Have I gone crazy!?

I live downtown in an itty-bitty apartment with not just one, but THREE children all under the age of 5 and my hubby. We have a cat. I work as a receptionist at a vet clinic seeing lots of puppies and kittens every day. You'd think I have my fix, right? WRONG! We end up opening our heart and our home to 2 rescues... and that's it! I must be dog-gone mad!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bye Mocha!

I've fostered and had dogs adopted left and right. Usually I'm relieved when they are gone, maybe with the exception of Nova... with Mocha, however, it was completely different.

We were sad! Everyone at home moped around all day Sunday after she was picked up by her new owner. The kids even put themselves down for a nap (figure that one out!). The rainy weather didn't help the mood.

I had to ask Paul to help me because I didn't think I could hand her over by myself.

I guess if I look back, I always was happy to hand over the puppies because of the poop cleaning/potty training issues. I would foster them and devote my life to cleaning the floors and mopping, and avoiding puddles. They are cute, but then they chew on everything and eliminate everywhere. And I am eager to get them into their new homes so that they can start bonding with their owners and being housebroken the way their new owners want.

Then I had Genny, who destroyed my house at least twice over, left fur everywhere, pooped/peed everywhere, and knocked me on my face on the ice... I couldn't hand her over quick enough! She was EXHAUSTING! And she howled like a banshee (or a husky mix, which is what she was) every time she was in the kennel.

The problem is that I got attached to Mocha. I loved her like she was my dog. We all did. We pet her, played with her, treated her, walked her, and invested in her emotionally like she was ours to keep. And we had so much fun with her too! And she would love on you and look at you with a face that said, "I love you. And I'll be loyal to the end!"

So I wanted to find her a good home - and I did! And I handed her over to a home that would be better for her than the one I could provide. We may have loved her, but we couldn't accommodate her needs. We lived in an apartment. We don't have a fenced yard. She really didn't have the space that a husky/shepherd mix requires. And I knew that we weren't going to be able to commit, long-term, to exercising her the way a husky/shepherd mix with her energy requires. So the love that we all had for her also led us to make the decision: We have to let her go. We can't adopt her. We are fostering her until she finds her perfect "forever" home.

Even if it made me cry a little. Even if I miss her!

I think even Pepper misses her too. She's been needier than usual, just wanting to cuddle, moping around, not really eating. I think she feels she lost a buddy... I wonder if Pepper ever gets nervous that one day she'll be the one to go? Not happening. I couldn't give Pepper away even if I wanted to! And we don't.

I do feel a little better reading this update from her new family:

Things are going fine. She’s a lot easier than [my other dog]! They get along fine and she’s totally gentle with my girls. She needs some leash training so she stops pulling but I think she’ll pick it up quick. Today she seemed to be a little more relaxed with life; did a lot more exploring, and was wanting love and attention a little more, so I guess she’s starting to think I’m not so bad. She doesn’t seem to chew on things any more than [my other dog] does so we are already used to that. The cat is slowly getting used to her. Mocha is fine with the cat but the cat is not always fine with Mocha. Given some adjustment time she’ll be just fine. I’ll let you know if we come across any problems but so far we are doing good.

I know we are doing a good thing! I know it's good for us to continue to have our home open so we can keep fostering. I know Mocha will do great! I am at peace about saying good-bye to Mocha.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Day in the Wild

So we took the dogs camping with us... and 3 kids... makes me think "Yup! Definitely nuts!" But it was actually fun! Mind you, Pepper yapped all through the camp and probably got on EVERYBODY's last nerve (next time? Sedatives... maybe even a shock collar... I dunno... But I can't board her w/ anyone cuz she hates other people!). But the kids had a good time. Pepper had plenty of running time too, she got to explore and smell everything, go into other people's campers and check them out (like it's all good! LOL). Mocha? Not so much. We are one week away from having her adopted, I didn't really want to lose her! Not to mention she would run into the bush and not really come back... And we have to be in the look out for bears and moose... and I've seen what a husky that got trampled on by a moose looks like; it's not pretty! Excruciating, in fact. So around camp she hung out with us, on a leash.

Then we went hiking, and we felt so bad for her... cuz she wanted to GOOOOO and I remember feeling the same way with Pepper on her first hike. So we let her off the leash.... and she did good! She did go farther than Pepper (seeing as she's bigger), which was scarier, but always came back (no duh, I still have her!). She ran off to a lake and jumped in, drank her fill, and came back in less than 5 minutes... But it was nice to see Mocha get to run free for a bit before we "caught" her and put her back on the leash.

Pepper would just run and jump over dandelions. And when I watch her, I can't help but be happy. I don't know why seeing Pepper happy on our hikes makes me so happy. I can just sit down and watch her run around and it gives me joy. I think it's embedded in who I am: I love dogs, I love the outdoors, and I love hiking. I think I'm developing a new passion; photography! I want to capture what I see so others can feel what I feel.

I think as far as dogs go, Pepper has a pretty good life! She's lucky to be with a family that will take her on outdoor adventures instead of leaving her home. Mocha is pretty lucky too, and I know that she will be adopted into the right home where she won't be neglected or lonely.

Pepper is such a buddy to me. She's more than happy to accompany me anywhere... joins me in whatever I'm doing. Hiking is one of those things that we both equally love, and she seems to take in as much of the beauty (but a lot more scents) as I do. Who would've thought? I didn't know that she would be such a compliment to me when I adopted her. But she seems to have picked me - maybe she knew we were a match?

I've only owned Pepper for a few months, but we've bonded in so many ways... The things that are frustrating about her aren't so bad when I take into consideration the dog she was when she showed up to our home that first Thursday night. And she gets a little better, a little social, every time. She is still so willing to try, willing to please. And I guess what I love about being outdoors with her is that we are both in a more natural, relaxed state. We're not trying to please anyone, just being ourselves. And it's good enough out in the 'wild'. It's just good.