Foster Number Two – An Entirely New Adventure

The next foster dog is actually a puppy. Which complicates things. Because OPH is such a top-notch organization, there are some pretty strict guidelines in place for fostering puppies to protect everyone involved. Puppies coming from unknown origins with questionable vaccination histories can carry dangerous, hard to kill viruses. Because of this, OPH requires foster homes to take safety precautions.

That all sounded like a good idea until I read the guidelines – sheesh! This ain’t gonna be easy. When I explained to my husband that Wheat Penny (I know, the names…) would have to be quarantined in our house and wouldn’t even be able to go outside he was worried. When I told him she had to stay in an area of the house that we could potentially treat with bleach, he blanched. When I told him this might go on for as long as nine days, he asked, “What’s the return policy? Couldn’t we put this one back and chose a different one from the transport – preferably a dog?”

The thought did cross my mind, too. There were more than a handful handsome black labs available, but I’m nothing if not committed. I said we’d take this puppy and we will. Besides, she looks just like Gracie, see….

Here’s Gracie at 4 months-

035

And here’s Wheat Penny –

wheat penny

Anyone who knows me well, is probably scratching their head and saying, “Why would you want another Gracie?” The dog does drive me nuts, what with the farting and not coming when she’s called and jumping all over everyone and her inability to run with me on a leash without almost dislocating my arm. All that is true. I don’t want another Gracie, but I do want another Gracie-as-a-puppy. She was the sweetest little thing and we didn’t know she’d grow up to be Gracie-who-can’t-be-trained-to-do-anything-and-farts-all-the-time. The plan is that this adorable puppy stays with us for two weeks and then gets adopted lickity-split, before any true Gracieisms can emerge.

Silly name, resemblance to Gracie, and crazy quarantine requirements aside, Wheat Penny looks adorable. She’s a 7 month old beagle/spaniel mix. I know! The chewing! But I think of it as a way to lessen the withdrawal symptoms from Galina (aka Strider who is doing SO WELL and is SO HAPPY and SO LOVED! See video at end of this post for one last Galina laugh). I mean she’s not mostly beagle, she’s just part beagle. There is spaniel in there. Of course, the only spaniel I ever knew personally “piddled” every time she got excited and that could be a problem much worse than chewing.

The real reason I chose this puppy is the last line on her description. “Almost completely housebroken.” Now, I haven’t been in the foster system long, but even I’m not naïve enough to think that phrase will hold even an ounce of water, but….a girl can dream.

So I’m readying our guest bathroom (tile floor) for her arrival. A friend gave me some leftover puppy pads and I’m going to set the tub up as a cozy little bedroom for her. Because of the quarantine rules, she’ll be inside and contained to a restricted area until her vaccinations can be verified, but I have OPH Medical Director Jen’s word that she’ll try to spring her as soon as possible. Because she’s an older puppy that could be a lot sooner than nine days (fingers crossed, candles lit, juju sent).

The transport is again a late evening drop. This time I won’t have the company of my tire-changing husband, so I’m hoping the car will make it there and back without incident. (He’s returning home from a business trip that night and has already said, he’s not up for the late night puppy handoff.) But what a fun thing for him to wake up to on Saturday – a bathroom-bound excitable puppy! And just in time for Easter!

Bonus: Here’s a video of Galina at her new forever home with her new best bud. This is what happens when they try to take Gimli out without her!

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Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

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