Saturday, April 30, 2011
When I feel like this, it's virtually impossible for me to go to an adoption event and present the happy, positive face a foster parent needs to have for the public eye. We have to step up as a "salesman" to put our foster dogs in the best light while having excellent customer service skills AND making the best choice for the dog and the people. I just could not do it today so I didn't bother to try. Actually, I haven't been able to do it much recently because the issues with JTK have been going on for a while. Last week at the adoption event I got pissed because someone wrinkled her nose up at me because Butterscotch isn't housebroken. I had to bite my tongue and just act like it was ok this woman was more interested in her past experience in showing a dog than helping out a puppy mill survivor. I also got annoyed beyond belief because a woman seemed almost disgusted that he was a male and not a female. I get it - some people really only want to adopt female dogs. But come on, don't act like the little guy has something wrong with him. If you realize he's a male and you don't want a male, keep walkin'! "Move along - there's nothing here to see." So, today I did not attend the adoption event or the bake sale. Couldn't do it and be all happy and polite at the same time. :)
It seems like when I'm feeling like this and I take the chance to let other people around me know I'm having a hard time with life I find out a lot about other people So many people in our group are facing a lot of sadness and trauma right now. I have to take my hat off to each and every one of them for continuing to do what they can to make a difference. I have a friend who is having to deal with knowing their hometown was destroyed in Alabama from the tornado this past week. Currently she's planning a trip and will be taking a number of baby supplies and pet supplies. If you want to help out, please contact me directly or our group and we can pass your info on to her. Other friends have to face a sad medical diagnosis for a family member, scary mental health issues for themselves and others, facing their own medical concerns or still grappling with the death of loved ones.
Sometimes I think that's why we get so upset when things go wrong in the "dog world." It's like - "If I can't help this one, single dog how in the hell am I ever going to be able to help myself or my family?" So many of us just beat ourselves up within rescue - a dog gets lost, a dog gets sick, a dog doesn't work out at their new home, etc, etc, etc. And we choose to figure out whatever we can to blame ourselves. We are all just human beings doing our best and if things happen regarding a dog everyone needs to step up and support that person and shout to the world that it wasn't their fault. Nobody intentionally does anything for a dog to go missing, to get parvo, to die, to have a broken leg, to have to have expensive surgery or medical treatment. It's just life ... and life can be hard.
When I'm able to move outside of my own woes and pay attention to what all everyone else is facing, it reminds me that we all really need each other. We need our families to encourage us to continue soldiering on, we need our friends to pat us on the back and tell us it'll all be ok and our group needs each other because "there but for the grace of God go I." I've lost dogs while fostering them, I've had dogs I was fostering come down with parvo and I've had dogs that had to have expensive medical treatments. Did I feel awful and responsible? Definitely. But it's easier to tell someone else they need to give themselves a break than it is to give ourselves a break. You know who you are out there - so please quit beating yourselves up!! You have a lot of other things on your mind, so quit worrying about things out of your control.
Some good news?? Both the Pom & Shih Tzu at Jefferson County Animal Control made it out alive and into rescue. They were almost put down, but they made it out. Thank you to everyone for getting the word out and validating my sadness and frustration!!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Right now there are two dogs in local shelters that need a home but with the influx of puppy mill dogs into society places for them have already been taken. Our group doesn't have room, other groups don't have room and these poor dogs are most likely going to lose their lives in the next few days. I've been trying to get the word out about one adorable shih tzu at Jefferson County animal control, pissing people off in the mean time because I'm encouraging them to adopt this boy instead of one of our own. In my mind, dogs that are in foster care within any group are safe. How can it hurt tos steer someone to this boy to save his life? He was turned in by an owner so that means he's not even put on "stray hold". When room runs out, he'll be one of the first to go because it's definite nobody is out there looking for him because they dumped him off at the shelter like you would drive your old dirty sofa to the dump.
There's another sweet pom at the same shelter. The sad news about this guy is that he was actually found as a stray last week by the son of one of our volunteers. His Mom took him in ad worked on finding his owners. There was a general sense of relief when she found his family within just a couple of days. There was a bit of a concern because the dog had become lost when a small child in the family dropped his leash. I mistakenly assumed that they would be so happy to have this boy back in their life that they would teach their children how to keep their dog safe. Unfortunately, this sweet boy was turned back into animal control in Arnold and transferred to Jefferson County. The family that originally lost him had only just recently adopted him. He was returned for housebreaking issues and because he seemed to be in pain when picked up. Did anyone think they may be picking him up wrong?
One of the big pieces of advice I keep getting in the rescue world is "you can't save them all" but you know what? Sometimes there are ones that I really want to be saved - I'm not saying that these dogs are more valuable than others or deserve to be saved more. I'm just saying these dogs are both about 10 years old and I don't think it's right they spend their last days cold, lonely, sad and scared in a shelter. I can't help but feel a heavy sadness because I know these are only two of the hundreds of dogs just in our immediate area who are running out of time.
It's very upsetting ... we don't have room for either of these boys. I, as an individual, feel responsible for letting these dogs down. We, as a group, should feel responsible. And now our state has guaranteed that countless dogs in Missouri will continue to be let down for generations to come whether they're in overcrowded shelters or filthy puppy mills.
But because of this sadness, because of this disgust - we can't throw in the towel. If we do, there is no chance that things will ever change. Please help get the word out about both the Shih Tzu and Pom.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
JTK, of course, always goes with the Japanese names or goes with a Japanese connection. Or ... if I'm really lucky something completely random. I'd have to say one of my favorite names he passed out was "Cheddar." I can't help but giggle when I think of that. Sometimes when we hear a name that's been given to a new foster we can generally figure out who named them even. Pretty much everytime Joey gets to name a foster I always get asked "That's a Joey name isn't it?" ;) Getting to name a new foster is one of the "perks" of fostering. Hey - we grab our joys where we can! JTK particularly loves to name the fosters.
I have to admit I'm not a fan of common human names for dogs. If I'm going to use a human name then it will probably be very unique or from a movie or book. Again, it must be two syllables though! :) It's funny since I have three dogs in my household that have human names. We have Cynthia who was previously a foster and the name is so pretentious it's just perfect for her. Then we have Suzie and Tina ... who in the world would name two dachshunds SUZIE AND TINA?? :) Ha Ha - I always find myself calling Suzie the nickname of Toozer and Tina goes by Tina Bear when we're having a conversation.
Back to Butterscotch ... the name just does not suit him. I really don't know what name would suit him. He's a very handsome Pom - absolutely beautiful. He's got the perfect diva-ish personality of a pom to match his stunning looks as well. He's very, very sweet and he just loves his attention. He can not bear it if you stop petting him. This morning while I was putting my shoes on to go to work I was sitting on my bed and I rubbed his belly a little bit. Then, when I turned away to put my shoes on the little scamp stood on his hind feet and propped his two front paws against my back waiting for me to pay attention to him again. It was quite adorable. He's crazy about JTK. Probably because Joe physically was the first person to pick him up when we first got him. We got him from the vet after he had his neuter and had a bunch of teeth extracted. Imagine what a savior Joe seemed to him after a rough day like that? Plus Joe continues to spoil him by cradling like a baby while rubbing his belly. :)
Butters/Piko is the perfect specimen of a little dog - cute, precocious and filled with so many adorable antics that equal to a Jedi mind trick so you don't pay too close attention to what a brat he is beneath all that fluff and puff. :)
Monday, April 25, 2011
She hasn't been healthy and strong enough to receive all of her vaccinations or her microchip. With it being so cold and rainy tonight, we're so scared for her. We're hoping a kind person saw her and picked her up and took her home. She's so cute they might be inclined to keep her, but she definitely has special needs and must get back to her foster home.
Please spread the word!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I hope whoever took her to the pound with the request to have her put to sleep gets to pay for his ruthless behavior. I will never not believe that she was a breeding dog. Who shaves a dog down to put them to sleep? Someone who is trying to hide all evidence of the shape the dog was in.
Natsumi has a lifetime full of joy, love and peace ahead of her. How lucky is she is. I think Carolyn and Carl are pretty lucky - she's a sweet, loyal girl and hopefully she can help ease their pain of the loss of Jasmine. One animal can never replace one that''s passed on. Another animal can distract us and help us smile while our heart is mending. They've taken to calling her Nachi. :)
This weekend I did a whole lot of nothing. It felt so good to just nap, watch tv and straighten up around the house. I was Miss Hermit and it felt wonderful. The past couple of weeks have been far too emotional for me - work was a monster and then I had some personal/family stuff I was facing. Everything is ok, but challenges need to be faced and this is no time for hiding my head in the sand. So, one weekend to kind of mentally prepare was the best thing I could have probably done for myself.
It's funny how guilty I can feel for not doing anything in regards to dog rescue or being a good daughter. I didn't need to be a good Mom because JTK was with his Dad. I did need to prevent myself from reaching out to someone I had mad angry. I'm a classic co-dependent people-pleaser. I know I made someone angry the other day in the process of basically protecting myself. I did nothing wrong and this person has been quite a bully to me. However, I knew I ticked them off and it took a lot of willpower to not contact them and make sure they weren't too mad or call my friends and try to get them to tell me I did the right thing. Screw it! I'm tired of not sticking up for myself. And I am certainly tired of scrambling for forgiveness when I do something that's in my own best interest while hurting no one.
Just like Natsumi - when she went to protect herself on our first meeting. I understood that she didn't know who I was and wasn't sure how I'd treat her. Once she saw how I treated her, she never had to protect herself against me again. Had I been awful to her, she would have continued to snap at me. If someone treats any of us bad, we have every right to protect ourselves from that kind of behavior. Luckily, I don't bite - I've just decided not to be a punching bag for the time being. :)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Natsumi sounds like she's doing wonderfully. Her foster parents have takare calling her "Nachi" because it's not quite the mouthful Natsumi is. One of my favorite stories about her is that Carl and Carolyn purchased a baby gate to ensure she stayed in a certain part of the house while they're at work. Well guess what my nearly blind girl has done? She routinely "Houdini's" past the gate and settles in comfortably in their bedroom. Carolyn comes home at work and she always knows where to find her. I find that particularly endearing that Natsumi doesn't let anything get in her way no matter her disability. She also even took a road trip with them this past weekend and sounds like she was the perfect travel companion. They also had her groomed and she looks like a complete poodle now. I couldn't get the photo to upload so I used an old, fluffy one of her. :)
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Leon is like a toddler - he couldn't have enough toys. One of his favorite toys is this crazy looking ... almost Daffy Duck looking toy. It doesn't squeak, though, it almost tweets like a bird. The first time Leon played with it was one of the most hilarious things we have ever seen. He picked it up, shook it like crazy and pretty much killed it. After finishing it off, he walked away satisfied with a job well done. After just a couple of steps, the duck started twittering and tweeting again. It was such a cartoonish moment how Leon reacted... he stopped in his tracks and slowly looked behind him. When he realized it was still alive he charged it and killed again. And once again ... the duck would not shut up after he killed it. He was so freaked out he even started whimpering and whining - totally frustrated that he couldn't kill the duck. JTK and I started calling it "Zombie Duck" because it kept coming back to life no matter how times Leon "killed" it. :)
|Leon's "stash" of toys|
When JTK came home from his Dad's tonight he commented that the house seems bigger without Leon in it. It's true - all the dogs we have in our house are at least 8 years old. TRex, Hopper and Cooper do get playful but none of them have the energy of Leon.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
|Car ride to meet Courtney|
There was another dog at the garden, she was quite a bit bigger than Leon and he was perfectly behaved. They sniffed around and he was very happy and excited but didn't do anything aggravating. A little boy also came up to him and he let the little boy pet him without jumping on him. Had he jumped on him, he would have knocked the poor guy over. But he didn't. Courtney also asked him to sit and he did.
|My favorite artwork in the City Garden|
As I walked away, of course, I shed a few tears. JTK informed me that I need to learn to handle these situations better. I don't think that's ever going to happen. It hurts every time I have to say goodbye, but I have the knowledge this little soul is going on to a wonderful home and if I hadn't stepped in, they would likely not even be alive. That's such a satisfying feeling ... but I don't think it will ever stop being bittersweet.
Now I am down to only one foster ... TRex. I took him to PetCo for a couple of hours today but I was so overwhelmed by the noise and activity. Honestly, I'm to the point I can't bear these events. I'm sure it didn't help that I was feeling a little sad. Right now I'm deciding whether to take in a new foster. I know what will happen ... I'll hold off and then I'll see an email of a dog in danger of being put to sleep and I'll volunteer to take them. It's hard fostering, in so many ways. But the alternative to not fostering is knowing a dog I might have been able to help doesn't get another chance. I have a few more tears to shed about Leon's absence and then I'll be ready to lose another little piece of my heart.
|Happy Family - Courtney and Leon|