Rocco: Whoa

It has been a crazy few days in Rocco-land. The good news is, I was able to raise the money for Rocco’s surgery and he had it last Friday. And it went well, though we are waiting for the pathology report on the tumors removed and hoping everything is benign.

The morning of his surgery last Friday. A little early for Rocco to rise and shine, apparently.

The morning of his surgery last Friday. A little early for Rocco to rise and shine, apparently.

The bad news is, two days later, we had terrible thunderstorms here and while Rocco’s foster mom, June, was out, Rocco had a little freak-out. He squeezed himself through a cat door, busted through the screened in porch, and escaped while June was away. She was distraught and searched the neighborhood with friends, but no luck. It was a very sad and restless night that June spent with Rocco on the lam.

We posted signs all over her neighborhood, including in the park near the state capitol where I was starting to think, on day 4 of him missing, that Rocco was gone for good. I imagined him trapped in a drain pipe or caught under bushes by his harness. I imagined all sorts of things I won’t share because the world is sad enough without my horrible fantasies. Although he has a microchip, Rocco wasn’t wearing tags, because he’s a foster dog (and let me tell you, neither June nor I will ever make that mistake again; we’ll have tags made up that say “foster” with our respective phone numbers on them for our respective foster dogs. By the way, read this  article on how to make sure you don’t lose your dog in the first place, and how to get him back if you do).

Most importantly, I posted him on the Lost Pets of Baton Rouge Facebook page, describing his blue harness, his shaved back (he’d had a hot spot and the vets thought it best to remove the hair) and his incisions. And today, after I’d left a lunch meeting downtown, I got a call from a woman named MaryKay. She said she’d seen Rocco outside of her office (which was about a mile or two away from his foster home) but hadn’t been able to catch him. Then she saw his picture and description on the Lost Pets of Baton Rouge Facebook Page, where she’d gotten my phone number. She gave me the address of her office, and I was five minutes away, so I drove right there.

When I arrived, she met me downstairs and pointed to the areas where she’d seen him on the street. “I knew he had to be someone’s dog because of the blue harness,” she said, “But every time I took a step towards him, he ran away.”

Poor boy was still afraid, four days after that thunderstorm. I thanked her and did a lap around the block, calling his name and looking in bushes. I asked a little old  man taking out the garbage if he’d seen a dog and he shook his head. No dog. I turned the corner and asked a middle aged man doing construction on a ramshackle cottage alongside the interstate if he’d seen a dog. He pointed to an alley between the house he was working on and the house next door to it and I said, “Really?” My heart was in my throat. I took a couple of steps in that direction and called, “Rocco!” And guess who popped right out from under that house and throttled me with love and kisses?

Rocco.

There is nothing happier than the abrupt ending of horrible fantasies. I clipped the leash I was carrying in my bag onto his harness and took him to meet MaryKay and say thank you. And snap their picture:

RoccoFound

MaryKay, you made my freakin’ day! Rocco’s too! Oh, and you have extremely cool cowboy boots.

Then I gave the boy a treat from my bag (yes, my bag is like a mini-Petsmart), loaded him up in the car and took him back to June’s house. I have a key to June’s house, because part of our deal when I asked her to foster Rocco was that I would help with stuff like getting him to vet appointments and out for walks on her long work days. Fostering is great but it can also be time consuming, as shelter dogs are often sick, and so fostering partnerships like this can be a great way of saying yes when you might otherwise have to say no.

Anyway, neither of us ever knew what Rocco’s journey might entail (repeated vet visits for kennel cough and surgery and then a great escape and great reuniting). But I can promise you that neither of us regret stepping up for him for even one minute.

And the adopter who was interested in him a month ago? Still interested! In fact, this great guy is putting in a doggy door at his house and then wants to have Rocco over for an overnight visit in a few days to see how it goes. Of course, we will make sure his fence is secure, and we’re going to try out Rocco with a Thunder shirt  so that next time there’s a storm, he remains calm. In fact, I wish they would make those for people because next time there’s a storm, I think I could use one myself after this.

Frida is Lost: Bring Her Home.

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This is one of my first fosters, Frida. When she was here, I named her “Blossom” because that is what she needed to do in order to find a good home. She was so shy she pressed herself against the back of the kennel and didn’t want to come out. And when she did, she spent all of her time hiding under my coffee table. But she found the best home I could ever have hoped for, with a poet and LSU grad student whom I have come to adore. And we are all freaked out because a couple of days ago, at their new home in New Orleans, she slipped out through a faulty gate in the yard and disappeared.

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I’m writing this post in the hope that those of you with connections in mid-city New Orleans will help look for her. She is still very shy, though not aggressive at all. I suspect she followed a food trail somewhere and got trapped in someone’s backyard. This is not the kind of dog who ordinarily wanders; she LOVES her mom and dad, rarely lets them out of her sight and is the kind of dog who, if let off the leash, runs straight home. They have invested so much time (training her) and money (fast-kill heart worm treatment) and love in her. Please help them get her back.

I really don’t like to post sad stuff, because there’s enough of that out there without me, so let’s not put this in the sad category. My brother’s dog was missing for a year and was returned healthy, safe and sound due to some fliers my mom put up in a supermarket near her house. My friend Patti’s dog hopped her fence and was on the lam for a week before someone put signs up and the woman who had him in her backyard called and returned him.

Let’s bring Frida home. (Meanwhile, I need to get that song “Bring her Home” from Les Miserables out of my head, so please let’s do this fast).

Thank you, beautiful people!

Syrus: Day 5

It looks as if there’s just a small possible glitch with my perfect adopter for Syrus in New York, but I think we’ll be able to work through it. So far, all of our communication has been via Facebook message, and I’m hoping to talk with her tomorrow, so it will feel more real. The glitch is that she’s going to Europe on business for a week shortly after he would arrive, and is reluctant to board him so soon. But I don’t think that would be a big deal. Syrus was living under a house for ages, has been living in an animal shelter for a month and is now in a shed with doggy door to a kennel in my backyard without any protest. He doesn’t whine, bark or complain in any way. He doesn’t want out. As long as he has his blankie, and lots of food so he can continue to regain weight, he will be absolutely fine until his “real” new life begins. I hope this won’t be a deal breaker. Not that we can’t find him a great home here in Louisiana. I’m sure we can. But this just seems like kismet; someone you know from far away falls in love so hard with a dog on your blog that she knows he’s the one for her. And when you receive her adoption application, you know this dog will live a life like your own cherished dogs do. It just seems meant to be. Maybe I’m a romantic, but we shall see…

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with some pictures of Syrus chowing down on a pot roast appetizer before his kibble fest. It’s really fun fattening up an emaciated dog. You fill their bowl, watch them eat, then top it off when they’re done and keep at it until they back away from the bowl like they’re going to explode. (My dogs, all pushing the envelope on their respective BMI’s, just read this over my shoulder and they hate me now. I’m not going to post the pot roast photos until they leave the room)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, they left.

Going...

Going…

...going...

…going…

Gone.

gone! Attaboy, Syrus.

Syrus: Day 4 (Post-Catitude Test)

Were you agonizing over the outcome all day? Because agonize no longer, the verdict is in: Syrus has good Catitude!

Yes, he was interested in Allie’s cat, Moo. He was sniffy and nudgy and just plain excited for visitors period. But there was no growling, no barking, no licking of chops. No giant fangs near any fuzzy little kitty neck. Nothing like that. Just a little nuzzling. At one point, I thought I saw Syrus give Moo the signal for “You run and I’ll chase!” But Syrus was on a leash, so that ended quickly with a win for Moo. We even put them on the floor in a small, closed off area together (while I still held Syrus’s leash firmly) and they were absolutely fine.

I envision Sweet Syrus curled up by a fireplace in the near future with one kitty curled up under each arm pit. Moo, by the way, is so mellow, I’m nicknaming him Cat-atonic.

Thanks for the Dog/Cat Introduction advice, Joseph Tullier at Acadiana Canine Training! (www.acadianak9training.com) and Shelter Adoption Counselor, Lily! And most of all, thanks to Allie, Ken and Catatonic Moo.

Stay tuned for “As the Adoption Progresses…”

Meanwhile, here are some bad pictures of us laying Moo’s life on the line ;}