Fast forwarded about 12 years and I left home for University. The first year I lived in residence where I snuck my bunny in to live with me for awhile. Then for the next 3 years I lived in rental house that was not pet friendly but allowed me to have my rabbit. In Ontario no pets clauses in leases are actually not binding (they're not legal, you cannot prohibit someone from keeping a pet unless it is dangerous, damaging property, or causing allergies). I met my boyfriend the summer before my last year in that house, so for that last year I barely spent any time at home except to take care of my rabbits. We decided to move in together and did lots of apartment shopping. My biggest stipulation was that it had to be pet friendly, including dogs. We found a wonderful 2 basement bedroom apartment. It seemed perfect. The landlord lived upstairs with his 2 sons and 2 cats. He said a dog was fine but it had to be cared for properly and it had to be quiet. This maybe should have been a bit of a red flag, but it was such a nice place and I figured I'd just do my research and we'd scrap the idea of getting a puppy and find an older dog that had been fostered and proven to not be a barker or have separation anxiety.
So we moved in and about a month and a half later I had convinced my boyfriend that through all my research over the last 3 or so months that a retired racing greyhound would be perfect for us. They're quiet, they're clean, they're low maintenance. We went to the kennel to meet some dogs (we were NOT bringing one home, according to my boyfriend, we weren't ready yet). We ended up falling in love with one and my boyfriend changed his mind and said we could get one, but we couldn't sign the papers until we went home and told our landlord and got an official go ahead. But that wouldn't be a problem because he'd already told us we could get a dog, right? Wrong. Our landlord said no. I was devestated. I was already contemplating a move. However, our landlord was agreeable enough to say that we could foster and that if we proved we were good dog owners that we could rediscuss the issue. In our landlord's defence his previous tenants had had 2 dogs which they allowed out at the top of the stairs to do their business without picking up after them. The puppy had separation anxiety and barked all day, and one of them had damaged the carpeting in one of the rooms. One of the tenants was also a vet tech, so the fact that I am a vet student made no difference to him.
I contacted a different adoption program that fosters their dogs out. We applied to be foster parents in June, had our home visit in August, and got our foster dog in September. It was a long process. We had our foster dog for 3 weeks and he was great. We had some barking and crying when we left him for the first couple of days in spite of lots of alone training, but that was to be expected since he was right off the track and everything was so new to him. With more alone training and a bit of time he settled right in and was quiet as could be. 3 weeks flew by and soon we were preparing him for his new home. It was upsetting because I had really enjoyed having a dog, and now he was leaving and I had no idea when we might get our own. I was terrified to talk to the landlord and have him say no again. And I had this nagging feeling that he would, because he had openly admitted to not being a dog person and just seemed weird about the dog all the time. Amazingly though, he said yes. He said we had been very professional and responsible about the dog.
"Oh my gawd! What is that thing?"
So a week and a half after our foster left we were driving back to the kennels to see the dogs. In particular we were going to meet a 5 year old red and white male named Dexter who had been returned due to owner illness. I will admit that white was the LAST colour of dog I wanted. I really wanted a red or brindle boy, but I do also know that you seldom get what you want and colour is the least important characteristic. He had been in a home for 2.5 years already so the kennel knew all about him. He was quiet, didn't have problems with separation anxiety, he was clean, he was small animal safe (very important because of my 3 rabbits), and he was active. We took him for a walk and he was energetic and silly. He seemed to like us. We took him back and looked at the other dogs there. There was one dog that I just loved who I wanted to try out, but I needed a guarantee on the no barking because of my landlord. Dexter was the safe choice. He also seemed to think he was supposed to come home with us. While we stood and looked at other dogs, he gazed at us mournfully from his crate. So we agreed to take him home. And boy am I glad we did. He's quiet... barely ever barks in the house, he's terrified of the rabbits, loves to go for walks with me, loves to train, but is perfectly happy to sleep the day away while I study. We couldn't have found a better match. And I think he's gorgeous. Even if he is white.
Summit passed away January 30, 2019 at the age of 13.75 of intestinal cancer. A few weeks before he started to be slow to get up off his bed to come and get his dinner but changing his pain medications didn't seem to help. Then he started not getting up at all to come for dinner, but would eat if his bowl was brought to him. A few days later he didn't eat right away when the bowl was brought, but did once some canned food was added. Bloodwork was normal and urine showed a possible infection, but antibiotics didn't help. X-rays didn't show anything. When he started not wanting to eat even canned food I decided it was time for an ultrasound, which was when we found the tumour.
Summit was the best dog. He was the only one who didn't look for trouble to get into... he didn't even get into trouble by accident. He was the greatest first dog that anyone could ask for, and got us hooked on the breed. And although he never competed, or even finished his agility training, he was the inspiration for all the hounds that have followed. All of our successes are his legacy. We miss him immensely.