Another Successful Foster

Ox - former foster dog from @lolathepitty

I was looking back and I can’t believe I never dedicated a post towards Ox. If you follow us on Facebook, his face is probably very familiar as our page was filled with updates on him – from the moment he was pulled from the shelter to the day he left our home.

As usual I was scrolling through Facebook and saw this face:


He had one day left at the shelter he was at in Kansas and everyone previously interested in fostering him had somehow fell through. I tagged ‘A’ in his photo with a little smiley face. Shortly thereafter I received a text message, “Do you want to foster that dog from Kansas?”. I guess he knows me all too well. So we discussed it briefly (as in, “Yep – is that okay? Okay, great!”).

Next the shelter was contacted and Ox was safe. I was so excited to get this little beefcake into our home.

We’ve always had great luck with fosters getting along with Lola. We hadn’t fostered since we adopted Rio, but everyone loves Rio, he’s pretty easy going. But there was still that little voice in the back of my head questioning whether all three of them would get along. Ox had been brought in the shelter as a stray, so it was unsure if he would have any food aggression/guarding issues. So slow introductions is always the way to go.

Ox arrived in Minnesota and we went to pick him up. Can you believe this boy was only estimated to be six months old? I guess his big dopey puppy paws give it away – but look at that big ‘ole head! I just love him. We introduced him to our dogs, one at a time and it went wonderful! He did have a little food aggression, but we were able to work through that pretty well in the two weeks that we had him. Ox and Rio became best buds and I secretly think they had a little crush on each other. Lola on the other hand was Ms. Independent and played when she wanted to, but of course never letting her authority slip.

Ox-Rio 001

While it did cross my mind of keeping Ox for ourselves (doesn’t this happen with every foster? Okay, all but one…) I knew we weren’t in the situation to add another dog to our family at this time and the applications for him were literally rolling in. Plus, I’ll admit it was very difficult at times with three dogs in a townhome with no yard. We really need a house and a yard. Or just a yard. Or really, just decent weather.

Then came the not-so-fun part, Ox had giardia. Shortly thereafter, Rio had giardia. Ick, ick and ick. A few bad days, two rounds of treatment later (and a lot of other ish) and we were all healthy again. Luckily Lola managed to avoid that one, which was surprising to me because if it’s out there – it seems that she’ll get it. The rescue was very cooperative though and even gave Rio the medication he needed to treat the parasite. Phew!

We had three applications come in that seemed like an amazing home for Ox. And that is one of the challenges of fostering. Telling another family, that has met your foster, that he’s a better fit with someone else. Ouch. But it all worked out. The first family that came to meet him, loved him of course but their resident female dog and him were not a good match.

The next day, his family came to meet him and five minutes into the meet-and-greet they were begging me to let them take him home. This tells me a lot. There were no hesitations, no questions, no concerns. “Once he comes home with me, he stays there for the rest of his life” they said. A few days later after all the paperwork was said and done, they came and picked up their baby and said “Thanks for taking care of him for us until he found us”. He is loved. I am happy and once again, my job as foster mom is done. Good luck in your new life, Ox!

Afternoon-Naps 003

My First Foster

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

I found myself tearing up as I was looking through photos from the couple months that we had Weeser. I had a lump in my throat when I would find myself talking about him, thinking about him and I couldn’t help but wonder – did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him?

Weeser was a weak four-month old pup when he was transported from Kentucky to Minnesota. The first photo I saw of him is burned in my head. He was in a dark dungeon-like shelter hiding behind rusty bars. He was just standing there on the concrete floor looking up into the bright flash of the camera. He looked helpless, miserable and he needed us.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

We contacted the rescue that was going to pull him from the shelter and said, “We’ll take him, we can foster him!”. That was all it took, we just saved his life…

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

Lola had just came into our lives a couple months prior and this whole idea of fostering was very new to us. I will never forget the day we went to the rescue and picked up Weeser. He was so weak. His legs bowed outwards and he looked like a newborn foal when he would run. He had virtually no muscle development. But after all, he had been living in a DARK dungeon with minimal exercise.

Lola and Weeser bonded immediately. They had so much to ‘talk’ about. They would wrestle, play (pee on the floor) and then recharge their little batteries like any two puppies would do. They were two peas in a pod and literally inseperable.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

The question began to enter my mind, how I am ever going to let him go?

Is it going to be like this with every dog that we foster?

Can we afford to keep two dogs?

Will Lola bond with another dog like she has with Weeser?

I still remember the moment when I received the first email with the subject line, “Adoption Application – Weeser”.

I’ll admit, I was basically conducting a thorough search of the applicant…stalking them as if they were applying for a job with the CIA, trying to figure out if they could ever possibly be fit to take care of my precious Weesy boy. Because how is anyone ever going to give him as good of a home as we can? Will they leave him home alone all the time in a crate? What if he ends up back in a shelter? The questions would not stop flooding my mind.

Two other applications came in and well, as much as I hated (yes, hated) to admit it…there was one family that sounded perfect. A mother and her three children – Weeser would receive lots of exercise and hardly ever be left home alone. So we agreed to meet them and it went wonderful. They loved him, he loved them. Of course they did, it was Weeser. It was bittersweet.

Another email came in from the rescue organization requesting for me to let them know how everything went with our meet-and-greet. I was hesitant – should I tell them it didn’t work out and we’ll be adopting Weeser? What should I do!?

Well, I replied and told them that I liked the family and everything went well – the truth.

Next, an email copying me, it read, “Congratulations, your home visit has been approved!”.

NOOOO… I had just approved the adoption and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Thirty minutes later another notification on my phone, an  email outlining the details of the adoption:

1) Adopter makes payment with a debit/credit card through our website.
2) Vetting Manager signs the adoption contract electronically via
Right Signature AFTER this animal is spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
Vet records will be emailed to the new owners
after an adoption is finalized.
3) Foster signs the contract electronically by opening the email from
Right Signature and clicking on the link. Please make sure to check
the boxes and fill in every blank next to the check boxes.
4) Adopter signs the contract electronically by opening the email from
Right Signature and clicking on the link provided. Once adopter signs
the form, another email from Right Signature will be sent to all
signers with the completed PDF contract attached (adopters, please
save this email since it’s proof of adoption).
5) Foster contacts Adopter to pick up new pet AFTER the adoption
contract is signed by everyone and payment has been made.

WAIT, what is happening. Can I have a few days to let this soak in? I WANT Weeser, I want to adopt him! I called my mom, distraught and upset. I think I just made the biggest mistake… Weeser is PERFECT. The bond between Weeser and Lola was truly one of the most precious things I have ever seen in my twenty something years of existence. How would we ever find another playmate like him? I cannot let him go…I can’t. But I have to. I broke down, my heart felt heavy and tears flooded my eyes, I had a giant lump in my throat.

Lola loved him so much. She even went into a mini depression period when he left. She would sulk around, head hanging and would lay in his favorite spot, waiting for him to come back… but we both knew he was gone. I cannot bring myself to delete any of his photos. Yes, I know I have 15 photos of one pose where his head may be turned slightly different.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

And to answer my own questions:

Is it going to be like this with every foster? > No.

Could every dog we have fostered fit into our family? > Yes.

Could we have afforded Weeser? > Yes.

Will Lola bond with another dog as she did with Weeser? > Well, no – not yet.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

I still miss Weeser, but we saved his life. He is living a beautiful life now and I know that he is loved – loved as much as I love him. I am still in contact with his family and they send me an occasional photo of Mr. Weesy.

I have to look back and remember that moment, that moment that we said we could foster him and those few words changed his life forever. And while I am tearing up as I write this, I have to accept that what I did was right. I loved him, I cared for him, I helped him grow strong and I ensured that his perfect family found him, my job here was done. I believe that Weeser came into our lives for a very special reason and I feel fortunate to have made an impact on his life and in return, he made one on mine.

And the moment I knew it was right was when his new mom walked in the door to pick him up. Weeser greeted her with a wagging tail, excitement, and tons of puppy kisses. We said our goodbyes and then they left and suddenly I knew everything was going to be alright…

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