Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kirsten and Florian's Anxious Dog Sanctuary

It's been a delight having Marshal around. Just watching him have fun with Dahlia and be comfortable with Fozzie, and watching how sweet and loving he is, is so rewarding. I love seeing that in this house, he feels safe and happy. 

In his previous home, he was sleeping in the living room to be with the other dog, who he loved. But he was destroying the carpet overnight, so he must not have felt at ease. 

Here, he sleeps in the living room too--and he just sleeps. Not a peep out of him all night, he just rolls up happily in his crate or on the couch and snoozes til morning. 

Not sure what the difference is! Maybe he feels safe here because we leave our bedroom door open and he knows he can come in anytime, and he can hear us talking to Dahlia and Fozzie.

Whatever it is, we seem to have a situation here that is good for anxious dogs.

So when my sister went away for the weekend, and our friend Francine, who was staying at her house, called to let me know that Sky Princess didn't seem to be that happy and was throwing up everything she ate, 

I went over there just as soon as I was done bringing Uncle Johnny to early vote for Bernie Sanders. 

Francine was busy cleaning up copious amounts of bloody vomit. We decided I would take Sky Princess home and see if she got better, and if not Francine would take her to the emergency vet. 

As soon as I got her home, she literally hit the ground running with Marshal. 

They spent the entire weekend zooming around together, 

with short time-outs for Dahlia to hump Princess like in old times. 

And Princess Sky began eating and stopped vomiting. 

What was most wonderful was how everyone just seemed to get along. 

They all seemed pretty happy to be around each other. I've often thought that since I tend to end up with "difficult" or "unadoptable" dogs, who are with me because they couldn't find a home anywhere else, I'd never be able to have a whole bunch of them around because they'd be too aggressive and unstable. 

So it was just so rewarding and delightful to have a house full of these dogs and watch them just play, hang out, and relax together. I had to remind myself that two of them, Fozzie and Marshal, were actually officially labeled "unadoptable" and were hours away from euthanasia when I picked them up. 


Because the world is a messed up place, that's why. 

Gotta just keep creating little pockets of sanity, where dogs and people can run around, be themselves, make dinosaur noises and hump and dig and zoom and relax without fear of persecution for being different. 

So that's what I tried to do this weekend. And far from feeling overwhelmed by having 4 dogs, I felt fulfilled. Surrounded by love, happy, and grateful. 

How many dogs is just right for YOU? 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Welcome Back to a Beloved Little Shy Friend

Well its been a while since I posted as the dog situation around here has been pretty placid. Just enjoying the serenity of two dogs I know well and the familiar routine we've gotten into, and not at all sure I wanted to mess with that tranquility by bringing another foster dog into the mix. 

Occasionally there was--as there always has been--that nagging feeling of not doing enough, that this was just too damn easy. 

But--well, I know you're not supposed to talk politics with people you don't know really well, but it's hard to avoid a topic when it consumes your entire soul. I've been putting all the energy that used to go toward foster dogs, toward electing the most compassionate, progressive, honest, and solidly good presidential candidate I have ever known--Bernie Sanders

But, maybe the universe knew that my love of Bernie Sanders cannot be exclusive of my love of dogs, and in fact they are one and the same. So when I got a call from Marshal's adopter that his anxiety seemed to be increasing and they were going to bring him back to the shelter, and when I got a call from the shelter that they didn't feel comfortable putting him up for adoption but would adopt him to me, Florian and I went right down there and got him.  

He was a stiff, trembling mess when he came out. I can only imagine the terror he experienced spending another night there. But I had a really great conversation with my friend at the shelter who processed the adoption, and who waived the adoption fee because she told me everyone at the shelter really loved Marshall and was happy I was taking him. 

He was still stiff and scared in the car driving up, though about halfway through he came up and climbed on my lap and stayed there the rest of the way. 

During the drive I thought about how to introduce him back, and I was determined to do it the right way--slowly, with the dogs separated at first and able to sniff each other, at least for the first few hours. So I brought Marshal up to the door and was going to let him sniff, and Fozzie was right there, and the minute I opened the door and Marshal saw Fozzie his whole body went loose and his mouth opened in a big smile and his tail went swishing all over.  

And I knew it would be fine. These pictures are from about five minutes after I opened my front door. 

Dahlia and Marshal both seem so happy to be back together. I'm not sure if Fozzie is ecstatic about it, but he is being spared the butt-nipping Dahlia normally subjects him to as she is too busy rolling around with Marshal. 

I feel so happy to have Marshal back, safe and sound with us, where he can relax and make T. Rex noises all he wants!