If you follow me on Instagram, have read a single thing on this page before reading this, are Facebook friends with me, or found my recent return to Twitter (@jnnprz), you know that my heart belongs to Dallas Green Perez.
Meet my puppy! Pretty much everyone we know, except our immediate families, never got the chance to meet this sweet babe because we got her right before we left Miami. So where did she come from and why are we so obsessed with her?
Well, I had been waiting for a dog ever so patiently. I love dogs more than humans but because of my living situation with Grandma Shirley and then our living situation in the efficiency, I/we had to wait. I would frequent Big Hearts for Big Dogs and read every story posted to Facebook about pups looking for a home because I enjoy torturing myself. I would send Brian pictures on a regular (daily) basis of dogs that I was sure had to come live with me. I was desperate to save so many lives. Summer, my sister, also fell victim to my puppy bombarding texts, including photos, on the reg. No one was safe. We never took the plunge because we were waiting to have our own space to let a dog destroy. It wasn’t even a question that we would be rescuing a dog because I’d rather save a life than buy one. When B graduated NWSA (New World School of the Arts, often referred to as New World- btw Brian never abbreviated it when talking to anyone… he’d say that mouthful in full glory. Every. Time. haha), our time had finally come.
Prior to his actual graduation date, we had loosely discussed moving away if the right opportunity presented itself. I say loosely there because I basically told him that I’m was not at all opposed but I also didn’t think it would be that easy. Well it was that easy and he was asked to fly up to Nashville for an interview within a few weeks after he pranced across the stage, in a long black dress, with his rolled up piece of paper in hand. We knew we would be moving that summer, whether we moved far or stayed near so I got serious about looking for a four-legged addition to our family.
I contacted Amber Oliver, because I wouldn’t dare and try to do this on my own without her expertise. You seriously need to talk to Amber for any dog-related advice, tips, or tricks because she’s a pro, also she’s my cousin and she’s just flat out great.
Amber offered to go meet some dogs at Miami-Dade Animal Services, also known as the place dogs go to die because they simply do not have the space for all of them. So if you’re thinking of getting a dog go save a life! Brian and I picked a Saturday (literally the day after his Senior showcase, the last hoop he had to jump through for school) to go meet Amber at MDAS. I had plans with Kylie (niece) but we worked it out so we could go meet puppies first then hangout with the Kylinator later. Brian and I knew that if we did find a dog that weekend, it would be less than ideal since his interview in Nashville was the weekend after and we had oh so much going on. We promised each other that we would only consider taking home a perfect beyond perfect match for us, instead of rescuing the first dog we felt bad for.
This approach might be the reason why Brian was so all over the place in regards to helping Amber understand what he was looking for in a pup. None of the dogs seemed to be working out for him, we kept hitting road blocks with pittie mixes, and while I was discouraged, I knew that this weekend would have been a tough day to take home a dog anyway. Before we left, we made the rounds on the inside part of this hell hole. It smelled like seven-day-old road kill and the volume of the barking was just unbearble.
Covering our noses and ears (yes, it was as difficult as it sounds) we checked out the dogs in the inside cages. I was used to being shot down by B at this point because he was getting rather particular about what dogs he wanted to meet outside of the cages. I found “Mindy” although we didn’t know her name yet. I thought she was precious. She had open wounds on her ears and looked like she had been picked up off the side of the road. I couldn’t find her paperwork but I asked Brian if we could meet her in the play area. He said she looked “old and ugly” but I went and found an employee that could bring her out for me, because I DO WHAT I WANT.
In the mean time, I found her paperwork and Amber said that she had seen this dog the day before but we just hadn’t found her yet (due to her paperwork being attached to a different cage). She was listed in the MDAS system as a Plott Hound Mix. Brian and I had certainly never heard of a Plott Hound before and I was instantly hopeful since the words “pit”, “pit mix”, “pitbull”, or any other variation of the like were not anywhere to be found on that sheet (they won’t let you even meet them if you live in Miami-Dade, unless you find an employee who’s not afraid to save a dog’s life). We brought her into the play area and although this was her first taste at freedom in however long, she wanted to be near us. She put her paws up on Brian’s chest and I could see his heart melt. That’s it. She was the sweetest thing, had such a unique look, and she passed Amber’s tests with flying colors. Amber kept reassuring us “You guys, this is a really good dog.”
I was sold. I’m an easy sale though. Brian admitted he was glad that I went and got her out of the cage, despite his first impression, and he agreed that we wouldn’t find a better fit. So now what?
Kylie was going to be spending the evening with us and we would never let our 3-year-old niece hangout around a 65-pound dirty dog that we had just saved. Well, as we were completing our paperwork, they told us we have to come back for “Mindy” the next day. Whew, all good!
We couldn’t stop thinking about her that evening. The two of us told Kylie too much about “Mindy” and she kept asking us to talk about something else. We were telling her how happy this dog was to meet us and how funny her smile was and how we couldn’t wait to bring her home. Kylie was telling us how she just wanted to talk about the little baby that poops at Target, a doll that Uncle Brian owed her. It’s quite a story so let’s just forget I mentioned it. We took Kylie to Target to get her the pooping baby but it was not in stock. Instead, she picked out a Barbie with puppies since we were still talking about our pup, despite Kylie’s earnest effort to get us to change the subject. Can’t beat em? Join em!
Once Kylie left us for the evening, Brian and I were hard at work coming up with a new name for our babe. We were going through our favorite bands and songs and that’s when we thought of City & Colour. He was the background music to our dating days and we loved his music so much that I walked down the aisle and we shared our first dance to his song, Northern Wind. His name is Dallas Green. We both agreed that Dallas was the perfect name for our brindle bundle of rescued love. Yes, I’m aware that I’m completely ridiculous.
The next day we went back to MDAS to get our girl. We technically had to foster her for five days since she was picked up as a stray and the owners had a window of time to come claim her. My hopes of keeping her were sky high so, of course, I was paranoid about getting a call from them saying we had to bring her back. Brian signed some papers and we were on our way.
I took a freedom photo and B had to teach her how to jump in his car. We had given his parents the heads up (since we were still living in the efficiency) and while we felt bad for bringing a dog into this mix, we couldn’t leave this one behind. On the way home, I called every Petsmart and groomer I could think of to try and get this smelly girl a legit bath (on a Sunday evening), but nobody said yes. Rejected. Brian ended up having to give her a bath before we could let her inside. She was really gross. Oh and her ears still had open bleeding wounds from what appeared to be other dogs biting them. Apparently they had to keep moving her to different cages because the other dogs they were putting her with kept being mean. Poor babe. That’s also why we couldn’t find her paperwork at the shelter, but destiny lead me to her.
Back to bath time.
Of course, there’s no way to know what to expect with a big stray dog that we had only just met but she was so calm and cooperative. Once we brought her inside, she made a quick lap around the efficiency, sniffed the place out, and hopped up on the couch with me.
MDAS never called us saying we had to return her, so she was ours. We brought her back to get spayed and officially changed her name to Dallas (and later found out she had an insane tick infestation during all of that initial couch snuggling time but we still loved her just the same). Ever since that weekend in May, Dallas has held the specialist of places in our hearts. Summer babysat her when we flew up to Nashville for B’s interview just a few days after all of this and she can attest to the heart of gold this puppy has. Grandma Shirley passed away that weekend and I know Dallas provided much needed comfort to my sister, as well as myself upon my return back to Miami.
Dallas had a few difficulties adjusting to life in Tennessee but now she’s happy as can be. She even got to run around in the snow for the first time this past weekend and I’ve never seen her so excited to play. She’s the best couch snuggler, shadow, playmate, and companion we could have ever hoped to call our own. We take her to the dog park and she greets dogs first, humans second, and runs around only for short periods of time to keep coming back to check on us and the other humans at the park. We laugh and love that she loves people so much. For a while we would say that she didn’t “know how to dog” because playing fetch, catch, and tug-of-war were just not possible. She’s learning how to dog, but it’s definitely still a work in progress.
She hates being outside in the rain or the cold (except the snow, apparently) but loves laying out on the patio when it’s warm and sunny. She can’t stand being barked at by other dogs but loves meeting new faces and sniffing new butts. Her favorite treats are any treats. She’ll do just about anything for cheese but she’ll let you know she’s annoyed that you’re making her work for it. She gets the most excited if you ask her, “you wanna go for a ride?” and she couldn’t care less where the ride is taking her. She loves the vet and the vet and his technicians love her right back. She can’t be put in a crate because her anxiety spirals through the roof but she’s too sweet to lock up anyway. She loves sleeping with her “chickie”, that’s her day one pal.
And as I’m sure you’re well aware by this point, she’s spoiled rotten and I talk to her and about her like she’s person all too often. She might be “just a dog” but that doesn’t mean she can’t be my best friend.
Yes, I’m currently working on a gallery of me and my babe. I knew you’d ask so I’m already a step ahead.
Oh and I’ll address the future child(ren) that you’re all saying “Oh just wait until you have a baby” about at the moment. I got you… up next 😉
Jenn in Tenn.