On the Dog Hunt

Yesterday, I spent the entire morning looking for a dog. I got in contact with Norwich Animal Control regarding a pit/mix puppy they have. I filled out their adoption application. The nice lady called me back and we chatted. I’m still on the fence about a puppy. I have no experience with puppies, I got lots of experience with kittens but not puppies. I figure, at my age, the next thing I want to potty train is a grandchild. But we’ll keep this puppy on the back burner and check in if he’s not adopted.

I filled out an adoption application for a local rescue place. I was thanked for my application but I would have to present all paperwork on my cats before being approved because we don’t use a traditional vet. OK, shall I present you with my vaccination record as well? Hey, I may not be up-to-date on my shots. On the back burner they went and it was too bad because they looked like they had a lot of nice dogs. I mean they had around 30 or so.  I got to wondering at what point does it stop becoming a rescue organization and border on hoarding? Or, at what point does it stop becoming a rescue organization and start becoming an actual business? I found myself asking those questions a lot yesterday as I searched adoptapet.com especially as I was presented with ‘price lists’ with some ads telling me something like;

All puppies $500.00
All young dogs $450.00
All adult dogs $350.00
All senior dogs $300.00

I guess that’s supposed to be convenient but it really feels like I’m ordering dinner off a menu or something.

When I went to adoptapet.com I specifically clicked ‘CT’. I was presented with 13 pages of dogs that were supposedly in my area.  I found a few dogs I really liked. I checked out the webpages for the rescue organizations that have them and the vast majority of them were located somewhere down south. Huh?

I found three dogs I’d really like to meet and I thought would be good matches for us.

https://www.adoptapet.com/pet/21253733-sherman-connecticut-boxer The listing clearly states the dog is in Sherman, CT and he’s a beautiful dog so I thought I’d inquire. I couldn’t do from their site, I couldn’t even find the ‘pre adoption application’ that ‘must be filled out’ on their site.  I went back to adoptapet.com and contacted the rescue through that site.

I have yet to hear back from them.

I found another dog where the listing clearly states the dog is in Cranston, RI (not too close but too far, a nice drive) https://www.adoptapet.com/pet/21507805-cranston-rhode-island-boxer-mix  Look at that face! LOL  I went to their site, found their adoption application easy enough along with the information that the dog is most likely not in RI but in GA. Transportation fees will be added to the adoption fee.

I guess it’s just too much to ask that when I go to one of these sites and fill in my preferred area that the dog actually be in that area. It happened so often on that site that I found myself skipping huge blocks of dogs listed in the same town because they were all from the rescue organizations that were not located anywhere near CT even if they claimed to have a ‘branch office’ here. It got so bad that eventually I started seeing listings that, in the title, stated, “ACTUALLY IN Connecticut” so whoever was cruising the site knew the dog was local. That’s important so you can set up a meet n greet and see how things go with the dog. I would think the last thing someone in my position would want is to go through the whole process, pay all the fees, have a dog shipped up from GA or NC or SC only to find out the dog isn’t a good fit with them or their family. Poor dog would have to go back to a shelter and the person trying to rescue them would be heartbroken over it.

Time and again I noticed the adoption fee includes many things; spay/neuter, shots, microchip, heartworm tests/meds and the like. All of which are very good things. Then I got to thinking, since I wasn’t looking at puppies and a lot of the dogs I’d come across hadn’t been totally abandoned/dumped somewhere but were listed as having been ‘given up by a good owner who couldn’t take of him/her anymore’…..how many of those dogs were already/spayed/neutered, were up to date on their shots and the like before the dog even reached the shelter? In which case, of course, the shelter didn’t pay those fees up front for the dog. Shouldn’t those dogs be….’cheaper’….than dogs the shelter did have to shell out that money for?

As I kept cruising all 13 pages I found myself missing the days when people placed free ads in the paper. Yes, they were free. The paper gave you 3 lines to advertise your dog for free. You found the listing, called the owner, met up, and were given the dog…for free. This used to happen all the time! Especially around here with the Navy base, guys/gals would get dogs, love them to death, then have to ship out with no one to care for the dog so they’d place a free ad. Now it seems like every dog goes to some type of shelter/rescue organization straightaway instead. I think someone should start a website specifically for that purpose; Owner to Prospective Owner. Cut out the middle man. That way the person getting the dog knows where it came from and the person giving it up knows the dog is going to a good home.  I couldn’t even find a dog on Craigslist! I’ve been checking that out for a couple of weeks. I looked for a site like described above and even looked for ‘free dogs in CT’ and couldn’t find anything.

Anyway, as I got to the end of the 13 pages I came across this https://www.adoptapet.com/pet/20630087-middletown-rhode-island-black-mouth-cur-mix

OMG! Isn’t she gorgeous?

I had no idea people could use this site, or petfinder.com to place ads for their own dogs! They’re all drowned out by the rescue organizations….that may or may not be near you. I bet other people don’t even know they can place their own independent ad on these sites rather than having their first stop be a shelter/rescue. She was only 1 of 2 dogs (out of 13 pages of dogs!) that was being ‘rehomed’ by their owner.

I sent off an email through adoptapet.com and the owner got back to me within minutes. We sent a lot of texts and emails back and forth yesterday and we are meeting up tomorrow in RI so we can meet Zoey! Don’t you love the name? LOL She sounds like exactly what we’re looking for; a good dog, from a good home, with an owner who loves her but just can’t take care of her anymore (in this case it’s due to his work schedule). He’s had her since she was a puppy, he sent all of her paperwork via email, told me all about her, there’s even a cute little video on her listing. Oh, yeah, and she’s $50.00 as a good faith gesture. If we take her, and I think we will, she comes with her favorite toys so she’ll feel more comfortable adjusting to her new life in our home. If I have any questions I can contact him. If he wants, like Cai’s old owner did, I can send him pictures and updates on how she’s doing. That’s more in line with the way something like this is supposed to go as opposed to all of the hoop jumping and being made to feel like you’re at the mercy of some stranger whose judging you without ever having met you and worrying that you’re not good enough for a particular shelter/rescue.

So last night I did a little further research, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Mouth_Cur I’d never heard of a Black Mouth Cur before, and I found the dog’s temperament is right in line with that of a Boxer (which she is quite obviously mixed with). The Black Mouth Cur seems to be popular in the south and she’s originally from Florida. I think that it’s possible the owner moved to RI for a new job and maybe had to get a smaller apartment and just didn’t have enough time for her anymore. According to him she’s ‘high energy’ (like Cai was) and he doesn’t have the time to exercise her like she’d like anymore. We have a big yard for her to run around and play in. She doesn’t have experience with invisible fencing so, if we take her home, we’ll put the flags around the perimeter again and train her where the boundaries are. It shouldn’t be too hard, she looks like she’ll catch on quick. With me being unemployed at the moment, it’s a good time to open up our home to a new dog. She won’t be alone all day while she tries to adjust to her new home because I’ll be here with her.

Trying not get my hopes up too high just yet, it is possible we’ll meet Zoey and she won’t like us at all. Unlike Cai who ran into the yard and just sort of said; Here I am! But maybe she will like us, I hope so. The house is very lonely without Cai, we still miss him very much but I don’t think he would want us to be lonely for very long.

Wish us a bit of luck tomorrow! We may have found our perfect fit.

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Taxes, Extensions, & Dogs

Well, I did it!

I put my taxes on the mail box a few moments ago.

What a pain!

Thankfully when hubby drove himself a little nuts driving all over town a few days ago looking for hard copies of tax forms he picked up an ‘extension’ form. So I didn’t have to bother going back to irs.gov to see if I’m still ‘locked out’ of that account.  AND I didn’t have to come up with last year’s AGI! The paper is very small and very simple.

Or so it appears.

Until you find out that the ‘extension’ everyone talks about probably isn’t the one you really want if all you need is an extra few weeks to pay your taxes. The ‘extension’ that’s so popular on ‘the news’ and stares you right in the face on the main page of irs.gov  is really just letting you extend the time you have to file. The IRS still wants you to pay in full even if you haven’t actually done your taxes yet. Yeah, let that one sink in a bit.  Maybe it’s just me but I would think it’s a little difficult to know what you owe if you haven’t done your taxes yet. On the back of the form (this is one of my favorite parts!) it actually tells you if you’re having trouble paying your taxes, rather than being late a few weeks, you should take out a bank loan or put it on your credit card! WTF? Thanks Uncle Sam you old dolt.

The form you really want if all you want is to delay paying a few weeks or a few months is form 1127 “Application for Extension of Time for Payment Due to Undue Hardship”.  I looked at this form, I don’t have a printer, it’s not fillable online so it was useless to me. AND I really didn’t feel like breaking down my income and expenses for the last 3 months for Uncle Sam or detailing all of my assets for him in the vain hope he might give me a few weeks to pay.

So I filled out and sent in the ‘popular’ ‘extension’ form along with a check for $250.00 which is just about half of what we owe. If Uncle Sam doesn’t like it he knows where he can put his lips. I photographed the filled out form and the check to have as a back-up for when I do send in the tax form with the rest of the payment.

If he wants an explanation here it is; I’ve been unemployed the last 4 months and collecting $277/week whereas when I was working I brought home just over $500/week. Hubby was out of work on comp for 3 weeks paying at 60%. So, ya know, things are a little tight. Hubby gets paid bi-weekly which means he won’t get a full paycheck…or any paycheck…until next week which means we have to go 3 weeks on my $277/week. Nice, huh? Add to that the fact that both of claimed 0 on our W-4 forms for withholding tax when there’s actually 2 of us it seems to me someone somewhere in some payroll department isn’t up to snuff on the withholding tax tables. We should be getting at least a small refund and not having to pay anything at all.

In short: Bite Me, Uncle Sam.

That goes for you too, Great State of Connecticut!  Yesterday, according to TurboTax we owed the State of Connecticut $21.00. We can afford that. I sat down to fill out the paper tax form and discovered we owed $66.00. Hmmmmm…..I opened the TurboTax site, I didn’t do anything other than that! I looked at the top of the screen where it so nicely keeps displaying what you owe and saw the amount for Connecticut had magically changed from $21.00 to $66.00!  Yes, I am never using TurboTax again. Ever.  It used to be that being a Connecticut resident who owned a home or car one was entitled to a measly tax credit of $200.00 for property tax payments. No more. Now Connecticut residents can only take that if they’re over 65 or claim at least one dependent. Seriously? We pay right around $5000/year just in house taxes letting me take off a whole $200 of that doesn’t seem to be too much to ask no matter how old one is or how many dependents they do or don’t have. Wanting to be a good citizen I chicken scratched that form and the check and sent them off.

For the most part, this is over with for another year.

As I was doing that hubby sent me a link from PetFinder, a cute dog, looked friendly, it’s a Pit Bull. I know I shouldn’t be leery of adopting one but I’m not willing to take the risk because I have 3 cats. Pits and Pit mixes are off my list of types of dogs to adopt.  I went over to PetFinder to look for a dog and maybe take away some of the anxiety I’ve been dealing with over the tax situation. I found several nice dogs. ALL in the same rescue. There’s at least 20 of them and they’re very close by. I thought; Wow! Maybe this is a good place for us to find a dog!

I checked out their website and their 5 page adoption application. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again….I am adopted, me a human being, and I really don’t think my parents jumped through this many hoops to get me. It’s a shame, I’d really love to help a dog from one of these places but no I’m not willing to have a ‘home visit/inspection’ or to give them permission to run my credit report. I will provide two personal references who can vouch for my good character and loving nature. I will promise to take the dog to PetCo once a year for vaccinations and a check-up. (This doesn’t sit well with them, they really want me to pay out a boatload of money to a traditional vet for the exact same services.) For a dog I absolutely fall in love with I’ll find a way to pay the $350-$500 (and up!) adoption ‘fee’ but let’s face it that’s more than just a little high. I can get a dog from the Humane Society for $200 if it’s a puppy to a young adult and $90 if it’s an adult to senior dog. The rescues try to get around the high fee by saying they’re a registered charity so this amount is ‘tax deductible’. Sure, it is, if you can itemize your deductions and come up with more than ‘standard deduction’, if not, you can’t take the credit. Once Upon a Time, Dear Old Uncle Sam allowed every tax payer to take a ‘charity credit’ of up to $500, no matter their filing status but Uncle Sam doesn’t do that anymore and he hasn’t for quite a while. So, please, stop telling people they can take this ‘adoption fee’ off their taxes and start saying ‘it MAY be deductible depending on your tax status’.

Finding a new dog or cat to add to your family did not used to be this hard. There’s no reason, with all this technology to ‘advertise’ these animals, that it should be this hard. I’ll keep looking on CraigsList, checking out the Animal Control pages, and the Humane Society’s site. Perhaps one day in the near future we will find that dog to love and open our home to. Should you know of one in my area please let me know.

For now, with the taxes settled, and the day a bit gray, I might try to write or I might catch up on “How to Get Away With Murder” on Netflix. We finished “Grace and Frankie” last night and now have to wait a full year for my episodes. 😦