Thursday, February 25, 2010

Portly and Pixie

It's amazing how different all of my Boston fosters' personalities are. My last two fosters were especially contrasting:


Found wandering the streets three years ago at about three years of age. He was adopted for several years but then the family lost their jobs and decided to relinquish him back to our rescue for financial reasons. They sent a long note with him about how much he was loved and all his ailments (bad knees, allergies, anal gland issues-ewww!), but from what I could tell they really had no idea how to care for a dog. He came to me severely overweight with nails so long that they were growing around is paws. He has little confidence, is severely overweight, and is the doggie equivalent of a sex fiend (seriously, check this out if you don't believe me!). I clipped his nails and began working on his weight by restricting meals and treats to the minimum and forcing him to exercise.

I think Marley was previously a puppy mill breeder for several reasons. He hates walking on grass and wood floors (which means he doesn't really like to go anywhere except on concrete). Wood just makes him crazy - walking from rug to rug in my home he does a 180 halfway across and then walks the rest backwards. Very odd! He is also not particular comfortable going through doorways. These are all common traits among mill dogs.

What a different dog from Marley. I call her a pixie because of the way she zings around the house. Bill was eating on the couch yesterday and she bounded at him with such force that she flung herself off the back of the couch and onto the floor! You may recall that Bill was a puppy mill breeder for two years before he came into foster care, and he was a WRECK! For three months he wouldn't get out of bed. Well, Madeline was also a mill dog for two years, but she's about as well adjusted as they come! She has a few mill traits, a little bit of fear and uncertainty about the outdoors, but other than that she's a doll! She loves toys and bones, LOVES to play with Bill, and curls up as close to me as she can get.

(Not so) Funny story: Madeline was with a foster in Nebraska who sent her to a forever here in Colorado. Apparently Madeline ate the woman's doors, molding, and couch, and she trashed a plant, so the woman called our rescue screaming for us to take her back. Of course, we did immediately, but not before finding out that the woman REFUSED to crate this poor dog when she was out of the house. What did the woman expect? Madeline has no idea about what is expected of her in a house! Long story short, Madeline came to live with me as a foster. She took one bite out of a house plant and one taste of the cat's food. A loud "No" permanently deterred her from trying again (at least in my presence). I walked upstairs and guess who was eating the couch? NOT Madeline... it was "perfect" BILL! What a dork!

What the Future Holds:
Marley went to another foster because I recently took a vacation. The other foster decided to keep him and work on his weight loss for a while as he waits for his forever home to come along. Madeline is most likely going to get adopted by a wonderful family tomorrow. They fell in love with her photo and appear to be good, responsible dog guardians. I really like them and so do all my animals - they received six paws up when they were here for their meet-and-greet today.

So tomorrow I've got another gal coming in. I have to be honest, I usually prefer to admire Chihuahuas from a distance, but this nine-pound Chi/Boston mix needs a quiet home to recover in after being hit by a car. She apparently received a brain injury and broken scapula from the accident, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of rehabilitating her and helping her build confidence, all the while discovering a new appreciation for the world's smallest dogs!


Monday, February 15, 2010

In the Nick of Time

Oh my has it been a week! Lovely Layla was adopted by a single mom with a six-year-old. She loves children so it was a good fit. The only concern is that she wasn't a fan of pottying on a leash, and her new family doesn't have much of a yard. Nevertheless, I hear she's getting the hang of it.

So I engaged in the cardinal sin a few weeks ago of scrolling through even though I wasn't looking for a dog. I just wanted to see how many Boston Terriers were around but not in MidAmerica Boston Terrier's care. Well...I came across a little black dog, said to be a Boston Terrier-mix, named Emily. The write-up said that her time was limited so call soon. That was on a Friday. On Monday I was still thinking about her, so I wrote the shelter in Garden City, KS, where she was living, to suggest that if her situation really became an emergency I could try and get her into foster care.

The shelter wrote me back within five minutes to let me know they were about to euthanize her! Apparently she had been at the shelter since she was eight weeks old (she was now four months old) and her time had run out. I think the reason nobody wanted her was because she was black - the terrible "Black Dog Syndrome," which I knew nothing about before we wrote our book about Labs. It turns out that black dogs often get passed by in shelters because of the dim lighting - they are hard to see and sometimes come off as mean or scary. So sad!

Anyway, I told the shelter I would figure something out. My rescue wouldn't take her because she was already 25 lbs. - clearly not a Boston Terrier. The shelter said she was part Pit, but the Pit rescues said no way. I was stuck, until I remembered my friend Ashley had said she would take a foster for me if I ever had an emergency. Well, this was an emergency, so I called Ashley who said yes just a little too quickly. What was up? She had lost her Boston Terrier a few months earlier, and her elderly Pit Bull, Eli, needed a friend. Just the day before she had been talking with the neighbors about getting a dog, so she said she'd be happy to take Emily in (Note: Eli-Emily...pretty close in names!)

I paid for Emily to get spayed and updated on her shots, the kind woman at the shelter, Danna, paid Emily's "bail," and a Emily was sent to Colorado on a transport. Danna was concerned because she said Emily was a crazy puppy, but I assured her that we know all puppies are! Though I bit my nails for a few days, it turned out to be a match made in heaven. Ashley and Emily (now Emma) became instant pals, and Emma's presence has really perked Eli up. She's a sweet dog with a friendly demeanor and I know that she's found her forever home. Whew!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Fresh Tux

Due to a short reprieve from fostering (our new dog is coming on Wednesday), I thought I would take this opportunity to share a story about my cat. It actually does involve a foster dog, Layla, who got a wonderful forever family last week. Here goes:

I had filled the tub with about 4 inches of water in anticipation of giving my foster dog a bath. After stepping out for a moment to check my email, I promptly heard a splash and then a howl, which echoed through my home. Oh, Tux! The bathtub was one of his favorite places to relax (for whatever reason), and I guess that in all of his nine years, he had never been faced with the prospect of landing in water when he hopped in. It was only natural for him to leap without first looking. Needless to say, he won't make that mistake again! My soaked kitty came screaming into the kitchen and slid across the floor before landing on his favorite bar stool. While he sat there, staring at me in disgust, I couldn't help but snicker. My Tux had finally been cleaned!

Tux, less than thrilled about having a bath