August 23, 2001
I was just flipping through the October issue of Dog Fancy. There is an article on p.36 called "Dog-Friendly Cities: We love it here." There is a short blurb on Pittsburgh and the HS submitted by... yours truly!
Zoey is doing great. She's mostly housetrained now. She has had a stuffy nose for several days but it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much. She's eating well, so I'll let you know when she's gained enough weight to be spayed.
September 4, 2001
Tonight I took some pictures of Zoey cos she's going away tomorrow. She will be spayed on Thursday and then I guess she'll stay at the shelter for a little while, and hopefully someone will adopt her. If she stays there too long, I'll take her back again. You can see the big nose print on the picture that I took after the one where she came right up and stuck her nose on the camera.
I got a message from Sassy's owner. She said Sassy's the best dog ever. It's so cool to get messages like that. They adopted her over a year ago:
Just an update to let you know that Sassy is the best dog we could have ever hoped for. Thanks again for all the work that you do. Please know how thankful we are for people like you who do so much behind the scenes. Sassy has been a fantastic addition to our family. I knew she was special the night we came to your home, because of the way she was upset that your dogs were barking in another part of the house. She is unbelievable with small children, spoiled beyond belief, and we couldn't imagine life without her. We will always turn to the Humane Society for pets, and have encouraged many others to do so, also. Thanks so much again for being Sassy's foster mom.
September 5, 2001
Well, we dropped Zoey off about two hours ago and Brin is a happy dog again. He puts up with a lot. It was really depressing to leave her there, but she certainly didn't seem freaked out by being there. She wanted to say hi to everyone, and she really wanted to sniff the bunnies. I left her favorite bone with her. Maybe she'll be adopted this weekend.
Of course she barfed in the car. She waited until we got onto the street that the shelter is on. She's gifted, I think. When we took her to the park, she always made it until the last 60 seconds or so. I always withheld her food and even gave her Dramamine, but she got sick almost every time we took her in the car.
September 10, 2001
Hi Amy, My name is L and I work at the shelter, I've helped you a few times when you and your husband came to get your foster dog. I just spent my entire morning looking at your site and reading your journal, it's awesome. I just want to tell you that I think it's really wonderful what you do for these dogs, I don't think you truly know how much we appreciate all that you do. All I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! O ya and in case you haven't heard Zoey has been adopted! I did the adoption, the people were really nice and don't worry I am very picky when it comes to placing "my" dogs. Take care and keep up the good work.
September 15, 2001
Zoey was adopted last Saturday. I haven't talked to her new people yet. I think I prefer keeping the dogs for a while and then taking them back to the shelter to be adopted. It saves me a lot of stress because I don't have to deal with placing ads, talking to people on the phone, and having them not show up for appointments. But it's disturbing in a way because I never get to meet the people, so I don't have that sense of closure.
Today we picked up Diamond. She's a black and white spaniel/sheltie mix (actually I think she looks like a small border collie mix). She's about a year old and seems basically healthy but very thin. She's about as tall as Echo, but she only weighs about 18 lbs. (Echo is 30 lbs.) She is too thin to even get a rabies shot. The humane agent went to the house because she was being neglected, and I guess they gave the people the option of turning her over to the shelter. She must not have actually been taken away by the officer because the previous owners filled out the owner surrender form. They had two different reasons listed for giving her up: she was too big!! and the kids didn't take care of her!!
She's very cuddly and submissive. Right now she's nibbling on my toes. Brin and Echo aren't terribly impressed but they don't seem to be annoyed, either. Keek doesn't seem to mind her much because he is sitting in my lap right now. So far she seems pretty well-behaved but I think she might be a chewer. Her previous owner said she barks a lot (I haven't heard her bark yet, but it's too soon to tell) and that she is a picky eater. She certainly isn't a picky eater. She actually crawled into the dog food bag and would have probably tried to eat all of it if I had let her.
October 3, 2001
I finally got a phone number for the people who adopted Zoey. I tried it but it was disconnected. So not only am I disappointed that I didn't get to talk to them, I'm also a little worried, because why would somebody adopt a dog and then move a couple weeks later?
We took Diamond back to the shelter tonight. We were planning to take her back tomorrow, but Warren was worried that he might be late cos he's supposed to do something with "the guys" after school. So we took her today. She'll be spayed tomorrow and then hopefully I'll get a message on Monday that she was adopted over the weekend. I haven't had a chance to start missing her yet. Actually it's kinda nice to not have to jump up every 20 minutes and take her out! I guess i'll clean the carpet this weekend....
October 17, 2001
I was wondering if you were able to find out anything about the people that adopted Zoey?
I've been in touch with the woman who adopted Diamond. Apparently she really did have a bladder infection and is pretty much back on track with the housetraining. Yay!
I heard that L is teaching a class for people who foster. That's good, I know you wanted somebody to do that a long time ago.
"Our agent went out (nice new townhouses) and left a card on Friday and never called. I will send a letter and see if I get a response. It is weird - there are occasionally people that do not care about being in touch with us. I will let you know."
October 25, 2001
"Hey Amy! It's L from the humane society. I was looking at various sites of homeless dogs and ended up on the basset hound rescue page. I came across this and thought of you immediately. Hope you like it, I know I do."
Yep, I do like it! Did you see the poem on my site called "Little Pieces?" Similar theme.
The woman who adopted Diamond has called me several times, which is really nice because most people don't bother to keep in touch. Things are going well there, now that they have the bladder infection cured and the housetraining sorted out!
I never did get to talk to the people who adopted Zoey. Did I tell you that the phone number they gave is incorrect?
Anyway, thanks for the poem!
"Hey, glad to hear that Diamond is doing well, I think it is nice of them to keep in touch with you. Sorry about the false number for Zoey. I'll see what I can do about getting the right number. And the poem is beautiful!
"So I hear you'll be fostering yet another dog, "Lucky". She's a nice dog, just a little crazy....she's a terrier mix! Once again Amy thank you so much for all you do. I personally thank you and so do all the dogs that you've got homes for. Take care and I'll see you soon."
December 18, 2001
Someone on my fosterdogs group (not a local person) said that her group calls adopters after 1 day, 1 week, 6 months, and then every year to make sure everything's okay. Sounds kind of ambitious but is probably a good idea. And that reminds me that we never did hear anything from the person who adopted Zoey. I sent her a Christmas card so if it's not returned, I guess we can assume the person still lives at that address.
November 19, 2002
We have to drop Murray off tonight to be neutered tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be ready tomorrow night. The Ls finally decided they definitely want to adopt him. I have mixed feelings about it. I think it's pretty likely that Murray will escape from their house once or twice. They do not have a fence yet, but they will probably get one. I think once they realize that I'm right about his getting out, they'll break down and put up a fence. And the mom said that it would be twice as bad if he got out, cos if the dog ran towards traffic, there would be a kid running along behind him. So she seems to realize that a fence is a good idea.
They don't want Murray to sleep in the bedroom. I have no idea why. They want him to sleep in the "family room." I normally would say absolutely not, but since she homeschools her kids, Murray will be with people all day. So I think he could deal with being alone at night. Hey, it could be worse -- lots of people let dogs sleep outside in doghouses. At least he will have a warm place to sleep. And during the day he will get lots of attention (probably more than he even wants).
Anyway, they thought it might be hard on Murray to recover from his surgery in a strange place, especially with three kids who will want to hang all over him. So I am going to get him after his surgery and keep him until Friday. She said they have some kind of activity day at church on Sunday, and the dad is planning to stay home with Murray and bond while the kids are away. =)
Gabe (the oldest boy) seemed to be disappointed that Murray doesn't know any tricks yet. One of the dogs they almost adopted was sort of pre-programmed with all the standard tricks. And he also really liked Brin's tricks. I thought it would be good to teach Murray something basic like "shake" before he goes to his new home. So I got out the froot loops. Seven repetitions and Murray shakes like a pro. =) At that point I felt like I really missed out on training a nifty, smart dog. I had a month with him; why didn't I have fun and teach him lots of cool stuff? I suspected he was smart right from the beginning. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I unconsciously avoid training the really special dogs because training is when I really bond with them, and I know that it would be disastrous to let myself get too attached. I will have to go back through my journals and stuff to see if that holds true.
Just thinking... Zoey was one of my favorite fosters. I feel like I really let down by returning her before she was adopted, and I never found out where she ended up because the phone number they gave me was disconnected. Anyway, I got too close to her, and I know why -- I spent a lot of time working with her because she was really shy and scared of everything. I took her for walks and gave her lots of treats whenever cars went by. And she got so much better! And I got *so* attached to her. It sucks because I *love* training, and I know that it makes for an easier transition into a new home. But it makes me get too involved and too attached.