After I lost the Grumpy Old Man Maltese Pierre, my rescue "friends" (I put them in quotes because they are most definitely friends although 95% of them I've never met in person and have only dealt with online) got together and wanted to help me find another doggie - mainly because there are SO many dogs (and cats!) who are in need of good homes.
One of these kind souls, and I say this because they really work tirelessly as volunteers to place animals into loving environments, emailed me about a Maltese named Buddy who was up in Sacramento and the owner was looking for a home. She gave me her phone number and I called immediately. The voicemail was full. I waited a day and called back and left a message.
The woman returned my call and at first I thought I was talking to a man on the phone because her voice was so low and gravelly - like she'd been a life time smoker. She asked me all about Pierre and asked if I'd like to come and meet Buddy as she screens anyone potential for dog homes. She wasn't interested in any money other than the adoption fee and I agreed to drive out that Saturday.
We drive a pleasant drive to Sacramento, about an hour and a half away. We arrive and turn into a long street, one of those older sections with small houses set way back on big font lawns, all well manicured and tidy. We're driving down the road and I"m counting down the house numbers. There is only one house that sticks out - a rather run down one with some rotting pieces of broken cars in the front yard among other debris. Oh no! This is the house.
We pull in and someone is in the garage tinkering. We park and wave to him. He half smiles and then completely ignores us so we go to the front door. The woman I spoke to on the phone comes out, holding a rat. She had just given him a bath and poured flea medicine on his back - he was crawling with fleas. If you've ever seen a maltese wet, they really look like drowned rats with their long pink tail and skin.
We take him inside with our dog, who's cowering against the wall. The house was a bit... messy. Buddy the Maltese starts playing with everyone. He has his spot on the chair where he looks out the front window watching the world go by. And barking. Oh.My.God. I thought the Lhasa Apso was loud, she had NOTHING on this little 9 pound dog. Wow is he loud. He jumps on the chair and out comes this big old black dog, some type of rottie/pitt mix and Buddy launches himself in a move we've since termed the flying jesus because he's spread out in the shape of a cross and 'attacks' the big dog. They play a bit and we laugh.
The lady is happy with us. She tells us that she had over 300 calls for the Maltese and had to take the phone off the answering machine because it kept filling up. I'm asked to come back in a few days if I've "thought on it" and see if I want Buddy. I've mostly made up my mind I want to save him from this house, although it's obvious he's happy.
I call her back in a few days and tell her of course I want Buddy. I drive back by myself to get his papers and such. When we open them, we see that he's been there almost 9 months (and that his real name is "Duke"). Now I'm worried because he has really bonded with this family and I'll have to deal with separation and other anxiety issues. She laughs her deep, throaty laugh and says "Nah, he'll be all like 'hey what's up, wanna' play?'" And oh he IS.
When we first got to the car, he looked around like "wow this is fun!" and put his head on my arm as I drove. He's really a happy little guy. He nips here and there but overall is one of the happiest doggies I've ever met and a great addition to the family.