Friday, April 6, 2012

"With love and patience, nothing is impossible."

At some point in the last couple of weeks, I acquired another foster dog.  Funny how that happens, huh?  The more, the merrier!  That's what I think!

I first met Peaches at an K9 Justice League adoption event at Petco.  I was attending the event with my current (and still current) foster dog, Lucille.  We set up camp as usual and made ourselves comfortable at the table with our dogs in hand.  Lucille was very social and did a great job drawing the attention of people passing by.  After all, those three-legged dogs tend to do that!  Peaches, however, spent her day trying to wander at the end of the leash... and sleeping.  When people did pay attention to her, she'd offer a wag of the tail and was very tolerant of anyone visiting.  She did especially well with children!  Peaches was nothing short of sweet, though she didn't appear to be very entertained at the adoption event.

Lucille, myself, and Peaches
 Little did I know, this picture would be a picture of myself with my future foster dog, Peaches.  While I'm still not sure if she'll end up as my "permanent" foster dog, she's spent enough time with me now to be a temporary foster dog, at least!  How did Peaches end up with me, you ask?  Well, I have a 6ft privacy fence, and I'm the person who can't stand to see a dog down on her luck.  While we don't know what Peaches' past consists of, I can only assume that she was never kept indoors.  Her first foster home, while perfect in every other aspect, didn't have a fence that could contain this wandering soul.  As for the second foster home, Peaches required more training and time than they could give her at the time.  Dogs who have never lived inside before take a little extra time and patience when it comes to house training and manners... not everyone is up for it.  Even though I already had Lucille, I was more than willing to hang on to Peaches until another foster home opened up... or indefinitely... until she's adopted.

 It didn't start off like that, though.  The first couple of days with Peaches went well.  She was fine with all of my dogs... and just kind of existed amongst them.  She's older and gives the occasional kiss and tail wag to the other dogs, but that's about the extent of it.  She did well with house training, too.  There were a couple of days later, however, that you would have thought that Peaches was looking to get the heck out of my house!  And she was driving me crazy!  She looked out of the windows, paced in the yard, tried to climb over and crawl under the baby gates, and attempted to dig her way out of the crate.  Peaches wanted OUT.  Following this episode, she also had a couple accidents in the house.  Honestly, I expect accidents.  Dogs who have never lived in a home environment have no idea that just going when you have to go - whether it's on the tile or hardwood floor or carpet - is not proper house dog manners.  They don't know any better... and nobody ever taught them.  It was the constant attempt at escaping that had me confused.  She just seemed so anxious and just couldn't settle down.

At some point, Peaches gave up.  I don't know what it was.  I'm not sure if she just got into the swing of things... or if she saw that the other dogs had to deal with exactly what she was dealing with... but Peaches finally settled in.  She's given up on trying to 'get out'... whether it's under or over gates or digging out of the crate.  She goes outside with the rest of the pack, sleeps in a crate adjacent to Lucille, and eats when the others eat.  I think she's probably gained a pound already - and she's a picky eater.  However, she seems content enough in the household to eat dry food without the bells and whistles.  I add canned food once a day for the extra calories... but Peaches doesn't hesitate to eat her dry, plain kibble anymore.  And while I won't hold my breath, she's been accident free for the last few days!  She's a good girl and refuses to have accidents in her crate, and we experienced a milestone this morning!  She scratched at the door to go outside!  And when I let her out, she tinkled right away!  Peaches is nothing short of incredibly sweet... and she's trying so hard to learn the ways of an indoor dog.  She's going to make someone an amazing companion if she keeps this up!  Her name is perfect.  She's as sweet as peaches.

As for Lucille, she's been doing great.  She looks like a totally new dog!  She's gained weight and has a shiny, beautiful coat!  Lucille event had a meet and greet the other day with a family!  Fingers crossed that they are her future forever family.  I had to work, so I didn't get to meet them... but apparently they are a very nice family!  I'm going to miss Lucille very much when she does leave.  She fits in well here... and has made an awesome playmate for Lyla.  But... I've said it a million times... and I'll say it again... a foster dog going to a new home means another homeless dog gets a chance at life.  As much as I hate to let them go, it's all for good reason... and I can deal with that.

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