Our efforts to find our next pet began Sunday, August 27, 2017, when my wife, Julia, and I drove to the Chicago Animal Care and Control shelter down Western Ave. on the southwest side. There was one dog that looked nice and seemed to have a pleasant personality, but a couple of ladies had expressed interest in her, and wound up adopting her. We went to another shelter in the Loop, and a third in Lincoln Park, but we weren’t seeing a dog that we felt was the right one. It was suggested to us that we monitor the CACC website for new dogs being introduced for adoption.
Tuesday evening, my wife brought to my attention one beautiful female puppy shown on the website. She was a 6-7 month old pug/labrador mix named Elizabeth. She was tan and black with warm, trusting eyes. We knew immediately that if she was as sweet as she appeared, this was our dog. The next day I worked through lunch, left my office early, and drove an hour and a half to the CACC shelter on the southwest side. If the dog was still available for adoption when I got there, my wife and Julia would join me to meet her. I walked through the kennel looking for her, but she wasn’t there. I asked about her and was told she was still being evaluated in the medical unit. It was explained to me that we had seen her on the pre-adoption part of the website, and that I should be monitoring a different part of the website for when she would become available for adoption. I was told it probably wouldn’t be until the following week.
The next day at work I checked the website from time to time, and saw that she was still pre-adoption. Just before I left for the day, I took one last look, and saw that her status had changed and she was now available for adoption. I called my wife and Julia to let them know, then got in my car and made the trip again to CACC. I got there around 5:45, with 15 minutes to meet the dog, make a decision, and begin the application. But again, I didn’t see her in the kennel area. When I asked about her, I was told she was mistakenly listed on the website as available, and would remain in the medical unit overnight, as she had just been neutered. I asked the volunteer if there was any way they could reserve her for me until I got off work tomorrow and returned around 5. At first the volunteer said she could not, but when I explained that I’d done everything I was instructed to do, she got her supervisor, who was the person who helped me the prior day. The supervisor agreed to put a hold on her adoption availability status until I got there the following day.
The next day, Friday, I left work early and made the trip to the shelter for the 4th time in a week. Julia and Eli took a bus down Western and met me there. They arrived just before the shelter volunteer brought out Elizabeth. We all went into the yard with Elizabeth, then into a fenced-in enclosure where they took her off her leash, and let us interact with her. We immediately saw that she was a calm, affectionate, happy puppy. She wagged her tail and licked our faces, with her beautiful floppy ears pulled back, and an eager, questioning expression on her face. As we Facetimed Natalia, my wife arrived and joined us in the enclosure. There was never any uncertainty about her for any of us. We drove home with her sitting between Julia and Eli in the backseat. Upon arrival, we brought her into her new backyard to begin her explorations. Earlier, the family agreed on a new name. Elizabeth was now Maya.
Maya is our pug/lab mix. She has all the pug markings, but the lab in her pushed her smooshed-in snout back to normal and un-curled her tail. Today is Sunday. Maya is settling into her new routine of walks, naps, playtime with her chew-toys, backyard explorations, and pondering the elusive cat-thing. Only Kitty has yet to be won over. Just a matter of time.