Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Name Game

Well, we did it! We adopted a dog and no one else can claim him - we have the microchip to prove it! After scouring through scores of craigslist postings, petfinder postings and visits to shelters and SPCAs, some close by in Raleigh, others way the heck down south, almost to South Carolina, we found him or actually maybe he found us.

Phillip's mom told us about a rescue organization in Wake Forest called Saving Grace. The founder, Molly, goes around to rural shelters in North Carolina and has a way of figuring out if the dog can be rehabilitated and will make a good family pet. She was at the Johnston County Animal Control shelter when she spotted a black terrier mix. She asked the AC how he was taken in and was told that they found him and another dog tied to a tree with no shelter, food or water - how awful?! They approached the owners and they said they didn't want them anyways, so AC took them away. Luckily for them, Molly rescued both of them, not knowing they were brought in together. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of dogs brought in to the shelters, they only have a week to be adopted or else they have to euthanize them. It's pretty heart breaking going into the shelters knowing that this is their last chance. We knew we wanted a shelter dog, but it's hard to tell what they will be like when they're in such a terrifying situation. The dogs we attempted to meet were actually afraid of us and some wouldn't even leave their cages. It's pretty depressing. I definitely have a better appreciation of Bob Barker's spay & neuter your pets campaign.

Thankfully Molly knows what she's doing and works around the conditions of the shelters. So after our application was accepted, we set up an appointment to meet "Freeman" - the name Saving Grace had given him. As soon as we walked through the gate, he came running up to greet us with lots of kisses and a happy tail wagging. He snuggled up to us both when we kneeled down, so we knew he was The One right away and a few minutes later he was ours! That was the easy part... the next part was not so easy. What are we going to call him? He hadn't been at Saving Grace too long, so he didn't know a name yet - our options were endless. It seemed like anytime we were together we were shouting out different names at each other. We'd poll family, friends, co-workers... really anyone who was willing to give an opinion, which people are generally not shy about giving. We finally narrowed it down to a top 10 list in no particular order:

1) Wallace
2) Duncan
3) Oscar
4) Harvey
5) Griffin
6) Roscoe
7) Johnny
8) Buddy

9) Lincoln 
10) Walter

I don't think we even really had a favorite since neither of us was willing to go out on a limb and say "he is definitely a ____." Days went by. Inquisitive emails from family and friends pressed for an answer. Our deadline came and went and we still couldn't decide. Finally, the day of the vet appointment arrived. It was kind of do or die. We had narrowed it down to 3 names - Walter, Harvey and Oscar - but couldn't decide. Phillip made the executive decision to list him as one of the names at the appointment. Afterward he told me the name he chose and I still wasn't sure, so I suggested we call him another name. It still didn't feel right calling him by that name either. By this point, we were pretty exhausted by our sub-par decision-making skills so we would just shout out random names to him and finally one stuck.... (drum roll please)

I introduce to you HARVEY! (which as luck would have it happened to be the name we told the vet) Isn't he handsome?

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