We have a new foster dog at our house. Alexis (Alex for short) was in the shelter, she had been surrendered at age 9 to the pound. Her family was moving and did not want to take her along. She was devastated, she had tried to be a good dog, she sat when told, she walked on the leash without pulling, she did not take food from the table. She even fetched tennis balls when ever someone would throw them. But at age 9, she was placed in doggy jail, by her own family! She was confused, scared, and her entire world was gone. Nine years of being a best friend, a buddy and a member of a family, all gone in moments. Instead she found herself on a cold concrete floor surrounded by chain link fence, barking dogs and people that did not have time to give her a tummy rub or a head pat. Golden's love with all of their heart, now that heart was broken. This is the reality of abandoning an older dog.
Below is the first picture of Alexis after her bath.
We don't know the circumstances that caused this to happen, but it happens too often. A disposable society does not have room for the totally unqualified love of a dog for his human family. A family buys new drapes and wants a new dog that matches them. Sometimes it is for a good reason, an older couple have to move to a nursing home. A widower has health problems that make it impossible to walk or exercise a younger dog. But too many have no reason, the dog is abandoned just because the family seeks change.
When Alexis arrived from the kennels, the humans took special care in introducing us. To introduce Bella, Alexis and I, my family took all three of us for a walk in the park together, keeping a tight grip on the leashes to make sure we were all right together. After an introduction on neutral ground, we were turned loose in the house, then taken to the back yard. I jumped into the pool to show Alexis the water, she followed me right in and immediately panicked. Her surrender papers said she was an apartment dog, she obviously had never been in deep water before. She scrambled out and then looked back to see what had happened. I thought she was scared of me and for a moment after I came out of the water, we had a brief tiff. Now I know she had never been in water before and following me in blindly scared her.
Since she was already wet, the humans gave her a shampoo to clean her up. In the kennels it is hard to keep clean and she was definitely not clean. She loved the attention of being scrubbed and dried. Then they brushed her as she dried. They got enough fur off of her that they may knit a new dog from the fur. Below is a picture of her in her afternoon nap, sleeping "frog style".
Alexis is a little overweight, and she tires out easily. She has not been getting enough exercise. We will change that in a hurry. She does love to run and play, but she has not played with many dogs before, she is slow to understand how to play. She says that she did not get to go play with other dogs and she is unsure how to relate to them. I told her just to relax and we will teach her everything about playing that she needs to know.
We will update her story tomorrow after she has had a chance to settle in and get acquainted. We hope you will help her find a new forever home where she can give all of her heart to a human without her heart being broken.
But wait, that is not all. Piper and Emma have a new foster sister as well. Sophie came to live with them until a forever home can be found for her. She is 18 months old, her owner could not care for her due to his health. He felt terrible about turning her over to us, and she felt terrible about leaving him in a time that he faces a long recovery. At a time like that, the human needs the love of a dog. She understands why she is in a foster home and she is making the best of it by playing non-stop with Piper and Emma. Piper and Sophie are the same age, so they are having fun, fun, fun. I will update her story as well as she seeks her forever home.
If any of you know of a human that needs a dog, let me know. I know two wonderful dogs that need humans.
Mogley G. Retriever