Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pick a puppy, any puppy

My friend R told me this story the other day and it was just too crazy not to share. As I sat in her office dying with laughter, she looked at me with all seriousness and said, “You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?”

R volunteers once a week at a no-kill animal shelter. Basically, her routine consists of cleaning shit out of the pens and walking the dogs. I’m not sure how long she’s been volunteering there, but I’ve known her seven years and she’s been doing it at least that long.

Apparently when she went there last week it was total chaos. Typically it’s a few seasoned volunteers that work there on a consistent basis and know all of the routines – but for some reason, this particular week they had a ton of new volunteers who just showed up out of nowhere and actually created so much havoc that it took twice as long to get all the chores done. By the time she finished, R was exhausted and ready to head for home.

As she was getting her stuff together, a mother and daughter entered the shelter and announced that they were there to pick up a puppy named Samantha. R and one of the other volunteers looked at each other – Samantha? Who the hell is that? As it turned out, the shelter has five black-and-white puppies up for adoption and the mother and daughter had been in on Saturday and picked one out. I believe that the routine is that they make sure all of the animals are microchipped and have their shots up to date before they adopt them out, so the microchipping had to be done before they could pick Samantha up.

So R and the other volunteer went in the back to the pens only to find there were three black-and-white female puppies. With very similar markings. The mother had said that Samantha had four white feet and some other distinguishing mark on her head. All three of the females matched the description – as R put it to me, they were “three completely interchangeable black-and-white female puppies.” Faced with the moral quandary of just picking one of the three puppies and delivering it to the expectant “parents”, R and the other lady decided to take all three puppies out to the adoption area with the hopes that the mother and daughter could immediately identify Samantha.

Well, they couldn’t. They didn’t have a clue. Finally, the daughter remembered that they had taken digital pictures of Samantha on Saturday so she ran out to the car to get the camera so they could compare the pictures to the three puppies. An intensive study of the pictures and the puppies commenced, and finally about 20 minutes later the mother and daughter determined which dog was Samantha.

Or so they thought. At that point, the shelter director appeared and decided the fastest way to figure out which puppy was Samantha was to use the little microchip scanner…and as it turns out, they had picked the wrong freaking dog after all that mental masturbation. She presented The Real Samantha to the daughter, who after all that announced, “We don’t want that dog. We want this one. And we’ve decided we’re not going to name her Samantha anyway. We’re naming her JJ.”

R and the other volunteer shot looks at each other across the counter and then hustled into the back before they laughed out loud. “See,” said the volunteer, “I told you we should’ve just picked a freaking puppy and given it to them.”

"Yeah," said R, "I can't believe I missed Jeopardy for this."

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