Stuck With Each Other

DSC_9641The decision has been made. Frank is not staying. Well, he’s staying for a few more weeks, but then he’s off to a terrific new life with a wonderful new family.

After much debate and waffling, we made the decision not to adopt Frank. We love him, maybe too much, for which we will decidedly pay in a week or so, but we cannot keep him.

The biggest reason is my darling personal dog whom I malign on a regular basis on this blog. So for the record – I love Gracie. I do. But she drives me nuts and she is everything I don’t want in a dog – disloyal, disobedient, disrespectful, and for lack of a better word – dumb. But, she’s our dog. We’ve had her since she was a puppy. The kids love her. This is her home. Gracie is going nowhere (even though I do occasionally flirt with the idea of switching pictures on the OPH website and giving Gracie away to an unsuspecting adopter….). Continue reading Stuck With Each Other

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Fabulous Frank

DSC_9637So, you may have noticed that I haven’t been quick to write about Frank. I haven’t even updated his profile on the OPH website.  I’ll get to it, I will. But right now I’m still humoring this crazy debate between my head and my heart about Frank.

Frank is awesome. And I know as soon as I start writing about his awesomeness, some wonderful person is gonna want to adopt him and I’m still trying to figure out if we are that awesome person.

I’m not going to foster fail. I’ve said that. Again and again. Heck, if I was going to foster fail it would have been with Carla, not some skinny, funny looking, boy dog with crazy eyes.

My husband is pressuring me. He loves this dog. He even said last night, “What if I put in the application and he’s my dog?”

But he isn’t his dog.

Frank loves me. Yesterday when I left him for the first time, he nearly went through a window screen to follow me. Continue reading Fabulous Frank

A Friend for Gracie (also MIB’s most powerful alien)

The last puppy left tonight, but the next transport is tomorrow! You’d think after four weeks of puppy poop, I’d be ready for a break. I am, but I owe Gracie.

Remember Gracie, my personal dog? You may have noted that not a word has been written about her during the entire puppy odyssey.

That’s because Gracie hated the puppies. This is how she greeted them. I know she only looks disgusted, but I promise she was growling all manner of meanness at them.

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And it didn’t get any better. Whenever she passed the puppy room (a space she avoided whenever possible), she snarled for good measure. On the occasion when she actually ventured into the puppy room, she let loose with a full attack sound. Which would be worrisome except Gracie has always been all bark and no bite. Whenever we are running and pass a fenced dog or a stray cat, she flips to the kill setting in her vocal options, but if we come upon a loose dog or something larger than a cat, say a deer or on one occasion a skunk, she runs for the hills with her tail between her legs. She’s a total poser.

I have no doubt had I ever let the puppies loose to meet Gracie, she would have been overwhelmed and cowered under the coffee table.

We kept Homegirl mostly in the kitchen this past week, separated from Fang, I mean Gracie, by a sadly sagging baby gate supported by Addie’s mellophone case. (We originally propped up a board to keep Gracie from seeing the puppies, but it was scratching the wall, so we resorted back to the pathetic broken baby gate.) Either dog could easily take down that gate, but instead, Homegirl, sat sweetly on one side whining to see Gracie, who occasionally popped up on the other side of the gate to threaten her with every kind of bodily harm. Homegirl, either because she is a puppy or doesn’t speak Gracie’s language, only got more excited to see Gracie, ostensibly saying, “I’m so HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY to meet you too! I wish this gate didn’t keep us apart!” Continue reading A Friend for Gracie (also MIB’s most powerful alien)

And Then There Was One…

IMG_1857One puppy is much simpler than six puppies, but one puppy, believe it or not, is much noisier than six puppies. I suppose there are five other households that can verify this for me.

Homegirl is still with us. Hopefully, she will go home at the end of this week. Her almost-adopter made the very responsible and difficult decision not to adopt her at the last moment. I have to take a sidebar from this post to comment on this:

Deciding to adopt a puppy or dog is a BIG decision. It’s not something you should make on a whim or simply because a particular canine is irresistible or because you fear no one else will take this dog. It’s a 10-15 or more year commitment. It should not be entered in to lightly – for your sake or the dog’s sake.

When things don’t work out, as in the case of our beloved Carla who was responsibly owner-surrendered after four years, it breaks a lot of hearts. I can only speak from the dog’s side (although having gotten to know Carla, I am certain there were plenty of tears on the other end, too). Carla mourned for nearly a month. She was lost and sad, and while her story ended well, I’m sure she is more cautious in ladling out her trust in her new home and won’t feel completely secure there for some time.

Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing a bit, but I do know she had a tender soul, like most dogs, and being returned is devastating for all involved. So…..I am very happy that Homegirl’s potential adopter was smart enough to wait for the right dog for him.

Okay, back to the post at hand…. Continue reading And Then There Was One…

No, Really, He’s a Girl!

I realize I don’t have to confess this. And it’s going to make me sound like an idiot. But….this is just too funny not to write about. And I’m not worried about my reputation. I figure this will lower expectations of me as a competent foster, so if I do anything at all right from now on, I’ll only look good.

So, let me tell you.

Homeboy is a girl.DSC_9292

Really.

Yes, I’ve had this puppy two weeks. And yes, I must be an idiot because I just noticed on Sunday that she doesn’t have a penis.

I’ve come up with quite a few explanations for this. Continue reading No, Really, He’s a Girl!

Thirty six Goodbyes

DSC_9554It’s going to be a tough week. For all of us. The first pups take off on Monday. Lug Nut and Jillie Bean will be relatively local, so their adopters will be able to come for them. Marzle leaves on Tuesday evening.

There will be some serious howling in the puppy pen. I know this because when I take just one pup out for a bit, everyone else cries. They’ve never been apart in their short lives, so even when it’s a separation of only a few feet, they are devastated.

I’ve been trying to help them get used to being on their own, so I take each out for a solitary adventure most days– a walk up the hill to gawk at the chickens, a snuggle in the hammock (only Boz and Lug Nut can be still enough to enjoy this), a visit to the gardens to pull a few weeds, a little time in the kitchen with me while I prepare a meal, or a half hour spent on Ian’s lap watching him play computer games.

It didn’t take long for them to enjoy the attention and forget about their siblings. They don’t rush back to the pen (except Jillie, she usually is happiest to get back). But the ones left behind – it’s a sorry sound. The howling and crying are heartbreaking.

They’ve gotten much bigger in the past two weeks, and their pen, which seemed vast at first, seems overstuffed. They shift it around while wrestling and I never know what configuration it will be in or which object they will have pulled partially through the walls (trash bag liner, coat that wasn’t hung up, pile of newspaper).

When I have the time and the help, I take them out for a tear around the screened-in porch. They love this. I thought at first I would take my laptop out there and work while they played, but that was a silly idea and I got nothing done. Their cuteness and antics were just too distracting.

(That was just three of them) Continue reading Thirty six Goodbyes

My Fostering Mistake and the Grace of OPH

One thing I really appreciate about OPH is that they treat those of us who foster with such respect. They truly assume that we are all intelligent, resourceful people who can read directions and follow instructions. I appreciate this about them, but at the same time I wish they’d micromanage me just a little, or maybe nag, just a touch of nag would be good.

Seems my inability to follow instructions means my pups are stuck with me for three extra days. Certainly I don’t mind their happy presence, but I know their adopters would much rather have them home sooner than later. Major apologies.

Want to hear my excuse? (I’m going to give it to you anyway.) Continue reading My Fostering Mistake and the Grace of OPH