February 2002

Well, it looks like I am back into fostering again. I just got a call from a woman who adopted one of my fosters in October. Diamond is a 16 month old border collie/spaniel mix. The woman said that Diamond barks, digs, isn't housetrained, and runs away. She said she was thinking about returning her to the shelter, and I encouraged her to do so. She said she wants to return her "before she gets too attached." (They've had the dog for four months!)

She and her husband are in their 70s and should never have adopted a dog like this. That was a very bad decision on their part. They got her because she reminded them of their old dog and they absolutely are not interested in walking her or training her at all. I was not there when she was adopted (this was a dog that I fostered until she was healthy enough to be spayed, and then I took her back to the shelter to be adopted). I would not have allowed these people to adopt her in the first place.

It's not that they are bad people, just totally unprepared and unwilling to work on it. I have been in contact with them several times since the adoption. They were having major trouble with housetraining, so I suggested they see the vet. Things seemed to improve after Diamond was treated for a bladder infection, but apparently these people just weren't prepared to train and exercise a young dog. She actually said that she thought you could just get a dog and feed it and that was that. :(

Anyway, she said they are taking her back tomorrow morning, and I will pick her up tomorrow evening. I suspect it will take some time to repair the damage that was done in the last four months. She deserves better than this. Yes, i am extremely disturbed. =) But I'm glad to have a chance to make things right for her.

She is about 25-30 lbs and was okay with my cat but she did like to chase him. But it might be a moot point. Her owner called back a few hours ago and told me they decided they can't part with her and they want to try to do right by her. I am still skeptical but it isn't really my decision to make. I know that they love the dog, she isn't being mistreated, and they do seem motivated now to try to make it work.

I gave her some suggestions regarding the digging -- bring the dog into the house! She said she lets her outside on a tie-out for several hours during the day and that's when she digs. She seemed surprised to learn that dogs generally don't like to be outside by themselves, but said something like, "Well, that makes sense, she does like to be with us." She told me that she does take her for a walk most days. I asked if there is any place she could take her to run around (yard isn't fenced) and she said there is a school at the end of the block.

So I guess now I'll give her a little time and then check back to see if there is any improvement. I'll let you know what I find out.