A while back, I wrote about Odin, our giant doberman and the fan fare he receives everywhere he goes. If I had a dollar for every "he's so big!," I'd have a lot of dollars*.
(See proof of Odin's bigness on the left)
*This is an outright lie. I would have no dollars, because I would have spent them...probably at a coffee kiosk.
I decided to give Karma her fair share of attention. (This is especially funny to me because Karma LOVES her some attention; basically, she is an attention whore.) Karma is a Rottweiler Doberman mix. Or, as I affectionately call her, a Rotten Dobie.
Karma is a Hurricane Katrina rescue. I tell people this as often as possible, because if there is any way to get more props than having adopted a dog, it's adopting a dog who was orphaned by a natural disaster. I have no shame.
After Hurricane Katrina, the Rescue agencies were flooded with dogs. Scrolling through their websites, we came across a pic of Karma's face and instantly fell in love. BUT, we had to make sure that she would be able to successfully mesh with our little family. This is where I made an egregious mistake. I told this particular Doberman Rescue exactly what I was looking for: a female, around 50 lbs., good with small animals (at the time I had a female ferret that weighed 2 lbs. soaking wet), must be housebroken and spayed.
The conversation went something like this:
Doberman Rescue Person: Yes! What luck! Karma meets all those requirements. Fill out the application and she can be yours ASAP.
Me: And you're sure she's good with small animals?
Doberman Rescue Person: Oh yes, we test all our dogs - wait, look over there! *click*
And then they emailed me an application.
After our application was approved, we arranged to drive several hours to meet the Rescue folks halfway and pick up our new fur baby. Then, there we were, in parking lot, bouncing up and down with excitement as the back of a van was flung open to reveal...a starved Karma. Yes, she was 50 lbs. but only because she had been starved nearly to death before being rescued (today she is a little over 80 lbs!). You could see every vertebrae, every rib. Still, she was sweet and adorable, and we brought her home. I cringed throughout the whole drive, afraid someone would think I had done this to a dog.
When we got her home, the following became apparent: 1) Karma was not housebroken; in fact, it was safe so assume, based on her reaction to things like the answering machine and the computer, that Karma had never lived inside a house before. 2) Karma believes that anything that is not a dog is edible; this especially included my ferret, who must have stunk like delicious. 3) A week later Karma went into heat (eww!)...so, not spayed. 4) No one had ever trained Karma at all, in any way; she did not even understand that human speech should be attended to.
I do not regret adopting Karma. She is amazing. So sweet, so loving, so willing to please. When she finally understood that sounds coming out of my mouth might mean I wanted something from her, she learned quickly. She learned 'sit' in a day, 'down' in a week, and with the help of Odin, she was completely housebroken in less than two weeks. She'll never be safe to have around cats or even birds (I've seen her snatch birds out of the air!), but she absolutely LOVES children and is so gentle with them. She loves everyone and wants nothing more than a belly rub...or two...or three...or, HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I STILL LIKE ATTENTION!
Under ordinary circumstances, dog Rescues work tirelessly to match dogs and owners. However, do not tell a Rescue that has been flooded with dogs what you are looking for. Have them tell you about the dog.
It did suck pretty hard when I realized that Karma was not what we thought we were getting. Honestly, with a dog that big, extremely food possessive (man, did that take a lot of work to fix), and with absolutely no prior training, there was a moment where I thought I had made a big mistake. But we all hung in there. She was patient with us and quickly became a part of our family. She has lived up to her name. We got back everything we put in and more.
SO, so patient.
Karma and Odin - Bestest buds.