I’ve been super busy this year, so I’m behind on blogging. I have a different job, trying to get books completed and published, and yes, I still foster dogs for the Humane Society, which will be this blog’s update.
Last summer, I ended my foster blog with my very first foster, Bree. She had been with me almost a year. Truthfully, I was ready to throw in the towel and just keep her. She fit in well with my canine family, and sadly no one was making inquiry’s about her.
But a little voice in my head, said give it one more shot. It told me “she’s ready”. So I took new photos, composed an updated bio, and sent it to the foster coordinator. Three weeks passed. Nothing. “She’s ready,” the voice whispered again.
On July 5th, (after having Bree 13 months) my best friend and I took our regular morning walk. After our jaunt, I got into my car and checked my messages. One was from the shelter. Someone wanted to meet Bree.
My heart stopped. As I drove home, I had to talk myself into returning that call. I couldn’t be selfish. I didn’t get into fostering to adopt.
I phoned her potential mom. She explained she’d been wanting a dog, but gone through a rough period in her life, and wasn’t able to adopt until now.
“I’m ready,” she told me. She’s ready. At that moment I knew my time with Bree was over.
Happy but bittersweet tears filled my eyes as Bree and I took that final drive. Within an hour, Bree had left to start her new life. I’m fortunate, I get to visit Bree periodically, and she’s grown into a self-confident, beautiful dog. She’s in her forever home and well-loved, and that’s the goal.
Dodge had been with me before, but he was returned to the shelter due to unfortunate circumstances. Yet, my conscious bothered me, and I couldn’t bare leaving him there. I drove to the shelter to re-fostered him – fifteen minutes before his life was scheduled to end.
Dodge is supposed to be here.
Dodge is the quirkiest dog I’ve fostered. He had no clue how to be a dog. He would sit on the sofa and look at me, as if to say, I don’t trust you. Because he didn’t.
But time is a wonderful thing. He didn’t trust me, but he loved my other dogs. And spending time with them helped him flourish. He began to put his head under my hand for me to rub, then one evening as everyone crammed on the sofa to be next to me, I noticed for the first time, Dodge was leading the pack. He wanted to snuggle, which was huge.
I received a call about him three weeks after Bree was adopted. A lovely lady was searching for a service dog, and she thought Dodge may be a good fit. We met. He sat quietly next to her as she gently stroked the top of his head. It was a perfect match
Dodge, who once was near death, went to his forever home as a service dog. Now we know why Dodge needed to be here.
Just a added note: I mentioned to his foster mom how much he enjoyed doggie companions, and she later adopted another dog, Piglet, from the shelter.
I love them all, but Harris truly captured my heart. He was a little, black guy. Very quiet. The foster coordinator chose him for me because no one noticed him sitting in his kennel.
Harris was pretty much the perfect dog. (except he was a kitty box cleaner!)
He got along with everyone, he didn’t destroy stuff, he just like to be close to his person, and he would go to great lengths to be near me. It wasn’t long before I got an interested caller.
While we waited for his meeting, a pleasant woman and her twelve year old daughter approached and asked if they could pet him. I said yes, I thought it’d be okay. The lady and her little girl became instantly enamored. The feeling was mutual.
They left us and his potential came. They decided to take him. I had an odd feeling, but they seemed nice enough, and I didn’t have a reason to say no. A week later I received a text asking if I would take him back. His new owner didn’t think he was happy with them.
Harris came home. The shelter has a huge adoption event every year. I’d planned on taking two of my fosters. One had just been spayed, and it was too hot to take her, so I asked if I could bring Harris instead.
As we waited in the playpen, people came to visit the brightly, colored fosters. Little Harris, the black dog was virtually ignored, though he tried his best to gain attention.
Near the end of the day, I saw a hand rub his head, out of the corner of my eye. “What is this dog’s name?” ”
“Harris,” I answered.
“Harris!” a young girl shouted.
I looked up and the mother and daughter who we first met before he was adopted stood over him and were loving on him. They explained they’d came back that day, wanting to adopt him. They were disappointed when they found out he was no longer available. I explained the adoption didn’t work out, and he was back on the market.
Needless to say, Harris happily went to his new home. Didn’t I say he’d go to great lengths to cuddle? When the sofa was full, Harris would lay on the back like a cat.
Molli was a stunning young girl. She’d been surrendered by her owner for biting someone, and many biting circumstances come with blanks to fill in, and that was her case. (i.e. dogs normally will give numerous warnings before they bite, unless they’re startled)
But Miss Molli was the perfect lady the short time she was here. She was extremely shy, but blossomed with patience. Because she was so pretty, she had quite a few inquiries, but none were a good fit.
She went to a boutique rescue, instead, one that only adopted to more affluent adopters.
The rescue had her a week before she found her true forever home. She’s doing well
Jigsaw. Jigs was a big ‘ol sweetheart, but a bit misunderstood. We assume from a dent in his side, he’d been abused at some point in his life, which made him standoffish, and his aloofness made it hard to find his true forever home.
He had been adopted and returned before I fostered him. For the most part he was a great dog. He wasn’t a cuddlier, which was fine with me. I had a ton of those. The biggest issue was Jiggy wouldn’t walk inside through the backdoor. He’d go outside to do his business, but refused to come in.
I had to leash him (sometimes that meant a chase) and lead him indoors. It’s speculated this is where the abuse stemmed, but we can never be sure. I also took him to the adoption event, and he found a home. This adopter also gave off a negative vibe, but again, I had no real reason to refuse. Sure enough, he was returned.
In November, a lady who’d just lost their 15 year old dog called. She wanted give a Jigsaw a loving home. I explained his strange habit, told her he was heartworm positive, but that didn’t faze her. She and her husband wanted Jiggy.
I took him for a meet and greet, and that was it. His parents are semi-retired, and Jigs has become a seasoned traveler. Jigs relaxing in his home.
Lady Tremaine was the yappist dog at the shelter. Every time I’d walk past her kennel, she barked, and she always had a frown on her face. (yes, dogs can frown).
One day, I offered her a treat. At first, she seemed surprised by the attention. After a feeding her a few times, I opened her kennel, looped the lead around her surprised neck, and took her to the playpen.
This noisy girl turned into mush. She wallowed all over me and gave me a ton of kisses. At the time, I was foster full, but I always made a point to visit her .
It’s never great space-wise at the shelter. One afternoon, I received a call that she was scheduled to be put down because they were overflowing. Did I want to take her? I really didn’t have room either, but she was too good to die just because they needed a kennel.
Lady T, came home with me. I had her exactly three weeks when the call came. She had a potential adopter. We went to meet her new family. Unfortunately, Tremaine was less than thrilled. Her job, or so she believed, was to protect me from everyone.
While many people would’ve walked away, her adopter said she was impressed with Tremaine’s guarding skills. A volunteer trainer happened to be at the shelter that day, and he advised on how to proceed. Soon, she warmed up enough to go to her forever home.
Later they adopted another urgent, a playmate for her. Lady T, now Trina, is doing excellent in her home.
Adorable is the best word to describe Chava. My friend who takes doggie photos for the shelter texted me and said if I was looking for an easy going foster, this girl would be the one.
And she was right. Chava has a precious personality, cute as a button, and just pleasant to be around. My mother fell in love with this girl. I think if she hadn’t had a brood of her own, she would’ve adopted her.
Chava got along great with everyone, she loved to play, and gave she the sweetest kisses. I waited for a couple of months before I posted her.
It didn’t take long for her forever dad to snatch her up! Her name was changed to Autumn, which fits, and she’s running the house, spoiled rotten, like she should be. I wish I had more to say about her, but it would just be me gushing on and on about how great she is.
Ricardo was an invisible dog. Now he’s pretty good size, but he was so quiet in his kennel, that I always walked passed him. As did potential adopters.
I met him one afternoon, (and after I vowed, no more fosters for a while) and because he was so sweet and accommodating, I took him home. Plus, he’d made the “bad” list and I didn’t want to see such a wonderful guy go down. He deserved a chance.
Ricardo (Ricky) was a super gentle boy, mildly destructive, I discovered, but no one ever bothered to train him. I got him potty trained, turned him on to toys instead of my things, (worked most of the time). He really just needed to learn how to behave, which he did.
He hung around about two months before he met his new parents. They thought their apartment was too small for him, so they bought a house where he’d have room to play. Yeah, he’s the king.
Ricardo is now Ralphie. He jogs daily, has tons of toys, and lives in a lovely new home full of love. He’s doing great in his new life. Ricardo: Another one with a “fun” personality.
Bosco was one of the few dogs I’ve fostered that wasn’t urgent. I saw his intake picture, and I thought to myself, if no one adopts him, I’m going to foster him. I planned on waiting a while, but another dire situation came up, and so Bosco came home with me.
He was everything I thought he’d be; a wonderful, submissive doll. He refused to sleep on a bed, unless it was mine. He insisted on laying against me…then he snored all night.
I knew once Bosco was posted he’d find a home quick, and I was right. His new dad had gone through personal issues, and when they met, this man’s sad face immediately lit up.
He sat down in the middle of the play pen in his dress clothes, (with a tie) and allowed Bosco to wallow all over him and smothered him with kisses. His adopter’s mother came with him, and she patted me and said, “he needs Bosco.”
Bosco is doing what he does best, making his new dad happy.
I always say fostering isn’t for the faint of heart, and while there are so many happy endings, occasionally some are not. I ended up losing two fosters this year, both still break my heart.
I want to mention them, not to bring everyone down, but because they mattered. They deserve an acknowledgement.
First, is Roxy. She was a beautiful, wild child, the smartest dog I’d ever met. I couldn’t trick her but once. She caught on to whatever I was trying to get her to do, and most often refused to do it again.
She was strong willed, strong minded, and those attributes along with super intelligent are great, but only if they can be controlled. Sadly for Roxy, they could not. She was too aggressive to be adopted out. She just couldn’t be socialized. She’ll always be special, and I believe she’s at peace now wherever she is.
Romeo was my precious boy. He led a charmed life before he came to me. His former mom had to be put into assistant living and couldn’t take him. Someone had the bright idea to surrender him to the shelter. Well, he would have none of that, and he let everyone know he wasn’t happy to be there.
But the office personal brought him out often. With them, he showed off his pleasant personality. Still, the kennel staff thought him a danger, and he was slated to be put down, which is where I came in.
I was asked to foster. I fell in love with this sweet, massive boy, and subsequently adopted him. Romeo became a part of my family. I only had him a few months. A stroke hit his spinal cord, and paralyzed, him. There was nothing left to do but let him go. I miss that big lug every day, but he so brightened my life while he was in it. While our time was short, he left me with wonderful memories.
The best way to mend a broken heart is to fill it with love.
Leticia had been my foster since June, and she had no takers. I finely got a call at the end of December. The adopter stood us up. I decided that day, regardless, she was going to her forever home. This little mess is a member of my pet family, and we’re happy she’s here.I still have three foster babies who need their forever homes. Once they are set, I plan to take a break. I have house redo’s and repairs. I can’t do them with a houseful of dogs.
I also have another project in the works, and it is associated with the shelter. Hopefully, that’ll pan out soon and be successful, and save many more lives.
Once I’m settled, I’ll foster one dog at a time. My list will be much shorter next year. Until then, consider joining me as a foster. It’s a rewarding experience. Yes, it can be hard on the heart, but it’s good for the soul.
My initial meeting with my first foster, Bree, two years ago.