I got a dog! Well she’s not a new dog and she’s not new to my family, but she is new to Los
Angeles. After much deliberation I decided to move her from Wisconsin to California. Her life has been anything but ordinary and if she were a cat she would have exhausted all 9 of her lives by now.
I was chatting with a guy named Blue on Craigslist. He said he was on his way to my house with 5 puppies. He rang the bell when he arrived and I hoped in the backseat of his car to check out the dogs. At seven weeks old all of the puppies were barking and actively trying to climb out of the cardboard box he brought them in. There was one laying in the back of the box as other puppies crawled over her. “What’s with that one, she kinda looks dead” I asked the seller. “She’s the most active one” he said laughing. I picked her up and she looked right at me. I wrapped her in a blanket to take her inside to show my mom. Even though she wasn’t a dog lover like my father she looked at the puppy and said “I think that’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” It was on that day in 2006, that I adopted Waffles Wilma Spann, and named her after my mom.
I trained her on basic commands and made sure she was house trained. When I moved out she stayed behind with my mom because my apartment didn’t take dogs. During those years she and my mom became inseparable. They got along so well she actually derailed some of my training by letting Waffles do whatever she wanted. When my mom moved out of her home it was my time to step in and take care of Waffles. I wasn’t sure how Waffles would do being thousands of miles from everything and everyone she’s ever known. After replaying some of the craziest moments of her 13 years of life—-she’s been kidnapped, had a torn cornea, survived house fires at two different houses, and countless Wisconsin winters, her resilience would help her make the cross country trip.
I followed all the recommendations for flying with a dog: I made sure she relieved herself before we got one the plane, I didn’t feed her four hours before, and I gave her a sedative to minimize anxiety. During the five hour plane ride she was silent, until the wheels touched down at LAX. She started barking and screaming. Most of the passengers commented to me they didn’t even know she was on plane until we landed. After taking her to the pet relief area we hoped in an Uber headed to her new fur-ever home.
My apartment is small and WE are still adjusting to living with each other. I’m still recovering from my car accident so her presence has actually a blessing in disguise. Before she arrived I’d only leave my house on days I have physical therapy. Now whether I want to get out of bed or not she forces me to get up rather than sitting around and sulking about my limited mobility. I have a new found sympathy for people with Emotional Support Animals. She has definitely helped my mental health. Even though she’s a senior dog now she still naps like she’s dead and continues to have the energy of the adorable puppy I scooped up from the back of the box.