Tuesday, May 24, 2011

adventures in fostering

Meet my third foster dog, Sharpie aka Charlie. He was going to be euthenized at the shelter. I drove down there to get him. He looked small in his picture, so imagine my shock when this fella walked out!

He is a one year old American Bulldog, Chinese Sharpei mix. He is as yummy as free chinee deliveree! He was found as a stray, but he obviously had owners. He knows how to sit and stay, walk on a leash, and he's housebroken. How did he end up on the street?

When I saw him, I was a little nervous. Charlie is a "bully breed", which just means he has some time of "bull" breed in him (bull dog, pit bull, bull mastiff, etc). These dogs makes wonderful pets, they just need a firm handler. Could that be me? But once I figured out that Charlie was willing to listen, I felt more confident.

He came to my parents house overnight, and it was a house full of dogs! Four dogs in total, and three of them were my fosters! My parents adopted Al, my first foster dog and I'm keeping Ruby, my second. Ginger, my sister's dog was there, too. Charlie was a powerhouse among the dogs, and his growl was really scary at first. However, it was obvious that he only wanted to play with his new friends.

After picking him up at the shelter, driving him to Ocala, spending the night at a strange place, putting him back in the car, taking him into my house and letting him meet the cat - you would've thought he would flip! But no, it was my calm little Ruby who let it all get to her. She growled and snapped at both me and Charlie. Then she had (another) stress-enduced seizure.

Switch into mama mode! I held my little baby as she shook and drooled. It lasted about a minute. I began to regret my decision to take in a foster dog. What was I doing to Ruby?

I called another volunteer from the shelter and she calmed me down. She encouraged me to give the situation another chance and be patient. Sure enough, when I came home from work the next day, both dogs were asleep in their crates. Later that night, they ran around and played like nothing had happened! New best buddies.

As much as I love Charlie, I know I can't keep him. He's too big for my house. He needs a home with a confident owner who can give him the space and attention he needs to live out his life. Now I am trying to find him that perfect forever home.


UPDATE: Charlie found a great home in Tampa with a great couple. Will post a picture soon.