Fluffy’s puppies’ quest to find new homes began on Monday. They had three weeks to convince someone to adopt them or they’d be sent elsewhere.
The Australian Shepherd/dachshund mix puppies had two distinct advantages: looks and personality. Of the seven, Red was the best looking with a beautiful red overcoat, bright blue eyes and a charming personality. It paid off. A young family with four children brought him home that afternoon. That left six.
Each of Rebecca’s brothers and sisters possessed personalities like Red, glistening coats, long wagging tails, and dachshund like ears. Each one worked hard to please any visitor who came by, like all puppies.
The other five were adopted by the end of the week. Only Rebecca remained. The runt had trouble getting people to notice her. Many dogs were adopted over the following two weeks, but Rebecca stayed. She whined after every adoption, “Where are they going?”
Every so often, the little dog watched Ricky take a puppy out of his/her kennel and place it in the one next to the back door.
“Why’s he doing that?” Rebecca wondered.
After a couple of days, if the dog in the kennel next to the exit door didn’t go out the front door, Ricky would take it through the back door.
Where are they all going? Rebecca thought.
Rebecca’s last week approached its end, and still there were no takers. Now Ricky moved her to that kennel. Rebecca shivered as he placed her in what was known at Ricky’s as the “exit kennel.”
Ricky had more dogs coming. There was no room for the little one. Even if Tim wanted to pay for more time, Ricky would have to say no. She couldn’t stay. If Rebecca was not adopted by Friday evening, her next stop would be either another dog adopter or the George-Ville Dog Pound. Ricky didn’t want that, but there was no place to keep Rebecca.
Friday began with Ricky noticing Rebecca pacing in her kennel. She stared at that back door. No one, but Ricky, even bothered to look at her. Only a few hours remained for Rebecca. Things couldn’t appear worse. If she was not adopted really soon, she’d be taken out through the exit door.
By mid-afternoon, a ten-year-old girl, dressed in a yellow and white jumper, and wearing a white cotton-long-sleeve sweater, came into look at dogs. She opened the old plate glass door and walked into Ricky’s shop.
“Hi Mr. Ricky, do you have any new puppies?” she asked.
“Look around. We have lots of dogs. There has to be one here you’d like. Most of them are puppies, so finding a young one shouldn’t be a problem,” Ricky said.
“I want a small puppy to train. It can’t be a big one, they’re too hard to handle. I want to be a dog trainer. My dad told me it’d be easier to train a small one and the best way to learn how to train a dog is to do it yourself. She has to be playful and have a kind heart. My parents breed English Cocker Spaniels. They said I could adopt a mutt. It doesn’t have to be a pure bred.”
“Okay, look around and let me know if you find one you’d like,” Ricky said.
He let the little girl into the kennel area.
She lingered in the main aisle examining each puppy. She checked out all of Ricky’s dogs, mutts and a few unwanted purebreds. She rejected every one until she saw Rebecca curled up at the front door of the exit kennel.
“Wow, Rebecca, you’re little,” Linda whispered after she read the little dog’s name tag. Rebecca stood up, and wagged her tail. As Linda drew closer, she said, “Hi, Rebecca.”
The little dog gave Linda the kindest and most loving look of any dog in the shop. Rebecca’s eyes never left Linda’s face, drawing the little girl right to the front of her kennel.
Linda stuck two fingers through the kennel door grate and let the little dog lick them. Rebecca continued her riveting gaze on Linda’s face, crying out without a sound, “Oh you want to pet me, don’t you,” which Linda did with the same two fingers.
Rebecca began a soft whine as Linda walked back to Ricky. She asked, “Mr. Ricky, what kind of dog is the one in the kennel next to the back door?”
“Australian shepherd/dachshund mix,” he sighed. “She’s the last of seven puppies born at a farm near here. All of her brothers and sisters were adopted out.” He shrugged his shoulders helplessly. “She’s my favorite, but if no one adopts her by the end of the day, she’ll be sent either to another dog adopter or to the pound. Her time’s up, and I have no more room.”
“Oh. How big will she get?” Linda asked.
“She’s the runt so she shouldn’t be as large as an Australian Shepherd or as small as a dachshund. I think she would be closer in size to one of your English Cocker Spaniels,” Ricky replied.
“She’s perfect for me. Can I have her?” Linda asked.
“Are you sure?” Ricky said.
“Well, I’ll have to ask my parents first,” Linda said.
“I close in a half hour.”
“Okay, Mr. Ricky, I’ll ask them now. They’re waiting in the car.”