August 8, 2011

This One's For You, Foster Boy

Last week, I got a foster dog from the Roanoke pound. He had been picked up as a stray, sat there for his hold time, and was never evaluated by the staff to see if he was suitable for adoption.

We were told that he was sick with a respiratory infection, had a flea allergy, and lost quite a bit of hair on his back half. As it was "not fair to leave him at the pound suffering", we had a day to get him, or he would be put down.

So, we got him. 

He's a big, black dog: the hardest to adopt. He's got a lot of pit bull in him, another strike. He's kind of bald on his back end. When he first meets you, he jumps up and down like crazy. He busted through 2 crates the first day I had him. The third held him in, thank goodness. His collar was about 5 sizes too big and he could slip right through it.

What to do with a big old pit bull-ish dog with a bunch of energy? We walked. And then walked some more.

During these walks, Foster Boy learned quickly how to behave on a leash. I plugged in my headphones, and sang to him. He could not hear the music, and my off-key singing is horrible, but he liked it. A little bit of Janis Joplin, some Natalie Merchant. We went to California with Led Zeppelin, and Boys Were Girls and Girls Were Boys according to the Kinks' Lola. Rhianna loved the way Eminem lied to her, and the Dixie Chicks, Foster Boy and I worked through letting some things go with the Fly album tracks.

During our times together, I learned a lot about Foster Boy. He jumps up and down when he first sees you because he is just so dang happy for the attention. And when you give it to him, he becomes quite submissive and rolls over, taking it all in.

He really likes other dogs, and is tolerant when they get up in his face and jump all over him.

He finds cats interesting, but is a little leery of them. That's probably good for both parties.

His walk is more like a horse's trot. And when he trots, his ears to do the cutest little flopping motions.

He's afraid of thunder.

When it rains, he tries to put his paw over his face and get the water off.

He seems to be house trained, or at least very eager to please; he did not have one accident in the house.

He can rip through a rawhide bone in about 7 minutes flat.

He figured out that car rides are actually pretty fun. 

This morning I took Foster Boy back to the Angels of Assisi adoption center. He never did have a respiratory infection, and his flea issue has been resolved; in fact the hair is already starting to come back in.

Foster Boy, this one's for you. I'm so glad you learned all the basic and necessary dog manner stuff in a short time. Now we can promote you as being crate trained, leash trained, and good with dogs, cats and kids. You'll be up to date on shots, fixed, micro-chipped, and ready to go to a new family.

I wish you every happiness that this life can bring, and more than anything I wish that someone will see the big, goofy, handsome, smart boy you are. One who learns quickly, and one who doesn't ask for much in this world. We'll tell them you are afraid of thunder.

My best friend and I often wonder how > insert the name of any one our collective eleven dogs' names here< would survive in a shelter, and you did it with grace and dignity. So proud of you for for that. 

I hope someone sees past the hair loss and instead looks into your smushy face and soulful brown eyes, because they speak volumes. You, my friend, are a good, good boy, and better things will come your way soon. The volunteers named you Romeo, because they are already half in love you, as I am. Together we'll work hard to get you that happily ever after.

And if this blog entry seems like it is jumping all over the place and scattered, it's because that's how I feel about taking you away from your foster home, my house, the only home you've known for a while. For that, I'm sorry. I wish you well with all my heart, and know that I left a little piece of my soul with you in that kennel this morning.

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