As I walked slowly down a narrow corridor, one tiny brindle pit-mix, with three white paws, caught my attention because, unlike most of the other nose-pressers and barkers, she was huddled in the furthest corner of her cage, watching me, motionless, with beady little brown eyes and the faintest of tail wags just barely visible. She sure wasn’t much to look at. In the shadows, she sort of looked like a large fuzzy mouse. I tried to look away and give my attention to other dogs who were seeking it out, but I kept coming back to her.
I asked the attendant if we could take this little ragamuffin out to a play area and, within minutes, I was smitten. This tiny mini-pit-mix was even less attractive in the light of day. She didn’t bark, she snorted. She didn’t walk; she waddled, with her rear going the exact opposite direction as her front legs. Then, to make things worse, she began affectionately following us around and head-butting me, like some sort of bizarre Kensington Billy goat. And her tail, it wouldn’t stop wagging, but it was totally out of sync with the rest of her. I tend to be a cynical, hard-nosed person, but when I watched her, I couldn’t stop smiling. She quickly passed the screening temperament, intelligence, affection tests I gave her. She wasn’t anything like we envisioned, but, with training, she would be perfect for our clients. I was in love…..
Except……..Our SPCA attendant, knowing we were looking to train a service dog, wanted us to see one other candidate who she thought would be ideal for our needs. She brought out the most gorgeous little black and white “tuxedo” mini pit bull; the kind of dog that would cause people would say, “Wow, she’s beautiful! Can I pet her?” She was way too small and sweet to have any value for the notorious North Philly dog-fighters. From the scars on hers snout, she might have even been used as a “bait dog.” Her temperament was exactly what you look for in a service dog. She instantly cuddled next to Mary Ann, rolled over on her back, and entered a blissful, trance-like state when Mary Ann scratched the white spot of her chest. This little charmer scored off the charts in all therapy screening tests. This dog would bring instant comfort to any anxious client and she was the type of dog we had in mind to replace our beloved Lizzie. My Wife was in love.
My wife encouraged me to take the weird little dog that seemed to be in a perpetual state of grunt. I urged my wife to take the cuddly love bug, who hadn’t left my Wife’s side. To make our decision even more excruciating, the SPCA attendant hinted that both dogs would soon be “out of time,” making our final decision one dog’s “final decision.” Mary Ann and I looked into each other’s eyes. It was one of those moments that test a marriage (or a law firm partnership). We had only come for one dog, not to decide the fate of another.
By 8:00 P.M. that evening, both “Scruffy” and “Sugar” were warm and safe in our home. The picture below memorializes that moment. Each has evolved into a wonderful service dog that comforts our clients and their children every day.
So when you visit WE CARE LEGAL SERVICE’S Levittown Office (1-855-LAW-FAMILY), ask for our “Pawyers.” If you are anxious about your family law problem, ask for Sugar, Esq. She will snuggle next to you and give you all of the puppy love you never knew you needed. If you’re angry and fuming over your Ex, request Scruffy, Esq. She is as comical as ever and guaranteed to lighten your burden and bring a smile to your face….
…….Oh, and while your consulting with one of our Pawyers, if you want caring and supportive legal advice about DIVORCE, CHILD CUSTODY, SUPPORT, ADOPTION, PROTECTION FROM ABUSE, WILLS OR BANKRUPTCY , ask for one of our “Lawyers.” We may not be as cute or cuddly, but we can give you the comfort of good legal advice and a plan forward for your future.