Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Lost time is never found again."

So I spent the entire day hanging out with my dogs... and in my boredom, I decided that I needed to catch up on some blogging.  It's now that I realized how long it's been since I've written anything.  I have so many stories to tell... yet it almost seems impossible since I haven't written in so long.

Last time I checked in, I was fostering Posey... because the Lab mix I had originally wanted got adopted.  Since then, Posey got adopted within a couple of weeks into an AMAZING home.  She is an old Hound with a young heart again and living a spoiled and fulfilling life.

At some point after Posey was adopted, Hallie, one of my shy girls, was returned to the rescue due to her inability to come out of her shell.  I hope I have this all right?  After so many dogs, it seems to just run together.  One of our former K9JL adopters ended up coming down from Maryland to meet her.  She's now living happily in a home with another K9JL adoptee and an owner who understands her shyness issues and accepts her as she is.

Then came Avie.  I tagged along to Isle of Wight with NO plans of bringing a dog home.  I saw two shy kids that tugged at my heart strings... but they had to stay together... and there was NO way I was coming home with two.  Then I saw Avie... an adorable, spunky pup finishing up demodex treatment.  Who can't use a little puppy in her life?  I sure could.  So... despite my attempts to come home without a dog, I couldn't help myself.  It wasn't long before this spitfire of a pup was adopted by a young couple that was willing to put up with her puppy antics.  She's happy and doing amazingly well in her new home!  And I'm pretty sure that her parents are considering bringing another pup into the mix.

Funny how everything pans out... because around that same time, Jackson... the Lab mix that I had originally wanted to foster before Posey and before Hallie and before Avie... just so happened to get returned by his new owners around the same time.  It was meant to be... and Jessica didn't even make me ask.  "Go get the records... I know you're going home with him."  And that was that.  I renamed him "Parker" since there was already a Jackson in the house!  He's one of the sweetest dogs I've had... and such a special boy.  I'm happy to say that he found an incredible home with a young couple with no other dogs.  He gets his nails painted, plays dress up, has his very own bed, gets all the attention he needs, and I couldn't be happier with where he is.  His mom brought him to one of our adoption events to visit... and when I knelt down on the ground to give him a hug... I actually started crying.  Dogs come in and out of my life all of the time... and I love every single one of them.  Some of them, though, are just special... and Parker was one of them.  Everything in the universe kept that dog away from me fostering him at first... but we still ended up together.  I definitely believe in fate.  His owner's sister recently adopted another dog from K9JL... and they already seem to be best of friends!

Then Lu came into my life.  She's an all black GSD (maybe GSD/Malinois?) that is young and sweet and crazy.  My friend actually ended up fostering her for a couple months with the intent of adopting her... but her fear towards men made it impossible for her husband to bond with Lu.  Before Lu came back to my house, though, Lyla's littermate, Sadie, came back into the rescue.  One of the sweetest ladies I've met... and truly a wonderful dog!  I had her for about a month before she was adopted by a family who is related to another one of the littermate's adopters!  It was hilarious having Lyla and Sadie here together.  Sometimes if I glanced over at the sleeping pile of pups... I had no idea which one was mine... or the foster!  She's doing great in her new home, too, and they can't get over how easy she is... other than her leash manners!  Don't worry... her sibling, my girl, is no better on a leash!

Anyway, Lu ended up coming back to me since she was having so many issues with my friend's husband.  She does have stranger danger issues with men... but it's totally manageable.  He was a police officer and would come home at 3am... so it was hard for Lu to ever spend enough time with him to bond.  She's all bark and no bite, anyway!  I've had my ups and downs with her.  She's extremely high energy... and with four other dogs in the house, it's hard to deal with that type of personality sometimes.  Lucky for Lu, she's one of the sweetest and most submissive dogs I've ever met.  She's still young and still needs to be molded into a model dog... but I'm confident that she'll get there with the right home.

So... five dogs in the house... and I'm at work one day when a new client brings in an 8-week-old puppy that is sick and emaciated.  I think part of me, subconsciously, wanted this woman to offer him up to me.  Well... she did.  As I rocked him in my arms and stared into his astounding eyes, I couldn't help from wondering what his fate would be...

I'm going to leave it at that... because he deserves his very own entry... and I'm not quite ready to write it yet.  So... note to self... don't let so many dogs come and go without updating!  I didn't realize how many dogs I've had since I first go Posey.  You guys keep reading, I'll keep writing.

When I'm ready, I'll spill the beans on the little brown pup that broke my heart... but for now... I'll leave you with the happy thoughts of all of the dogs that were adopted in the meantime.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The worst thing you can say to a foster parent...

People mean well.  They really do.  And while they don't think there's anything wrong with what they are saying - well - I know my fellow foster families know what I'm talking about...

Your friends see that picture you post - you know - of the new foster dog on the couch snuggled up next to the other dogs?  Or maybe the one of the dog curled up next to you?  They see your posts about how well Fido fits in with the rest of your dogs, and they see how much you love your new temporary addition.

And that's when it starts.  The comments come flooding in: I think you should keep him.  Fido fits in so well with the rest of the pack.  I don't think he'll be leaving.  How can you stand to let him go?

You know what?  You just said the worst thing possible.  I ALREADY want to keep half of the dogs that I foster.  I already fall in love with all of them.  My dogs fall in love with them, too.  So... PLEASE refrain from validating my adoration for these animals.  PLEASE don't tell me that I should keep this one.  Fostering is hard enough... but it gets even harder when you friends remind you how well a dog fits in.

So instead of reminding us how amazing it would be to add our fosters as permanent residents, remind us how important it is to let them go to a new family.  Yes, they fit in great... but tap us on the shoulder and remind us that Fido has the perfect family out there somewhere... and that once he's adopted, we can save another.  'Nuff said.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Not to sound cliche, but where do I start?

It's been a couple months since I last posted.  Not much to post about in my "Foster Dog Diaries" blog when I'm not fostering a dog.

Well, we all knew how long that would last.  Do you sense the sarcasm?  I can't remember the last time that I only had four dogs in my house.  What's one more?  I did not intend on acquiring another foster dog until I got word that PAWS of Hertford County had a shy dog that needed to get into a foster home.  So... I got that spark in my heart and started getting excited about possibly having a new dog in the house.  Paige has settled in as a permanent family member... and our days are quite simple.  I felt like I could open up my home and my heart to another dog in need.  Especially a shy dog.  I sure do love my shy dogs...

So I went to the adoption event and stopped by Jackson's (my prospective foster dog's) crate to visit.  However, he wasn't cowered in the corner like my other "shy dogs".  He clearly had some anxiety... but Jackson was nothing like Audrey or Hallie, my nearly feral dog fosters.  I gladly hung out with the PAWS volunteers and noticed shortly a young boy visiting with Jackson.  The look in his eyes as he stood in front of the dog's crate was priceless.  As jealous as I was that this kid was probably going to be taking MY new foster dog, I couldn't help from being in awe over the fact that you could just tell that these two were meant to be together.  And that was that.  The family had their German Shepherd meet Jackson, then they filled out the adoption form.  Just after a week of being back at the shelter, Jackson was back in a home - surely forever this time.

At that point, I had prepared myself to go home with a dog.  I couldn't go home empty-handed now!  I'm always happy to take a dog from PAWS and free up some space there.  It's funny... because I actually ended up taking home the first dog I saw even before I walked into Petsmart.  Before I even walked through the doors, one of the volunteers was walking this old, washed up, sad-looking Hound.  Her name was Wynona... and she had a great story of her escape from the shelter to go with her!  Apparently she escaped from the shelter and was found running down the road, ironically, by a PAWS volunteer who was on her way to work.  I was actually looking at a younger Pittie before I decided on Wynona, but there was something about this girl that pulled at my heartstrings.  She actually reminded me of my old foster dog, Peaches.  Her mopey demeanor, her face, and so much more!  I had to have her.

Now she's got a new name and a new outlook on life!  I ended up naming her Posey... and she's been with me for a week and has been absolutely amazing!  She's extremely easy and is more like a couch ornament than a dog.  She's house-trained, crate-trained, good with dogs, good with cats, walks well on a leash, rides great in the car, wonderful with kids, and she's pretty much perfect.  Her only issue was that she'd possibly try to escape from a yard.  The first few days, I supervised her closely.  But, honestly, this dog wants to be outside, do her business, and come back in to sit on the couch.  I even left her out today with the other dogs... and when I got up to check on them, she was passed out on the deck enjoying some sunshine!  She went to an adoption event today, lasted about an hour, then slept the rest of the day.  She didn't even stand up when new dogs came into the building.  Yeah, she's perfect.  After today, I seriously can't picture her busting out of the shelter and running down the road!  Yeah, she gets playful for all of... 5 minutes... but that's about it!  She's great!  If all of my foster dogs could be like her, I could easily have five dogs in the house.