Friday, November 11, 2011

Roxy, n/k/a Ava

Roxy was on the PTS list for so long. Weeks. She was put into a foster home and I guess the rescuers just figured she was safe there, so they disregarded her and went for all of the other dogs on the list. Every day people would cross-post her picture, but no one stepped up to take her. She was sponsored early on. People fretted about her demise. But no one made the call. Except me. I emailed and said that I had to babysit my dog-reactive old foster Lulu, then I had to find a home for Mitch, and then for Tess, and if no one spoke up for her by that time, I would take her. I told her foster I was Roxy's "fail safe." She would not be put to sleep.

And here I am breaking another one of my rules - I will not foster any dog that looks like my beautiful Remy the Rottie. I still cry for missing him.

But Roxy, now called Ava because her foster mommy in SC said she didn't answer to Roxy but likes Ava, she's a special girl.

First of all, she didn't have ANY issue with Teddy Bear the big-mouth. He barked once or twice, and she didn't even blink. And she is QUIET! Yay. Even when Teddy is a big mouth barky dog.

She was also good with Scotchy the cat. He has learned not to run from the foster dogs, but to sit and give them the evil paw wave of death if they get their big, wet, dog noses too close for his comfort. She didn't even try to sneak up and eat his catfood! Now THAT's a good dog!

She is one of the sweetest little girls! Her ears are so expressive. She perks them up and looks like a German Shep when she is curious, which is alot. Then when you call her or reach toward her, those ears go down into the "love-me" position and she gives kisses and would sit by your feet all day and night. What a lovebug!

Sadly, she is making Joel sneeze like crazy. I gave her a bath, swept up the floors, and turned on the air cleaner, and he took a Claratin, but it's still not entirely better. Her only other issue is a housebreaking failure. She has gone pee and poop in the house just in the two hours we've been home. But that's not uncommon for the first night off the 13-hour long transport - her little system is all distressed. We'll see how that one goes.

Good thing she's an amazing dog. She will make a wonderful pet for someone, hopefully before I get too close to her.
You know as soon as I said that, I was attached already. How do you say...FOSTER FAILURE!!! After rescuing more than 50 dogs, I have hit foster failure. Ava (also Evie) will be staying with me. She has already passed her Canine Good Citizen Test but still has serious trust issues with strangers, especially men. I can say that she is finally housebroken and feels safe peeing somewhere other than on my bed! 

More "not my dogs"

Several new dogs to add to the list of critters I have helped to rescue:

Mitch the Miracle Dog 

I am not a particularly religious person, but sometimes I feel that my actions are guided by something greater than myself - something with a divine plan which I am destined to execute. Such is the case with Mitch the Miracle Dog. I felt compelled to look at the list of dogs already put to sleep. I usually don't do that, because there is not much that can be done at that point - it's too late. Not only did I look at the list, but I clicked on Mitch's picture and read all of the wonderful things that the shelter volunteers had said about wonderful he was on a leash, how well-mannered he was, how absolutely lovable he was and what wonderful family dogs walker hounds can be. What a shame I thought. So I looked to see when the page had been updated - 38 minutes. That's kind of a long time. But just to push it, I emailed the shelter director and asked "Is he really gone?" She responded, "No, he's right here" (in the euthanizing room.) So I pulled him. I broke my rules again and pulled him despite the fact that I had no where to put him. And of course I had to juggle dogs when he got to NJ. But he found a wonderful home, so it's all good for that little coon hound sweetheart of a dog! Thank your angel for watching over you - and just in the nick of time.
Wilma the flat-coated retriever was saved because she is a black dog - usually the first to be put down at a kill shelter - just too many of them. But Susan volunteered to foster her, so she made it out to NJ.
Amber the little chi boy with the crazy ear - he's a wild little one that gets all the other dogs in Nancy's house riled up.
And the hound twins, Charlotte & Chris, possibly Anglo-French hounds. They are the hand-picked rescues of Steve & Melissa, our newest fosters. Charlotte is smaller and very demure. Chris is Capt. Adventure and is energetic and boisterous like a typical boy. Both just cute as can be. So glad they are alive!
Thank you CODAR fosters for taking these babes in when my house was full!


My Dream Dog

Tess The Dane (mix)
I always wanted a great dane. When Remy died, I looked up the local great dane rescue and was devastated when they would not adopt out to me because we don't have a fenced yard. So when I got the opportunity to foster Tess, a 10-month-old great dane/lab mix, I begged my husband to let me do it.

What I learned is that alot of people say they always wanted a great dane, but most people have no idea what they are getting into!

People call great danes the gentle giants. Tess was a classic example of this. The caveat is that they are, in fact, giant. They don't realize that when they step on your other dog's head it is not very nice or fun for the other dog even if they were just playing. And when they stampede through the house the way playing puppies do, it sounds like a herd of horses. (Not nice for the neighbors.) She is also very skittish - way beyond the point of shy. She startles easily and isn't terribly good about meeting new people, especially men, although she does warm up pretty quickly. She is neurotic about her potty habits - like she will only go in one place. You can walk on leash for 40 minutes, but she will hold it until you get to her special place. And danes eat more food than a normal three times as much. A bag of dry food that would last Teddy a week was gone in two days.

So although it was wonderful to get so many applications for Tess, I was relieved when one of the applicants had a great dane already. THEY would know what to expect!

I had very mixed feelings the night before I took Tess to her new home. I so wanted it to be perfect. And I wanted it to be not perfect so that I had an excuse to bring her back home to be my dream dog. I cried. But when I arrived in the suburbian home outside of Philly, I found that I was right in my initial reaction - it was the most perfect home I could have ever hoped for for my dream dog. The other dane chased her for a minute or two, and then they ran around the huge, fenced yard together for hours. There was no power play for toys or attention. She was super comfortable with all of the family members as if she had known them her whole life. I didn't even cry as I left - she was looking out the sliding glass door and wagging as if to say, "Thanks so much! This is great!" I got an email saying they played all afternoon until they finally flopped down in two tired heaps in the living room. How great is that??