Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Foster #4: Margo

When Lucky Dog first sent out the list last week of dogs coming in on transport who would need fosters for the weekend, Margo was not on it. We volunteered to foster a couple of other dogs, including a 5 year old beagle named Elijah, a 2 year old corgi mix named Danny, and a 2 year old chihuahua mix named Valentine. To our surprise (and happiness!), we were told a few days later that Elijah and Danny were getting adopted directly off of transport and Valentine had found a full-time foster (click here for an explanation of the differences between full-time fostering and the type of fostering we do). We were told, however, that additional dogs were being added to this week's transport because so many of the original transport dogs were getting adopted immediately. We were asked if we would be willing to foster one of these added dogs, a one year old, 16 pound feist mix named Margo. Of course we said yes.

Margo at the shelter
When Margo was unloaded off of the transport van and relinquished into our care, she took a few steps and then promptly threw up on the ground. As she was doing so, I noticed that she had something (I suspect a combination of vomit and poop) caked to the fur on her hips and tail. Clearly transport was not a particularly pleasant experience for her. We took her for a short walk, got her fitted for her Lucky Dog collar and tag, and then loaded her into the back of our car for the approximately one hour drive back to our house. Within seconds we realized that we were going to need to keep the windows cracked open, despite the barely fifty degree temperatures, because Margo, quite frankly, stunk. As I posted on facebook as we were driving home, no one ever said fostering is glamorous!

Once we got Margo home, Peter went into the house to get Lily while I waited on the sidewalk a few houses away with Margo, so that we could introduce Margo and Lily in "neutral territory." Once they had finished sniffing each other's butts and Lily had communicated to Margo that jumping on her face was not considered polite canine behavior, we took the two for a lengthy walk so that they could get used to being around each other through a non-confrontational activity. We then got them back to the house and let them run around the yard together for a bit (supervised, of course). And finally, we let the girls inside and immediately carried Margo upstairs for her desperately needed bath!

getting acquainted through the all-important butt sniffing

Margo was relatively well-behaved in our house throughout the rest of that evening and the next morning before Sunday's adoption event. She seemed to be mostly housebroken, and only had one accident in the house that I think was more just due to excitement, stress, and not knowing or being used to our schedule. She was very affectionate and eager to be wherever Peter and I were and give us kisses if we came close enough. We did have to keep her in tie-down so that Lily could get away from her when she wanted to (click here for a basic explanation of tie-down training and here for an excellent blog post over at the Oh Melvin blog about their experience with tie-down training). Margo, with her puppy energy and lack of doggie manners, was not good at respecting Lily's personal space and lower energy level. Of our four fosters, we have had to do tie-down with two of them and not had to do it with the other two; it just depends on the individual foster dog and whether or not he or she is able to recognize what Lily is trying to communicate.

Lily and Margo got along great in the yard; it was only in the house, where Lily wanted to relax, that Margo's boisterousness needed to be contained.
Despite Margo's good behavior at our house, I was concerned about her chances of getting adopted at Sunday's adoption event. I knew that she would have lots of cute competition, and I knew that the fact that she's a black dog could be a disadvantage, although she did have her small, apartment-friendly size going for her. She also has a tendency to bark frantically at other dogs on leash; I knew from our experience with Lily that this was excitement, not aggression, and that she was just eager to play, but I was worried about how it would be perceived by potential adopters.

Black dogs can be difficult to photograph, but they are just as cute as their lighter-colored brethren!
Luckily, my fears were unfounded! Margo garnered a lot of interest at the adoption event, and though there were multiple potential adopters who were put off by her barking at the other dogs, a lovely young engaged couple from DC fell in love with her and decided to adopt her. I was so happy to be able to meet them and see for myself that Margo was going home with a wonderful new mom and dad. Her new dad expressed interest in taking her running (an activity I think she will love) and told me that he was looking forward to watching basketball with her that evening. So, less than 48 hours after being pulled from a high kill shelter in rural South Carolina, Margo went to a fantastic new forever home with parents who I am confident will take great care of her.

It feels so good to have been a part of Margo's journey from shelter dog to forever dog. I hope that she and her new parents will have many happy years together!

Happy Margo playing in our backyard; maybe she knew she was going to find her forever family the very next day!


  1. What a happy ending for Margo! :)

  2. Testament to how important overnight fostering is in the road to adoption! Yay Margo!

  3. Oh my gosh, Margo is a cutie pie! She's close to what we're looking for for a second dog :)

  4. Yay you and Margo!!!