home 8 hours a day is a little harsh. Unless you can spend basically all your free time with him (nights, weekends) I support your idea of bringing him to the Humane Society. Unlike my situation, I think the chances that he’ll get adopted are very high. If your local Humane Society is anything like the ones where I live, a puppy will get snatched up immediately (unlike an adult cat…). Call them and ask what their placement rate is. Humane Societies are usually staffed with people who are very, very into animals, and they’ll give you a straight answer.

Another idea is to call around to local pet stores. In my town, there’s at least one pet store that I know that buys and sells mixed breed puppies. I know you hear a lot of horror stories about pet stores, but most are pretty good. I just bought a puppy from one after talking to my vet, who does the vet services for the store. He’s seen every dog that’s come in and out of that store for at least 8 years, and he said they’re a good, reputable store. If you check up on the store, you’ll get some reassurance that your puppy will go to a good home.

FWIW, poodles have an unusual hip stucture that allows them to splay their legs out flat to the side and/or behind themselves.

Send it to me! Barring that (as you are in texas) investigate the possibility of a no-kill shelter. There is usually a few of these about and they are reasonable alternatives to the Humane Society. Another two places to chesk is local vets may either know a caring person who may take on this puppy of else, take it themselves and find a home, lastly some dog kennels may consider it (can you tell I drive around picking up strays?). Good luck, remember, you can always ship it to me in Canada :slight_smile: .

My dear departed shih tzu BoBo (may he rest in peace) used to lay like that all the time. Usually he did it in the summer when he wanted to put as much of his belly as possible on the cool kitchen tile floor. Other times I think he did it just because he could.

May I recommend calling Petsmart or Petco first - they may know of a no-kill shelter or animal rescue group. I know there are several rescue groups and some shelters around here, and they often have adoption days at these two stores.

If that doesn’t pan out, call the animal shelter - they will have the best idea of the puppy’s chances, since this depends on the locals and also how many dogs they have now. Unless they are a no-kill shelter, his chances are not 100%, but being a (apparently personable) puppy, his chances should be pretty high.

[hijack]Come to the next DFW dopefest![/hijack]

Ah, I knew this place wouldn’t let me down. :slight_smile:

I’m popping in every so often between fits of belated web design.


I think the “gumby legs” are probably just me not being that familiar with puppies. Beleive me, if it remotely possible she can get on to/into something, she will. The puppy’s in perfect health near as I can tell, right down to the sharp little milk teeth.


Actually, I would keep a cat. They’re pretty much maintenance-free, and in my experience are -ahem- “not overly bothered” by their human being away as long as the food is there. Also, they don’t desire other cats for company. The fact that a puppy gets snatched at the Humane Society gives me hope. I’m glad I have options.


[John Wayne]"A no-kill shelter in TEXAS? Don’t seem right somehow, Missy[/John Wayne] :slight_smile:

Seriously, thanks for the idea. I don’t know if such a place is in the DFW area, but I will check.

Can’t ship her to Canada, though. She doesn’t fit through the mail slot, and the stamps keep falling off of her ears…


Maybe the trick legs are just a doggy plot to make us pay attention. :slight_smile: Actually, that fact that most of you have seen this before and it doesn’t cause any harm takes a load of my mind.


Back again.


There was a lag when I was replying and I missed your post.

In any case, thank you. I had completely forgotten Petsmart and Petsco. After reading your post, I called them both and they put me in touch with some no-kill shelters.

Unfortunately, all seem to be filled up right now, but I left messages anyway.

In response to your hijack, I will try and make it to the next dopefest. :slight_smile:
Thanks for the invite.


Early this morning, I have taken The Sweetest Puppy on Earth (identified by those in the know as a beagle-dacschund mix)to the Humane Society for adoption.

Although it is not a no-kill shelter, I have been told by the staff that they believe she will probably be adopted very quickly. I know that this particular Society waited six weeks with the dog my parents ended up adopted (3-year-old dour border collie mix) so I am confident she will have some time to be adopted.

Regardless, I will show up at the shelter before the euthenasia date and adopt the dog if no one else does. Somehow, I will make this work.

While this is not my first choice, I am very optimistic that this course of action will give the puppy an excellent chance of a better life than I would have been able to give it. I appreciate all of the dopers and friends of dopers who have given me advice and good will. You have given me some peace of mind.

If anyone has further questions, feel free to email me. Thanks again. :slight_smile:


Oh, she’s a BEAGLE mix? She’ll get snatched up within three minutes, I promise. Beagle mixes are terribly attractive, because they’re small, but not overly bred like litte yippers. And as someone who lived with a Beagle mix, they’re right.

It’s funny, I am going to pick up my brand new Humane Society kitten tomorrow. I’m sure they’ll let you visit her, it’s worth asking. Good luck, SPOE!