If you haven’t seen the footage yet, perhaps you’ve heard Ellen DeGeneres’ urgent, heartfelt plea to the Mutts and Moms rescue center to return Iggy—the dog she adopted, spent more than my house payment having it neutered and tutored to commune with her cats and then later gave away to her hairdresser’s family. Apparently Ellen didn’t realize that once you adopt a stray, you can’t dump the dog nobody wanted on someone who finally does. It’s just against the rules. Go figure.
I feel for you, sister. Trust me. I have searched my own stray adoption papers for a loop-hole, but I was looking for a paragraph that would allow me to ask for compensation for damages caused by my “free to a good home” dog named Jett. He would cause us to replace: a perfectly good fence with an even better, taller fence to keep him from jumping over it; a backdoor frame twice and eventually the whole door; the wooden rails on the deck; every Beanie Baby’s nose he ever came in contact with; the dog bed I sewed him; an upholstered chair; and more stuff that we just threw out. How could something that looked so innocent in his little doggy jail cause so much damage?
And then came the night when Lori drove to book club and brought me home only to realize that I had no house keys and was locked out. Everyone at my house was already asleep. I hated to, but I rang the doorbell. Who showed up at the door? The dog. I called our home phone, no answer. I called my husband’s cell, ditto. I knocked, I banged, I kicked and no one heard me except Jett the Wonder Dog. Desperately I pleaded through the window next to the front door for him to give me a reason to not regret his adoption. “Jett! Go get Daddy!” I commanded. He just looked back at me and wagged his tail. If Lori thought I was crazy for trying, she didn’t say so. But she did leave her SUV’s lights on so we could see what we were doing—or more accurately, what we weren’t doing. Eventually Coma Man awoke, might I add without the gentle nudge of Jett’s wet nose, and my husband staggered to the door to let me in, just in time to help attach the jumper cables to Lori’s dead battery. And did Jett offer to help? What do you think?