Last night my mom and I were discussing how hard it will be to let Alvin go when he gets adopted and that it will be particularly difficult if he gets adopted by someone I don't know. We both feel protective towards him and shared the same worry that someone might yell at him as they hurl through the air before crashing to the ground, due to Alvin serving as a canine speed bump. Even though Alvin does not seem to be afraid of loud noises, I just couldn't bear to think of anyone yelling at him because there has never been a more innocent, kind soul on the planet. I then began to discuss all the stipulations that I would need to feel okay about him going to an adoptive family and I decided that a personalized list of adoption stipulations and requirements should be made. This should get him an adoptive home even faster because in just 20 easy steps, Alvin can be yours!
(This is a particularly silly post but I decided that I owed his fans some entertainment due to not having posted recently. If you have followed along, nearly every one of these has at the very least a ring of truth to them. Enjoy!)
1. The adoptive family will need to be okay with me coming to stay at their house for the first week (give or take another week or three).
2. They will need to submit to random drug testing, although testing positive for sedatives won't automatically be held against them because Alvin can be initially a lot to take in.
3. Every member of the family will need to submit to a criminal background check but can actually score points for small crimes that were in some way funny. An example would be the recent case of the man in Florida that robbed a convenience store for a 12-pack of Bud Lite Lime (could there be a worse sounding concoction?), while using his motorized scooter as the get-away vehicle. The plan was foiled when he didn't anticipate the pesky beach sand so prevalent at Florida beaches and the motorized wheel chair got stuck in the sand. On a side note, have you noticed that most of the crazy stuff comes out of Florida?
4. The potential adopter must not hail from the great state of Florida.
5. The perspective adopter must agree to nanny cams placed throughout their house so I can be assured that he is adjusting well. I don't plan to go overboard or be intrusive, and although I will install them in the bathrooms, I promise to look away while they are used, as long as Alvin is not in the room.
6. As a thank you for being Alvin's adoptive family, for the first year (more if "we" feel it's necessary) I am offering nearly 24-hour surveillance, in an effort to help you fine tune any of your techniques and interventions. I will be happy to install a 24-hour phone line (at my cost) devoted to receiving my calls, which will be comprised of helpful tips and suggestions based on what I am viewing in your home. You're welcome!
7. One must never raise their voice to Alvin even when he accidentally trips you and you find the ground hurling up to your face. If you are particularly flexible and nimble, it is altogether possible that you will never actually do a full-fledged face plant. In preparation of his arrival it is strongly suggested that one take yoga classes.
8. One must agree to enter Alvin into at least one canine burping contest a year, so that he can continue to refine his "craft". When he wins, which is assured because no dog could possibly burp as loud as Alvin, all award money should go towards his favorite, gas-producing treats so that he can continue to "practice".
9. One must be willing to look like the neighborhood idiot by extending the arm holding his leash above one's head so that he can loop through his walks unimpeded. The alternative is to maintain the usual position when walking him and end up with your legs bound together at the ankles and doing yet, another face plant (while not raising your voice). Through trial and error, I have found that it is far safer to look like the neighborhood idiot, not to mention the side bonus of looking like you are walking a trained party pony who does perfect circles around you. You'll be memorable!
10. When bathing Alvin (God be with you) one must agree to provide a slip-free bathmat, put peanut butter on the sides of the tub, and most importantly, get in the bath with him so that he feels like you are in, what can only be described as a liquid fiasco together.
11. Alvin would love to have a pet of his own. He does not discriminate between cats, dogs, or probably any other animal. His pet needs to be extremely non-confrontational, not too playful because it scares him, will never bark at him, and will agree to cuddle with him at night. His interest will alternate between virtually no acknowledgment to intense interest and wanting to repeatedly tap his nose on them. If you do not have a pet available for Alvin, I can send Stevie. It's a two-for-one deal with two highly adoptable dogs. Now, that's a win-win situation if I ever heard of one!
12. Alvin enjoys watching TV and has a particular affinity for the show, Dog the Bounty Hunter. In preparation of his arrival, please begin to record the show during one of the marathons and play in continuously for him when he comes to your home. It's not a loud, annoying show at all!
13. Alvin enjoys all kinds of food and he is yet to find anything he won't eat. Believe me, we have taste tested nearly every food imaginable just out of shear curiosity of what possible food he would actually reject. He greatly appreciates getting a nibble of any food you are eating with the exception of food containing wheat, or foods that are toxic to dogs. He has grown accustomed to getting a piece of kibble every time one passes his food container. He will sit for the piece of kibble but is also happy to receive it without having to perform. Don't worry about forgetting because he is very diligent in reminding his human by frantically circling, staring holes through the food container and obsessively licking his lips. One need not worry about him gaining weight because due to his extensive looping exercise routine throughout the day, he stays fit and trim.
14. Alvin has a varying bed time and if he is particularly tired and the TV interrupting his attempts to sleep, he will go into another room and put himself to bed. He is very adept at this and does not require any assistance, although he does enjoy his person coming in, getting on their hands and knees, while he nose taps his good night message on your face. Due to his unpredictable bedtime schedule, he needs several dog beds throughout the house to choose from. He will accompany you on the bed at night but it will require you chasing him around the house while pleading, "for the love of all decency, Alvin please stop looping away from me." It's a real ego booster! Once on the human bed he appreciates a raw hide for his chewing pleasure. Although he was initially an early riser, Alvin has sought inspiration from his foster sister, Stevie and now prefers to sleep in. His perspective adopter must be willing to tip toe out of the bed in the morning and not turn on lights or make loud noises until he is ready to rise. If one must turn on a light, Alvin will usually respond to the rude intrusion by tucking his head into the covers to block out the light.
15. When Alvin initially adjusts to a new environment he responds best to humans singing to him. He has a strong preference for high pitched singing so in preparation of his arrival, please practice singing in your highest register.
16. Alvin likes to conduct his repetitive nose tapping on people's faces and so one must be willing to bend down to his eye level and allow him to randomly tap his nose on your face. It's actually very charming if one can sustain the deep knee bends.
17. Alvin has been fairly successful in the potty training department. Well, successful for him. He is able to display a very obvious sign that he needs to go potty and once you observe him becoming a canine whirling dervish, you have approximately 30 seconds to get up and let him out, while yelling (in a pleasant tone, of course), "I'm coming Alvin!" Although he acts as though he has no ability to hold it, in actuality, he will hold it and refuse to go out until his human returns to a sitting position, away from his food container and remains completely still to assure him that he won't be missing anything if he goes out. This process allows the adopter to get unexpected, short bursts of exercise, which Dr. Oz states is resoundingly good for one's health. When leaving the door open for him, he is able to go potty outside the majority of the time, but infrequently experiences what are referred to as his, ohhh, you were soooo close and you had the right idea, moments. These consist of him pooping about a foot on the wrong side of the open door. If you look outside and it is raining and cold, ask yourself if you would be willing to go out there and go potty. If the answer is no, chances are about 50/50 that Alvin will follow suit. Thankfully we live in California where nasty weather is an infrequent issue.
18. Due to Alvin's overwhelming excitement at meal time, he displays a propensity to eat one bite of his food, nearly whirl a hole in the ground, become disoriented and cannot locate his food bowl again. This will require the perspective adopter to wait for the whirly twirly show to cease and then physically take his food bowl to him. Pointing at the food bowl, or tapping on it is entirely unsuccessful in reminding him of where his food bowl is and without assistance, he will continue to whirl around and stare up at you pleadingly for excruciatingly long periods of time. In regards to his profound excitement over food, the perspective adopter can not be too attached to the idea of keeping all ten fingers (pun intended). Alvin has experienced significant progress in no longer taking a finger with his treats, yet it still remains a possibility that one could lose a finger. Not all 10 fingers are essential for every day functioning and so it is suggested that the perspective adopter not present any of their favorite fingers when giving him a treat.
19. Alvin loves to meet other dogs. For the most part, dogs are fairly receptive to him but on the rare occasion that a dog becomes mystified or put off by his odd behavior, he must be promptly removed from the offending dog, while being told that he/she only hates him because he's beautiful. Although these situations are always a bit disappointing, if re-framed positively, it provides opportunities for self esteem building. Other re-frames can include pointing out to Alvin that the other dog is particularly dim-witted and he doesn't need to waste anymore of his time with a canine so below his intelligence level, the other dog felt too inferior in Alvin's presence and had to flee, the trouble with humans is some of them raise very rude canines, the other dog is "different", etc. The sky's the limit! Be creative!
20. All of Alvin's mystifying quirks and behaviors must be viewed as part of his undeniable charm and he must be appreciated and embraced (well, not physically because that scares him) for the extraordinarily unique, wonderful little being that he is. One must recognize that he does the very best that he can and his adopter should be inspired with the courage he displays every day.
So, now all of you must dying to adopt him, please do not delay and hurry over to www.campcocker.com and fill out the application. Don't procrastinate because you want to be at the top of the list when the applications inevitably start rolling in. Due to the anticipation of a back log of applications, please allow upwards of 15 minutes for a response from me. Please don't forget to have a room prepared for me (I'll bring my own pillow) and if approved, Alvin and I can be at your house by night fall. See ya soon!