Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foster dogs - never ending amusement

A little over a year ago I a made a comment to good friend about "not getting crazy dog people". She reminded me of this comment last week, after I told her all about our current foster dog. We enjoyed a good laugh about how my partner and I had gone from being "cat people" to "crazy dog people who also have 2 cats". I still can't quite explain how it happened, but that's what we are.

A year ago, almost to the day, we decided it was time to adopt a dog. My partner said she wanted a border collie, the next day I found one on Two days after that, we brought her home. The whole process moved so fast no one had time to rethink or change her mind - thankfully. We adopted a lovable, spirited border collie/lab named Pepper, and our lives have never been the same. She is amazing. Unconditional love at its best. And then came Shadow.

Shadow is a lab mix. Mixed with what? Good question. The most frequent guesses are Shar pe, Akita, chow, pit, and my personal favorite: pot belly pig (I think this is the most likely, given his love of eating, sniffing the ground in the back yard, and slightly overweight stature). Shadow is the sweetest, most submissive dog ever - except when other dogs ogle his food. But that's a whole other story.

Five months after we adopted Shadow I began thinking of getting a third dog. The family who had fostered  Pepper and Shadow suggested we foster rescued dogs rather than adopt a third. We decided to give it a try. It has been the most amazing, at time frustrating and challenging, and overall rewarding experience we have ever had.

Now in our fifth month of being foster moms, we have it down to a science - pretty much. We currently have two guest dogs in our house. Duchess (who was first named Mikey, then Minnie when we realized he was a she), is a sweetheart. She is more a people dog than a dog dog, but tolerates, even enjoys, our pack. She is being adopted by my mom's cousin this weekend. They are a perfect match. Duchess likes human companionship, shorter walks, and delicious treats. Her new mom will provide all that with endless love and attention. Perfect together.

We also have a foster dog, Evan, with us who needs to find his forever home. Evan is a good, plain and simple. He is floppy like a Muppet, loves people, likes to play with our dogs, and would prefer not to sleep in his crate. He jumps up, to hand you his paws. He would rather be pet than eat or pee or anything else. He aims to please, and when he snuggles into your lap he does just that.

The one thing all of our foster dogs (I think the running total since October is 8 but they all tend to run together after a while....) and our dogs is: how in the world could anyone dump them at a shelter. I will never understand this one. Beautiful, lovable dogs, dumped. Granted, all of them are far from perfect. We have had ball obsessors, shoe eaters, pillow eaters, pee-ers, jumpers, even one pooper - but none that ever deserved to end up on death row. Ever. Thankfully, the people who have the thankless job of running the shelter agree that no dog should end up there, so they do their best to save each one. And as long as their are wonderful people like this who try to save one dog at a time, we will too. Thank you for all you do - wherever and whoever you are. You keep it up, and we will too.

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