Rotti is a 1 ½ year old Rottweiler mix. He only stayed with me for about three weeks. He got adopted in two days but before we got him to his new home he got sick. Rotti had large amounts of blood in his stool for about a week, so the adopter didn’t want to move him while he was sick. The sickness turned out to not be serious, and he moved to his adopted home soon after the blood cleared up. I had him for such a short amount of time I never managed to get a picture of him.
Hooch is a 3-year-old Golden Labrador Retriever from English lines. We rescued Hooch at the Super Adoption event in May of this year. I can’t believe he was in the shelter—though I can’t believe that about all the dogs I foster. He was extremely well-behaved. I could let him be off leash in the yard and he wouldn’t leave, and he always came when called. He wasn’t ever aggressive toward any of the dogs he was around either. My wife’s brother and sister in-law adopted Hooch.
Ludo is a 4 year old Australian Koolie. He was def but knows signs for all of his basic commands. When I told people this many of them would wave their hands around trying to give him commands. He was surprisingly independent for being def, but he always did much better with another dog to take some cue from. He would follow Ozzy’s, my dog, lead when he had gotten to far away for me to get his attention easily. He was also surprisingly trainable I was able to teach him several tricks while he lived with me.
I read this last night and could not sleep afterward.
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?”- but then you’d relent and roll me over for a bellyrub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day. Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” –still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.” As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch–because your touch was now so infrequent– and I would’ve defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject. I had gone from being “your dog” to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.” They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with “papers.” You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked “How could you?” They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind-that this was all a bad dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies,oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?” Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself–a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
Sousuke is a Border Collie/Blue Healer mix, and was the first puppy that I’ve fostered. He and his litter mates were born in the back of the animal control truck on the way to the animal shelter. CAWS rescued them from the shelter the next day. He stayed with his mother until she was stolen out of her foster’s back yard. After that he moved into my house. He lived with me for about a month, and I nearly adopted him. He’s with a good family now, and his name has been changed to Yankee. He was adopted on April 17th, 2010. He was returned(due to allergies) and adopted again on April 19th, 2010.
Shawnee is a 6-year-old ,white German Shepherd Dog. She was only with me for a short time, but I saw a great amount of improvement from her in that time. She had lived on a farm as an outside dog for all 6 years of her life. As a result she came into my home dog aggressive and not house trained. In the month she lived with me I was able to house train her, and socialize her with other dogs. She was adopted April 19, 2010.
Denali was my first foster for CAWS. She’s a 10-year-old Husky; who had arthritis in her back legs and hips, but that didn’t stop her from loving walks and attempting to chase ducks. She was a little food defensive but other than that she got along well with Ozzy and Lacy. Sadly she became to attached and got destructive while trying to find us while we were gone, so we had to move her to a new foster home. She was finally adopted Sunday May 2 at the Super Adoption event.