Thursday, September 13, 2012

Foster dog switcheroo

I've done something I've never done before, never thought I could do or would do. I brought Blue back to the shelter.

Lamar was growling and shrinking back every time he saw her, she was going after him every chance she got, and the shelter staff told me that they thought she could do well at the smaller of the two shelter facilities in DC, where things are quieter and dogs have a nice routine including 5 walks a day. I made them promise about 6 times that they would stay in touch with me about her, that they would keep her alive and work with her and keep trying to find another foster for her, and we made the arrangements for me to come on Wednesday and drop her off.

Then just after I got out of bed Wednesday morning, I must not have closed the baby gate to my room and Lamar's lair well enough, because another fight erupted. This time poor Lamar's ear has a nice cut in it and my hand is good and swollen from a puncture wound --I'm pretty sure inflicted by Lamar as he snapped wildly to try to defend himself.

If there was any doubt in my mind before, it was now dispelled. 

It was still incredibly hard to leave Blue in that shelter, surrounded by barking dogs. The only thing that made me able to do it at all is that in exchange I took away a dog who quite possibly needs a foster home even more than Blue.

This is Brownie.

My emotions were all over the place when I was at the shelter meeting him so I didn't think to find out anything about his past, but I do know that he's not been doing well at the shelter because every time a human comes by, he barks and yodels and yells so loud to get attention that he turns people off. 

The important thing is that we took him for a walk with Lamar, then Fozzie, and he had polite, shy mannerisms in response to their eccentricities. 

When Lamar growled, he looked away and backed up. When Fozzie lunged and barked and went all over the place, he play bowed a bit but mostly backed up.

The shelter staff warned me that he's a high-energy, rowdy young boy, so I was prepared for another one of those--

you know, one of those destructive, demanding, typical puppies who makes you wonder what it is about dogs that made you ever agree to live in a house with one, until you look at his face and see that big puppy head and those loving eyes and that wiggly wagging butt and fall in love.

When I got him home, he just wandered around sniffing gently. He seemed so happy to be wandering free in a quiet place! 

He likes Fozzie, and Fozzie seems tolerant of him. He continues his good, polite behavior around Lamar. 

He discovered immediately how great an orthopedic dog bed feels on gangly, bony adolescent joints. 

It's terrible to think of Blue in the shelter after having a taste of living in a home, but I am hoping that being there will be her fastest ticket to finding a permanent home. 

Brownie, who is currently stretched out to his full scrawny lanky length on the floor, is certainly a better fit here....even Lamar, while not thrilled to have another foster dog, is far less tense than he was when his little nemesis was here. I'm hoping that Brownie will let us get back in our foster groove and that Blue will find her perfect human quickly! 

Fozzie and Lamar--and Florian--thank you for your patience!


  1. That's a tough decision but I know it is the right one. No one can question your heart for and knowledge about dogs. You are an angel. Brownie looks like a sweetie. Can't wait to hear Brownie stories and sending best wishes that Blue find a forever home soon.

  2. I am sure you made the right decision about Blue. We are hoping she finds a new home soon. Brownie looks like a cutie too!

  3. I know that was a tough decision but I think that it was the right one. Conflict between Lamar and Blue would probably ultimately only end badly for both. And with your agreement with the shelter to keep Blue alive, you've now saved two dogs, not just one, right? I hope both Blue and Brownie find their forever homes soon!

  4. You did your best. Kudos to you for recognizing Blue was not a fit
    Benny & Lily

  5. Best decision, as your forever dogs should get top priority and there is no point making one miserable and at risk for the sake of another (this cancels out all your good deeds and intentions). At least you had the courage to try and the wisdom to let go. Sounds like Blue would be better off as an only dog for someone.

  6. I think you did the right thing for everyone (human and dog) and whatever happens to Blue, you tried your best. Your house must constantly be abuzz with dogs coming and going! My hat off to Lamar and Fozzie really. Not sure The Pea would be so tolerant. X

  7. So sorry about Blue. I know that had to be so difficult and hard to do, but it seemed like you were left with no choice. It sounds like Blue needs to be an only dog. Suka's paws are crossed and we send prayers that Blue finds a loving forever home quickly. Please keep us updated on Blue's status. I think you are right that Blue will have a better chance of finding a home now.

    Brownie is adorable and I am so glad he is working out. Great photos!

    K and Suka

  8. Such a hard choice to make. I hope that Blue does well in the shelter and finds a new home soon.

    Sounds like Brownie has some good skills for getting along in your home. Best of luck with him.

  9. Hi Kirsten, I realize that you feel bad and guilty but really, one of your primary jobs is to look after your family first. It's really Lamar and Fozzie and Florian's home first and their needs are important and it's not acceptable to have a situation where there is hostility, aggression and stress. I feel bad that Blue had to return but in his place is another one. This one is more acceptable to the residents and that's better for everyone. We hope Blue is adopted by nice people who'll take care of him and love him for the rest of his days.

  10. I'm sure it was not an easy decision for you, but ultimately you must do what is best for your crew.

    Sending good thoughts Blue's way that she finds the perfect home.

  11. Of course you know what you did was best for your dogs and ultimately that's what we have to let win. It's nice you can stay in contact about Blue. His ears win me over. =)


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