Pet Stuff...

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Doxie-Chiweenie? Feist? Foster Dog!

Lexie, my foster pup has been here about two weeks and she's a sweet little ball of energy!  She's running circles around my 12 year old Shih Tzu, Gracie, who just wants to lay on the couch.

There are some quiet times...

She makes friends easily...

And just today I got an application I really like. Now the work begins to ensure that this family is a perfect fit because this little girl deserves a family that will have patience for an energetic puppy, time to give her the exercise she'll need and enough love to give her that furever home.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Today's the Day!

Will be picking up my new foster, Lexie, this afternoon! Yay!

She was put on a transport in NC yesterday and road all night with a lot of other dogs. One of our rescue team met the transport on the turnpike this morning and is bringing her and a bunch of lab-mix puppies here to find their furever homes!

Can't wait to meet this little girl. Will post pictures sooon!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fostering Addiction

Once you’ve fostered a few dogs, the addiction sets in. Instead of the, “I’m not sure I could give it up,” monolog running through your brain, you hear, “I can save one more.”

Thinking about the dog that just left your home sometimes hurts. I miss them. In the short time they lived here, they crawled into my heart. When they leave all the quirky little things they did, like running into the kitchen every time they heard the cheese being unwrapped, or cuddling next to me as I watched TV, or greeting me when I came through the door after work, suddenly seemed like big things. Big things that weren’t here anymore. And I think about them a lot! Are they okay? Does the family love them as much as I do? Will they remember me? Most importantly; Do they understand why I gave them away?

I think that last one bothers me most of all. I loved them, I fed them, bathed them, took them to the vet, tucked them into their little bed at night and made sure they were safe. Can they understand that I was just the bridge to their forever life? I hope so.

I haven’t fostered for a few years because my last foster was unadoptable. A hoarder dog, Cupcake was an incessant barker, resource guarder, and did not want to be touched. In fact, in her first 9 years on this planet, Cupcake had never experienced human affection. She’d been kept in a yard, over bred for cash, and never touched by human hands except when they were taking her puppies. She came into my home thin and scared. It soon became clear I couldn’t take her to adoption days because of her fear. No applications came for this 9 year old Chihuahua over the internet.

Cupcake just settled in here. Found a spot on the couch with her blanket and began to appreciate living in a house. Eventually, she learned to take treats from my hand and accept a pet on the head. Then she’d let me rub her back. I could pick her up if I moved really slow, but she’d be stiff as a board, as if waiting for something. I can only wonder what she went through before she arrived. I made it a practice to pick her up once a day; very slowly up, pets and ear rubs, then very slowly down. With lots of praise.

One day, after she’d been in my home for about a year, we sat at opposite sides of the couch. I reached over (slowly) and picked her up and placed her on my lap. She stood stiff as a statue while I rubbed her back and behind her ears. When I stopped she ran back to her corner of the couch and stared at me. For two weeks I repeated this once every night. One night I sat on the couch after dinner and she jumped into my lap, ready for the rub down.

Of course, this unadoptable dog had found her forever home right here in my arms. Because she still had a lot of fear and other issues, I stopped fostering. A few years passed and she developed an enlarged heart and went into heart failure multiple times. I would run her to the vet to sit in an oxygen tank, adjust her meds and hear the vet say it might be time to make that heart breaking decision. Working with my vet, we brought her back every time. The last time after oxygen and more meds, she never really came all the way back. Her breathing stayed labored and we couldn’t get the water off her heart. It was time to say goodbye. I held her in my arms as she passed and took a little piece of my heart with her. She was a good dog. Maybe she came into my home not knowing how, but she wanted to be good. All dogs want to be good. Some just need to learn to trust.

When you foster and end up keeping the pup, they are affectionately known as foster failures. Or maybe I’m the foster failure? My little foster failure taught me patience and the gift of time. Some don’t need that much time, some need extra time. Cupcake didn’t sit on my lap for the first year she lived here. By the time we said goodbye she would leap into my lap every night. I miss that. I miss her joy and affection and yes, even her little quirks.

Sometimes fostering gives you such a gift. Sometimes you foster and give that gift to someone else. Now, with Cupcake gone to the Rainbow Bridge, I’m ready to foster again. The rescue group I work with sent me this picture.

I stared at it for hours. This Feist/Chi mix is 8 months old and found in a shelter in North Carolina. I have a 12 year old Shih Tzu. I need a dog who will get along with her. Puppies usually love everyone so I’m hoping they’ll cuddle and play. One thing about puppies, they usually don’t spend that much time in the foster home. People love to adopt young pups.

Then the fostering addiction kicks in again. Once her health is cleared by a vet, this little pup will be placed on a transport and welcomed into my home.
Updates to follow…

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Do Something

Maybe you can't foster a dog because of work or family dynamics, but there's always something you can do. 

Big or small, every effort helps.

  • Organize a Fundraiser. Set up a box where you work and collect food, blankets, towels, or Toys for dogs. Call up a local rescue and see what they need. A sign and a box and you're ready to go. 
  • Find your local rescue and start a Facebook Share-a-thon! Go to their Adopt-a-Pet or Pet-Finder site and share the dogs that need a home. Encourage your Facebook and Twitter friends to do the same. Share those pups right into a new home!
  • Volunteer to help out at adoption days. Join your local rescue and let them know how much time you have to spare and take part in events and fundraisers.
  • Show up at an animal shelter and offer to take a dog for a walk. An exercised pup is a happy pup and you just might find yourself a new best friend.
  • Got a few extra $bucks$? Donate a grooming for a dog in need. Some dogs come into rescue in deplorable condition. They need baths, nail clips and sometimes to be completely shaved down. 
  • Set up a recurring donation. Tag a small amount from your weekly paycheck to go to a rescue or animals shelter. Even small amounts add up if enough people do it. 

Step up! Your small effort can make a big difference in the life of  a homeless pup. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dog Adoption & Fostering

Whenever someone decides to try fostering a dog there's going to be a family member, coworker, or friend who will think they're crazy.
My advice? Go with your heart.

Fostering is work. You have an animal to take care of and that includes feeding, bathing, cleaning up after, and taking to adoption days or the vet. (Some rescues will do the vet visits for you.) Most rescue volunteers will pitch in and help each other with adoption days and if you have a dog that requires professional grooming, the rescue should pay for it.

Choose the right organization to work with for fostering. 

This can be your local shelter. Most accept fosters due to the over crowding. Check out their website, visit, or make a phone call and find out what they're looking for in a foster family.
Check out your local rescue. Look them up online. They should be a verifiable non-profit. Go to your state's website and there should be a place to look them up to see their non-profit status. In New Jersey that would be at the Directory of  Registered Charities   Making sure the rescue you choose is a non-profit helps to ensure all funds and donations will go to the care of the animals.

Once you find your rescue ask about their policies for fostering. Who pays for what? A good rescue will supply all the supplies (food, leashes, medical needs, flea prevention, etc.) and host adoption days in your community. Ask about what happens if you can no longer foster? This sometimes comes up if the dog you're foster doesn't get along with another pet in your home or if you have a family emergency and can no longer keep the dog. There should be policy in place for emergencies.

A good rescue usually gives a first time foster an easy dog. By that I mean one that is calm or maybe a puppy. Most puppies have no issues and just want to play. Good choice if you have kids. Some in the rescue I belong to only foster puppies and others only want to do the older dogs. I've done both. Puppies can be fun and older dogs are usually already house trained. There are good points to any age dog. Puppies are usually adopted faster than older dogs.

If you can't foster there are always other volunteer options.
Most good rescues run fundraisers and the more hands to help the better.
Processing paperwork for adoptions.
Calling references.
Doing home visits.
Transporting dogs.
Collecting donations.

Check out your local shelter or rescues. Their website should have a list of volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer and save a life.