Lucy’s Final Post

My little foster Lucy, so sweet but so shy had such a hard time finding the right home.

Rescued as a pup from Mexico and then surrendered back to the rescue by 2 years old, she had no trust.  At the time of her surrender, there were no available foster homes, so Lucy was placed in a pet centre where she was well taken care of but the environment was not suited for her nervous personality.    Lucy started shutting down and showing signs of depression.

When I was available to foster again, I couldn’t refuse to help Lucy.  I went to pick her up, she was so scared she crawled to me on her belly.  It was heartbreaking.  Once outside, I got down on her level to introduce myself  to her.

It wasn’t until we got to my place and my trusted friend and neighbour came outside with my dogs to meet Lucy that Lucy started to relax. She instantly bonded with Flipflop, I called it the “terrier connection”!  I had never seen Flipflop warm up to a foster as quickly as he did Lucy.

For months Lucy lived with us, as part of our pack.  Going through meet and greet after meet and greet, each one resulting in Lucy not being the “right” dog.  Lucy must have been waiting for her people to come.  Because when they did, there was NO doubt in my mind that they were Lucy’s match.

Lucy bonded very quickly with her new mom and has made great progress with her dad in just a few days.  She is enjoying her walks and making new friends in her neighbourhood.

I’m so proud of her and how far she’s come with her insecurities, and even though I worried that when Lucy left her insecurities would get the best of her, instead she is flourishing.  Proving once again what an amazing dog she is.

 

B

 

Flipflop

No, this blog is not about beach footwear, it’s about my Bahamian Potcake, Flipflop.  A potcake is a mixed breed dog found on Caribbean Islands. The name comes from the congealed rice and pea mixture that local residents traditionally fed dogs.

As soon as I saw Flipflop’s photo I instantly wanted to meet him, so I messaged my good friend, who was set to be his foster mom once he arrived in Canada.  He and I were meant to be.

Although I haven’t done a DNA test on him, I swear he’s 80% Jack Russell Terrier and 10% Rottweiler and 10% mystery!  I could be completely off with that guess as well but I really don’t care what he is, he’s my baby.

Flipflop is not what I would describe as a perfect dog, he’s got some street instincts which I have to keep an eye on, but he’s very well socialized, friendly, and high energy!  He’s cuddly, loves his momma and is actually very sensitive.

Obviously I love this dog, but where he really shines the most is as a foster brother.  Flipflop is 3-1/2 now, I started fostering when he was 2, and regardless of the dog, he’s excelled at being a good foster sibling to them.

With any introduction of a new animal into a home, there is always an adjustment period.  Flipflop takes a few days to decide how he feels about his new foster sibling, but it always turns out he likes them.  And when that moment happens, the rest of the foster’s stay with us is magic.

Flipflop’s friendliness, confidence and playful personality lures the fosters out of their shell.  No matter their history, their fears and insecurities Flipflop teaches them to play, trust and love.  He essentially makes them dogs again.

As a foster parent I get a lot of credit from people for helping these dogs heal, but the truth is, I’m just one part of the equation, I  couldn’t do what I do without my amazing sidekick, Flipflop.

Instant Gratification……

Instant gratification when one adopts a dog is something, I am learning, that is an expectation many have.  It reminds me of the commercial, I can’t remember the product, but the ad stuck with me.  A lady adopted a dog and she’s trying to get it to play and it’s just laying there, and then after several attempts the lady gives up. And then you see the dog going up to her with the ball to play.   It’s an awesome commercial, but what the commercial can’t show you is that moment when the dog comes to you can take days, even weeks to happen.

I’m sure it does happen immediately to some, I haven’t experienced but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  But when you adopt a pet, your expectation should be it’ll take time.

My poor sweet foster lady Lucy is reminding me of this with every meet and greet.  Lucy is insecure, she’s got a nervous energy and needs calmness and stability.  She also needs a home where people are willing to let her adapt and not expect an instant connection from her.

Every rescue dog a has a story that has led them to rescue.  It’s rarely a happy journey, and it’s our job when we adopt to help the dog get to their healthier path.

When you decide to adopt, you’re a hero, at least me!  But you also need to be aware, that your new family member is going to need time to adjust and get comfortable in their new surroundings.

Every meet and greet I’ve had with Lucy has not ended in success as each family was expecting something from her.  Something that she needs time to give, trust.  Lucy has shown her kindness, how sweet she is, and her fun personality at her past couple meet and greets, however; she has also shown her insecurity.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that the potential adopters decide Lucy isn’t right for them, rather than adopting her and surrendering her back to the rescue.  But I also feel that if you’re going to adopt you need to be aware that RESCUE means the dogs have been RESCUED from situations.

Even with a puppy, there isn’t always an instant bond, however; it usually comes easier as the pup has less baggage (and yes, you can get puppies through rescues).