Update (04/01/09)- since this post was first written, a convoluted sequence of all manner of unlikely circumstances has meant that Jessie is now ours and we get to fetch her tomorrow!
All their lives my sons have begged to be allowed to have a dog. Since dogs require company or they can become delinquent, my rule has always been that there needed to be someone at home pretty much full time before this could happen.
So, now that I am self-employed and working from home, they have been politely 'ahem-ing'. A recent attempted break-in sealed the issue. Time to get the promised dog.
I won't bore you with all the details and disappointments, but an incident today is going to take some getting over.
We had been advised on the phone that a suitable dog had come in and we should come and see her. With a very painful shoulder, I drove the 40mins, only to watch the family ahead of us in the queue choose her.
We walked around the centre and interacted with a few of the dogs, and met and fell in love with Jessie. She's a complete mongrel with the sweetest nature imaginable.
We waited in the queue at the shelter to place a reserve on her. The woman who attended to us had no idea what she was doing and had to keep getting up to ask someone in an office behind her how to proceed. As a consequence, the family behind us in the queue (dealt with by a more efficient assistant) placed a reserve on her before our lady got as far as trying to locate her card.
When your children are little, you can offer them refuge in your lap to rail out their frustration and disappointment. When they are 15 and 17, and their disappointment and frustration results in rude-but-entirely-accurate postulations, it's a little less easy to handle.
I'm sure there have been more serious consequences of inefficiency, but this one is very immediate for our family right now. Service staff need to know what they're doing before they're inflicted on the public.