Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Decide on a Home ...

One of the things I've learned in fostering is to really follow my gut instinct about a situation.    There have been times that I've gotten an application on a foster and everything looked perfect on paper.    It *should* be the best home for a foster dog, but there's something that makes me not want to adopt out to that person.     There have been a couple of times that I didn't listen to that gut instinct and came to regret it - luckily it wasn't a situation that couldn't be resolved.   Both times the dog came back to our group but I did feel a lot of guilt about allowing them to be in a home that I had misgivings about.     I always listen to that little voice these days - whether it's because someone uses a training method I don't believe in or if it's the tone of voice someone uses that I don't like, I can tell when I don't feel comfortable with my foster being adopted by someone.

Luckily I mostly get a really good feeling from someone - either in their emails, through a phone conversation or after meeting them in person.   It's hard to explain exactly what I'm talking about but there are little signs that are almost a certainty that this person will be a wonderful human for a foster that they're asking about.     A lot of times it's just being able to have a conversation with someone and hearing the sincerity in their voice and feeling comfortable with the exchange.

Debra contacted me last Friday about adopting Trooper - at first there was some discussion about her possibly fostering for the group.   But by Saturday she was completely smitten with the little guy and all thoughts of fostering had turned to adopting the little guy.     There were a couple of things that Debra did that made me feel  she would be a good home for Trooper.    First of all she called him "Lil Man" - when someone has a tendency to use little terms of endearment for a dog I like them instantly.   The other thing she did was send me a picture of her beloved dog, Sammy, she had recently lost.    When someone loves their dog so much they want to share pictures and stories, then they are definitely someone who I can trust.  

I've heard from Debra and things sound wonderful for she and Trooper.    I am so happy for the both of them - sometimes dogs and people find exactly who they  need in this lifetime.     I think Debra will help Trooper heal and recover from the trauma of the injuries and experience of his accident and I think Trooper will bring Debra a lot of love and joy.

This is her beloved Sammy, and I know he's playing over the Rainbow Bridge thankful that he had a  wonderful human in this world in Debra.     Thank you to people like Debra who love their furry family and help our group continue to save more dogs when they open their heart by adopting one of our fosters.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Girl Mackie

Who could resist that face???
I've had Mackie quite a while - we're reaching that point where it's just going to get harder and harder to say goodbye when she gets a adopted.   She's a doll and feisty and sassy so we need to get her adopted.    She would have been adopted monthes ago but she's got a disc issue.  And when people hear disc issue and dachshund, they get scared and lose their desire to adopt her.   She's extraordinarily mobile so she's not a candidate for any kind of surgery.   I feel confident that she will make it through her life doing fine simply because of her small size.     Because she's so small, she's simply unable to jump onto couches, chairs and beds.   She's so small, her little legs can't even allow her to reach to the next step to either go up or go down.  But I can't guarantee this.

A lot of people have fallen in love with Mackie, but when I tell them why she walks so odd - they generally walk quickly away.    I am confident that there's a dachshund lover out there who will be prepared to take a dachshund in who may or may not have back issues later in her life.   Unfortunately, the breed can easily have back issues even if they appear totally healthy.    That's why dachshund lovers are encouraged to not let them jump onto or off of things or even take stairs.    Its another reason why dachshunds need to keep extra weight off - they need to keep extra pressure off their backs.

Fearless and Resourceful Mackie
If Mackie didn't walk weird - as a vet once said, as a drunken sailor.   Nobody would ever know anything is potentially wrong with her.   She is the feistiest bad ass dog I think I've ever fostered.    I crack up at her antics on a daily basis.     As my Dad would say - she's full of piss and vinegar.    But she's got the sweetest face and expression so you can hardly believe how nutty she can be.     Every other dog in the house is bigger than Mackie and every other dog in the house is terrified of her.    Almost every night when JTK is getting ready for bed and we're reading a book, we can hear a frenzy of running back and forth in the living room.   Generally she's terrorizing Cooper, the biggest dog in the house. 

When Charlie first came in the house, she immediately had to let him know she was way tougher than he was and that he'd better stay on her toes.    A couple of times we caught her actually biting his ankles - JTK likes to say she's "LITERALLY" an ankle biter.  ;)    Suzie is not scared of Mackie, though, because she's a tough old broad and this little whipper snapper is not going to boss her around.    I think Mackie wants to grow up to be like Suzie     Really, it's like she's begging Suzie for tips on how to be even more bad ass but Suzie is really not interested in being Mackie's Sensei.  haha   Tina loves Mackie and so does Jingle - they tolerate a lot out of her that they normally wouldn't.    I think they both understand the life she had as well and give her a break for her little outbursts.  ;)

Is that a wink?? ;)
I had to put a bungee cord on one of my cabinets to thwart Mackie's efforts to steal cat food.   I keep Roscoe's cat food in a flip top container and one day I walked into the kitchen to find Mackie standing on all the other items in the cabinet  with her long nose in the container chomping on Roscoe's cat food.   I'm pretty impressed that she not only got the cabinet open, but she got the container open too.   She is resourceful!

Mackie came from a puppy mill - a puppy mill so bad that the Humane Society of Missouri raided them and seized all the dogs.    Apparently it was a mill filled with dachshunds and doberman pinschers.   Considering her size and the horror of her surrounding conditions, Mackie had to rise to the occasion to keep herself and her babies safe - I'm sure of it.    I don't even want to think about what her life was like for her to have been part of a puppy mill raid.   Luckily the employees at the Humane Society fell in love with her and worked very hard to find a rescue for her.    See, Mackie had this nasty little growth on her head and the Humane Society will not adopt out any dog that has anything wrong with them.   This growth on her head made her unadoptable and if a rescue couldn't be found, she would be put to sleep.

The email about Mackie was one of the many emails our group gets and I took a couple of days to decide if I would foster her.    I called the HSMO and the woman was so excited - she was just about to enter into their system that a rescue couldn't be found so she would be euthanized.   Luckily, I called in just the nick of time.   

When I picked Mackie up that night, she was in rough shape.   She had a surgery to remove the growth on her head, she had a dental removing a number of infected teeth and she had her spay surgery.    Apparently, her had dropped dangerously low during the operation and we had to make sure she stayed warm that night.    In the next couple of days a number of people saw her including my sister in law and nephew and everyone was really worried about her because she had a very difficult recovery.  When I see her behavior today it's really hard for me to remember that tiny little girl I brought home that had to be bundled up and kept warm to keep her temperature stable.

Mackie is a beauty
Mackie is my little buddy - JTK does annoy her quite a bit and she lets us all know that.    Mackie needs to be with me almost all the time.   And when we sleep at night, she has to sleep on top of  me.   It can be kind of hard to sleep, but its much better than how she was at the beginning.    She used to have to nestle her head under my neck all night long.    I'm a side sleeper, so every night Mackie crawls up on me underneath the  covers and that's how we sleep.

Please help me find a home for Mackie - someone who will be willing to face anything that needs to be faced for her, but will also have a positive attitude that she will live out her as healthy and full of life as she is now.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why Trooper had to be named Trooper

The week before Christmas, our group received an email from one of the vets we use about a little Min Pin that needed to find a rescue.   Turns out this little guy was actually hit by a car, paralyzed, and brought into the vet's office to be euthanized.   I don't know what made the vet decide to take a chance on him, but she decided to give him some time and see how he did.    I don't even know how long he had to hang in there, but I do know that when he started to recover she put the word out to see if a rescue would take him.

Because I have my little crazy Min Pin, TRex, I immediately called the vet's office to find out the sex and size of this dog.    There was a chance someone else in our group was going to take him, but I had already decided if nobody came forward I would take him in.    There was no way I was going to let a little dog that made it through so much spend Christmas alone.

I let JTK know about him and he was completely against bringing in another foster.   Luckily I realize I'm the adult in this family and I told the head of our group I'd foster him.     So, on Christmas Eve, I headed over to PetCo to meet her and bring him home with me.     The little man was pretty nervous and he wet all over himself in the crate.   But, that didn't matter so I bundled him up and headed home.    When JTK got home from his Dad's on that day his heart melted and he couldn't believe how cute he was and immediately was happy I decided to foster him.  :)

The name he came with was Squidward (as in Sponge Bob SquarePants)   ... but JTK loves to name the fosters so we wanted to see what would fit his personality.      This Min Pin was definitely doing better, but he hasn't 100% recovered and nobody is sure if he will.    He can lose his balance easily and topple over, but he does not give up.    He's got an unstoppable spirit and is a true sweetheart.     We went over to visit my Mom because Christmas Eve is her birthday and we brought our new foster with us.    While we were there, he hopped right up on her couch and JTK started talking about how amazing he is and said "He is such a trooper!"   So ... that is how he became named Trooper. 

Trooper is a fantastic foster - he's sweet, he's funny, he's playful, he's affectionate and he's housebroken!!  Can you believe it?   After suffering such a horrible accident, he actually holds it.   Some times he can make it up and down stops, but not always.    When he goes potty, he can fall over because he still wants to hike his leg.   He also  likes to do the tough boy kick afterward, which can send him toppling over too.   But he bounces right back up and doesn't miss a beat.

Everyone who has met Trooper falls in love with him.    We took him over to my brother & sister in law's house on Christmas and everyone was really taken with how cute he is and how sweet he is.   My friend, Katie, met him and fell totally in love with him.   If she didn't have her limit of animals, I know she would have adopted this cutie right away.

I'm sure Trooper will find a wonderful home and quickly - he certainly deserves it.    Pass the information on about Trooper and let's find him a great home.