Where are they now??????

One of the things I talk about a lot is the emotional toll fostering has.  It’s not easy but it’s SO rewarding, the rewards out weigh my heart hurting/breaking when one gets adopted.  I have been so fortunate to have met so many amazing families/people who have adopted my fosters and so many have stayed in touch.  I am so grateful to those who have.

Here is an update, on the amazing dogs I have helped get to their forever homes and live happily ever after.

  1. Dougie (now Beo)

My first foster, a stray from Dominican Republic , who had been bullied by other dogs and beaten by people.  Scared of everything from dogs, my cats, people to even snow banks.  I had him for 7 weeks, when his family came along.  Now – this amazing dog is best friends with his feline brother, is a daddy’s boy and Grandpa is one of his favourite people.

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2. Marti (party pup)

Marti was from Tennessee, he was a young lab mix, and although he and his litter were dumped and left to die, he was rescued and we estimated he was only about 1-2 years old. I had Marti for a week before his family found him and it was love at first site for them all.  Adopted by a family with triplet boys and a daughter, the kids love Marti as much today as they did when they first me him two years ago and he is only too happy to accept their love!

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3. Hanna

Dumped in the Everglades with her brother to survive on her own, Hanna was with me for only one day when her family wanted to meet her.  One week late she was adopted by a young family, with two young sons.  Hanna is so proud of her family and watches her “siblings” like a hawk, knowing they are her kids.  Hanna and her family recently took in a foster and did a great job helping Stella find her forever home.  I’m so proud of them for paying it forward and I also know how very kind hearted Hanna’s mom is.  I was her “sponsor” to ensure she didn’t fail (not that being a foster fail is a bad thing!).

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4. Dahlia

My foster fail…….enough said!  LOL.  She’s loving  life in B.C. and is constantly surprising me with her youthful spirit.

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5.  Lucy (my Lulu)

Lucy was from Mexico, adopted out as a pup, and surrendered at 3 years old because her parents are assholes (that’s my opinion anyway!).  Lucy was with us for a long time, 7 months, she was unsure of anyone she met, until she met her family.  Lucy’s dad passed away suddenly about 6 months after she was adopted, but she and her mom are doing well.  I truly believe Lucy was waiting to find the family who needed her most, she is such a special spirit.

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6.  Ben (my button/now Doug)

This little guy was my boggle dog, his head looked so much bigger than the rest of his body!  That is until his mom got him healthy and strong!  Ben was with me for about 2 months when he met his family.  He is currently recovering from minor surgery, he had dewclaws removed from his back legs and a cyst on his tail needed to be removed.  He’s causing his mom a lot of grief pulling his sutures (and then replacement staples out), but he’s loved and adored.  He and his mom are also paying it forward and have also taken to fostering to help other dogs be as lucky as Ben is!

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Sweet button helps his mom by lifting his legs when she’s changing his bandages.

7. Daisy (my Roo)

Sweet Daisy was 10 weeks old when I got her.  I had her for just a couple weeks when a friend of mine adopted her!!  She is having a great life and is growing into a beautiful young lady.  She has an older brother Bailey and sadly her feline brother, Alex, passed away this week.  I’m sure Daisy will provide lots of comfort for her mom.

8. Willie and Bambi (now Vanya)

My twins as I called them!  Willie and Bambi came to me from Antique at about 7 months old.  They were such fun fosters.  Unfortunately they were not adopted together but both have been adopted by amazing homes.

Bambi, has been adopted by a lovely couple and their teenage son.  She is still a little minx and finds mischief every where. Her mom messages me often with updates on her antics and knows I know all too well what it’s like to have a Potcake with that much confidence (see Flipflop blogs!).  And we both know that “sorry mom” look they give when they’ve misbehaved but were having too much fun to stop when we try to get them to!

I knew Bambi would be ok no matter where she ended up.  But I worried about Willie, he was such a follower and so unsure of anything unless his sister was there.  Willie’s mom “watched hours of Ceaser Milan videos” and worked hard to help Willie get his confidence.  And confidence he got!  Willie loves everyone and everything.  He loves to play with other dogs and will run up to any dog to play and socialize, he no longer needs his sister to feel safe, he’s got his mom and he knows he’s safe now.

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9. Solo – by far the most popular foster to date

Solo’s past is horrid, but when he met his family, they knew!  Actually his mom said she knew from the moment she saw his photo.  When Solo got adopted, he was starting to show signs of confidence and being a real dog, but I knew he still had so much more in him.  And I was right.

His mom and I chat a lot because every day is such an amazing day with Solo.  He’s no longer afraid of people, he loves everyone.  And he especially loves playing chase and wrestling with his canine brother, Rome.

Solo is a dog now, he’s goofy, loves to play and has picked his person!  His teenage sister, Mya (who interestingly, he growled the most at when meeting the family).  Solo’s family also wants to get more involved and potentially foster down the road, but they recognize Solo still has a lot of adapting to do in his new life before starting down that path.

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Solo and his brother Rome, best friends!  Rome was patient and persistent and it paid off!

To me this is what rescue is all about, the front line rescuers take these dogs from horrific situations, and nurture them and help them get healthy and then us fosters come in.  We love them and start the ground work of what life in a loving home is like.  This is where Flipflop and Dahlia are amazing helpers too! And then the family comes, it’s bitter sweet but so worth it.

I feel so honoured that these amazing families stay in touch with me, because I have fallen in love with and still love their dogs  And I love these families too, for giving these sweet souls the best lives!

Unfortunately, not all my families are in touch, but these dogs still enter my thoughts all the time. Every foster takes a piece of my heart!  So here’s to Lola, Tess and Rose, I know they were adopted by amazing families and I’m sure are having the best life!!

Welcome home Sixx & Angel

Dahlia, Flipflop and I, left Mississauga, ON at 9:45 am, Saturday April 13.  We waved a tearful goodbye to our good friends and neighbours, Miss Ellie and Janet, and started our 4 day drive to Kamloops.  The experience of road tripping with my dogs is something I’ll always treasure.  I found it a bonding moment with them, as we drove and stopped along the way for rests and walks.

I was so excited for this adventure and so pumped to travel with my two dogs, but I left behind other two parts of my heart.  I couldn’t even say bye to them, because I knew it would be so hard, and I also try not to show too much emotion around my animals when there is a lot of change, knowing they will pick up on it and it’ll add to their stress.

Sixx and Angel, my two cats, who I adopted 6 years ago, and have been amazing troopers through Flipflop’s puppy stage and all of our fosters.  As awesome as they are, I knew a 4-5 day car ride would not be comfortable for them.  Fortunately, Janet offered to keep them for a couple of weeks to allow me to get out here, get settled so I could fly them out.  We both agreed one day of travel would be far less stressful than 4-5 days in a car for them (and me!).

To prep them for their plane ride in their crates, I started feeding them in their crates two weeks before I left, and Janet continued that habit so they learned their crates were not a scary place.

I was set to have them flown out on April 26, I called the airline and made all the arrangements and then called my vet to get a health certificate.   That’s when I found out they needed to go to the vet for the certificate, my error as I had them at the vet just a week before I left and I didn’t find out more about getting their certificates.

Janet came to the rescue again, and arranged a vet appointment, but we couldn’t get them there before their April 26 flight, so I had to cancel it.  I was so stressed out and worried, once again that something would go wrong.

Fortunately, everything went fine.  Janet got the cats to the vet on April 30th, I rescheduled the flight for May 3rd and we were set to go.

At 5:30 am (PST) on May 3rd, my phone dinged, notifying me of a text, I was up all ready, I had hardly slept the night before with anxiety over my cats flying on their own.  It was from Janet, the boys were processed and ready to leave Toronto at 10:30 (EST), however there was a problem with Angel.  He’s a big boy (ok maybe a tad over weight according to his vet) and while I thought his crate was big enough for him, the airline thought it was too small.

Someone had left a dog crate behind and the employee offered it to Janet, and suggested my two boys could fly together.  She knew getting the boys to me was the priority and rightfully agreed.  Other than that, there were no issues.

I anxiously watched the flight all day, they left Toronto 22 minutes late, they arrived in Vancouver at 12:50 (PST).  One leg down, I tried to breathe.  I knew they were leaving Vancouver at 4:10 and would be landing in Kamloops at 4:58.

It was the longest day of my life.  When I booked their flight I was told it could take 3 hours after they landed to get them, I was told not to show up at 5 expecting my cats…..But that’s exactly what I did!!  I left work at 4:30 and drove directly to Kamloops airport.  Their flight had landed but I didn’t see them amongst the carts of luggage sitting outside the aircraft.

I walked to the Air Canada counter and had the most amazing lady serve me.  She promptly checked my ID and had the paperwork ready for me to sign.  She then went and personally got my cats for me.  She also had me pull up to the terminal so I wouldn’t have to take the cats across the parking lot.

I was so excited and tearing up when I saw them.  Of course, being cats, they didn’t really care about seeing me!  But they both looked calm and healthy.  I was so relieved, I was worried the stress of the airplane rides and the 12 hour day they had would have been harder on them than it was.

On our drive home, Sixx realized what was going on and poked his head to the edge of the crate so I could put my finger on him and stroke his face.

I got them into our apartment and Flipflop lost his mind, he was so happy to have his older brothers home.  I opened the crate and Flipflop greeted each one of them with a good sniff and lick as they walked out.

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Sixx with Dahlia and Flipflop eating breakfast this morning.

It’s so great to have my whole family with me in B.C. now.  And I’m so proud of all my kids for doing this trip, they all rock!

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Angel is still getting comfortable, he takes longer than Sixx to adopt to new situations.