Friday, July 30, 2010

Huge Dilemma! I NEED your help!!!

Alright folks.  I need your help right now.  I am in the midst of a major internal debate.  I know this is a long post, but please stick with me; I am begging for your  input. 

While I was home over my lunch hour today, I randomly decided to peruse craigslist.  I have not looked at craigslist since job searching 3 months ago and I haven't looked at it for anything other than jobs for probably a year.  Well, on a whim I  just decided to search EVERYTHING on it today.

I purposefully do not allow myself to look at the pets on craigslist ANYTIME I'm on there because I can not turn myself away from a friend who needs a home.  Guess what I did TODAY though.  I LOOKED AT THE PETS!  Here-in begins the story of Bronko.

This is Bronko.   Bronko is an English Mastiff.  Bronko is absolutely AMAZING.  Bronko had a really nice write-up about him on craigslist.  The family rescued him from a home where he was terrorized by young children.  The adoptive family has a 10 year-old and a 14 year-old at home.  Bronko does fine with these two but he gets spooked easily, so, long story short, they are looking for a more suitable home for Bronko.  Here-in lies ME!

On a whim, before even speaking to my fiance about the matter, I decided to do some follow-up on my dearest Bronko.  I asked if he does okay with other dogs (the family had said that he has a high prey drive and doesn't do well with small dogs, so I asked about larger dogs, like Kaiah.)  I also asked about the re-homing fee, because let's face it:  I'm gonna need that money to feed this sucker!  He is 170 lbs.!  That is 75 lbs. bigger than Kaiah!

Speaking of Kaiah, here she is.  Does she look like she needs a friend?  I told her about Bronko and then we went on a walk and it is literally the best behaved she has ever been on a walk before.  Do you think this means that she is saying, "Hey Ma!  Look at how good I am!  I deserve a friend!" OR do you think she is saying, "Mom!  I'm being so good!  You don't have to get another dog to show me how to behave!"  (The family also mentioned how well-behaved Bronko is and I had told Kaiah that.  She understands human-speak perfectly fine, thank you.)

Back to Bronko though.  I received a response and the first line stated that I had almost brought the woman to tears with the mere mention of my having a dog named "Kaiah" as they had a St. Bernard named "Kyah" who passed away due to cancer in February.  What are the odds of THAT?  Kyah and Bronko had been BFF's so the family thought that Bronko and Kaiah could learn to love each other like Bronko and other Kyah had loved each other.  The kicker?  The family is willing to have no re-homing fee.  They just want the perfect home for Bronko.

Speaking of kicking, I then kicked myself in the ass for even having emailed the woman about Bronko.  I hadn't even spoken to Jack about him and now I was getting the family's hopes up that we might be a fantastic fated match for Bronko.

So, I talked to Jack and, no surprise here, he was all about it.  Loves the idea of it.  So I emailed back and forth with the family a couple of times and they would like the dogs to meet each other and they would like to meet us, so we are setting this up for Sunday.  This is the picture that I got in the most recent email, with the caption "Bronko looking at Kaiah".  She then explained in the email that she showed him the picture I had sent of Kaiah and he started sniffing the screen and staring at her.  See!  He loves her already!

Okay, so here are the facts.  I need help in my decision-making.  I will make a bulleted list for you, because let's face it; I've written way too many paragraphs and I've maybe held on to half (if that) of my readers.

To Start: Things that People Might Normally Think Are an Issue, but Truly are NOT for Us
  • He is 170 lbs. of dog  (Jack and I are not even phased by this.  Other than the fact that we already have one 97 lb. dog sleeping with us.  Can you imagine another 170 lb. dog?  Good thing we have a king...)
  • He slobbers (So what?  So does Kaiah.  You get used to it.)
Reasons NOT to get Bronko
  • Kaiah gets spooked by other dogs  (Sometimes she loves them though.  She's big on first impressions.)
  • Bronko gets spooked by kids (We have nieces and nephews.  We DON'T have kids though and we don't plan to anytime soon.  The extended family isn't around Kaiah that often the way it is.)
  • 2 big dogs in the bed?
  • We don't have a fenced-in yard (We plan to get one eventually, but right now Kaiah is on a long tether in the yard.  The family doesn't tether Bronko as they feel he would bolt if he got spooked so he only goes out on a leash.  They also do not have a fenced-in yard.)
  • Big dogs are expensive.  (We know.  We have one.  We WILL afford it, but is it the smartest?)
Reasons TO get Bronko
  • Look at him!  ----------------->
  • He needs a good home and I know we can provide that!
  • He is reportedly well-trained!  Extra bonus!
  • He is used to having free reign of the house, which is fabulous because we NEVER lock Kaiah up!
  • He doesn't chew on things he isn't supposed to
  • He is a lover
  • He is free to the right home and you better believe we have a GREAT home!
  • He is one of the most handsome men I've ever seen!
  • It's fate!  Let's face it people.  This IS fate.  I never get on craigslist anymore and on a whim I did and he was posted TODAY.  They used to have another dog named "Kyah" and WE have a "Kaiah".  Anytime that Jack and I talk about getting another dog, we always say that we want an English Mastiff and here one is.  AND Bronko needs us!
I'm sure there a bunch of other reasons I should and should not get Bronko, but my mind and stomach are both going crazy about this issue.

Seriously folks.  I am BEGGING for your help on this one.  This is a huge decision.  I know what my heart says and I know what my head says and I need help right now in deciding which one is smarter.  Help?  Leave me comments on this one.  I don't care if you never comment any of my other blogs and I don't care if you don't follow me.  Comment anonymously if you have to.  Just help me out here!


Anonymous said...

Oh man, I'm such a sucker for happy rescues, and I can see that you are too. You seem to have truly thought this true, which is great in that it's not an impulsive decision.

Can you have Bronko in your home for a little test run to see how he and Kaiah do together?

If it works out, you, Jack, and the pups will be one big happy family!

The good news is, if it doesn't work out, Bronko's family will hopefully be patient and continue giving him a good home until the right one comes along.

Best of luck!!

P.S. I have to say that fate may have a hand in this - it seems like the stars have aligned to make it a real possibility!

Anonymous said...

Tough one. Looks like you've accurately assessed the pro's and con's of getting Bronko.

Have you accurately assessed why you were mentally lured onto the Pets links on craigslist today (besides fate or boredom)?

I would sit on it for a day or two (ensure you're not wrapped up in excitement or the moment), ask the owner to hold him just in case, take a visit to see what getting "spooked" really means, talk to your husband, consider the pro's/con's of a big dog versus small dog adoption considering your current dogs temperament and go with your brain over your heart.

Try not to think about who will get the dog if you don't, but think about how things will change in your lives with Bronko. Too many people go with their heart or gut and end up regretting it which is why we have so many homeless or abandoned pets.

I think that your reaching out for help says a lot about your thought process in making the right decision.

Good luck. Keep us posted!

Unknown said...

Thanks to you both! We ARE visiting on Sunday and we are taking Kaiah so we can see how they are with one another.

What's really nice is I've really enjoyed correspondence with the family. It sounds like they really want Bronko to go to a good family. In the original post they even stated that they are willing to wait until the perfect family comes along, however long that may take. I take comfort in this statement because I know that if for some horrible reason I was forced to give Kaiah up, I would be the same way. If we decide this is right for us, I also want them to decide that they feel this is what is right for Bronko, since they know him best.

I sincerely appreciate the input.

Jen, to answer your question about the test run, it sounds to me just from our correspondence back-and-forth, that this may really be a possibility. We are going to meet Sunday and I am hoping that if that goes well we can have them come to our place and then maybe even talk about a weekend visit or something. Based on what I've learned from the family, I think that they would appreciate it as well.

Thanks again to you both! It is tearing at my heart strings. The same thing happened when we bought Kaiah. We bought her on a whim and we weren't completely ready for her but I wouldn't change anything about it for the world. The joy she has brought us has completely overshadowed any regrets that we could have had initially!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the meeting this weekend! I hope all goes well! Keep us posted! :)

Kathryn Shanahan said...

I don't mean to be the negative nancy of the group; but how old is Bronko? Dogs of his size often have expensive health problems as they age and if he's getting up there this might not be the right time for you and Jack. If he's still pretty young - I say go for it. You know I love animals too! I am in the same debate about another kitty cat. We'd love a 2nd dog but the landlords said "no way!" :)

Unknown said...

Did I not mention that he's 3? My bad! He is 3! Mastiffs typically are supposed to live 8-10 years, but many end up living 13-15 years and it is not uncommon for them to live to be 16-17 years old. I've done some research! :)

Get another cat!!!

Unknown said...

From the message I sent you on Facebook, I'm sure you know which camp I'm in. I think Mastiffs are the most amazing dogs! If you were to get Bronko, you'd probably have to get used to us visiting :)

The only thing that gave me pause when reading your post was that he gets spooked by kids easily. We have Petey, a part weiner dog mutt, and he's about 25 pounds and isn't great with kids. He makes me nervous around kids and he's 1/8 of the size :) We don't see Blake's family a whole lot, especially with Petey, but I'm on edge whenever Petey is around the kids. I imagine that feeling would only multiply with a big dog, although they all think Petey's a puppy, so that could make a difference. It would most likely all depend on what getting spooked means for him, I feel like that could cover a big range of reactions.

I know my negative comment paragraph was longer than my positive paragraph, but I think I would do it if I were you. It sounds like you guys would offer him a really good home. I know I am biased, I love rescue dogs and Mastiffs, so you may need to take my opinion with a grain of salt :)

Uncle John said...

Its "FATE" you really have an option? By the way your really a good writter. Love ya!
Uncle John

Unknown said...

I asked for clarification on the being spooked in our most recent email exchange and she informed me that it's every once in a great while and that he actually does well with most kids, there are just a few that he doesn't do well with (her teenage son's kids). Makes me think that he might actually just be a good judge of character! :)

Thanks Uncle John! It IS fate, isn't it? Make sure you tell mom that! :) I'm excited to see you in a couple of weeks. It has been a REALLY long time!

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