Fostered Feb - March 2004

Avery, I agreed to foster you and your brother Dion when I probably should have just said no. My grandmother died in February. Then in early March my new puppy became very sick and needed to be hospitalized. You and your brother came down with kennel cough when Finn was due to come home. I couldn't take the chance of exposing Finn to another illness while he was already so ill, so I made the decision to take you and Dion back to the shelter. That is a decision that I question to this day.

My puppy got better, due in part (I believe) to the amount of time I was able to devote to his care, without the distraction of having sick foster dogs in the house. You and Dion also recovered and were both adopted. I was not involved in your adoptions and never knew where either of you ended up.

Several months later I got a phone call stating that you had been returned. You were freaked out and snapping at everyone. I learned that you had been placed with a family whose only son was very jealous of the attention you received from his parents. He began to "get back at you" by teasing you. You became fearful and aggressive. By the time you were returned to the shelter, you were deemed unadoptable due to your defensive aggressive behavior.

During this time I was getting ready to leave Pittsburgh. I didn't believe that I had a realistic chance of being able to rehabilitate you and place you in a good home before I left town. If I couldn't place you, I knew I'd have to either return you to the shelter again and hope for the best, or adopt you myself and bring you with me. I couldn't take the chance of not being involved in your adoption for a second time, so returning you to the shelter wasn't an option. I was already nervous about moving into a new home with three dogs and no fence. Adding another fear-aggressive dog into the mix was just too much to handle.

So I decided not to come to the shelter to see you. I knew that if I saw you, I'd have to take you home, and I knew that trying to rehabilitate you wasn't something I could realistically handle at the time. It was another decision that I question to this day. I didn't even give you a chance. I didn't even come to see for myself if you were really as messed up as they said. But at least I know you will never be abused again. I'm sorry I let you down.