Friday, October 18, 2013

Find-a-Home Friday: Darla

Update on some of the adoptable animals previously featured on "Find-a-Home Friday": Diego, Clover, Corey, and Tallulah have all been adopted! Zeke is still looking for his forever home.

Zeke is still waiting for his forever family to find him!

Today's adoptable pet is Darla. Darla is being fostered through the Washington Humane Society by an acquaintance of mine who does a wonderful job fostering and finding homes for sweet Pit Bull-type dogs. These dogs are often overlooked in shelters because of the unfair stereotypes and discrimination against their breed. Pitties make wonderful, loving, and loyal pets!

Darla's foster mom says: "When I first saw Darla, she was so thin that you could see every bone in her body. She had been left in an apartment for weeks with no food, and she was barely rescued in time. Darla had every reason to hate and distrust people, but instead she falls in love with every person she meets. She is trusting, loving, sweet, gentle, and is a complete cuddlebug. I do a lot of fostering, so I have a large pack and dogs are coming and going all the time. Darla deserves a home with more consistency and less chaos. She would do best in a home with a submissive dog or by herself. She is incredibly loyal and will love her forever family unconditionally."

Darla is approximately 3-4 years old. She currently weighs about 35 pounds but still needs to gain a bit more weight; a healthy weight for Darla will be about 40 pounds.

Interested in adopting Darla? Want to get more information? Call or text her foster mom, Gibby, at (413) 427-0471 or email her at gmbbooth@gmail. Darla would love to find a forever family to snuggle up with and keep warm as the weather gets colder!

Friday, October 11, 2013

BJ is Adopted!

I am thrilled to announce that BJ (now Beage, pronounced "beej") was adopted exactly three weeks ago, after spending exactly three weeks as our foster. I am even more thrilled to announce that he was adopted by my wonderful aunt and uncle, which means that I will get to continue to see him!

Beage on his first day in his forever home, on the deck with his new dad (my uncle).
Beage has been transitioning well to his new home, making slow but steady progress. My aunt says that "he is just adorable and incredibly sweet." I'm so happy that he found such a fantastic, loving home and so excited that I will get to continue to follow his adventures for the rest of his life. Lily is looking forward to having a playdate with him soon :)

Beage in the kitchen in his forever home; he was given the bandana he's wearing around his neck by his new vet for being such a good patient at his first appointment.

Friday, September 6, 2013

BJ's First Week

I realize that, in the overall context of fostering, a week is not long at all. Some people foster dogs for months, a few even for years, and I'm sure a week, to them, seems like a drop in the proverbial bucket. But until BJ, the longest we'd had a foster was three days. So for me, a week is actually a fairly big deal!

BJ has done much better than I expected in his first week with us. Having been warned by multiple people about his shyness and fearfulness, and having witnessed it firsthand when I went to visit him in the shelter before we agreed to foster him, I thought that by the end of the first week he might still be hiding behind furniture and bolting whenever anyone approached.

Instead, BJ is an attention whore. He was cautious and shy for about the first half a day that we had him, and then he began to follow us around the house, soliciting petting and belly rubs and plopping down in any available lap. His fearfulness still re-emerges occasionally if he encounters a new person or noise, but basically, once he gets used to something he's completely fine.

addicted to belly rubs
Similarly, he had a couple of accidents during the first two days that we had him. After those first two days, once he felt safe and had a better idea of our routine, he hasn't had a single accident. Not overnight, not while we're at work, not on the day when we went to work, I came home for an hour and a half, and then we left for a few more hours to have dinner with my family. Again, like the shyness, once he adjusts and feels comfortable, he's fully housebroken.

He loves other dogs. He hasn't chewed anything he's not supposed to. He knows "sit" and "off," which is only necessary to use when he jumps up on your leg to request petting, because he doesn't counter surf or try to get on the kitchen table.

napping with Lily
frog legs
Basically, he's a lovely dog who just needs an adopter who will be patient and understanding about his initial shyness and the fact that he needs a little extra time to comprehend that whatever new thing he's encountering isn't going to hurt him.

Please share his petfinder bio. He deserves a great home!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Introducing BJ!

Introducing BJ, Lily's new foster brother! BJ is our first full-time foster (click here for an explanation of the differences between full-time and short-term/temporary fostering) and our first foster through Animal Advocates of Howard County. BJ was adopted from a local shelter as a puppy and returned about a week ago, three years later. He ended up on the euthanasia list at the shelter, but I pulled him yesterday, so now he's safe and hanging out with us until his forever family comes along!

Here are photos of BJ in the shelter:

And here are some photos of BJ settling into our home over the past 24 hours:

Being hand-fed his first dinner in foster care by Peter
Despite the look on her face in this photo, Lily really does like BJ. Mostly. She's just a drama queen.
Gotta love those beagle ears!
More to come as we get to know him!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Trying to doze
"Dad, how am I supposed to sleep with the camera in my face?"

**And yes, in the second photo I am looking at pictures of dogs on Pinterest. Very meta.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday: Before and After

You may remember Talullah from the transport in which Peter and I participated recently. This is her "before" photo in the high-kill shelter before she was rescued: 

And these are some "after" photos of her on a potty break during transport:

Notice the difference in her eyes, facial expressions, and body language? Dogs understand more than we give them credit for. Imparting this kind of happiness and relief is addictive. There is no greater feeling in the world.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Our First Transport

While pet overpopulation is a massive issue throughout the United States, the problem is particularly acute in the rural deep South where the rates of both spay/neuter and overall adoptions of the animals who do end up at shelters or animal control are lower. In an effort to help save some of these pets, many of whom are highly adoptable in other communities, rescues in states further north often bring up these animals so they'll have a better shot at finding forever homes. Lily was one of these pets; she was in the animal control facility in Pickens County, South Carolina when she was fortunate enough to be selected by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue to make the trip up to the DC area.

Even if there are northern rescues willing to take on these pets, however, there is still one more additional hurdle that must be overcome: how to get the pets hundreds of miles from the high-kill rural Southern shelters to safety with the no-kill rescues. Sometimes rescues have no choice but to pay for transport for the animals; this becomes yet another cost that rescues must incur to save needy, deserving animals' lives. Obviously, it is better for rescues not to have to pay for transport so that they can save their money to help more animals; this is where volunteer transport groups come in. These groups consist of dedicated volunteers who drive pets, often in their own cars, paying for their own gas, tolls, etc., to where they need to go. Many of these groups arrange for the transports to happen in "legs," so that each volunteer drives a shorter distance (generally 50-70 miles one way) and the legs all add up so that the pets end up at their rescues.

One of these such transport groups is Rural Shelter Transports. Peter and I volunteered with them for the first time this past Sunday, driving a dog named Tallulah, two cats named Jasmine and Booboo, and a kitten named Sabine from Baltimore, Maryland to Newark, Delaware. We were able to fit Tallulah, Jasmine, and Booboo's crates side-by-side in the backseat of my car, and Sabine rode in her crate on my lap in the front passenger seat.

Jasmine, with Tallulah's crate to the left and Booboo's crate to the right
Despite Jasmine taking an incredibly stinky poop in her crate about halfway through our drive to Newark, we had a great experience volunteering with Rural Shelter Transports and will absolutely be doing so again in the future. Since Peter drove, I got to spend the whole way to Newark playing with Sabine through the bars of her crate in my lap. I can now say from experience that long drives don't seem nearly as long when you have a kitten to occupy your time! It was also so rewarding to know that we were playing a part in saving these sweet animals' lives, from handsome, stoic Booboo who didn't move or make a sound throughout the whole drive, to regal Jasmine, who loudly protested the indignity of being stuck in a crate with the product of her potty break (I changed the crate pad when we arrived in Newark), to playful Sabine who was constantly sticking her paws out of her crate to solicit play or petting, to sweet Tallulah, who slept through the car ride but wanted nothing but tummy rubs during her potty breaks before we left Baltimore and after we got to Newark.

Sabine was very insistent about getting attention.
Sabine and I playing in the front seat.
"What's this camera thing?"
soaking up the sun and the affection
I am so grateful to the receiving rescues and all the volunteers who made these pets' "jail break" possible. I know that they will all go on to find loving forever families as a result of everyone's hard work, and I am so glad that Peter and I were able to play a small role in their happy endings.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Find-a-Home Friday: Corey

Quick update on some of the adoptable pets featured on the blog: Teddy Ruxpin and Milton have been adopted! Darling was adopted earlier in the summer. Zeke, Diego, Tallulah, and Clover are all still looking for their forever homes.

Clover is still waiting for some lucky family to take her home!

Today's adoptable pet is Corey. Corey is a gorgeous Corgi mix. As anyone who watched the opening ceremony of most recent summer Olympics in London knows, the Queen has multiple Corgis, and they are a very popular breed on the internet, starring in a variety of viral videos (see some examples here, here, and here.

Corey is about five years old and weighs approximately 38 pounds. He is looking for a home where he can be the only dog and where there are no children under the age of 15. Corey is a smart guy and already knows some commands, including "sit," "down," "stay," "go to bed," and "no"! He loves chew toys, playing ball, and going for car rides.

Corey is available for adoption through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. Do you think you or someone you know might be Corey's perfect match? Check out his petfinder profile here!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Lily decided that despite the rest of the couch being empty, the only space worth lying in was the few inches behind me. To be clear, I did NOT sit on her, I was there first! Silly girl.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

In and Out

As I mentioned here, Lily is a very well-behaved dog, and many of her manners she seems to have taught herself. Within about six to eight months of coming to live with us, she started letting us know when she needed to go out to potty. If I'm in the den or the kitchen, within view of the door, she will just do a little dance in  front of the door, tail wagging, looking back and forth between the door and me like, "Open, please?" If I'm somewhere else in the house, she will come to find me, make eye contact (or stick her nose in my face if it's within reach of her short little legs) and then run back and forth between me and the door, doing her little dance in front of the door as soon as she sees that I'm coming.

Figuring out when she wants to come back inside has been a bit more challenging. It was always hard to tell if, when I opened the door and called, "Lily, wanna come back inside?" she was coming back in because she wanted to, or if she was just doing so because she thought I wanted her to. Even her sitting or lying by the door wasn't necessarily a clue, since she seems to just like to do that sometimes even when not ready to come in. Generally I would figure it out one way or the other only by her wanting to go back outside again just a few minutes after coming in.

Recently, though, Lily has furthered her communication skills and started scratching at the door when she wants to come in. She does it very politely, just a gentle "scratch-scratch-scratch," and then a pause to wait for someone to come let her in. If no one hears her the first time, she resumes the scratching and pausing pattern until someone arrives. It's really very convenient, taking the guesswork out of the situation for me. I'm quite proud of her for implementing this new system all by herself. Although I do have a friend whose beagles literally throw themselves at the door when they want to come in (flying beagles!) so I hope this isn't a slippery slope...

How do your dogs communicate with you about their desire to go in or out?


Friday, August 2, 2013

Find-a-Home Friday: Clover

I must admit that this Friday's featured adoptable pup, Clover, initially caught my eye because she bears a more than passing resemblance to my beloved Lily. When I learned a bit more about cute little 26 pound Clover, I discovered that the similarities are more than just physical. Like Lily, Clover is a beagle mix and the recent mother to a litter of puppies (Lily isn't a recent mother right now, obviously, but she was when she was rescued by Lucky Dog almost two years ago). Unlike Lily, though, who was about three years old when she was saved by Lucky Dog, Clover is only about a year and a half old, barely more than a puppy herself!

Clover's puppies have now been weaned, and most of them have already found their forever homes, but sweet Clover is still waiting. Clover would love to go on long walks with her forever family so that she can use her beagle nose, and like most beagles, she is highly food motivated, which will be helpful for training purposes!

Clover is available for adoption through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. If you or someone you know might be interested in adding this cute Lily lookalike to your family, you can check out her petfinder profile here!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Foster #6: Teddy Ruxpin

Last Thursday, I posted about how we would be fostering a 3-year-old Terrier/Shepherd mix called Mrs. Beasley over the weekend. I also mentioned that Mrs. Beasley had entered the shelter from which Lucky Dog rescued her with her lookalike brother, Teddy Ruxpin. Well, I have now learned that when fostering it's best to expect the unexpected (this point had somewhat already been made when we fostered Margo and had to drive an hour home with her with the car windows cracked in 50 degree weather because she had pooped and puked on herself during transport and smelled so foul). When Mrs. Beasley was unloaded off of transport, it was discovered that she had somehow managed to partially re-open her spay incision during the trip. I was a bit anxious about caring for an unfamiliar dog in this situation, since it's not something I've had any experience with, so it was decided that a more seasoned foster would take Mrs. Beasley home with her, and we brought her brother, Teddy Ruxpin, home instead!

Teddy Ruxpin in the shelter
Despite the last-minute foster switch-a-roo, Teddy turned out to be one of the easiest fosters we've had. I sat in the backseat with him while Peter drove us home from transport, and he spent the ride affectionately trying to stick his tongue in my mouth or, when that failed, licking any part of me he could reach (my hands, my shoulders, my neck, etc.). When we arrived home we took him and Lily for the customary "get comfortable together" walk that we do with all our fosters, and when we arrived back home they hung out in the yard together with Peter until it started to rain. Then they came inside, where Teddy was polite about respecting Lily's boundaries, unlike two of our past foster pups with whom we had to do tie-down training to give Lily some space.

Teddy respecting Lily's boundaries
That night we had some friends over for s'mores on our new fire pit, and Teddy was quite the social butterfly, visiting with each person in turn and soliciting attention and petting. He really has an excellent temperament. While another of our fosters, Darling, appealed to me personally more (and beagles like her and Lily have a special place in my heart), I think Teddy's personality, of all the dogs we've fostered, is the most broadly "adoptable." He's just very steady and gentle, friendly but not hyper. I actually think that, with some training, he would make a great therapy dog. Of course, I'm sure he'd be perfectly happy just being a beloved pet if his forever family prefers that! He also didn't have any accidents while he was with us, and slept through the night in his crate no problem, not waking up until we got up and roused him. He's one of those easy, go-with-the-flow, fit-right-in kinds of dogs.

Unfortunately, while Mrs. Beasley got adopted at the siblings' first adoption event this past Sunday, Teddy is still looking for his family. I really am shocked that this great boy wasn't immediately snatched up. He's now staying with a long-term foster, though I can't imagine he'll be with her for very much time at all. If you're interested in learning more about Teddy Ruxpin, his petfinder profile can be viewed here. And if you think you'd like to adopt him, contact his adoption coordinator (her contact info is in the petfinder profile) ASAP! This fantastic pup is sure to get adopted very soon.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Find-a-Home Friday: Tallulah

Today's featured adoptable pet is Tallulah.

Tallulah is a beautiful purebred female Basset Hound. Don't believe anyone who says you can't find purebred dogs through a shelter or rescue! Approximately 25% of the dogs who end up in shelters are purebred.

Tallulah is about three years old and weighs about 50 pounds. She's good with kids and other dogs, but she needs a home without cats.

Tallulah is available for adoption through Tails of Hope. Her petfinder profile can be viewed here, and her Tails of Hope page (including many more photos) can be viewed here. Could Tallulah be the perfect pup for you? She can't wait to find her forever family!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Introducing Mrs. Beasley!

Introducing Mrs. Beasley, Lily's foster sister for this weekend! She will be arriving in the DC area on transport this Saturday. Mrs. Beasley is a 3 year old, approximately 35-40 pound Terrier/Shepherd mix. She was found wandering around with another dog, Teddy Ruxpin, who looks so much like her that he must be her brother. He will hopefully be coming up on the same transport as his sister.

We're looking forward to getting to know Mrs. Beasley this weekend. Check out her petfinder profile here. More details to come!