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!


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