I arrived at Claudia's house at 9:15. She was running late and was totally stressed out. She said she had been trying to get ready but had several interruptions and phone calls. Vikki had called and said she wouldn't be able to meet us at the Shelter at 10:00 as planned as she had things to do that prevented her from doing so, and she'd meet us at 11:00 instead. I looked at Claudia in disbelief and said, "What? Does she not know what today is? It was her idea we all meet at 10:00." Claudia said, "I know. I tried to tell her we all needed to be there at 10:00 as planned because Jenifer (the trainer) is supposed to meet us there." We were both very upset at this point as we didn't need anything happening to prevent us from getting this dog. I could see Claudia was almost sick over this, as I was, so I told her we both had to calm down and take a deep breath. I asked her if she wanted me to call Vikki, and she said, "You can."
I dialed Vikki's number and she answered. I said, "Vikki, this is Lori. Are you not meeting us at 10:00 as planned?" And she said, "I told Claudia I'd meet you around 11:00." I told her, "Vikki, we all agreed to meet at 10:00. They're not going to release the dog to anybody but you. The trainer is meeting us at 10:00 also, so we all need to be there as she has another appointment afterwards. You were the one who told us 10:00, remember?" Vikki got rather short with me and said, "Well, you're preventing me from doing what I need to do before I can leave. I'll be there at 11:00 or as close to that as I can." Click.
I hung up the phone and looked at Claudia. I was ready to flip my lid at this point! So was Claudia. After all we've gone through, and the person who was supposed to "rescue" the dog from the Shelter for us was going to be late. Great. At this point, Claudia said, "We might as well go ahead and go and hope she's not too late. I can't believe this. I told Jenifer to meet us there at 10:00." I agreed and we both hoped Vikki wouldn't leave all of us waiting too long. In addition to Jenifer meeting us, Claudia's Dad was also going to be meeting us at the Shelter.
On the way to the Shelter, Claudia called Jenifer and told her that Vikki wouldn't be getting to the Shelter at 10:00 as planned, but would be arriving closer to 11:00. We arrived to the shelter at 10:00 and found a parking place in the shade.
We weren't there but a couple minutes when Claudia's Dad (David) walked up to our car. He started telling us about the night before, when he came and fed Buddy. He said Captain Brawley (who we had met the first night we visited the Shelter to see Buddy) was his escort. As David started feeding Buddy, Captain Brawley kept cautioning him, telling him the dog was vicious and aggressive and he shouldn't be putting his hands near the bars of his kennel. David said he told him, "We've been coming and feeding this dog everyday. Look, he's not aggressive" as he handed him a piece of hotdog through the bars, using his fingers. As always, Buddy gently took the hotdog pieces from his fingers. He said Captain Brawley got a little agitated and told him he shouldn't be doing that, that the dog could bite him. However, David just continued feeding Buddy the hotdogs he had brought for him.
At one point, David told Captain Brawley, "My daughter is coming tomorrow to adopt this dog. A rescue has stepped in and agreed to adopt him for her." At this time, Captain Brawley said, "That wasn't cleared through me" and then explained that he had been off sick all week. David explained that it had already been arranged, that we would all be there tomorrow at 10:00. Captain Brawley replied, "Well, I'm going to have to check into that!"
David said while he was feeding Buddy, he dropped the wrapper from the hotdogs, and it started to blow towards Buddy's kennel. David started to grab it, but Captain Brawley told him to stay back, that he'd get it. He raised his stick to knock the paper away from Buddy's kennel, and Buddy immediately curled his lip, growled, and lunged towards the bars at him. At this time, Captain Brawley said, "See, I told you--he's aggressive." At this time, I told David, "He's going to growl at anybody who works in this place as they all have that "stench" on them from it." Both he and Claudia agreed. David said he finished feeding Buddy and sat with him for a little while and then went on home.
As we were talking to David, I saw Vikki's car pull up. I walked over to her car, but she was on her cell phone. After she got off the phone, she came up to Claudia's car and gave us two contracts, one for Victor and one for Buddy, that we all three had to sign (Claudia, her Dad, and I). The contract for Buddy was the contract releasing the County from any liability regarding the dog. We read them and signed them both.
I sat with Buddy for a while and just petted and talked him. I noticed at one point, I turned my hand over and looked at it and it was completely black and my fingernails had dirt under them. I held my hand up so Claudia and Jenifer could see it and said, "You don't think he's dirty, do you?" Actually, you could just feel the dirt in his coat. This poor guy need a bath so bad. I can only imagine how grimy he must have felt. Then again, he was probably used to it and didn't know any better. Some day soon, he'd know differently, and I couldn't wait.
It was getting late at this time, and we still needed to get home to our kids and Jenifer still needed to feed hers. We thanked her for everything she did for us and Buddy, and she told us we were most welcome, that everything was going to work out fine. She told me she wanted me to be at her house the next morning, but I was to go to her vet's office first and get some Acepromazine (sedative) from her vet. Then, we'd tackle the battle of getting Buddy into the car and to the vet. One more hurdle tackled; one more to go!
It had been a stressful day, but a successful one. Buddy could have his first night out of the Shelter, and he was in a quiet, stress-free environment. Right now, that's all we could ask for.
On the way home, Claudia and I talked about Buddy, and I asked her if she was sure she could afford having Jenifer train him, along with the vet bill that was coming the next day--that we were probably looking at thousands of dollars. How many thousands, neither of us had any idea yet. Claudia indicated she had some money in savings and she had just paid off her car and some credit card debt. I said, "Claudia, this is going to be a lot of money. You sure you want to do this?" Her reply to me, with no hesitation, was simply, "It's for a good cause." I agreed and only wished I was in the financial position to look at it that way. I'm glad she was because if she wasn't, we would have fought this hard to get this dog out of the shelter, only to run into financial obstacles. God bless Claudia for having such a big heart. She was truly Buddy's guardian angel.