May 3, 2000
May 4, 2000
Sassy's here. She's fine, she's really sweet. Bigger than Brin, but not too much. Things were more organized this time. They gave us her rabies certificate, and 40 lbs of food, and they let us read the form her owners filled out and the notes the dog walkers wrote. Reason for surrender: uncontrollable. Pees in the house, jumps up, digs, runs away. I'm sorry but SHE'S A PUPPY! Her owners had no clue that dogs must be trained.
She peed all over the floor when they brought her out. She pulled on the way to the car, but she isn’t nearly as big as Buddy and I certainly wouldn’t call her uncontrollable. She threw up on the way home.
She's good with the dogs. She hasn't met Keek yet. He's hiding. Brin was not impressed. Echo had to do her usual in-your-face, snarling, alpha bitch routine. Echo is being a real jerk, getting in her face and acting all tough. I think maybe we'll return Echo and keep Sassy. ;) Sassy was submissive, let the other dogs walk all over her, and rolled over on her back. I really like submissive dogs.
She jumps up but she's very gentle about it and she gives up easily if you ignore her. She sits for attention. I took her for a walk and we met some kids who just adopted a border collie. She was very gentle with them. So far she's been very quiet, playful, and friendly. She's hanging out on the futon right now.
I worked on getting her used to the crate. She had no problem with it. We met some kids on our walk. She was great with them. I tethered her to the dog bed and she stayed there quietly all night.
May 4, 2000
"that place is doing pretty good getting those dogs adopted."
Well, they have to, if they really want to become a no-kill shelter.
"misty pines sounds like an old folks retirement home."
It's a boarding/training/off leash dog park kinda place. It sounds cool. They have a pond where the dogs can swim, and a fenced in area with agility equipment. And apparently they donate kennel space for shelter dogs, hoping that somebody will see them there and adopt them. She said they sent 4 or 5 dogs there so far and this was the first one that didn't get adopted. (Not a very good sign, is it?)
I wonder what Sassy's problem is. It might be as simple as being a clueless, fairly large adolescent. It's hard to tell how big she is from the picture but if she's a lab/dobe mix, she's probably big.
May 5, 2000
For a 7 month old, totally untrained puppy, Sass is amazing. Once again, the volunteers have done a great job with her. She sits to go outside and to get her leash on and off. She also comes when called more reliably than my own brats, and most of the time she sits automatically when she gets to me. Very cute.
She stayed in the crate quietly all day today. Warren said she whined a little when I left but that was it. I’ve been putting the citronella collar on her every time she goes in the crate to prevent a barking problem, but I don’t think she needs it.
"sounds like a nice dog. and a puppy, huh? I think she should have a different name."
Yeah, I'm not sure about the name. She sort of recognizes it though, so I guess I 'll just use it. We were trying to think of things that sound kind of like it. Like Sasha. But I 've just been calling her Sass and it seems to work okay.
It should be fairly easy to find her a home, once I get her housetrained. In some ways she's better than my dogs. She's very quiet, she sort of plays ball, she's not too bad on leash, although she does pull a little. She jumps up sometimes but she's softer than Brin and Echo. She doesn't bruise me. I haven't let her off leash, but I took her to the playground on a flexi and she kept track of where I was and stayed with me pretty well. And came when I called her. She really wanted to run in the playground but I didn't want to risk it. She isn't quite housetrained but she's doing okay. I haven't noticed any digging, chewing, or running away (her owner checked them all on the form). Of course I crate her when I can't watch her, and I have a fenced yard -- voila, instant fix for digging, chewing, and running away. Sigh... I think you should have to take a test before you can get a dog.
When we were picking up Sass, three young college-aged girls were coming out with an empty collar and lead. I guess they just turned one in. The people at the desk were writing stuff down and saying something like, "Don't EVER give an animal to these people." I guess they keep a file on people like that.
May 6, 2000
I haven't seen any indication of any of the problems the former owner mentioned, except the housetraining problem. Even that has not been a big deal. She peed twice and pooped once in the house. I’ve been giving her too much freedom because otherwise she is reliable (doesn’t chew or get into stuff) but I keep forgetting that she will go potty in a corner somewhere if the need arises. The submissive peeing is a separate problem that I expect her to outgrow.We worked on sits and downs. She isn't terribly food motivated, although she's a better eater than Buddy was the first few days. She seemed to remember down after a little luring. Her idea of down is to crouch down, crawl to my feet, and roll over on her side or on her back. Very cute. We also worked a little bit on “go lie down” and targeting my hand. She's pretty good but she's still a pup and has a short attention span. I think Brin and Echo would work with me all day as long as the treats kept coming. They have me spoiled. They really are good dogs.
May 7, 2000
The only problem with Sassy so far is that she is definitely NOT good with cats. Keek has decided to live downstairs by himself. I moved all his stuff down there so he doesn’t have to deal with Sass at all. I try to crate Sassy a couple times a day so I can give Keek some attention. He sure is friendly when he gets ignored all day. When Sass is in the crate and Keek comes into the room, she sort of crouches and stares at him. Not good. Once I put Keek in a crate so Sass could sniff him but she went totally crazy, barking and whining, lunging at the crate, and trying to dig through it. A few times when Keek allowed it, I let Sassy sniff him while he was on a table. She didn't try to attack him, but she was way too interested for my comfort. Unfortunately I'll have to recommend that she doesn't go to a home with cats.
Warren helped me give Sass a bath. We couldn’t stand her oily coat. She objected a little when I put her in the tub, but she was surprisingly calm for the rest of the bath. She seemed to enjoy being brushed afterward.
In the pictures, you can tell that Brin is not pleased.
It's funny cos I don't remember him being like that when we got Echo. He was the only dog for a couple months but I don't think he was upset when she came along.
"well, sassy is really cute. I bet it's pretty neat to be able to try out different dogs like that, huh?"
It's cool because I can be a lot more consistent with fosters because I 'm not as emotionally involved. Sass is crated whenever we leave the house, and she's tethered to the dog bed at night. She's okay with that because that's just the way it is. Every time she goes in the crate, the citronella collar goes on. She's remarkably quiet. She isn't allowed on the bed, no way no how, and she doesn't challenge that. Except yesterday, Warren said hi to her and she jumped up and cuddled up with him and HE LET HER!! He even called me in to show me! He's a lot nicer to her than he was to Buddy. He totally ignored Buddy.
Sassy is NOT housetrained. So far we've had two pees and a poop in the house. I saw both of the pees but I just found the poop this morning. BIG poop! I think I 've been letting her run around unsupervised too much. Other than the housetraining problem, she's good in the house. She doesn't chew or get into stuff. So I kinda forget that I still can't really trust her.
May 8, 2000
Sass is starting to bark at people during our walks. I don’t like this behavior but I don’t know what to do about it. I think I might start using the bark collar for walks. Actually I think that might help Echo too.
Both of them seem to be disturbed the most by people who stare at them and don’t say anything. I think in dog body language that would signal a fight. So I can understand why that would freak them out. Then when they start barking, the people get freaked out, and that makes the dogs react even more. And the barking is reinforced because the person backs off. Both of them are also more easily frightened in the dark, or when they get close to a person before realizing someone is there, so I wonder if poor eyesight might be a factor.
I guarantee you will love her. She is very sweet. Very obedient for a totally untrained, "uncontrollable" dog.
"i'm just trying to imagine you coming home, bringing 3 dogs and cat!!! whoa!! :D"
Yeah, I know. I'm not sure how that will go. Maybe it would be best to leave Keek here. Sassy would have to sit just a couple feet from him in the car and it might be really stressful for Keek. Maybe I could make Sass sit with me. At least I have lots of tranquilizers to give everyone. Sass will definitely get one, because she got sick both times we had her in the car.
I've been trying to figure out what to do with all the animals if we still have Sassy when we come home on the 19th. The problem is, I totally do not trust her with Keek. I moved his food into the kitchen and his litterbox into the living room so he doesn't even have to come upstairs anymore. He does seem to understand that she can't get to him when she's crated or the gate is up. He's eating normally and he doesn't seem really stressed or anything, but I just don't get to see him much anymore. :(
So I could take Sassy back before we come home. But I don't really want to do that cos she's not ready yet. I'm worried that if she is adopted before she's reliably housetrained, she'll end up back at the shelter. So I want to keep her until she's trained.
"i think C would have taken sassy for the weekend if she was housebroken. I told her that if she took her, she would want to keep her. and she sorta said the same thing."
Hey, that's a great idea. C would like her. She's better than Buddy. Buddy was okay but he was sort of a PITA. She's been doing a lot better with her housetraining. Of course I crate her during the day, so that makes it much easier for her to hold it until I get home. Yeah, she'd probably want to keep her. She's very sweet.
May 9, 2000
We had just gotten back from Warren's birthday dinner at Ponderosa. Several neighborhood kids were walking around the garage. Apparently they were playing hide and seek. I was going to yell at them but I decided to just give them a dirty look. I figured they'd stay away now that they knew we were home.
We went inside. Warren went upstairs and I immediately took the dogs outside to pee. Normally I make the dogs sit and wait at the door while I look to make sure all the gates are closed, but I didn't this time because I had just come through the gate and closed it behind me. And Sassy doesn't know how to wait at door yet anyway. So I let Echo and Sassy out. Brindle stayed inside. They rushed out the door barking like crazy because one of the kids was OPENING THE GATE! The kids started running and screaming. I ran out yelling, "DON'T RUN!" The older girl (the one that opened the gate) stayed at the open gate. I was able to grab Sass, push the girl out of the way, and close the gate. Meanwhile Echo was barking her head off and chasing the other girl off the property. All the kids (there was also a third girl) were screaming like they were being savagely attacked, and I was still yelling, "DON'T RUN!" I caught up with Echo just off the edge of our property, basically holding the girl at bay. She looked and sounded really scary but she stayed about two feet away from the kid, never touched her, thank god! I took her back in the yard. The gate opener girl was still there, shaking even worse than I was. I gave her a lecture about not opening gates and going onto other people's property. Something like, "You never, NEVER open this gate! I wasn't worried about you kids because I know my dogs don't bite, but you didn't know that. You KNOW I have dogs. You never NEVER open a gate and go in somebody's yard without permission...." on and on, lots of never NEVER kind of stuff. And then I told her if you think a dog is going to attack you, DON'T RUN! The dog will chase you and the dog is faster than you and the dog WILL catch you. ("Well, what SHOULD I do?") I told her to stand still and not stare at the dog and back away slowly. I told her I was upset because my dogs could have gotten loose and been hit by a car, and she must never NEVER come in that yard and open that gate.
I told her to tell her friends everything I told her. She was shaking so badly that I thought she just might have learned a lesson. She said, "But my ball is in the yard!" I swear, at this point she had her hand on the gate latch and was about to go get her ball! IDIOT! The dogs were still in the yard, barking like mad. I told her I would get it for her. I went back in the yard but I didn't see the ball. It turns out the ball was in the bottom part of the yard, WHICH YOU CAN GET TO FROM THEIR YARD! WITHOUT GOING THROUGH MY GATES!!!! I was flabbergasted.
At least now we know Sassy has great bite inhibition. She’s the perfect watchdog: lots of noise but no physical contact. And she never left the property, which was a big relief, since I don’t have ID for her yet. Ironically, I had ordered a tag for her a few hours before this incident, thinking, "I don’t really need this because she’ll never get out, because I’m responsible." I was also glad to see that Echo didn't attempt to bite either.
May 10, 2000
I tried clicker training Sass tonight. She just doesn't get it. Click, treat, click, treat, on and on, and she never made a connection between the two. She has no idea that she controls the click. I kept waiting for that "light bulb" moment and it never happened. Finally she seemed like she might possibly have understood something, so I gave her a bunch of food. She didn't eat it. I didn't feel like picking it up. So I let Brin and Echo in. Brin ran straight for the food and of course then Sassy decided she wanted it. MAJOR in-your-face snarling. I was picturing eyes being bitten. So I started smacking them both on the head with the food scoop. They quit, and I gave the rest of the food to Echo. Brin has some serious resource guarding issues. He thinks everything belongs to him. He is a spoiled brat.
Some kids on bikes wanted to meet Sassy. She was scared and hid behind me. I expected her to start barking, and I was glad I had the collar on her. But she didn’t bark this time. The kids persisted, coaxing and sweet talking her, and eventually she let them pet her. Then she was fine. But she got scared when we passed them again on the way back. I think part of it was the bikes.
May 11, 2000
I was very proud of all the dogs this morning. I walked Sass on her regular collar with no pulling. When she tried to pull (only 2 or 3 times), I just stopped dead and waited for her to come back to me. Then she got a treat and we walked some more. I also had the GL on her (without the leash attached) and she did fine with that. She did manage to paw it off at the very end though. We did some “follow me” stuff in the playground. She got a treat whenever she walked with me. She sort of seemed to react when I said, “Good!” so maybe that will be her substitute click. I really like how she sits in front when I call her. I assume they taught her that at the shelter. Very cool. I tried luring her from there to heel position. I have to do the “step back and then step forward” trick to get her there. She’s starting to get it. I’m trying to get her to target my hand.
Then I walked Brin and Echo. Brin was on his regular collar. He did great. I think we might beat this pulling thing yet. If only I had been consistent right from the beginning. Echo did okay too, although I had her on the GL. She isn't normally a puller anyway, unless she really wants to follow a scent or chase something.
May 12, 2000
"i can't even begin to imagine how you do it"
It's hard because I still have to do everything else (work, cook, clean...) I don't mind taking care of the animals. I mean, that's part of the fun of having them. But it is hard to find the time and energy to make sure everybody gets what they need, especially since Keek and Sass have to be separated. And it's hard to find time to walk them now cos I have to go twice and I hate walking when everybody's around (bratty kids especially). I wish I had a big farm with a huge fence and I could just let everybody run around all the time.
May 13, 2000
A couple minutes later, I took all the dogs out to pee. The brats were out on their front porch and they started barking at my dogs. Of course my dogs barked back. This really ticked me off. They knew they were far enough away to be safe so they teased the dogs. I guess I shouldn't have said anything but I didn't want them to think they were getting away with it. So I said something like, "Yeah, that's really fun, isn't it. You guys sure are funny, barking at dogs to make them bark back at you." One of them 'tudes back to me, "We wasn't doin' that." I said something sarcastic like, "Yeah, I know you would NEVER do that."
I just checked the humane society webpage. They updated some stuff and they now have a page especially for dogs in foster homes. Guess what -- Sassy's the only one! Warren is gonna laugh when I tell him that. We've been joking all along about how nobody seems to know about the foster program and it looks like we really are the only people doing it. There was one other dog up on the foster bulletin board last time we were at the shelter.
You should find out if they need people to foster dogs at the East Shore Shelter. I think it's one of the only worthwhile things I've ever done. I feel like I actually made a difference for two dogs so far. Besides the unbelievably lucky dogs that live with me permanently.
May 14, 2000
So I think I 'm gonna go lie down in front of the TV with two or three dogs and take a rest. Sassy's not allowed on the bed, though, no way.... unless I invite her up.
May 15, 2000
Sassy is learning to walk nicely on the GL. I’ve been putting it on her but not attaching the leash. Sometimes she tries to rub it off but she mostly ignores it now. Today I attached the leash to the GL and she did great. She can now come, sit in front, finish (with no food in my hand but I still have to step backwards) and take a step in heel position. I think she’d progress faster if I used the clicker but so far she has shown no indication that she gets it.
May 16, 2000
May 17, 2000
"so, when are you coming? and how many animals?"
Three dogs, I guess. No cat. Keek will enjoy having the place to himself, I 'm sure. I will bring a crate for Sassy. He also said his aunt really wants to meet her, so maybe he can take her there for a while. They have a good fence.
May 18, 2000
Sassy had a chance to eat him last night and she didn't, so I guess that's good news, but I still don't trust her with him. She is way too interested in him. I never really thought about it before we had foster dogs, but my dogs are really good with the cat.
May 19, 2000
May 21, 2000
There were several messages from the humane society on Friday. They also called me at work. Apparently there was a couple that saw the dog when she was at Misty Pines and now I guess they want her, or at least want to meet her. (Why did they wait so long?) Of course we weren't here. So hopefully they're still interested. I guess we could just drop her off at the shelter tomorrow. Too bad it had to be the one weekend we weren't here.It's time to get Sassy into a new home. She is really sweet and I’ll miss her, but she is totally obsessed with the poor cat.
May 22, 2000
May 25, 2000
May 28, 2000
Keek is making my life difficult. Apparently he's tired of keeping away from Sassy so he just started going wherever he wants. I woke up this morning and he was sitting on me again, purring. So I had to get up and grab Sassy and crate her before she could get to him. He's been doing stuff like that all day. He puts himself in a vulnerable position, lets her nose him for a while, then freaks out and runs, and of course she chases him, and then he jumps up on something so she can't get him, and then she jumps and whines. It's getting very annoying.
I feel like all I've been doing today is cleaning up dog pee. I don't know what is going on with Sassy. She has peed inside more than outside the last couple days. Maybe it's the rain. Echo used to be like that, but Echo is good now. I take Sassy out, she won't even step in the grass, and then she comes in and pees a couple minutes later.
I haven't been taking the dogs for evening walks anymore. I can't handle it. They don't seem to mind. Except walks were good for getting Sassy to "go" outside. So I decided to take her for a walk this evening. I didn't really feel like walking, but I didn't feel like cleaning up more pee, either. So I took her. We got halfway up the alley and there was this little baby robin squirming around in the middle of the alley. I wanted to move it out of the road and away from the neighborhood kids. Sassy's walk was cut short because of the bird, and she ended up pooping in the house instead. And now I am not a very happy person.
May 29, 2000
May 30, 2000
May 31, 2000
They would have done it for me but I figured I could afford $8.88 to find her a home.
"she sounds really nice. but, no, I don't want another dog."
Yeah, I could do with a few less dogs myself. (I actually know that I should have said "fewer" dogs but "a few fewer dogs" sounds very dumb.) It will be nice to get back down to two dogs again for a while. But I know I 'll get suckered into another foster again soon.
I had to give Sassy some kaopectate this morning, and some rice for breakfast. I have no idea what made her sick.
Did I mention the house really stinks? Great, just in time for company this weekend....
June 8, 2000
June 9, 2000
Warren forgot to crate Sassy this morning and we came home to a big mess. Three or four piles of poop, several rolls of chewed toilet paper, a chewed up pen, and a bunch of stuff just moved around but not actually chewed at all, like books, shoes, etc.
Warren said the dog incident was about the best thing that happened today.
... Oh, and by the way, I read that you aren't supposed to give dogs anything for diarrhea because whatever is going on in there, you need to just let them get it out. So you're supposed to totally quit feeding them for a day ("stop putting stuff in your pet, and it will stop coming out!"), then do the boiled hamburger/rice thing for about two days, and then gradually add back in their regular food. I haven't fed poor Sassy since yesterday morning and I got a big box of rice last night so hopefully I 'll get this straightened out over the weekend. By the way, not a single solitary person has called about her.
June 11, 2000
Sassy seems better. I'm switching her back to regular dog food today. Did I tell you she's been pooping out pieces of a towel? A couple weeks ago it was kinda cold, so Warren was nice enough to put some towels in Sassy's crate to keep her warm. And I just left them there. Then, one day I came home and found that she had totally shredded her towel. I threw it away and didn't think much of it. A couple days later she started pooping out pieces of it. Guess this could have something to do with her intestinal distress, huh? I know this could be a very dangerous thing but so far she just poops some out and goes on like nothing's wrong. I've been keeping an eye on her but she seems perfectly healthy otherwise. Guess I 'll just keep doing what I'm doing, and wait and see. Having dogs is stressful.
June 12, 2000
"I'm calling about the doberman mix. She's not spayed, is she?"
Yes, she's spayed.
"Oh, well, are you looking to just give her away?"
No, I 'm fostering her for the humane society and you would adopt her through them.
I'm fostering her for the humane society. The actual adoption would take place through them.
"Oh, well, do they charge anything for that?"
Yes, there is a $60 donation to adopt a dog.
"Oh, I didn't know if they would charge anything."
Yes, they do.
"Oh, well, I might call you back if I don't find anything better."
Needless to say, this guy is not getting any dog from me! He never even asked anything about her temperament or training. He never mentioned wanting to meet her. All he cared about was if she was spayed and how much she cost. What a dork. I'm sorry, but if you can't afford to pay $60 for a dog, you can't afford to take care of one.
I decided I'm not gonna run any more ads because I don't want to talk to people like this. I'll just take her to the shelter on weekends or something and pick her up on Sunday nights if nobody adopts her. Then I don't have to know anything about the idiots who think they deserve to own dogs.
"oh geez, that's depressing. you know, I 'm surprised the animal advocate ppl haven't gotten things to the point where ppl hafta pass a test to own a pet."
June 23, 2000
Here's how it's gonna work. She asked me for all Sassy's info and she's gonna place the ad. The people will call her and she will screen them and explain the foster thing to them. Then she will pass their names and numbers to me and I 'll set up appointments on Sunday for them to come and meet Sassy.
Oh, she just called back. She already placed the ad! But it won't start until Monday. She sounded happy with the ad. She was laughing and said something like, "I put all kinds of things in there!" Maybe that was my mistake; I got the cheapest possible ad and couldn't fit much in.
She expects us to be bombarded with calls. She said it will be a first-come-first-served deal. Hmm... Well, she did say she was listing Sassy as a lab mix, so that might bring in more calls. I wouldn't call her a lab, myself, but hey, whatever works.
She said she placed one of her fosters with her neighbor and she still walks him a couple times a week. She said he chased her cats (she has five), and he still tries to get to them when she walks him past her house.
June 25, 2000
June 28, 2000
I don't know what happened to the other two people that were interested.
If M decides to adopt her, we won't be able to do anything until tomorrow because the humane society closes at 7:00. I'll miss her, but I 'll be glad to see her go. Keek will be happy. Life will return to normal for a while, until I get the next one.
Another lady called today about Sassy but she said she has a pet bird. I'll have to call her back tonight and tell her that would not be a good idea. Hopefully the first lady will adopt her. I'm looking forward to seeing my cat again! I guess I 'll tell them I can't take another dog until sometime after T's wedding.
I'm a little worried cos I don't think M is planning to use a crate. I know it's possible to raise a dog without one, especially if somebody's with her all day. But I 'm sure there will be times when they'll have to leave her for a while, and she WILL get into stuff. One hour was enough time for her to make quite a mess. So I really hope they don't take her and then return her because she chews stuff and poops in the house when nobody's home.
I'm also a little worried that she'll bark at them when they come to meet her. I mean, I know she'll bark. But I hope she shuts up and lets them come in the yard. I'm planning on just having her meet them in the yard and keeping B&E inside.
L called and said she had another EIGHT messages today!! It's nice that she's dealing with all of that. I don't have to explain about the foster thing. People call me and they already know everything. While I was talking to her, the phone rang but I didn't answer it. A few minutes later, I got a call from somebody named J, who has a 4yo and is pregnant, and wants a dog but thinks it would be better to get one that is not a tiny puppy cos of the kids. She sounds nice too. They all sounded nice. I wish they wouldn't call me at work, though. I feel so conspicuous talking about dog stuff with all these people around. Oh well.
Anyway, I told J I will call her after M meets Sassy tonight. If M doesn't adopt her, J is next in line. L, the bird lady, is not an option, unfortunately.
I wonder why I had such a poor response to the ad I ran. It was in a different paper, and it was really short. And I certainly didn't use the word "stunning" to describe Sassy!
All the calls except one were from women.
I'm reluctant to call and check my messages again. I can't deal with any more people!!
Well, I think I will go cut the grass and pick up some poop to get ready for our big meeting tonight. If M and her family want Sassy, depending on how late it gets, we might take her back tonight. I don't know how realistic that is, because the shelter closes at seven.
June 29, 2000
Me: "M?" Her: "No." Me: "Is M there, please?" Her: "No." Me: "Um... she had called me about a dog..." Her: (Pause) "I don't know nothin' 'bout no dog." Me: "Okay, bye."
I was so tempted to say something like, "Oh, okay M, bye!" It was obviously her. I wanted to believe it was a wrong number but it just wasn't. She never even said "you have the wrong number" or "there's no M here." So I crossed her off the list (cursing!) and called the next person, J, who is pregnant and has a four year old. I know some people won't adopt to anyone who is pregnant or has really young kids, but I thought it was worth a shot. She said they could be there at 7:30. They actually showed up, mostly on time. Sassy barked at them but made friends pretty quickly. She seemed to like the dad. She mostly ignored the boy, even when he was running around, which is good.
They stayed for about half an hour. They seemed to really like her, and she liked them. The lady said they decided ahead of time that they weren't gonna make a decision until today. So she is supposed to call me today and let me know. If they want her, we'll take her to the shelter tonight. If not, I guess I have to call the next person on the list. This is getting to be a real hassle.
L. had warned me ahead of time that some people would probably just not show up. So she wasn't surprised when I told her about M (although I didn't get to tell her about the "don't know nothin'" part). It just blows my mind. Why would you go to all the trouble of calling two different people about a dog, make an appt, not show up, not call, and pretend you didn't know anything about it? Just say you changed your mind!
I was away from my desk for a while this morning and I thought J might have tried to call (she was supposed to let me know this morning - she didn't) so I called her. She said she had to talk it over with her husband and she'd call me in fifteen minutes. An hour and a half later, she called back and said they decided they didn't want her.
So I crossed her off the list and called K. Her line was busy for like an hour. Finally I got her and told her Sassy was still available. She said she has three kids and one is autistic, and she heard that pets are good for autistic kids. She said she has been looking at a bunch of labs and lab mixes cos that's what she likes, but they are all too rowdy. I tried to tell her that, although Sassy is relatively calm, labs are generally kinda rowdy, especially young ones. But for some reason she is sure she wants a lab-type dog. So she decided she wanted to come meet Sassy. I told her she could come tonight after 4:30. She wanted to know if she could wait until Saturday. I told her no. So she said she could come tonight at five. She said their car is small so she wouldn't be able to take her home tonight. I told her she isn't allowed to anyway. Then she called L back (I gave her my number but I guess she was confused) and said she couldn't come until seven. I guess that's okay.But then L called me AGAIN because she found someone that sounded really good. She said he had labs, and his neighbors have dobes, and a lab/dobe mix sounded great. He has three kids (the youngest is seven) and he's buying a new house with land, and he said the first thing they will do is put up a fence. I'm supposed to call him tonight after the other lady comes. It sucks cos he sounds better than the lady (she was kinda pushy on the phone) but she's already coming.
This time I only waited 20 minutes before I called. K was like, "Oh, you know what happened, my husband got called into work early, gee, I guess it is after seven already." Yeah, whatever. And something about, "This is a really busy time for us." Okay, that's a GREAT time to go dog shopping! Idiot. She said she might call back next week if Sassy is still available.
I tried to call the guy that L really liked. I had two numbers for him. One was disconnected. The other one keeps saying, "All circuits are busy, please try again later, 412 71T." Guess I 'll go try again later, 412 71T. I'm about to go drop the darn dog off at the shelter. I'm not good at dealing with this stuff.
June 30, 2000
I kept trying to call M last night after the other lady didn't show up. I couldn't get through. It kept saying all circuits are busy. Finally at around 8:45 I realized he must have a different area code. They added a new one a while ago. So I tried his number with (724) and it worked. I felt really bad because apparently he had been waiting for me to call. He barely waited for me to give him directions (I could tell he wasn't writing them down) and he said they were on their way. They got lost and had to call (I knew he didn't write down the directions!) but they made it. It took them a while to get there, about an hour. I looked at the map and they came from pretty far away.
It was just him and his wife. They were gonna bring the kids but it was past the seven-year-old's bedtime. They haven't told the 7yo yet. They were really nice. They just moved to a new house last weekend and she said she always wanted to get a dog as soon as they lived someplace with enough space. They are a soccer family and they are planning to take Sassy to the games and practices. They said all the soccer parents drop off their kids at practice and walk the dog in the park. Sounds perfect! The dad wanted to name her Keeper, like goalkeeper. But he decided it's not a good girl name.
They really like her. She was actually not giving them a whole lot of attention. I think she was ready for bed, and she was concerned that Brin and Echo were upstairs whining. I wanted to do the intro outside but it was raining and dark so we did it in the kitchen. It's good that the kids didn't come because there wouldn't have been enough room. Anyway, they looked at each other and said, "What do you think?" and then they smiled and looked at me and said, "What do we have to do to get her?" No wishy-washy "I have to think about it, we'll let you know" kinda stuff. They definitely want her. I hope there's enough time to get everything done. We can't get her to the shelter until around 6, and he said he works until 6, and the shelter closes at 7. But we'll try it.
July 1, 2000
Thursday night the lady with the autistic kid was supposed to come and meet Sassy, but she didn't show up. I called her and she had some lame excuse. So i tried to call M. and couldn't get through. Finally i got him. It was late but he and his wife came anyway. They loved the dog. They wanted to know how to adopt her. We told them to meet us at the shelter on Friday after six to fill out the paperwork. We made sure they knew that the shelter closes at seven.
Warren and i got to the shelter a little before six. The kennel manager said that the people that wanted to adopt Sassy were just there looking at other dogs, but they decided they still wanted Sassy. But they were gone when we got there. We figured they just went to get something to eat and they'd be back in a few minutes. Finally it was 6:30 and we started to worry that they weren't coming. They live about an hour away and we couldn't believe that they had been there at 5:30 and then went home. I wanted to call them but i didn't have their number with me. I tried directory assistance but they were unlisted. So i called L. at home because i knew she'd have their number. She wasn't home so i left a message. Then we were talking with some of the staff people and we finally realized that the people that were at the shelter today were the OTHER people that we met the other night (Jennifer and her husband and the 4 yo kid). They had called us from the shelter (after we left home but before we got to the shelter). Eventually they went home (before we got there). I called our machine and listened to their message. They had originally told us they DIDN'T want to adopt her but apparently they changed their minds. Then we didn't know what to do because we like M. better but he wasn't there on time, and we couldn't get in touch with him, and these other people were waiting for us to call them.
While we were waiting around, of course we had to go and look at the dogs and cats. We saw several that we wanted. There is a cat that Warren wants. He already has a name for her: Tapioca. I said why? He said because he likes tapioca. She is really skinny and apparently just had kittens. She's kinda off-white with darker points on her face. And she has blue eyes. Of course we don't need another cat. Warren's been talking about her all day. You know how he is. He keeps asking me how long they keep them before they put them to sleep, because she's already been there a week and she's so skinny looking and already grown up, so he figures no one will want her. But he did get over Captain Johnson, the dapple doxie, so maybe he'll get over this.
Well, at seven o'clock when i was looking at the dogs, i heard a lot of commotion and realized that M. had finally shown up, just in time. Actually i think it was already after seven. So we did all the paperwork (which took like half an hour because H. and Warren and M. kept talking!) and finally we left. I took a picture of Sassy and her new dad. He put on her new hot pink collar and leash. We talked a little more. He said he thinks the foster program is really neat, and i got the impression that he wants to foster sometime in the future. He said he knows our address and we'll be getting a Christmas card! He said his wife loved the dog the moment she saw her. (She wasn't along to pick Sassy up though cos M. came straight from work.) After they first met Sassy, they had told their kids that they decided not to adopt her, so it was gonna be a big surprise when he got home with her last night.It sounds like the perfect home. They just moved to a house with a good yard. The mom is a teacher, and they waited to get a dog until school was out. So the mom and the kids will be with her all day during the summer. The mom just had a birthday a few weeks ago and they all bought her dog stuff (beds, toys, etc.) in anticipation. And someone they know was getting rid of a dog crate, so now they have a crate too. They're going to take Sassy to their soccer games and practices. And they're going to change her name to something nicer than Sassy.
I was exhausted when we finally got home last night but i still had to call Jennifer. She sounded like she didn't even care. I don't know what that deal was. Then i called L. (the volunteer who placed the ad for Sassy). She is so very nice. She told me she had to call 12 people to tell them Sassy was adopted. She said she would be happy to help me again next time i foster.
I forgot to mention that they already tried to get us to take another foster! We said we needed to take a break for a while. Warren overheard somebody say that they have about 8 dogs in foster homes and none of them are moving. That's not a good sign.
While we were sitting around last night waiting for Sassy's new dad to show up, we got to observe some of the scary stuff that goes on. Two young guys came in and it seemed like they wanted to find a big mean looking dog so they could be cool. They adopted a huge, tough-looking doberman mix. Then a weirdish lady came in with a beagle. The staff started flipping out because they thought she was dropping him off. No, she said, she was just looking for a second dog, because the beagle was an outside dog and she wanted an inside dog. She wanted to walk her dog around the kennels to see which dog it liked. They made her leave her dog in a room while she looked, and it peed and pooped everywhere. I don't know if she adopted anybody. Then a couple with a little toddler wanted to adopt a young golden retriever mix puppy. The staff tried to tell them that puppies and toddlers do not mix, but they really wanted the dog. They insisted on having the dog right away. The staff person told them that the dog had to be neutered on Monday and they could pick it up Tuesday. They said Tuesday is a holiday and is there any way they could get it before that? I don't know what they ever decided.
So here's the main story. When i was using the phone in the "get acquainted" room, there was a middle aged man feeding treats to a fluffy little terrier fluff dog with weird teeth. He seemed to really like the dog, and it seemed to like him. He started talking to me about it. He said his mom is old and kind of frail, and he wanted to get a dog that would be cuddly and gentle with her. He said he didn't want to rush into it, so he was going to think about it overnight and come back and adopt the dog in the morning. He left. Right before the shelter closed, a mentally handicapped lady came in. I don't know exactly what was wrong with her but she definitely had some screws loose. She was determined to get a dog right then and there. In a matter of minutes she selected her dog. Of course, it was the older guy's little fluff dog with the messed up tooth. Someone asked the woman if she had kids. She did. The person explained that the reason the dog was brought to the shelter was because it supposedly tried to bite a kid. She told the lady that it was a bad idea to adopt a dog that doesn't get along with kids. The lady just said, "No, i want this dog. I'm adopting this dog." So she stood around with this little dog on a leash, and she obviously had no control over the dog (or herself, actually). She started talking to me. She asked me what she should name the dog. She followed the dog around because she couldn't control it. She kept telling the dog she was sorry every time it pulled on the leash. She asked the dog what she should feed it. I think she actually expected an answer. She told it she would give it puppy chow (the dog was obviously not a puppy). They handed her an application. "What do i do with this, put my name on it?" They told her she had to fill it out. She stood there holding it, looking around like she was lost, waving her credit card around like she just wanted to buy her dog and leave. I never saw her fill out the application. I hope that she couldn't read or write and they just didn't let her adopt that dog. That poor dog. And that poor guy. I bet he showed up today and found out the dog was gone.
I have to give the shelter staff a lot of credit. We were there less than two hours and i was totally stressed.
July 21, 2000
Sassy's mom wrote, "Just a note to let you know that Sassy instantly became a member of our family. I can't imagine anyone looking at her and not adopting her. She is the best dog I could ever imagine owning. She has chewed some stuffed animals, and the backyard looks like a mine field with all the holes she digs, but she is so loveable! At night, she sleeps in each of our beds, usually ending up with our 7 year old son. She loves to play with everybody, and has already learned several tricks. Many thanks for the time you spent looking after Sassy. We truly appreciate the loving home that you gave her for part of her life. We may at some time in the future take you up on your offer to keep her, even though we don't go away too often. Again, thank you for the work that you do, and for giving us our latest addition to our family."
Mom wrote, "wow. that's great. i'm so happy for you, and for sassy, and for the people. they seem to really like her. that worked out very well, didn't it? you should feel good about that. they seem to appreciate her. well, she is a loveable dog. and they seem to be just right for her."
Yep, couldn't ask more than that! She didn't mention anything about the housetraining. I assume that means it's going well.
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.