Happy New Year! For a certain dog I know, it truly was.
Last year at this time, as some might recall, I tried my paw at fostering dogs. As we had lost our beloved PWD, Hooper earlier in the year, I thought it would fill the void of a home that had weathered some difficult times. The dogs would come and go…we would enjoy them for a bit, give them love, see them to safety, and then await our next charge. That is what “we” had planned.
I must say that my husband, Rich, was not sold on this idea. “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson,” I could almost hear him say. He seemed to sense that this could lead to some emotional snags (he is more sensitive than he looks). Me on the other hand?…I said, “Buck up. This will help the dogs…and us, I have it under control, no problem.”
Our first foster, Ginger Snap, a rescue from Appalachia, came and went. She was a cute terrier mix, so insecure that she would fall asleep standing up while perched on our staircase looking out the front door window. Due to great networking, she found a nice home right in town.
And then I saw that picture of Teddy, his real name. I thought he was a Sheep Dog puppy. I asked if I could foster him. He would be easy to place and I would be ready for my next foster! Teddy’s owner could not keep him. She was having some troubles and had to move; it was apparent that there was no time or money to give Teddy the life he deserved.
On January 2nd, we picked him up on I-95, at a Rest Stop on the exit for Great Adventure. Rich was not a happy camper. He said I was on my own that day…but as I left the house for the 45-minute drive, he followed me out the door and commanded me to move over, he was driving. We pulled off into the parking lot and watched as a car came and parked next to us. There he was, that half black, half white face peering through the car window at us. Then he
turned and I saw that flash of white at the end of his beautiful tail.
“Danger, Danger,” I said out loud. He sat and slept on my lap on the way home. When we got into town, Rich pulled into the driveway of an expensive specialty food store where we don’t even shop. “I’ll be right back, the dog
looks hungry.” Teddy watched him intently as he disappeared into the store, his little nose twitching. Looking back, I knew he had our number right then and there.
Teddy was all scraggly looking and so quiet he was almost boring. He slept most of the time. He was being treated for Lyme disease and it turned out, he had a bad tooth that needed to be removed. I think he was also emotionally weary and very sad and confused.
I went through the motions of being a good foster. I found Teddy a home, obtained an adoption contract and a check for the adoption fee, and informed Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective that I had Foster No. 2 down pat…no problem. I rocked….I could do this!
Oh, but dogs, they do have other plans for us…
It quickly became clear that Teddy was not about to accept the home I had chosen. My neighbor, a dog lover, and one who is loved by dogs, was not being loved by Teddy. For some inexplicable reason, Teddy knew what our plan was, and went on his own personal campaign to literally voice
On her third visit to my home to get to know Teddy, she tearfully told me she could not take him. “Look at Rich’s face,” she said. “He wants this dog and he just won’t accept the dog wants him.” When I asked my husband what he wanted me to do (picture three of sitting around a living
room) he paused and then said, “Tear up her check,” put on his coat and left us to talk. It was quite a Hallmark moment.
I was, and will someday in the future, be a good Foster Dog Parent. I think it’s a terrific concept and if my
husband and I had not gone back to work due to financial necessity, I would still be fostering. Will I run the risk of “acquiring” a sibling for Teddy, yes, but I will run the greater chance of giving a deserving dog, its day, its week, its fur-ever home, too. And that’s what it’s all about.
Today Teddy is a happy, sweet and loving companion. It amazes us that he is still learning how to be a dog. I truly wish that every family could foster even just one dog. You never know how much good it might bring into your life, and you know the good it will bring for that one dog.
Have a safe and happy new year…and take some chances, too.