Sunday, May 24, 2020

Who Do YOU LIKE for Leo?

One the things that has kept me busy the last two weekends is meeting families for our foster boy Leo. Yes, of course, there was the thought about keeping him for ourselves. But I just feel that we are once again, the gateway to get dogs like Leo to where they are supposed to be. 

Of course, there was a lot of interest in Leo. But I was able to narrow it down to 4 families that I thought could possibly be a match for him. I've now met them all. Two family's we met last weekend in the backyard of a friend who was kind enough to let us use it while they were out of town.

Below is a summary that comes along with a home visit report from the adoption coordinator for the rescue, and I've added how our visits went.

So, tell me, who do YOU LIKE for Leo? 

Family #1
Summary: A 70 year old gentleman that lives in a fenced house. He is semi-retired and rarely gone long hours. He has had three previous Goldens; one is a 4 yr old NM who lives with his ex and the other two have since passed at ages 12 and 14. He has a large collection of valuable art, some plants, slippery floors and bare stairs. He recently had knee surgery. He likes to visit with his neighbors and their dogs and use dog parks. His son will help with any walks.

THE VISIT:  Leo liked the man "okay" but clearly liked his son who came along with him, better. *HE* and his son took Leo for a walk.  HE was concerned about Leo's walking on a leash, because Leo doesn't heal, and *HE* was concerned about possibly tripping over Leo. He had brought with him a couple of toys and a bag of treats for Leo. He also showed me 2 pronged collars that he'd used on his other dogs to help them to learn to walk easily on a leash.

Family #2
Summary: A family with 2 children (girls) 7 and 9. Live in an unfenced house that backs to woods. They are thinking about getting an electric fence and it appears that they think that will contain a dog unsupervised, please check. They work from home and are rarely gone long hours. This will be their first dog and they want one that's smaller. Their cat hissed and growled at the volunteers dog. There were lots of toys and the kids were overly excited. There are slippery floors and the dog will not be allowed on the furniture.

THE VISIT: Went pretty well.  The younger girl tried to "ride" Leo like a horse. But he didn't mind and loved their attention.  This scenario is closely to what Leo knew before. They are very nice, open to advice because they don't know much about dogs.They felt that Leo would be okay to be taken out just 3 times, and the MOM was concerned about his hair, and mentioned giving him a good summer haircut.

Family #3  - I was not able to snap a photo of them walking Leo

Summary: Live in an unfenced house. There is a catchment pond through the woods. *SHE* is a homemaker and *HE* is currently working from home so their dog would rarely be alone long hours. They are previous adopters of *** who passed at age 13. Their daughters high-energy 7 yr old Border Collie is a frequent visitor. In the past they have had other Rescued Goldens that they have moved overseas and back with. The main level is hardwood floors with area rugs.

THE VISIT: Leo warmed up to them the longer we were together. At first, he kept coming back to me, but I really think it was because he was confused about why we were at a park. They were very easy to talk to, very relatable, and clearly their dogs are part of the family. I'll remind you that Leo has a storm phobia, that he takes medication for when the storms approach. They've dealt with storm issues and countersurfer's like Leo.

Summary: Retired Couple, both 67 years old. Unfenced house on lakefront property. Both are retired and rarely gone long hours.They do not allow their dogs in the bedroom so he or she will need to sleep on the main floor. They have had three previous Goldens, all of whom have since passed away at ages 8, 9, 14. They have Grandkids and Granddogs that visit, plants, and slippery floors.

THE VISIT: Also went well. Leo liked them, but they also didn't like how Leo pulls on a leash when walked. As you read above, Leo wouldn't be allowed everywhere in the house. They think that his storm phobia can be managed by taking a more analytical approach to it. And in talking to them, I think they do this with their dogs. They said this in an e-mail to me last evening, "Regarding storms, his fear is probably more basic. We would need to provide the feeling of a safe haven and help him when he's fearful."  For the record, in what I've read about Leo, it's not basic. His previous family indicated that it had been escalating to his being a bit destructive. I think it's important to manage it correctly so that it doesn't get worse.

So, again, who would you pick?  I've already decided against two, and have almost but not quite made up my mind, but I always love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hello and Good-Bye to Chip

Hello Blogging Friends!

On the off chance that any of you are still reading my blog after not being present for the past 3+ weeks, I'll start by saying that I'm so glad you have stopped by! I'll also say that all that's been happening behind the scenes, my fight or flight response kicked in with a vengeance, and I chose "flight" and hid myself away from social media to recharge.
~Greenhouses, a perfect place to socially distance & recharge!~
I'm feeling better, and ready to tell you all that's happening. To not take away from the events and take too much of your time, I'll break it into smaller posts this week.

I have to begin with telling you about the loss of Chip last Friday, May 8th. His battle, our battle together against bone cancer was not one that we knew we would or could win. But I'd hoped that we'd have more time to try. It was not meant to be. Managing the pain that this type of cancer always brings, became nearly impossible. And I'd promised him ............

The picture below is the last one of Chip that I took. There was a peace about him as he sat there looking and smiling at me. Time stood still in that perfect moment - And before it ended, I quickly took this picture. Looking at it now, how everything changed so quickly afterwards, maybe he was telling me everything he wanted me to know.
~The very last photo of Chip~
Chip left this life for the next on the peace of our front porch as two hummingbirds I've not seen much since, buzzed around us. Chip's life had been one filled with so many things that made him afraid. I'm grateful that for two years we were able to show him that the world was not one to always be fearful and afraid of. I'm grateful that he learned about being part of a family. I'm grateful that he learned about companionship. I'm grateful he learned about treats, warm beds, toys and being carefree and loved.  I'm grateful he was part of our lives.

Despite those fears, Chip had such a gentle, kind, trusting heart and soul. And, I know that he trusted us. His color for our rainbow can only be one color, and that's blue. Blue is often associated with trust, depth and stability and it symbolizes confidence, and heaven.  He had all those things.

On Saturday I heard the song Tin Man, by America, and the words,
"Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, That he didn't, didn't already have" 
reminded me of Chip. Someone had said that we'd given Chip so much. But I don't think so. He already had everything and so much more inside him. We just helped him to find it.
~A first photo of Chip in June 2018~