Thursday, October 17, 2019

Letting Go - Foster Home Rehab

I've entered what I call "foster-home-rehab." It's something I made up years ago for myself after I place a foster dog with their new families. From the rescues, foster homes are given "guidelines" as to when to do follow up calls to adoptive families to see how it's going with their new addition. I've followed those guidelines, and always looked at making these "allotted calls" like therapy. There's a lot of reassurance in knowing how it's going, and it helps me in letting go of that particular foster dog. And I always tell the families that I'm part of the adoption process, and to expect these calls.  I also always add that I call them not because I don't trust them, because I do. But I'm here to support them, and good or bad, I want to hear how it's going.

This takes me to Tanner, who went to his new home almost 2 weeks ago.  I have gotten very, very limited updates about how it's going.  In very few texts messages, I'm told that they love him, he's doing great with their dog. But last week, the Mom texted me because she was worried and concerned about how it went at the vet. Apparently Tanner growled - And the Mom asked me if he'd done that when we had him. He hadn't. I texted  back to her right away that because Tanner was a stray, we don't know what his experiences have been at the vet - That not all dogs like the vet... I then waited a few hours and heard nothing back from the Mom.  I told her to please keep in touch, and to let me or their Adoption Coordinator for Lab Rescue know how it's going; that we're here to support and cheer them on.  I've still heard nothing. It's really disappointing and disheartening. I just hope that no news means that all is well.  And, I hope that I would know if it wasn't. But I'll admit, that this doesn't help in my foster home recovery therapy, because by nature, I am a worrier.
~Tanner in September - I hope it's going well~
On the flipside, there's Ginger.  It was a match for the lovely Ginger on Sunday! Semi-retired couple were so excited to meet her and make her part of their lives! Mrs. Semi-retired called me on Monday evening and gave me a glowing report about how well it was going, and how much she already loves Ginger. Mrs. Semi Retired told me how when they first arrived home, Ginger walked right up to the front door and turned around and waited for them to let her in - Just like she'd always been there.  Of course this is good news! It helps me in my "foster home rehab program" to let go of Ginger, because I could not be happier that after 287 days, Ginger has a home of her very own.
~Semi-Retired Couple with Ginger~

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Buddy Arrives at Golden Pines

I'm glad this is the weekend! Last night wasn't a good night. It was 12:30 when I woke the first time and it felt like I’d been sleeping for a long time when in fact it was only two hours. I woke up again at 1:30 when Chip was barking. Thinking he needed to go outside, I tried to coax him out the door with a treat, but he wouldn't go. Back to bed, and awakened again not long after that when it was Rhett's turn to bark. He did want to go outside. Then at 4 something, Todd jumped off the bed, and knowing he'd want to go outside too, and since I was feeling wide-awake, I decided to just get up and stay up.  With our cooler night temps, and the open windows, maybe the dogs are hearing something outside.
Or maybe the dogs were just feeling out of sync because of the arrival of a new foster dog, Buddy who came Friday afternoon.
~On the way home!~
Buddy, is around 10 years old, and comes with a little-bit of a story.  Originally he was used for breeding in North Carolina. The second chapter of his life was spent at a Christmas tree farm, where he chased deer away from the Christmas trees.
When Buddy no longer had interest in chasing deer, in January of this year, he went to live with the family that turned him over to the rescue - Sadly it was because of a divorce and the changes that one can bring, meant that not being able to keep Buddy was one of those changes.
~A tag from Buddy's collar~
Buddy is easy going and very friendly and always smiling. So far, things have gone well with our crew.
~Meeting the new boy~
The cats however, are a different story. I knew by the information the owner provided that Buddy would chase cats if they ran. But a big pounce onto our outdoor kitty Gino was a bit unexpected.
~Nervous drool after meeting our crew~
Also unexpected was that his house-training needs some polish. A lot of polish. That's all I'll say about that.  I'm hopeful we can work it all out. But it all means that we'll watch him very closely around the cats, and wherever he happens to be when he's inside.

Finally, wish our girl Ginger good luck on Sunday! Semi retired couple (see previous post) are coming to meet her. After 286 days with us, I'm hopeful it'll finally be Ginger's turn to have her very own forever home!!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Aches, Pains and A Forever Home

September ended quietly at our house. And the first weekend of October, after a long summer, and above-normal temps this past week, autumn found its feet this weekend in northern Virginia. A cool breeze the last couple of days allowed us to have the windows open to bring in some fresh air.

Mother Nature aside, I've felt like we were the walking wounded at our house this past week. At the top of the list is Charlie. Yes, Charlie. The Charlie that never needs help or anything.

I'm don't know how or what happened. On Wednesday morning he was really limping and needed help getting to his feet, and had to be carried outside. Charlie has never been stoic and even when he was laying down, he was whining. I have a hard time thinking of Charlie as anything but that young vibrant dog that I first met in 2006 and so he (of course) had me worried. Mobile vet is out of town, so rather than wait for his return, I know I have some room to raise the amount of medications he takes daily, so that was what I did. By Friday evening, thankfully Charlie was up and around again on his own and his appetite has returned. So, I'm back to thinking of him as that young dog once again. But I'm keeping a close eye on him.

The rest of the crew will be okay too. Mostly it's aches and pains that age can bring. Sunny has a vet appointment in a couple of days for his ongoing ear problems. The photo below is Saturday morning. The girl that trims dog nails for us came and trimmed Sunny's nails and paws which takes two people to do because he doesn't cooperate.  She does a great job, and we're lucky to have her!  

But if there's any good news, it's with our Lab Fosters. There was an inquiry for Tanner this past week. After a few conversations, the family came on Saturday along with their Goldendoodle, Ollie. It could not have gone better, and I couldn't like them any more for Tanner. So, he left with them yesterday to begin the next chapter of his life. **I've yet to receive an update from the family. But knowing that "the Mom" is a NICU nurse, I am sure her busy schedule has just kept her from responding. 
~SMILES ALL AROUND - Just look at Tanner!! (left)~
As if that weren't enough, I also received a call about Ginger yesterday. I was surprised. Semi-Retired couple are in their 70's and want to give a senior dog a good home. They've had their eye on Ginger since July and want to come and meet her next weekend. With no other pets, they seem like they'd be a good home for Ginger. I've held off on adopting Ginger because I've felt that she should be in a home where she can be the center of attention and be a star.  She can't be a star in our house.

Because we already have one....

Or two...

Or three stars already.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Off to the Vets!

I was up this morning at the usual time of about 5 o'clock. and for whatever reason the dogs didn't stir. Not even Todd. Maybe it's the darkness at that time that's keeping them from starting their day. Or maybe they just know that their breakfast won't come for a few more hours.
~Eager for breakfast!~ 
Our week ended with vet visits. On Thursday I took new girl Sophie to see Holistic Vet. Our hope is to slow down what we think is a re-growth of a tumor on Sophie's thyroid.
~Sophie at Holistic Vet~
So we have started Sophie on a special mix of chinese herbs similar to the ones that Charlie takes. Also prescribed was a medication called Doxepin for her laryngeal paralysis.
~Sophie's Chinese Herbs~
Also along with us for the ride was Tanner. Lab Rescue asked about trying him out in a "city setting" to see how he reacts to traffic and new people. I also took him to the shop where we buy our dog food, and we walked around the city center. Tanner did really well, and wasn't bothered at all by the city sounds and people. Knowing this should help broaden the pool of hopeful adopters for him. At least that's the hope and plan.
~Tanner watching the other patients at Holistic Vets Office~ 
We rounded the corner to Friday and drove the opposite direction from Holistic Vet to the office of Mobile Vet with Todd and Alf.
Both were due for yearly check ups, blood work and to update vaccines. Pending the return of the blood work, they got good reports from Mobile Vet.
~Alf and Mobile Vet~
Todd got his last distemper vaccine. He was happy to be on his way back home.
And with that, at the moment, everyone is all caught up on their needed vet care for the month of September.  Good thing, given that there are 8 days left. Where did September go?
It'll be Halloween before we know it!
~Rhett being a good sport in a Halloween Headband~

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Finally it's Friday!

Finally it's Friday!  We have a lot going on behind the scenes that I won't bore you with, but its been a busy and roller coaster of a week. 
The new arrivals, Sophie and Tiggy the cat, are settling in nicely.  I grew up with siamese cats, and I've been reminded more than once this week about what unique characters they are, and Tiggy is no exception. They are a breed of cat that my Mom loved, and just about the only cat she'd let us have as kids. 
~My late brother and me, circa 1966~
Which is why my brother and I decided that having Tiggy as part of our household reminds us of her. 

I did finally catch up with the vet who has cared for Tiggy, whose real name is actually Tigger, and the lovely Sophie.  He told me that Sophie had radiation for throat cancer last year. The radiation she had did shrink the tumor. However, during an exam that Sophie had recently, her vet said a lump has appeared next to her voice box, but he can't be certain if it's the same one.  I've decided to take Sophie to see Holistic Vet next week. I hope that maybe herbs like the ones Charlie takes may help Sophe as well. 
~Sophie and Tanner - I love Sophie's white eyebrows~

Our other new arrival, Tanner was posted on the Lab Rescue (LLRCP) Facebook page today, for "Foster Friday."   I know I keep saying it, but I hope his new forever home comes forward soon.
~A Facebook collage for Tanner~

Our Friday was a quiet day. We enjoyed cooler temps and I let Todd spend most of it outside.
As for me, I spent most of my day inside catching up, and I even took a nap. I'm just so happy the busy week is over!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The New Arrivals Settle In

A busy and hectic week ended with a trip to Lancaster Pennsylvania to see my friend who was feeling down.  I took Rhett with me and I hope our visit helped. 
~Outdoor kitty,Gino, doing kitty-yoga?~ 
Back at home, Sophie is settling in nicely and finding her place.
Yesterday, Sophie's counterpart "Tiggy" a seal point siamese, joined our household.  It's hard to say whether he's finding his way or not.  He's a cat, so he's not telling.

Tanner is all settled in and at the same time has been made available for adoption. I hope his forever family steps forward soon.  He's a really nice boy.  But he simply can't resist chasing the cats, so he'll be best suited to a home without them. And speaking of chasing, he really loves chasing tennis balls.
Its been great fun to have a dog that loves to retrieve - He even brings the ball back.  Most of the time anyway!

Finally we had an inquiry from a hopeful adopter for Ginger. The wife is very anxious to meet her, and I hope something becomes of it. Today also marks one year since Alf came to us.  It has been a full year for him, with his dental surgeries, tumor removal, and just adjusting to what I know was a new life.  But I know that at the end of this year, this affectionate boy is happy and content.
~Ginger left, Alf on the right~
Enjoy your week!
~Todd all groomed and handsome!~ 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sophie Arrives at Golden Pines

YES, you have read that right.  In just 8 days from when we met Tanner, Sophie has arrived at Golden Pines, thanks to what I am pretty sure is the cosmos at work, and serendipity!   
Get comfy, because here's the story.... I FINALLY got around to making that grooming appointment that Todd has needed since July.  But there was a mix-up with his appointment and our new groomer (who bought the grooming salon in the spring).  So, since Todd didn't have an appointment with them, and our old groomer is now set up in her home about 30ish miles away, I called her.  I did this for two reasons.  One because I told her when she contacted me in the early part of summer that I would and second because I'd had this nagging feeling that I needed to call her. It was a feeling I just couldn't shake.

When I called our "old" groomer, Irina on Tuesday, the first thing she said, was not hello, but something like, "Hi Kim, I can't believe you are calling - I've been thinking about you.  I have a 13 year old Lab that needs a home."  What?!?!  Irina explained to me how the 90 year old owner had moved to an assisted living facility, and the son had taken Sophie and a siamese cat to the vet to be euthanized because he didn't want them. (go ahead, think it, I thought the same thing about the son too!!). The story gets a little vague here, but the vet said he'd take them both, and since Irina and the vet know each other, somehow Irina ended up with Sophie, who by the way, she has groomed her entire life. And today I took Todd and Charlie to be groomed, and met Sophie, and brought her home.
~A handsome and happy, worn out Todd on the way home~
In three words, Sophie is wonderful!  She has met our big crew with no problems whatsoever. The cats she would love to get to know, but they are having none of that.  I can only guess it's because she may be missing the cat she lived with....Irina (previous groomer) wants me to take the cat too.  We'll see.  But it has been a big day for Sophie, and she is fast asleep on a dog bed.

Welcome to Golden Pines Sophie!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

****** Arrives at Golden Pines!

You all know me too well, and are great guessers!!  YES, it was TANNER who caught my eye on the list of dogs looking for a foster home and we were asked to foster! He arrived a week ago this evening.
~Tanner's shelter photo~
Tanner was a stray from a shelter on the eastern shore of Maryland.  Found in late July, he was covered from head to toe with fleas and ticks.  He has a skin allergy caused by the fleas and is missing about half of his coat. He needs weekly baths with a medicated shampoo to soothe his skin and help it to heal. He's on several medications, which is really helping as you can see in the photos.  
~What kind eyes Tanner has & he loves to give you his paw~
Tanner is estimated to be between 8 to 10 years old. I would guess he's probably more like eight.  He has great energy, and loves attention.  He's getting along really well with all the dogs.  The cats are an irresistible curiosity for him, and so we watch him closely around them.  He doesn't chase them, he just seems very interested in whatever they are doing; which usually isn't really anything.
~Exploring our yard on his first day~
It's anyone's guess how this nice and easy going boy ended up as a stray. Tanner knows all about being in a house, he loves to sleep on the bed, and knows all about tennis balls and the kitchen. He has a tender heart and spirit, and puts his head down when we tell him "no." So, we're careful to not hurt those canine feelings in teaching him the rules of the house. Tanner was also microchipped previously, but the information was incomplete, and led nowhere.  A reminder to make sure your pets 'chip information is updated!   

We're glad Tanner is here and we are enjoying getting to know him. Soon, the rescue will make him available for adoption, and the search for his forever home will begin.