Goldie

Tori is still not adopted. I was getting restless. I may have made an impulsive decision without consulting the boyfriend. Well, I consulted him several other times about other dogs and he always said “You can do whatever you want but I won’t be happy with three dogs in the house.” So I didn’t ask.
I just brought home a Great Pyrenees/Yellow Lab mix.

So things are tense. And covered in slobber. He’s not happy and I feel guilty. All I want to do is help save dogs! All he wants to do is live in house with less dog hair than things that aren’t dog hair! And, jeezy creezy, this girl has A LOT of fur. Every time you touch her a dozen hairs flutter to the floor. I’m not sure how this is going to work out.

So much fur came out while brushing. And it's she more is still falling off when I touch her.

So much fur came out while brushing. And it’s she more is still falling off when I touch her.

Anyways… Goldie’s story:
Goldie was picked up by animal control with another GP mix about 6 months ago. (The local animal control used to put all animals to sleep after the 7 day stray hold was up. The rescue I work with now takes all animals after the stray hold is up.) Goldie was adopted at her very first adoption event by an older, handicapped woman. 6 Months later the woman calls us to return her because she is trying to attack people who come into her home and she isn’t strong enough to restrain the 80 lb dog.
Yes, I took in another return.

Just barely snapped this before she ran off!

Just barely snapped this before she ran off!

I went to the house to pick Goldie up. She did, in fact, try to murder me. I quickly pulled out my bag of tricks (this is mostly just a big bag of treats) and had her sitting and begging in less than a minute. She turned into the most goofy, loving dog in the whole world. The woman was very impressed. I acted like it was no big deal. Like a boss.

Introducing her to Rocko and Tori was scary. But it became clear after the initial butt smelling that this big girl was not at all aggressive with dogs. Tori is quite small compared to Goldie. She spent a couple days hiding under tables and snapping. Goldie has absolutely no idea Tori is being violent. She is a big goober and keeps play bowing and running in circles around Tori in play mode. The are both so clueless. I am sure Tori will figure out how goofy and harmless Goldie is and reclaim her dominate throne in the house in no time.

She's trying to get Tori to play while she's sleeping.

She’s trying to get Tori to play while she’s sleeping.

Goldie is a big dog. She’s about 80 lbs and has a big build. I’ve noticed, however, that she doesn’t really realize her size. Not in the usual “What do you mean I’m not a lap dog” way, but in a different way. I had closed the bathroom door all but 2 inches while I was in the shower. When I got out of the shower Goldie was sniffing furiously and whining. She clearly wanted in the bathroom but didn’t know she could just push the door open. It’s not that she’s well trained and knows her boundaries, believe me, that’s not it. She just doesn’t realize that she has the power to push stuff. She won’t even paw at the kennel door when I get home. She just stands there prancing with no clue she could snap that kennel into pieces.

Even so, three dogs is too many. Well, these three dogs at least. I suppose it’s because Goldie is still very much a puppy. She’s 2 years old but she is still not quite out of the puppy stage yet. When Tori or Rocko moves or makes a noise Goldie is thrown into uncontrollable excitement. It is nearly impossible to get a photo of her because she won’t sit still or focus. Everything is too exciting! It’s a fun little trip into big dog territory, but until Tori gets adopted I guess I just won’t get to foster any other dogs.

Finally asleep at 2:30 am

Finally asleep at 2:30 am

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Men and Dogs

In my foster group there are about 15-20ish dog fosters and, I don’t know, probably some number of cat fosters. Out of all of these wonderful fosters, not a single one is a man. There is one husband who is supportive and very involved but that’s it. I don’t know why this is. What I do know is that in most cases…. a dog may be man’s best friends but men are the enemy of dog fostering.

“I’ll have to talk to my husband but I really want to foster the new Lab mix.”
“I really want to, but my husband said if I bring home another dog he’s leaving.”
“I love her but she peed on the bed. My husband says she can’t stay here anymore.”
“He says he hates having all these animals in the house but I caught him cuddling and baby talking yesterday.”
“My boyfriend says he won’t move in if I have more than three dogs.”

Perhaps men are just the scapegoats or the voice of reason when we can’t think strait. Those longing puppy dog eyes can make us do crazy things. If men are the sane ones who can resist a dog that is clearly dying when it isn’t in your lap perhaps it makes sense that they don’t foster. Fostering is insane. The dogs are completely unpredictable in most cases. They may come in with zero training and without the ability to differentiate carpet from grass. They may come in with strange objects in their stomachs that really need to be vomited on to your sofa. Or they may be ill. I made the mistake of letting a 9 week old puppy sleep in the bed with me. I rolled over into a freshly vomited pile of live roundworms. That was about 18 dogs ago.
Maybe the men have a point. Or maybe they are heartless bastards who can watch a Sarah McLachlan commercial without bursting into tears. We may never know.

How can you say no?

How can you say no?

I have Rocko. He is my dog. Permanently. (Well… he might not be my dog anymore. He and my boyfriend have become quite attached. Especially since he moved in.) I am fostering Tori. She has no signs of getting adopted. Ever. This makes two dogs. I have been brought home a couple third dogs–small ones– to test my limits with the boyfriend. They have not been disasters. I wouldn’t call them successful, though. He would prefer I didn’t foster at all. I suppose I should take it as a sign of love that he moved in with me knowing I am going to bring strange dogs home again and again.

So the battle continues. We women desperately trying to help those in need and men ruining everything ever.

Mystic

My first new foster of the year. 2015. It’s going to be full of dogs.

Mystic was yet another dog that was adopted from us as a puppy and returned a year later. This doesn’t happen as often as I make it seem. I suppose I just have a soft spot for the type.

This tiny monster is absolutely adorable. He looks like a tiny maned wolf. His legs are longer than he is! We know the mother was a chihuahua and by the look of him, daddy must have been an italian greyhound. The legs on this dog are just… I can’t even describe how long and impossibly thin they are.

Mystic has been a unique challenge for me. He is so very small and delicate. I am not used to a dog that could break. I sat on him the first hour he was in my house. (This little boy can scream, let me tell you.) I was kicking Rocko’s Chuck It Kickball the next day. As it wooshed by a mere foot from Mystic I realized that had it hit him the poor thing would have been crushed into a fine powder. My life is not set up for dogs that can’t handle being hit with a kickball. I find myself carrying him around like a wine glass while the other two dogs run around like, well…. dogs. Luckily the dog-sized dogs are gentle with Mystic. I don’t have to worry about them trampling or shaking him. (Not that I don’t watch them at all times to be sure.)

I am enjoying the novelty of a dog that could become lost in my purse, but I don’t think I will be taking in any more tiny dogs.

Two velcro dogs. Look at those legs!

Two velcro dogs. Look at those legs!

Mystic in the car on the way to my house

Mystic in the car on the way to my house

I may never be able to get up again

I may never be able to get up again

Tori

I took a break from fostering last year. I was living in an apartment. I had a run of fosters that were very destructive. The last one I had before I took my break was with me for over 4 months and was very trying. She was a “velcro” dog. This term refers to a dog that must be near you (preferably touching you) at all times. There is no exception for sleep or cooking or using the bathroom. There was not a single night that dog wasn’t under the covers and between my knees all night. There was not a single potty break in which she was not trying to climb into my lap.
It was overwhelming. I was smothered.
So I took a break.

In November I moved into a house. It’s a smallish house but the backyard is huge. Well… compared to an apartment it’s huge. I now have about 0.2 acres surrounded by a 6-8 foot privacy fence. This yard is perfect for dogs. Well… almost perfect. They gate doesn’t latch and blows open sometimes. Also, it was filled with rabbits, squirrels, and birds.
Was.

The point is, this yard gave the me a good reason to start fostering again. So as soon as I was moved in I took in a dog. Tori.

Tori, like my Rocko, was adopted from the rescue I work with when she was a puppy. About a year later the woman who adopted Tori decided she didn’t want her anymore. The reasons are irrelevant. When someone wants to return a dog they will often make up reasons to rationalize and justify their actions. Sometimes they actually believe the reasons they have fabricated. I don’t mind because the dog is back with us and not being left outside or thrown out of a moving car.

Tori has a lot of energy. She sometimes resembles the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil. This dog looks a lot like a boxer that has been miniaturized. Imagine, however, that as her size was decreased her speed and stamina were increased. She runs at full speed all the time, she waves her open mouth around wildly, and she can jump impossibly high. She has caused minor injuries while whirling around crazily, but when she’s done she is the sweetest little lap dog. She just wants to cuddle next to you and sleep on the sofa while you watch tv. She doesn’t know she’s insane.

I’ve had Tori for 2 months now. I don’t understand why no one wants her sweet face in their home. She’s housebroken, has two eyes, and doesn’t chew on furniture. She even tucks herself in at night! I just don’t understand how any dog with those qualities doesn’t get adopted.
Seriously… look at this face.

Tori tucks herself in for bedtime

Tori tucks herself in for bedtime

This dog has supermodel in her genes

This dog has supermodel in her genes

Tori is an angel when she's sleeping

Tori is an angel when she’s sleeping