Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Dog-Dilemma

In January of last year I picked up a new foster dog named Maguire, who is about 12 years old. He was an un-neutered boy that came in as a stray to a shelter about 2 hours from where I live. He had a tennis ball size cyst on his neck that had ruptured and it was of course infected. I have to say, I've never seen anything like it, and neither had my vet!! If you are curious and have a strong stomach, and want to see what it looked like, here's a link to the shelter's website that still has pictures of Maguire on it and shows the cyst--scroll down to the bottom of their page for the photos, and you can click on them for a "better view."

Of course because of the size its removal required extensive and reconstructive surgery of his neck. When it was all done, Maguire had staples from ear to ear and I'm not kidding, it looked like a zipper! After several months of recovery, he was as good as new!

Maguire was posted on the rescues website to try and find a new forever home for him. He's a gentle, easy going and quiet Golden, that is a very comforting companion. He's not playful, despite our best efforts to get him interested in a tennis ball, rope, etc.. Maguire really just wants to be by your side. He doesn't bark much (just when we get ready to feed him, he'll woof a time or two) but he quietly, and I mean quietly wags his tail; there's no jumping on you when you come home, or getting crazy and excited. He's just laid back and just takes life very slow and easy. I don't think he'd ever been in a house prior to coming to us, so of course we've taught him everything that he needs to know about treats, and he's learned about warm dog beds, (the down-filled dog bed is his favorite!) and from the other dogs he's learned about ripping up soft-toys and what look to give you when he wants a nibble of what we're eating.

It goes without saying that I think Maguire is wonderful and Carl and I both adore him! But I've not had many calls about him--Actually, we've had only 2-3 in the last 9 months that he's been available for adoption. Right now there is a couple in Washington DC that has applied for approval for adoption from the rescue, because they are specifically interested in Maguire. Of course I know they may not be a fit for him, but it does bring up a dilemma and all of my emotions...

Right now we are approaching a year that he's been with us. I've been on the fence for a few months about just adopting him and making him a permanent member of our family. I think he's genuinely happy and settled in here. He follows me all over the house, and he gets along very well with the other dogs. However I ask myself if I'm being selfish to want to keep him for myself--Maybe he needs a place where he can be more of a "star" and not just part of the whole cast of characters in our household--I am really torn...But this morning before I got up, he was standing by the bed quietly wagging his tail and looking at me with those sweet soulful eyes...As I gave him a hug he gave me a tiny lick on my face--Of course my heart melted and I wondered "how can I turn Maguire over to another family and walk away from him?"


  1. i would keep him! i know, i know...fostering means giving a dog a second chance...(that's why i don't foster! i'd keep them all)....i think you've had him too long to let him go now...and what sweet, lucky dog...i'm going now to look at his tumor stuff like that!
    p.s. i'm sure the folks can find another senior....

  2. Just my opinion, Kim, but Maguire sees you as his caretaker and has obviously bonded with you. At his age, there's no way I would rehome him...again. It might simply break his heart. He may be 'not so playful' because no one played with him when he was younger. He deserves the stability of being by your makes his tail wag. :-)

  3. I personally couldn't let him go. Just look at those eyes! I think he's too old to be adjusting to a new home..too stressful. But that's my 2 cents worth.

  4. Keep questions asked. Easier said than done, I suppose. But you said he's an older dog. If he goes where he will be an only dog or even one of two, how long will it last? You know as well as the rest of us dogs don't live forever. I lost Pierre this past spring, and I only had him for three years. He belonged to my aunt who passed away, and I inherited him sort of. It was hard, and I cried. I just didn't have him long enough, but he had gone blind and had to be carried everywhere, even to the bathroom...when his incontinence didn't cause him to relieve himself on his little bed on the sofa. Okay, that's enough. Do what you think is best.

  5. I am s sucker for a sad story and big broawn eyes...and thats just from men!!!
    now if a dog did it, he would be moved in with seconds!!!!

  6. I think he loves you ...

    thx for popping over - Dillon had A FAB time in the snow!! He was like an excited kid.

    Sam - who is the dog in my header picture is nearly 15 - (that photo was taken about seven years ago) had a little potter in the snow & enjoyed it too !

  7. Oh Maquire! I LOVE your little face and sweet eyes! God bless you, Kim, for your heart for animals and doing all you can. This must be heart wrenching and yet you're willing to put yourself through it for them. THAT's really the meaning of love. Thanks for sharing Maquire with us.

  8. Hi Kim,
    I just found your blog through Debby at The Pink Birdhouse. When I saw the picture of the Goldens with your comment I just had to click on your blog. My husband just recently gave me a Golden puppy for our anniversary. Her name is Mabel and I am in love with her. We also have a little beagle named Sassy and they are the best of friends. I too am an animal lover and I really enjoyed my visit to your blog. I will be stopping by again real soon.
    PS I hope Maguire finds a forever home soon. I have to agree with the others--it sounds like he already has one :)

  9. If Maguire is well integrated into the rest of the pack, then I'd keep him. Being part of a big bustling loving family may be even more comforting to him than being a star.

  10. Kim, I think that you already know what you want to do. I agree with everyone else. Maguire has found a home, and warmth, and love with your family. They are pack animals, and enjoy the company of others, as you know. It sounds like he is happy and is where he is supposed to be. I am sure there is another oldie Goldie out there that is perfect for the folks from DC.

  11. What a touching post and wonderful pics of Maguire.

    You ask, "How can Carl and I . . .? "

    Well, Macguire's heart has known the happy answer for a long time-- and, so have you and Carl!!

    You all are family!! Enjoy and celebrate give each other hugs and take Macguire off the "available Goldens" list.

    Macguire chose you for his forever home from the start : ))) Goldens just know. . .

    C-pup the Golden, a "grateful foster failure"

  12. It's my understanding that dogs, just like their cousin the wolf, are pack animals. Just because your pack is a little bigger than most doesn't matter.

    If he was younger, I'd say let him go. If this happened 9 months ago, I'd say let him go. But it's been so long that he is part of your pack now, and it's not like he's going to live 15 more years. Let him live out his time with his pack.

    Of course, this is coming from a woman who has a squirrel living in her house because she couldn't bear to let her go...(I still vote that he stays!)

  13. thanks for your comment. Starting a blog is like charting new territory - I was never much one for the computer before & now I'm always on it !

  14. Oh, need to just adopt him! He is a part of your family and loves you guys! Look at those eyes - he is too old to move......and so will do the right thing...

  15. I agree you can't let him go would be heartbreaking for both of you.

    Gill in Canada

  16. You wouldn't be selfish to want to keep him. He became a member of your family. Love is love, and any dog lover looking to adopt should understand. Just look at that face :)

  17. Kim,

    I would keep Maguire.
    He has found his true home with you both and his lovely other dog and cat friends.
    He would greatly miss you all and it would maybe break your heart to let him go.
    I just love your posts, pictures and sense of warmth towards your pets.

  18. I am a little late, but - when he looks into your eyes does he think he is home?

    My peeps foster too - and yep your suppose to provide us a safe port in the storm of life until our furever home comes along, but sometimes we slip into the pack and think we are home.


Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!