Saturday, April 30, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

Wow ... it has been a rough week in the rescue community of friends I have.   We all love dogs and we work so hard to help them out but it seems like our own lives just come crashing down around us sometimes.   I thought I was the only one really having to face some difficulties lately - but countless of my fellow volunteers have so much to face as well.      It's really hard for me to volunteer at an adoption event during a rough patch.   I've got some stuff going on with Joey and his school which I will get straightened out if I have to storm into the superintendent's office.   But it just sucks while having to face some things as a parent that I haven't been able to enlist the school's help.   Heck, I can't even get a phone call back from the principal or teachers.    It's so frustrating, but I do know that I have a couple of professionals on my side so I feel much more positive than I have in a long time.

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

Some Days Throwing in the Towel is so Tempting

 Today was a bad, bad day for Missouri dogs.    Today was a bad day for dogs and people who love them all across our country.   Our state congress and our governor in their infinite hillbilly wisdom have chosen to repeal Proposition B.    It's really not a big deal is it?   It's just thousands of hours of work, hundreds of volunteers giving their time, money and energy.  Or how about that nonsense of the wonderful satisfaction of accomplishment when Proposition B made it on the ballot and went on to become law.   How awful of people to actually want dogs to have room to move,  veterinarian check ups, plenty of food, clean water and other outlandish demands.    I am so so so disgusted by our political process.   The dog factories of Missouri are big business and that seems to be more important to our elected officials than the voice of the people.   The broken spirits and broken bodies of these dogs can now be officially seen as blood on the hands of these fools in Jefferson City.    I have never been so disheartened or disgusted by the political process.   I wish I could just go to Jeff City and berate these idiots for their foolish and despicable actions.

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

What's in a Name?

We all have our different favorite methods to naming a dog.    Our current foster was originally with someone else so he has the given name of Butterscotch.     It's a very hard name for JTK or I to use.    I have a rule when naming a dog or cat - it must have two syllables.     I'm sure I've named a dog or cat with more or less - but I stick to the two syllable rule 99% of the time.    Two syllables allow for a shortened nickname to be created at a later date, but more importantly - a much longer syllabic nickname.   

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.  :)

Mr. Butterscotch is going to have an identity crisis because Joe has chosen to call him Piko  - the name of a Japanese pop star.   While I choose to call him Butters, as in the little kid from South Park.   Piko works well because the real Piko is a beautiful man who looks a little feminine.   And Butters works because he's got blonde hair.    Plus considering what kind of show South Park is - it has the perfect connotation of reminding me of a bunch of little stinkers.   

Butters/Piko definitely has his Pom Drama genes in him.    haha  I guess we'll just keep cal.ling him our chosen name for him since someone else got the pleasure of naming him    So far he doesn't really answer to anything so whoever adopts this Mr. Adorable can choose the perfect name to go with the super cute personality, super cute face and the super duper attitude only an itty bitty beautiful fluffy  dog can have.  

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

MIssing Foster Dog - June!!! Has heart condition

This precious little girl recently had heart surgery.    She's going to be fine one day, but she really needs to be in a warm home surrounded by people who know how to take care of her.     We think she wandered out of the yard of her foster Mom today who lives in South City.    If you live near the Grand/Chippewa area please keep an eye out for this precious girl. 

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

Natsumi is Home!!

Last weekend Carolyn and Carl decided to officially adopt Natsumi.   I am so happy for everyone involved.    I've known a couple of other volunteers who stopped by their house and I've only heard how fantastic Natsumi is doing.   Apparently she loves her new humans and they love her A LOT.   That's exactly what this sweet girl deserves ...  a forever home with people who love her and shower her with love and attention.    I still can't believe she was taken to the pound with the request to be put to sleep.    Poor girl.   I remember when I picked her up and she was so scared she actually bit me a little - it wasn't hard but it's just evidence she was scared and hopeless.     Never again did I see that behavior out of her.    Doesn't she look so pretty and regal?

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.  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parker AKA Leon

Well it's been a bit of a transition, but it looks like life in Kentucky will be a permanent home for Leon.  Notice he's even got a Kentucky Wildcats collar on with a matching blue bone?    Looking good cutie pie! He's now been renamed Parker and his new foster Mom and Grandma LOVE him.   I've even heard his Grandma always wants to snuggle with Parker at night.

Jackson, being the true only child has been a little slower in fully accepting Parker's invitation into the family.   They fought awfully at first ... no blood was drawn but things have settled down.   I know it's so hard when you bring a dog into your house and the fights sound like two crazy werewolves ripping each other apart.   It can be really stressful.   Having fostered plenty of dogs and having two very persnickity and territorial schnoodle boys in the house, we've had our share of fights.    We've figured out ways to introduce dogs into our home and which dogs will likely have a better chance of being accepted here.   First off ... no dog can be TOO much bigger than Cooper.   Cooper has a horrible Napoleon Complex and if he's around bigger dogs he acts like a bratty toddler with sharp teeth.     

We also need to let the new dog in our back yard, let our current dogs see them from the back windows and then we let them out in back a little at a time to say hi.    Coming in the front door is just a recipe for disaster.   We also can't let the dogs be out in the back yard and we bring the dogs into the yard.    Trial and Error!   I was talking to my bro in Hawaii and they have a chihuahua who is very territorial about her people and home and they've discovered the best way for her to meet people or dogs is in a neutral place.   :)

I'm so happy that Courtney didn't give up on Parker.   She's willing to get a trainer and work with both  Jackson and Parker.   Instead of Parker and Jackson hearing "good dog" I just want to say to Courtney "Good Dog Mommy!" 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TRex's Ex Wife

See?  I'm not the only one with 50 dogs. ;)

The pug in this picture is of a girl that got out of the puppy mill system the same day TRex did.   She was 12 years old two years ago ... so that means she's 14 now.    Can you imagine still being bred at 12?  I think that's 64 in human years!

When Daisy came home with us at the same time as TRex, he immediately fell in love with her.   He always wanted to be by her side.   They must have felt like they busted out of jail together and were leaning on each other for support.   As far as TRex goes, it probably didn't hurt that she went into heat a few days after getting here.  :)

Joey and Daisy were pretty inseparable too - she loved her Joey boy.   What is it about chubby, older female dogs that always establish a bond with Joey?  haha    Daisy slept with Joey every night and followed him around like crazy.   You know how we always have a voice for our dogs and Daisy's voice was one of our favorites - she can't see perfectly so sometimes she'd rush across the yard and run into things.   We'd do the "Hulk" voice and say "Daisy SMASSSSHHHH" and die laughing every time we did it.    She was a big girl, but she looks like she's lost a good deal of weight in this picture.

Daisy was adopted out once and returned about a month after that first adoption because the little shit head teen boy in the family didn't like that Daisy got under his computer desk and messed his computer wires up and occasionally unplugged it.   Of course, a gate wouldn't work because he didn't want to do that - too easy.   I do understand how annoying it can be when a dog unplugs your computer - but there are ways around this.   In fact, I have a barricade of empty cat litter jugs under my computer desk to block dogs from getting around the cords and unplugging them.    It's not pretty, but it's cheap and it's very nearly foolproof.  ;)

This story goes to prove that things happen for a reason because Daisy ended up with the best home ever.   She lives with Barb in Rolla, MO and she's pretty much an angel to our group.   She's adopted a number of our dogs (maybe 80% of her dogs came from our group) and she donated money to help Suzie.  I always get to hear how Daisy is the best dog they have.    That makes me so happy.   In fact, she's so fantastic she gets free reign of the house. 

Good for you Daisy - going from being a puppy making mini factory to queen of the house.   All Hail Queen Daisy!!!   And thanks to her Queen Mother Barbara for treating her like royalty. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dog eat Dog World?? Not at home ...

Tina is loving the spring time
Thank goodness I have my sweet little boy and some really funny and great dogs to come home to.    Even though fostering homeless dogs is emotionally taxing and very hard on the heart, it's something I choose to do and the good that comes out of it far outweighs the bad.  I wish I could say that about ever facet of my life.  I tell ya the last couple of weeks have royally sucked at work.    It's been pretty rough because I've never felt like such a screw up in my life.   I'm so thrilled that I have a job ... but it's coming at a high price of the loss of self esteem and self worth.   In the past I might have felt bad about my abilities as a wife or girlfriend or mother but I always always always felt competent and even amazing as a employee in the mortgage business.    Not so much anymore - I'm not sure if it's because of the big changes in the business, the fact that I'm fairly paranoid from losing so many jobs in the past few years or if it's just the very high strung environment I work in.

Rex is always in my corner!

I ended up having to get an anti anxiety medication filled because I'm always coming home feeling like shit or  dwelling on the various crap that happened that day, the day before or even the week before at work.   I don't know what my problem is - I get to work a little after 7, I rarely take a lunch and I leave at 4:30.    No matter how hard I try I either don't know about a certain policy,   I make a human mistake or someone else just totally blasts me.     I actually had a stupid VA appraiser put in his appraisal that he emailed me for additional comps for an appraisal and I ignored him.  WTF????    It's against federal regulations and our policies for me to correspond with an appraiser about a property's value prior to a report being delivered   Man, lucky I had emailed the appraiser days before and had pointed that out to him.     

Well humans came up with the term dog eat dog world  but that doesn't seem to fit.   In my book dogs sure treat each other with more courtesy than people seem to treat each other.   Dogs are consistent in how they treat each other and they pretty much aren't into belittling or back stabbing.    They may need to show another dog who's boss but it's done in a pretty straight forward manner.   No wonder I appreciate animals more and more with each day.

Suzie is always ready to give kisses

I come home and the dogs are thrilled to see me and they think I'm awesome.  :)   Damn - why can't I  just take them to work with  me?   Not only do they think I'm awesome but I'm pretty sure they'd punish people who weren't nice to me in some way.     Thank you baby boy and baby dogs for being there at the end of a long, hard day. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Natsumi's New Foster Digs

I've had a couple of people asking me what the heck I meant when I commented I only have one foster left.   People have been asking me left and right what happened with Natsumi.   Did she get adopted?  Where is she?    No, she did not get adopted.   She's actually being fostered by a new volunteer.   One of her friends is a group volunteer and she introduced us.   I took Natsumi over there last weekend and a couple of days later she and her husband decided they wanted to go ahead and foster her.

I have to admit I fully expected an adoption to come out of the arrangement.    It doesn't seem to be the case, though.   That makes me sad because the couple who are fostering her can provide her a loving and amazing home.   It looks like there are a couple of very interested parties in Natsumi.    If she gets adopted and moves to a different  home in a short space of time I think my guilt level is going to reach an all time high.    It's my own fault for making an assumption when the people involved never stated this was a "trial run" adoption or anything like that.

The couple taking care of Natsumi are unbelievably wonderful.   They're both very kind and very sweet.    They had lost their cockapoo, Jasmine, unexpectedly some months back and they're still grieving her loss.   I met with them and Natsumi was taken with both the man and the woman which I thought was amazing.    The reasons I like people or feel comfortable allowing them to become a guardian of one of my foster dogs can be any number of little things.    Various things give me a good feeling about people and one of the things that reassured me that Natsumi would be in a loving home is the fact her new foster Mom teared up when she showed me a picture of their beloved Jasmine.   Anyone that feels love that deeply for an animal is OK in my book.    

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.  :)
I miss Natsumi quite a bit - she had been with me since July of last year.   She became my foster while I was having a very hard time, I had just been let go from my job.   I was pretty down and knowing I helped save a life made me focus on something bigger than myself.     She was always tagging along behind me - always so close that she would be bumping her little head against my leg all the time.   For a few days, I kept feeling these "phantom bumps" on my legs.    It was weird.

I keep hoping with every email I forward to Carolyn with someone interested in Natsumi she'll break down and decide that she can't let anyone adopt her.   Not so far ...   When it comes right down to it, I'm sure it will all work out.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Zombie Duck

Zombie Duck
I am shocked at how quiet the house was yesterday without Leon around ... no squeak squeak squeaking of the various toys, no sound of the thundering of paws and no sudden appearance of Leon on my lap.    ::sigh::    I was seriously sad ... almost surprising at how sad I was.  It seems like the ones I convince myself I won't get too attached to end up kicking me in the butt after they leave.   I knew Leon wouldn't be with me for months and months and months, so I "told myself" that I was prepared for him to get adopted.   I'm a little surprised at how long I actually had Leon.   No matter - Leon was adopted by the perfect person.   Leon's absence is HUGE in this house.  

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
Today, I spent a lot of time gathering up his toys that were in various places in the house.       He  even kept the majority of them in one corner of the computer room.   Too cute.    I've got quite a few in the  yard that I still need to pick up.  When I came across the zombie duck in the house, I felt so sad that I hadn't sent it with him.   I think I'll try to clean it up and mail it off to Courtney.     I don't want to mail a gross Zombie Duck that's been drug through the mud, slobbered on,   rained on and snowed on a number of times.

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

There goes another little piece of my heart ...

Car ride to meet Courtney
Joey and I met with Courtney today downtown at The City Garden.    She and I have been in touch for a couple of weeks and we had scheduled to meet this morning.    We met about 11 and Leon was on his best behavior.    When he met Courtney and her friend he was so friendly and affectionate and his tail never stopped.    They both just raved at how beautiful he is, how soft he is and what a great personality.   I told them he'd had a bath the night before which helped his soft fur.
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
It wasn't very long before Courtney decided she wanted to take him home with her.   As soon as she met him and I saw how they were interacting, I was pretty sure he had found his new home.    :)   I sent Leon on his way with some of his favorite balls - the Kong balls that squeak and a toy he had been playing with this morning.   I always think it's a good idea to send something with a foster as they go to their new home.   It has scents of familiarity on it and they know it's theirs.   I'm sure they fall by the wayside as they settle in to their new home.

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