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.


Diamond did not want to go to bed last night. She was good most of the day, entertaining herself with her toys while I was at the computer, but I guess she ended up napping too much during the day. I tether the unhousetrained fosters to the big wooden dog bed at night because they are calmer and quieter there than in the crate. So the first thing she did, just as I was getting ready to put her in there and tie her, was to hop in and pee all over her bed. Great. Then she kept waking up every few hours. I took her out twice in the middle of the night. She peed both times. But then she'd just be awake for a long time. She wasn't crying but she just wouldn't settle. Finally I guess she did fall asleep, and this morning when I got up, she was curled up under the bed, with just her head poking out.

Diamond loves to eat. I got some canned puppy food to mix with her kibble. She's only been here a day and she has already gained weight.

We took her to the park this morning. There were two people who really liked her. The one said to the other, "Well, you don't have a dog, why don't you adopt her?" Although I don't think they will, it was nice to see that people think she's really cute, so she should be easy to place once she's healthy.

She was really scared at the park. She hid under the picnic table. Even after we moved to sit in the shade, she stayed all the way across the field under the table. She tried to come out a couple times but she always ended up running back under the table. She seemed to be more intimidated by the dogs than by the people, totally opposite of Zoey.


Yeah, I know, I get excited about the dumbest things. Diamond has to pee very frequently and I knew there was no way she could wait all day while I was at work. I considered gating her in the kitchen but I figured she would chew stuff. Since she's so small, I set up the big crate with a litter box with papers in it in the back, and a comfy towel to sleep on in the front. She was kind enough to pee on the carpet Sunday night so I could sop it up with a paper towel and then put that in with the papers so she'd know what the box was for.

Well, yesterday while I was at work, she peed on the towel. So I had pretty much resigned myself to just having to wash pee towels every day, which was okay with me because at least that way she doesn't get it all over herself. But surprise, surprise, today she peed on the papers! I tried doing that with Brin when he was little but he always waited until i got home, even when he was only 8 weeks old. Diamond is supposed to be a year old but she seems younger to me. Regardless, she certainly was never housetrained. Her owner didn't even mark it on her sheet. How could someone have a dog for a year and not housetrain it? They said she lived in the house and slept in the basement. Must be a smelly house.

She's well on her way to being housetrained now. Over the weekend she managed to pee several times while I had her tied to me, which made me think she was gonna be really hard to housetrain. I even considered getting her checked for a bladder infection, but she seems to be improving so I guess it's a training issue. I can't say that she's 100% yet, but she's only been here for four days and she hasn't had any accidents since yesterday morning.


Diamond is doing great. She's coming along with the housetraining, and she's gaining weight every day. She was a bit intimidated by all the dogs at the park, but she was good with the people. Somebody even thought about adopting her.

All the animals are ready for bed now (except Diamond, who just wants to play). She peed three times already since we've been back (outside each time, luckily).

Yesterday Diamond totally regressed in her housetraining. After she peed in her crate and then on the futon, I realized I needed to do something different. So I put her on a 15 minute schedule. I set my watch and took her out every 15 minutes until bedtime. She went almost every time. Today she's on the 20 minute plan, and so far, so good. It's a pain but it's less of a pain than cleaning up pee spots. She's harder to train than a new puppy cos she was allowed to develop a habit of going whenever and wherever she feels the urge. So every time she goes outside is helping to create a new habit.

Diamond wore her vest to the park and it was a big hit. Nobody asked how I made it, so it must look like something official. Only one person thought she was a service dog. That was one thing I was worried about, cos that's what the vests are actually made for. But Diamond got a lot of attention. Somebody said you couldn't have a better or cuter advertisement. So it serves its purpose. Yay!


Diamond is going back later this week. She still needs to be spayed and then she'll be up for adoption this weekend. She is definitely past the ten day point! She's been running around, chasing the cat, barking A LOT, and wrestling with Echo. She's such a happy little dog!

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....


There was a message on the machine from the person who adopted Diamond! It was from Friday evening, so she wasn't at the shelter very long.

Diamond's mom seems really nice. She said they just had to put their 13 year old dog to sleep, and Diamond sort of looks like her. They got her for free because they are in their 70s. They like her a lot but they are having a lot of trouble with the housetraining. She is on amoxicillan for a possible bladder infection but it doesn't seem to be helping. They are going to their regular vet on Wednesday and she's going to ask about it. I'm a little worried because they seem to be doing everything right and I don't know what else to tell them. They bought a crate, they feed on a schedule instead of just letting food out all day, they clean up the spots to get rid of the smell, and they take her out a lot. But she is still going in the house, and sometimes in the crate. It's no surprise because she was like that when she was here, but I was really hoping the medicine would help. I'm almost certain that it has to be some kind of medical problem cos she seemed to understand that she was supposed to go outside but it was almost like she didn't even know she was doing it when she went in the house. Hopefully the vet will be able to figure it out.


I just talked to Diamond's owner and she said the peeing problem is totally under control now. So it must have been an infection, and the antibiotics must have helped. Yay! (Wish I had put that together sooner and gotten the drugs while I had her!) But she said the dog is now pooping in the house. I told her that she didn't do that when she was here. She always had to go within about 5 minutes after she ate, so I just made sure she was outside then. She said they have a rope and the dog is supposed to go on the concrete, but the only time she will poop outside is when they put her on leash and walk her in the grass. I suggested getting a rope that's long enough so that she can reach the grass. She said she's going to try that. I bet that's all it is.

Other than that, Diamond seems to be doing fine and they really like her. She is quiet in her crate at night. They are home with her most of the time but they will crate her occasionally if they go somewhere. I'm really glad they got a crate for her.

Their vet thought she was 9-12 months old. I said it's too bad they didn't find a dog that was already mature and housetrained. She said she thought about that, but her husband really liked Diamond because she reminded him of their old dog. So I hope they just stick with it and get her housetrained. They do seem to like her. It's too bad they don't have a better plan for exercising her though. They don't have a fenced yard and they have no interest in walking her, especially in bad weather. But she's small enough that she'll probably be able to get enough exercise in the house. She has balls and toys and stuff. She is a little afraid of the husband, which is sad since he's the one who picked her. He tried to take her out and she hid under the table.


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."


"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."


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.


"Is Diamond still available? Two people I know were interested in border collies and I told one about her....I'll tell the other later tonight."

At this point I am not sure if they are going to try to keep Diamond or not. They keep going back and forth. I went over there two weeks ago to see how she was (she looks wonderful!) and to try to explain some basic dog info to them (like housetraining and FENCING!!!) I have not had a chance to talk to them since I got back from vacation. I basically warned them that if things didn't improve within a few weeks, they should seriously consider giving her up. I think they might be more willing to do that if I could tell them about the people who might be interested in her. So you can give them my number but please make sure they know that the current owners might decide to keep her. I'll call them in the next day or two and I'll let you know what I find out.

Diamond definitely needs a fence because she now has a strong history of running away. She was very shy when I had her and I thought small kids might scare her. But when I saw her recently she seemed much more confident, so I think kids would be fine. She is not aggressive at all, but she is a little rowdy (totally untrained adolescent). I will have to get in touch with her owners and see how she is doing (and what they are planning to do).

I thought she might be part BC when I had her, and when I saw her recently it was absolutely confirmed. She has grown a little and filled out a lot since the web pictures were taken. Beautiful silky coat, always in motion, a little mouthy but very gentle. She's a really cool dog, and very intelligent, but she will definitely need to learn basic manners.

I didn't get a chance to call them today. I'll let you know what I find out. The home you suggested does sound just about ideal. We'll see what happens.


I talked to Diamond's owner and she says they are going to keep her. I can't decide if that's good news or bad news! She said they finally put up an overhead trolley tie-out for her, and have started using treats to teach her to come when called. Housetraining is improving. So it looks like she will be staying in her current home (for now, anyway). The husband is going in for back surgery in a few weeks and I think they are both nervous about it and kind of clinging to Diamond for support. I have no doubt that they love the dog. I just wish I could impress upon them that dogs are not furry little people!

Diamond was adopted in October, but now her elderly owners have realized that they cannot provide a good home for this active young dog. Diamond will need a patient owner who is willing and able to provide a more structured environment for her.


Diamond has been back in foster care since June 24 and she has not had a single housetraining accident. Her new owner will need to continue a very strict and consistent routine (crate when unsupervised, regular walks, scheduled meals, and constant supervision at first) to ensure that she does not revert to old habits. (She was allowed to potty in the house for most of the past two years.) If you are consistent with this from the beginning, you shouldn't have any problems. I am stressing this because both previous owners reported that the dog was untrainable. Not true!


Diamond is still doing great! No housetraining problems whatsoever. She is loose in the house when I am home and crated when I will be gone for more than about half an hour. She should have a crate in her new home anyway just because she seems to feel secure in it. I frequently find her sleeping in it with the door open (in fact, that's where she is as I am writing this). She is generally calm and quiet as long as she gets enough exercise every day (about a half hour walk each evening, plus lots of indoor play with the other dogs). She barks during exciting times, especially when I get home from work and take her outside, but she doesn't bark excessively at other times. She has learned to sit attentively to get whatever she wants (treats, doors opened, her dinner, attention, etc.).


Diamond went home today!


For those of you who were following the saga of my foster bc/spaniel mix, Diamond, I wanted to give a quick update. I took her back into foster care last month because her elderly owners just couldn't handle her. A few days ago she went to her new home. Her new family loves her to death. They have a fenced half acre yard for her to run around in and they also like to take her for walks. Eventually she will work up to jogging several miles with her new mom! When they picked her up they had a crate with a blanky and a new toy. It seems like a perfect match!

I also transported a seven year old beagle to her new home with Diamond's previous owners. She needed a new home because the family had several young kids and felt like they were neglecting the dog. She has been there almost a month and it also seems to be a perfect match! The dog basically likes to sit around and watch TV, so she is much more suited to their lifestyle.

I know I complained before about these people, so you might wonder why I helped them to get another dog. I grilled them extensively before agreeing to help them get this beagle, and they gave me all the right answers. It really did seem to be just a bad match between them and Diamond because of activity level.

So, happy endings all around!


Hi, I'm David, Susan's husband, and I wanted say thanks for the great fostering job you did with Diamond. She's been great. She's very playful with the entire family and has yet to have an "accident" of any kind. I'm also impressed with her sociability -- very loving and almost comical at times. I cannot believe how quickly she has acclimated to her new family and surroundings. After losing Claire, our border collie of 12 years, I didn't think another dog could compare. But, happily, Diamond certainly does and our entire family is now in love with her. It's eerie how much she is like Claire with her expressions and the way she runs full speed around the yard. You would swear they were related somehow.

I also wanted to let you know you could not have picked a better person that my wife to adopt her. She has always been a huge animal lover -- in fact, if there were such a thing a reincarnation, I would want to come back as a dog owned by Susan!! Diamond already sits by door and waits for her anytime she leaves.

Anyway, thanks again. I certainly admire the work you do, and hope you feel good when it turns out this well.



It's great to hear from you, and I'm happy to know that Diamond has fit in so well. I have been telling everyone I know about her, and about how well she is fitting in with your family. I felt like I let Diamond down by not selecting her new home the first time I fostered her. I returned her to the shelter after she was healthy enough to be spayed,
and she was adopted by a nice -- but totally unprepared -- older couple. So when I got her back, I was determined to keep her until the perfect home turned up. Thank goodness you guys came along!

Please keep in touch! Email is a wonderful thing. =) (Pictures are good too!)


Dear Amy,
Diamond is such a wonderful dog. Each of us is so taken with her! Her personality is incredible and delightful. We feel that she is the perfect dog for us. Thank you so much for civilizing her and for saving her for us.


You're welcome! I enjoyed having her here. I can't remember if I told you her previous owner had adopted another dog (a seven year old beagle) after giving Diamond up. Well, I now have the beagle. :(

I hope you got the pictures I sent a while ago. I never did find the old video I had of Diamond. I'll keep looking...

Thanks for taking such good care of "my" girl!


Hi S & D,
How is Diamond doing? I hope everything is going well. I know this is a long shot but... Have you ever thought about getting a second dog? I am fostering a wonderful collie mix right now. I want him to go to an experienced person -- preferably somebody who has another dog, because he loves to play with other dogs. So, of course, I thought of you. =) He's a year old, about 35lbs, active, trainable, and very loving.

Like I said, I know it's a long shot, but I had to write to you just in case! If you know of any other responsible people looking for a great dog, please tell them about Murray. He has already been placed and returned once for barking at a visitor. Someone met him last weekend and thought he played with their dog TOO MUCH. It's frustrating because he's such a wonderful dog, and I know the perfect home is out there somewhere.

Thanks! Let me know if you would like to get the dogs together to play sometime this spring. Diamond was one of Brin's favorite playmates!


Hi Amy. What a coincidence! We've been talking about getting a friend for Diamond, and we were just talking about contacting you to see if you knew of another great dog. S was walking her yesterday and a little sheltie (our neighbor's) accompanied her the entire way. Diamond seemed so happy that it got us to thinking.S..... Anyway,  is out until later this afternoon. I will have her call you to discuss. Our only concern is that Diamond has adjusted so well and has the run of the house. We just hope she won't get jealous of a new friend. While she is doing fabulous, I have to admit we have spoiled her terribly -- every morning when the alarm rings she crawls up in bed with S to snuggle while I get ready for work. She's the best. We'll touch base later today.

Thanks for thinking of us.


I hope everything is going well. I think Murray fits in with your family really well, and hopefully Diamond will agree. If you decide to adopt him, it would probably be best if I met you at the shelter because I'm not sure if he's even in their computer correctly. We didn't do additional paperwork when I took him back after he was returned, so he might not be listed in their system correctly.

The shelter is open tomorrow until five. If you want some additional time to evaluate Murray, that's fine -- I could meet you at the shelter any evening (they are open until seven during the week). Hopefully Diamond will start to warm up to him within a few days. I think they will have similar play styles because both of them really loved to play
with Brin.

Thanks for giving Murray a chance! And of course, thank you so much for giving Diamond such a wonderful home.

Talk to you soon.


I left a msg on your machine that Murray was going to be adopted today by the people who met him at the bingo event. The woman decided she is allergic to him, and she can't take allergy medication because she is pregnant. So Murray is still with me. This poor dog has some kind of evil curse on him, I think.

If we can get an ad in the paper this week, I'll try for another week. If I still have him after that, I'll return him to the shelter and see if he has better luck there. I've never had this much trouble placing a dog and I just don't understand why. It's extremely frustrating.

Thanks for your help.