Teddy

Meet Teddy, our very special holiday foster. I picked up Teddy from the shelter a week before Thanksgiving. On his intake report it said someone had called and reported an injured dog in their neighbor’s yard. Animal Control came and picked up Teddy. His owners never came to get him back.

Here’s the matted, scraggly mess he looked like the day I picked him up at the shelter (he had been there for several weeks):

That’s my friend, Author Laurie Lynn Drummond, who also fosters for Companion Animal Alliance and Friends of the Animals in Baton Rouge. We went up to the shelter that day to each pick out a new foster dog . I picked Teddy and Laurie picked Olive, a pretty Border Collie, who was recently adopted. You should read Laurie’s novel, Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Anything-You-Will-Used-Against/dp/B000C9WXUY#

That’s my friend, Author Laurie Lynn Drummond, who also fosters for Companion Animal Alliance and Friends of the Animals in Baton Rouge. We went up to the shelter that day to each pick out a new foster dog. I picked Teddy and Laurie picked Olive, a pretty Border Collie, who was recently adopted. You should read Laurie’s novel, Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Anything-You-Will-Used-Against/dp/B000C9WXUY#

At the shelter they had named him Howie. He looked more like a Teddy (bear) to me.

Howie1 Howie2

When he was first brought into the shelter, the vets there noticed Teddy’s ears were badly infected and put him on a course of antibiotics. One of them said they were possibly the worst ear infections she had ever seen. Aside from what the good samaritan had told Animal Control, there was no note of injury on Teddy’s record.

A fluffy, non-shedding, cocker/poodle mix (cockapoo) with maybe a splash of shih tzu thrown in, Teddy had languished at the shelter for weeks after being neutered. Despite his matted hair and bad breath, I knew once he was cleaned up he’d be beautiful. And he sure seemed sweet. He let me bathe him in my front yard without complaint.

Howie3

He let me clean his ears without complaint. When I tried to cut some mats off his belly, he let me, but then I accidentally, um, slipped with the scissors (No blood though!) and he snapped at me. I deserved that. He didn’t bite me, just let out a scream and gave a couple of warning snaps in the air. I think I clearly heard him say, “Yo, I’ve already been neutered. Watch. Those. Scissors!”

I brought him to a wonderful groomer (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pretty-Paws-Grooming-by-Teresa/189305501171383) who said he was an excellent boy and she didn’t even need a muzzle to carry out any of his beauty treatments.

Here’s what he looked like when she was finished:

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On Thanksgiving, my 17-year-old son was petting his back when Teddy yelped and snapped at the air. Then he ran back at my son to kiss him and make up. Another time my 85-pound Mastiff mix bumped into Teddy’s rump and again, he yelped and snapped at the air, then ran back at my dog to lick his face. I also noticed that when I reached out to pet Teddy sometimes, he would blink as if I was going to hit him. That made me sad. Clearly, he was used to being hit. But he always sought me out for affection and he seemed very relieved and delighted when he knew I was only ever going to caress him and tell him he was a good boy (when I didn’t have a scissor in my hands, that is. Okay, bad joke).

There were a couple of additional snapping incidents when Teddy felt hurt or threatened, but nobody was ever bitten. I don’t foster aggressive dogs; my life is just too complicated and frankly, I’m a chicken! But I didn’t think Teddy was aggressive. I thought something was really hurting him and he was trying to protect himself, so I brought him back to the shelter vet to see what it might be. The answer was something I wasn’t quite prepared to handle. But I would handle it. I’m handling now, in fact, and it’s all good so far. (To be continued…)

Short term fostering

I promised my hubby, Ed, I’d take a little break from fostering because we had a pretty big parade of dogs through the house after Yogi was adopted for the second time last spring. (Yogi: Long story. An upcoming post. In short, he’s got it so good right now, and hopefully forevermore.) So we hosted Yaya then Jaci then Louie then Chip then Godiva, and I promised Ed we’d take a month off and let our own two dogs luxuriate in being the only dogs in the house.

About three weeks into that month though, our shelter put out a plea for short term fosters. They were doing a transport of 22 dogs to the Virginia Beach SPCA , a facility that is also open-intake like ours, but has a 90% save rate; the only dogs there that are euthanized are those that are too sick or behaviorally unstable to be adopted.

Short term fostering is a great option for people who want to provide a warm bed and lots of love to shelter dogs but can’t make the commitment to do it until the dogs are adopted. And in this case, it would only be three nights.

So I headed up to the shelter with the goal of walking 10 dogs and giving them some love, and then pulling a couple of small ones who were scheduled for the transport to take home for three days. What I saw first were these blue, blue eyes gazing up at me from her kennel:

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She told me Jensi wasn’t her name. She told me her name was Noodle.

My friend Jacinta said she was very shy but absolutely precious once she warmed up. I figured I’d grab her and something else that was small. That turned out to be this one (who was in a kennel just across the corridor from her):

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Yeah, my name is Mattie. It even says it on my tag right there. The tag I was wearing when my owners surrendered me :{

While I walked the other dogs, I put Noodle and Mattie together in a kennel and let them get to know each other for about an hour. Because the last thing you need is a Little-Doggy-Bloodbath in your house, especially if you wind up with a couple of alpha females.

But as you can see, these were no alpha-females when I got them home. And both “noodled” their way into my heart, and Ed’s too.

EdMattieNoodle

I’ll be honest, usually I am very happy to see my fosters go. I don’t want more than 2 dogs. And I just want to help homeless dogs; that’s why we do this. But on the day that Noodle and Mattie were scheduled for transport, I was very grateful my friend, Morgan, who works at the shelter and lives next door to me, took them to the departure point for me.

My friend, Jacinta, texted me this picture as they were loaded up on the van and ready for the 15 hour drive from Baton Rouge to Virginia Beach: : Noodle&Mattie

Broke. My. Heart.

In the morning, I woke up and I missed those little goons tremendously. Mattie would literally smile at me when I went to get them out of the bathroom (where we kept them all cozy with a dog bed and toys, which were safe there from our own dogs and their thieving ways).  Both Mattie and Noodle were perfectly behaved while they were with us and house trained too. Also, I never heard either of them bark. Not once. That is really unusual for little dogs.

All of which is to say, these perfect little angels are available for adoption at the Virginia Beach SPCA and you can see more pictures on their Facebook page. Please share and send the very best people you know to go and adopt them, either separately or together. If the adopters contact me through my blog, I’d love to do an updated entry on them. We do so love happy tails!

Here’s one more peek at these beautiful girls: Noodle1

Mattie1