Rose

Ben has been in his forever home for almost 3 weeks now and his parents have been sending me the best updates.  He’s gaining so much confidence and is getting along great with his canine sister, Gelfa.  In pictures, he’s snuggling up to his dad and mom, playing happily with toys, or resting on a couch.  I love these updates and share them excitedly with the rescue I foster for, as I know they love them too.

When Ben moved out, everyone asked if I was getting another foster.  “Of course,” I answered, “but not for a couple months. I’ll take a bit of a break for the summer.”  Anyone who has read my blogs faithfully, probably all ready know how incorrect that statement was!

I was having lunch with my sister and nephew today and I saw a message from a rescue.  “Are you able to take another foster in  about a week?” And then Rose’s story was shared with me.

Rose is about 1-1/2 years old, a small, playful girl who is a Dachshund/Chihuahua mix.  Her owners moved and decided Rose didn’t need to move with them. At 1:30 in the morning, a call came into the rescue, little Rose was left on her porch, likely waiting for her beloved family to come home.    Unfortunately, what Rose didn’t realize is she was abandoned.

Of course, I agreed I would foster Rose, I can never say no to a dog or rescue in need if I have the capacity to help.

Rose will be coming to me in about a week, I have never had a foster who weighed less than 30 lbs, so it will be interesting to have a small dog.  That said, Flipflop prefers to play with the small dogs at daycare and as I said before, he seems to warm up to the female fosters much quicker than the males.  I’m sure there will still be an adjustment period for my forever dogs, but I’m excited to introduce them and the world to Rose.

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Adoption Day

“I am happy because I love his new family, but sad, he’s my favourite foster so far, I wish I could adopt him.” I tearfully texted to my best friend.

“Hon,” she responded back to me, ” don’t you say that about them all?”

“LOL, I guess I do.” I replied.

It’s one of the most anticipated and emotional days of being a foster mom.  The day my foster dog leaves to be with their forever family.

Ben left my care this week, and I went through my usual mixed bag of emotions.  Ben is such a special boy, so young and carefree, still learning about his world.  Finding the right fit for Ben was a bit challenging but we did it.

Ben needed a home where he would be understood, while he is a young dog, he is an insecure dog and wants to prove his “worth” to the pack.  Ben needed a family who would understand dog and know how work with him.

When Ben’s new family came to meet him, they took my advice seriously and remained calm and didn’t pressure Ben to let them near him.  Within five minutes of being ignored by them Ben approached them, wanting to be adored and pet by them.  By the end of the visit Ben was ready to go home with them!  Of course he had to wait, as we needed to finish our due diligence.

Six days later, Ben’s mom arrived to bring him to his home.   I walked Ben to his mom and he ran over to her, he must have remembered her from their first meeting.  His mom and I spoke for a few minutes and then I gave my foster dog a hug good bye.  Ben gleefully jumped up to hug me and I started to cry, I tried to keep my emotions in check, and quickly gathered myself.

“You’re such a good boy, button, ” I told him, “you’re going to have the best life!”  As I passed over his leash to his mom, she and I exchanged hugs.  I received a couple text, from Ben’s mom, on his first day with his new family, he’s settling in perfectly, as expected.

I fall in love every time but it’s so worth the rewards in the end, when a dog in need finds that perfect home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe

I first met Chloe when she was 3 years old, a lab/border collie cross, that had more energy and zest for life like no other dog I had met up until the moment.  Chloe’s mom, Jennifer, and I worked together part time at a vet clinic.  Jennifer was looking for a tenant and I was looking for a dog friendly place to move.  It was meant to be, and also started one of the most important and best friendships in my life.

Jennifer and I both understand dogs, so we wanted to do a few introductions between Dupont and Chloe prior to me moving me.  We choose a park and I remember to this day, seeing Jennifer standing with a white winter jacket on and Chloe gleefully looking up at her mom while they waited for us.

I remember Chloe being a very sweet, welcoming dog toward Dupont, Jennifer remembers it differently, lol.  She remembered that Chloe was grumpy with Dupont upon their first meeting, but warmed up to him eventually.

Dupont and I moved in and Chloe was more than happy to have me in her home, she and Dupont  settled in well with one another.  Their relationship was an interesting one, although both young dogs (Dupont was 2 at the time), they didn’t choose to play much with each other, but behaved more like a very content married couple.  Chloe was referred to lovingly by me as Dupont’s wife.

Living with Chloe introduced me to a whole new breed of dog, Dupont was so chill and laid back, Chloe was excitable and ready to play at a moments notice.  Looking back, I see how Chloe helped prepare me for a life with Flipflop, who is now the most energetic dog I have ever met!

Chloe loved to play ball and she had an infatuation with an orange ball she had found on a walk with her mom.  I fondly remember Chloe’s sister, Hope, dropping the ball down a vent that Jennifer was cleaning and the extremes Jennifer went through to get that ball back.  It made Chloe very happy to be reunited with her ball again, it was all she needed in life, aside from her mom!

At the sight of a sprinkler Chloe would lose her mind!  She LOVED water, and would entertain herself for hours by trying to “eat” the water as fast as she could as it came out of the sprinkler head.

Chloe always greeted me with excitement and love, and as she aged when I would visit she would still jump up like a puppy to see her Auntie.

While Chloe eventually lost her hearing and sight she never lost her love for life and sweet caring personality.  Needless to say, it was devastating when Jennifer told me Chloe’s time was coming, she would soon be meeting Dupont and her sister, Jasmine, on the rainbow bridge.  Sadly on June 9th 2017, while I was signing my adoption papers to adopt Dahlia, Jennifer was saying goodbye to her first dog.

Chloe opened her mom up to whole new world with dogs and how incredible and amazing they are.  And while I don’t feel this blog does justice to the amazing dog Chloe was, I wanted to honour her and the joy and love she brought to all of us during her time on this earth.

Sadly, in Chloe’s later years I didn’t see her as often as I would have liked but she was and always will be Auntie’s girl.

Lost dog(s)

It was a year ago today, I still remember it like it was yesterday.  It was pouring rain, I had planned to just take the dogs for a quick pee, but despite what I planned, Dahlia (who was my foster at the time) and Flipflop wanted to go for a walk.

You all know by now I’m a hardcore dog owner, rain, shine, snow, sleet I exercise my dogs as much as is safe for them and they are up for it.  So, off we went to our local park.  I let Flipflop off his leash, but kept Dahlia on, as I knew Flipflop had a pretty good track record on his recalls.  Flipflop ran around happily, enjoying his freedom in the rainy field.  And then he got spooked.  What happened next changed my view on off leash dogs forever.

Flipflop took off (something he had never done before), in my haste to follow him and get him to come to me, Dahlia slipped out of her collar and tore off after him.  I panicked and went running in the direction they took off in.

As I trudged through the pouring rain calling Flipflop and Dahlia’s name, there was no sight of them.  I was starting to panic, they had run toward the wooded area of the park, they could be anywhere.  After twenty minutes I called my neighbour, who I was supposed to be volunteering with that day, assisting a local rescue.  “Flipflop and Dahlia are missing” I cried into the phone.  “Calm down,” she told me, “they’ll come back.”  And as I explained what was going on to her, Flipflop came out to me from under a bridge where he must have been hiding.  Relieved to see him I put his leash back on and gave him a much needed hug (needed by me, not so much him).  I figured Dahlia was not too far from him, so I searched the area where Flipflop had come from.  There was no sign of Dahlia.

Eventually my neighbour came out to join me, and as the rain continued, I stopped anyone and everyone we ran into, showing Dahlia’s photo.  Someone had to have seen her, I prayed.  But no one had.

As the hours went by my search party dwindled, it was just me left out there still searching for Dahlia. My amazing friend and fellow foster parent, Sarah, contacted her network of dog trackers, in hopes they could assist me.

Sarah also tried to convince me to get out of the rain, go home and have a cup of tea, being out there wouldn’t bring Dahlia back to me any sooner, but the thought of leaving her outside on her own was too much for me.  It was then I received a call from Maureen, Maureen is a professional dog tracker.

Maureen suggested I also go home, and grab some food and treats to try and lure Dahlia out to me.  So, Flipflop (who stayed out with me the whole time) and I returned home and I pulled all the best smelling food I had in my fridge.

As I saw Flipflop curled up asleep in the living room, I walked over to him as I asked Maureen if he should come back out with me.  It was then I glanced out the window to see Dahlia, standing in front of my building entrance wagging her tail and looking as if to say “isn’t anyone going to let me in.”

I ran out of my apartment, down the hall and flew down the stairs, Maureen scolded me to stay calm, not to run toward Dahlia and scare her.  I calmed myself down, and walked casually outside (in my sock feet, in the pouring rain).  “She’s not here anymore!”  I exclaimed.

“That’s ok,” Maureen calmed me, “find a dry place to sit and just wait for her, we know she’s nearby.”

It was then I realized I was in sock feet, so I told Maureen I was going to run upstairs and get my shoes, as I turned around to go inside, I saw Dahlia, standing 50 feet away looking at me.

“I see her,” I choked into the phone.  Maureen instructed me to crouch down and not look directly at Dahlia, as I followed her instructions I saw Dahlia start running toward me.  Before I could exhale Dahlia was sitting in front of me, I threw a collar on her, “I got her!” I cried and we made our way upstairs.

Later that day Maureen came by to meet Dahlia and Flipflop, she also taught me how to properly fit the martingale collar I was using on Dahlia so she could no longer get out of it. Flipflop now only goes off leash in very controlled safe areas.

Four days later I signed the adoption papers for Dahlia, vowing to never let her out of my sight again!

If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve lost your dog there’s a few tips I learned from this experience that may help:

  • STAY CALM!  Dogs pick up on energy, when they are lost, they are already in a panicked worried state, if they sense you’re upset and/or scared, it my actually drive them further away from you.
  • Put a piece of clothing of yours in the area that you last saw the dog, there is a good chance they may return to that area as they smell your scent.
  • Limit the number of people looking for the dog.  You may feel the more people around the better, but it could in fact scare the dog even more.
  • Do NOT chase the dog, if you spot it, let the dog come to you, chasing it may make it run even further.
  • Try and stay in the spot you last saw the dog and have yummy smelling things like hotdogs to try and lure the dog to you.
  • Put up posters with a number to call for sightings, do NOT post on social media, this may cause more people, who are well intention to go out looking and confuse or scare the dog more.
  • Call a professional, dog trackers have tools that can help.

After being lost for half a day, Dahlia is finally home with Flipflop and I.

 

Happy Birthday, Dupont!

On this day……………..for those of you who are on Facebook, you are familiar with this feature, it’s a feature that I am not personally a fan of but today it brought me great peace.

Dupont was my Collie/German shepherd X, and my first dog as an adult.  He was my world, as are the dogs I have now, and I was shattered when he passed away unexpectedly at 10-1/2 years of age.  But this blog is not about that sad day, this blog is about Dupont’s last birthday, four years ago today.

Facebook reminded me that on this day, Dupont had a birthday, like I would ever forget my his birth date! ❤  I remember posting a picture of him on his birthday and writing my thoughts on him for Facebook:

“Happy 10th Birthday to my best friend and baby, Dupont! In the past 10 years I have seen him through numerous break outs due to allergies, eye infections, thyroid concerns, battling arthritis since the young age of 3 and 2 cancer scares. And he has gotten me through 1 divorce, 3 moves, 2 promotions, 4 jobs, 2 broken hearts (3 if you include my divorce but I really wasn’t brokenhearted over that 😉) and numerous bad days.

Some people don’t understand the bond I share with Dupont and I feel sorry for them to not have experienced a bond like this with a pet that is irreplaceable.

Happy 10th birthday Dupont! I know I won’t have anothoter 10 years with you but I promise to make the remainder we do have as best as I can for you! But it really wouldn’t kill you to let mommy hug you for more than two seconds. Lol”

I had no idea it would be his last birthday we celebrated and the following year I would be comforted by a puppy, Flipflop, on this day while I still grieved for Dupont.  But today, as I looked at the memories, I realized what an amazing special day he and I had.

I didn’t remember that I started his day with strawberries and Greek yogurt for his breakfast, since he was the birthday boy, or that I took him to the pet store where he picked out anything he wanted and I purchased it all for him.  At 10 years old he was more interested in edible gifts than toys!  And of course he had a birthday cake to end his day.

As I looked back at the pictures, I am so glad I gave him the birthday he deserved, showed him the love that all dogs should have, and most of all spent some quality time with my sweet boy.

Dupont would have been 14 today, but instead he is forever young and free on the rainbow bridge looking out for me and all his fur siblings.

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