Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pierre's Adoption Story

You all have seen and heard lots about our beloved little basset hound,  Pierre, in the past few weeks, so I wanted to share a little recap of his adoption story and how he came to join the Ferri family!

Eric and I had been talking about getting a dog this summer for months. This was a long time coming, but with my crazy law school schedule and Eric's travel combined, we weren't home enough to have a dog before now.  After lots of talk and research, our top two breed contenders were Corgis and Basset Hounds, for lots of reasons including size, nature, activity level, how well they interacted with children, etc. We felt better about adopting, but didn't know if that would be an option or not since we were pretty firm on finding certain characteristics in a dog.

So there I sat on a Thursday afternoon, bored at work, and I decide to peruse the Humane Society's website to see what they had.  I had looked before, but nothing jumped out to me. That Thursday, way down in the bottom, left corner, the very last dog listed...was a little Basset named Pierre. Male, Neutered, 2 years old, house-training level unknown.  Did I mention he was named Pierre?  A Basset with a French name? Be still my heart.  So....I compulsively emailed Eric at work with the link. Over and over until I got a response, which said..."OMG. He is so cute!!!"  I knew I had to go visit this pup. He was adorable, but I wanted to make sure his demeanor was right for us. So, I told my office that I was leaving for a bit since I hadn't taken a lunch break yet, and drove across town to the Humane Society.

On my way, I texted Eric and said, "Okay for real. Serious talk. What if I get there and he's perfect?" The response was "Bring him home." Eeeeek!

When I got there, they took me back into the kennels (by the way, I was way overdressed for the Humane Society. I got the feeling not many people scooted over from law firms on their lunch breaks to adopt dogs), and every single dog in the place was barking....except little Pierre, sitting quietly in his kennel. I immediately texted Eric these two pictures:

Cute face, short legs, loving eyes, droopy ears...we were hooked. The lady arranged for a private one-on-one visit so that I could meet him and really get a feel for his personality.  They brought him into another outdoor space to meet me, and I knelt down to say hi. He jumped into my lap, nuzzled, and then sat down quietly in the floor and looked around, enjoying the weather.

On the way out, we walked past tons of other kennels with dogs who barked and jumped at Pierre...he gave them a friendly sniff, and kept walking. Not a peep. Tail still wagging. I knew then that I was as sold as I was going to be. I mean, the Ferris do not make spontaneous decisions.  We plan in advance, with spreadsheets analyzing cost and time and obligation. (This is no exaggeration folks.) We take days, weeks, months, to make decisions.  But I knew this pup wasn't going to last that long. He was too good of a find, and looks aside, I was in love with his personality. Eric was working in Virginia and wasn't flying home until that night, so there was no chance of him being able to come by for a meet and greet that day. So I just called him, and we had a quick chat, and ultimately decided that Pierre seemed like a very, very good fit for our little family. But I was still nervous, because I'm me...I mean a dog is a big responsibility, can be a money pit, and requires a lot of time and attention. Among the concerns was the fact that we already had plans to fly out of town the next three weekends in a row, and we don't exactly have any family here that we could leave him with. I sat and waited...and waited...and waited to meet with an counselor. I had given a tentative, yes, we want do adopt him, but they were really busy that day. And as I waited, I fretted. I even sent Eric a text that said "I should never be given this much time alone to consider a major decision like this..." (This is true...I shouldn't.)

Pierre's "papers" - that photo was the one on the website. Can you see why I was hooked at first glance?
While I definitely have a tendency to over-analyze situations, I also have learned to trust my gut. And from the moment I saw his photo on the website, my gut said this dog was right for us. So between Eric and my internal monologue, I managed to talk myself down, and when the counselor came with Pierre's papers...it was a done deal. I called my office and told them I wouldn't be coming back that day, and then I signed, I paid, I picked up his medical records, and Pierre took his very first car ride home with me.
Does he look happy to be going to his new home, or what? haha This was about the moment when I learned how much Basset Hounds really do drool...haha

And then on his first ride to shop at Petco for some necessities, enjoying the sunshine...

Funny enough, Pierre didn't know his name was Pierre.  All we know about his background is that he was taken from someone by Animal Protective Services, where he was set to be euthanized. (Sad, I know.)  Luckily, the Humane Society got him, and we were able to adopt. Someone at the Humane Society named him Pierre (we're guessing because Basset Hounds are a French breed), and we decided to keep the name because we liked it so much! Despite how little we knew about him, we learned pretty quickly that this dog had been very well-taken care of by someone.  He walked well on a leash, did great riding in the car, and knew simple commands.  In fact, I learned that he knew how to sit in Petco that afternoon when I went to buy him a leash.  One of the employees was going to give him a treat and told him to sit; before I could even get it out of my mouth that I had just adopted him and he didn't know how, the dog obediently sat, and calmly took his treat! 

I took him home, took him for a walk, and then let him sniff his way around the house.  I immediately noticed two things - Pierre loves to look in the mirror, and his last home definitely did not have stairs to climb!  Mastering the stairs with his long ears (going down was hardest for him) took a few days, but now he runs the stairs with lightening speed! I gave him a good scrub down in the bathtub, blow-dried him, and cuddled up on the couch. Within 10 minutes, he was out. This lazy dog had entirely too much activity for one afternoon. 

Annnnd this was about the moment I learned that he snores. Loudly. Cutest thing ever. Looks a little whiter post-bath, huh? haha

Luckily, Eric flew in just a few hours later, and Pierre met his Daddy for the first time, curbside in the Blue loading area of Tampa International Airport. And my business-travel attired husband let that little nugget sit in his lap and get hair all. over. his clothes on the way home that night. It was love at first sight.

Life has been grand in the Ferri household ever since. We have since learned that Pierre is, in fact, housetrained.  He has only had three accidents in our house since we adopted him well over a month ago, mostly stemming from us forgetting that he always needs to potty immediately after a bath. Whoopsie.  

We've had only one small bought with kennel cough that ended us up in the Emergency Vet at 1:00 am, but one bag of fluids, a shot, and an antibiotic later, we're good as new! But didn't he look pitiful?

Right before heading to the vet. Note my couches covered in towels...coughed so much he made himself sick, literally. When he couldn't keep down water, it was time to roll...

Pierre is now back to his normal, healthy self, and life couldn't be happier around our house these days. The only thing we have left to work on is stopping the play-biting :)

The week before we got Pierre, Eric and I had discussed how our house was a little glum these days.  It had started to become the place that we worked straight through the weekends, the place that we crashed because we were always exhausted, the place that we only came back to after 17 hour days, the place that we were always stressed or alone, and the place that we didn't see enough of to enjoy.  Pierre has brought so much joy and so much laughter to our house that we never could have imagined, and we are all loving it. 

I have no doubt that God brought this exact little canine into our lives for a reason.  I like to think that he just smiles when he hears the laughter that comes on Saturday morning potty breaks, and chuckles when I carry all 35 pounds of sleeping dog to his bed like a baby late at night. That might sound silly to some people, but I think we really don't give God enough credit for the small blessings in our lives everyday.  You see, I don't think God only works through big, unexpected miracles. I think he's a loving God who likes to see us happy and enjoying the life that he's given us. And nine times out of 10, he sneaks that in to our everyday routines. We are really missing out on so much of his comfort and love if we fail to realize that. If God can change our lives through miracles, then why on earth wouldn't he be able to insert a bit of joy in the day to day? A cup of coffee from a co-worker. A change in schedule that allows you to spend more time with your spouse.  A bill that turns out to be less than you thought you owed. A friend that you can sit contentedly in silence with. A needed item that just happens to be on clearance. An open parking spot in the pouring rain. A basset hound up for adoption on a Thursday afternoon. 

Pierre, we are so glad you're a part of our family! We love you...and every single inch of those ears. 


  1. Omg, I am holding back tears at my desk. I love love love this story and that face, of course! He is a beautiful pup and I love the way he came into your life. It's a crazy (and often lazy) life with a basset but the love and affection they offer is out of this world.

  2. oh my gosh your pup is so cute! and while reading this story, I had to tell you you have to get to know Sarah over at total basset case and there she is the first commenter!! So happy you got a rescue dog, there are so many that need great and loving homes. enjoy being a dog momma!!

  3. So, my eyes (almost typed ears - how do your ears tear up? Iono) teared up on this, probably because I am overly sensative at the moment and probably because we have MUCHO to talk about. I am Facebooking you as we speak. BUT, you and Eric did SUCH an amazing thing (you've inspired me to want to adopt! As Daisy came from a breeder, I will NEVER do that again - EVER) Pierre looks like he's in love with y'all just as much you are with him. I love a happy ending, and euthanasia? GOD is GOOD, aye? Even for our little critters! xoxo Facebooking you now!

  4. I have just sat here and read Pierre stories back to the beginning ... love this guy - and you two ;) Made my evening!!!

  5. What a sweet boy. I love this story! I just realized that Toby's adoption story doesn't show any of the photos :(