Archive | Fosters RSS feed for this section

Two and a Half Months

31 Mar

WP_20130304_002

There comes a time for every foster parent when your foster has been with you for long enough that giving them to another family seems impossible. It may be a different length of time with every foster, and it may be different for every foster parent, but never-the-less it almost always happens. We have had dear, sweet Mocha for 2 1/2 months now. She was about 6 months old when we got her so she is now fast approaching adulthood. Mocha hasn’t had a real family her entire puppy life. She has been cared for, fed, played with, and snuggled with.. but she hasn’t had a real family to call her own.

Cozy.

Cozy.

With some of my fosters I have reached the point of “difficult to imagine giving you to another home” sooner, but with Mocha it really hit me at about 2 months.

WP_20130302_004
I think it took a little longer with Mocha because I find it slightly easier to foster puppies. They are so young and will adjust so fast. I know that when I DO give them up they will get to spend the entire rest of their lives with their forever families and I know that they will TRULY be a part of someone’s family.

But now Mocha has lived an incredibly large portion of her life with us and she’s almost an adult. She’s happy. She’s learned the ways of our household, she loves having two big brothers to wrestle with and pick on. We have spent time with her teaching her manners and how to be a good house dog and throughout this time she has grown attached to Gene-dad and Chelsea-mom.

Playing tug with big brother Chase

Playing tug with big brother Chase

People always think that the hardest part of fostering will be giving up the dog. In most ways this is completely true (unless you consider the war on dog hair in the house harder..) but for me it’s a little different. It’s not so much that I can’t see MYSELF without my foster dog.. but instead that I feel like a terrible person forcing THEM to leave us. After two and a half months you’ve obviously bonded with this four-legged bundle of love, but YOU have been aware that they aren’t going to be a permanent member of the family. The dog has no idea.

Part of the family.

Part of the family.

Mocha doesn’t know that she won’t be here forever. She doesn’t know that we’re essentially trying to get rid of her. She can’t understand the phrase “it has to be done in order to help others.” All SHE knows is that she’s currently happy and loved, and she loves being here. It’s THIS feeling that makes it so hard for me to imagine the day that Mocha gets adopted.

Snuggling with Mylo-brother.

Snuggling with Mylo-brother.

And on that note, I can’t believe we still have Mocha. She’s the perfect little pocket-pittie. She’s a big dog wrapped up in a compact package. She’s potty trained, crate trained, sleeps all through the night, has decent manners and learns quickly. It pains me that she’s not spending these months with her forever family. They could be taking her to training classes and working on her leash skills with long walks in this beautiful spring weather. They could be creating a routine for her and telling her every day that she’s their beloved pet. Instead Gene-dad, Mylo-brother and Chase-brother are spending these incredibly important adolescent months with her. We’re happy to have her, but I’m sad that her eventual forever family is missing out on it.

WP_20130320_001

If you’re interested in adopting Mocha check out her petfinder page here.

Comments for Kibble Fundraiser

5 Mar
Mocha

Mocha

My current foster dog Mocha: https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/miss-mocha was reading one of our favorite blogs Love and a Six Foot Leash: http://loveandaleash.com/ yesterday and was inspired by a very simple fundraiser that they did a couple of years ago. It’s called Comments for Kibble and we’d like to give it a shot!

For every comment that the Pitties For Your Thoughts blog receives during the next two weeks we will donate one pound of food (up to 60 pounds) to Minnesota Pitbull Rescue: mnpitbull.com for foster dogs like Mocha.

It’s very simple to participite, simply comment on any of the Pitties For Your Thoughts posts during the next three weeks. I will only count 1 comment per person but feel free to comment as much as you want! I will also extend the deadline if I’m not near my goal at the end of 2 weeks. If you want to participate in a bigger way share my blog so others may comment!

Minnesota Pitbull Rescue is an all-foster based rescue and they currently have 25 dogs that all need to be fed! So, donations of any size are always appreciated.

Help me help dogs like Mocha:

Mocha is available for adoption through MN Pitbull Rescue!

Mocha is available for adoption through MN Pitbull Rescue!


https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/ill-have-a-short-mocha-please/

Boots

Duncan

And many more.

Mylo and Chase are a little miffed that their “Nummies Allowance” will be going towards giving OTHER dogs Nummies.. but when I explained to them that some dogs get NO NUMMIES they came around. Begrudgingly.

Chase says "OK, Mom.. but only this once."

Chase says “OK, Mom.. but only this once.”

Mylo's still a little skeptic.  Can you help him come around?

Mylo’s still a little skeptic. Can you help him come around?

Thank you to http://www.loveandaleash.com for the great idea!!

Miss Mocha

25 Jan

Chase_1
Chase here. (Aren’t I handsome??)

Mom said I have get to tell you all about my new foster sister.

For the past couple of weeks it’s been just me and Mylo and our mom and dad. This has been really fun! We all four fit on the couch together, I barely have to share my toys, and I get at least one whole parent all for myself.
Chase_2
Snuggle_0

This Tuesday, though, mom was gone longer than usual. We were awake from our daytime naps, starting to get hungry, and starting to get worried about her. Turns out she was driving to pick up a puppy for Mylo and I to babysit hang out with.

Mocha_3

Mom and dad calls her Mocha. She’s really small compared to me and she has really cool stripes. (Mylo and I are both stripe-less but once Mylo got in to some wet paint and had spots for awhile.)

See how much more biggerer I am?

See how much more biggerer I am?

Mocha REALLY likes to play. She likes all of our toys, she likes to wrestle and she likes to run and bounce around. Mylo and I are getting so sleepy from babysitting playing with her. My favorite thing to do with Mocha is get her to chase me. I hold a toy in my mouth and stand really still until she gets close and then off I goes! She will follow me around the house for lots and lots of time.

Waiting for Mocha to chase me.

Waiting for Mocha to chase me.

And now I'm REALLY tired from all the chasing.

And now I’m REALLY tired from all the chasing.

Mylo’s favorite thing to do is steal toys from her and then put his face in the corner of the livingroom-beds and chew on it there. In order for her to get the toy back she has to crawl all over his head. He grumbles and growls but she’s not a-scared of him.

He's not in the corner, but this is one of his favorite things to chew on.

He’s not in the corner, but this is one of his favorite things to chew on.

Mom says Mocha is about 16 weeks old. She comes outside with us to go potty and at night time she has to sleep in her box (hehehe mom and dad lets me and Mylo sleep on the bedroom-bed.) Mom and dad are SOOO happy because she sleeps so good. Mylo and I are pretty happy too because we have box-trained puppys before and it can be very NOISY.

This photo made mom giggle.

This photo made mom giggle.

Mom says that Mylo and I have to keep being good foster brothers. I think that this means we have to keep letting Mocha steal sharing our toys, letting Mocha sit on the livingroom-beds and teach her how to sit for goodies. I have all sorts of things I can teach her, starting with begging asking PRETTY PLEASE for dinner. (I’m good at that.)

Mom says Mocha never stops moving so this was the only picture we could gets of her laying down.

Mom says Mocha never stops moving so this was the only picture we could gets of her laying down.

Now that you met Mocha, how about another picture of yours truly??

Look at me with my teeny friend!

Look at me with my teeny friend!

One Step at a Time

17 Jan

Last Thursday we got the official bad news about Sophie. We all expected it but we were naivly hoping that she’d come around and realize that she’d been wrong about her new dad. Unfortunately this just wasn’t the case. Last Saturday Sophie went back in to foster care. What really makes this bad news is that she didn’t come back to US.

The director of Minnesota Pitbull Rescue and myself both agreed that it may not be in Sophie’s best interest to come back to my house if we cannot keep her forever. Sophie is clearly comfortable around our dogs, but we need to see if she can be comfortable in other situations. A huge benefit of her new foster home is that it is in the Twin Cities, which is where most of the MPBR events are held. ( I am over 2 hours away from most of the events). Going to the different MPBR events should really help Sophie adjust to new and different environments. She will have opportunities to socialize with other puppies but will have more chances to learn to be confident on her own. We’re hoping to see if Sophie has any actual socialization issues or if the way she felt about her dad was a one time thing related strictly to him. Since she never showed any nervousness at our house we felt like it’d be best to try her somewhere else.

This was very painful for me. I would have taken her back in a heartbeat and it kills me to know that she’s so happy at our house and we didn’t let her come back here. I know it’s for her own good, but it’s so hard for me not to feel guilty that I’m not just keeping her at our house.

I’m hoping that once she gains some confidence she will find somewhere new that she will be JUST as happy as she was at our house. I’m also impatiently waiting for some updates about how she’s doing at her new foster’s house. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know as soon as I hear anything!

Dear Santa

11 Dec

Sohpie

Dear Santa,

 My Chelsea-Mom told me I could use her computer to write you a letter.  She told me that if I send you my wish list my wishes jus might come trues!

 This is my first Christmas.  I am spending the holidays with my foster family because I don’t have a real family yet, so this year I’z wishing for my Forever Family.

 If you could send me a Forever Family who likes to hike and walk, likes to play outside, likes to snuggle on the couch and would give me lotz of nummies and chewies that would be great.  (Chelsea-Mom says I can’t have LOTZ.. but I can wish right??) 

 Maybe you could send me a family that has some of those yummy bones laying around, and someone for me to play tug with. 

Sohpie2

 Chelsea-Mom says it’z a lot to ask, but if you could send me a family that will let me sleep in bed I’d really appreeci-ate it. 

 If you send me a Forever Family I promise to put up with costumes and jackets.  I will learn how to walk on that rope thing and I will always do my dogly duty and hand out kisses.  I will try not to potty in the house and I will try not to eat things. 

 I’m not too picky.. I love having siblings to play with but I’d love having a family all to myself too.  I love having children to play with, but I would be contents to be a solo man or woman’s best friend. 

Sohpie1

 I feel bad wishing to leave my foster family behind, but this year, this puppy’s only wish is a Forever Home. 

 I hope you get this Santa, it makes me sad to keep waiting!

Merry Christmas,

 Sophie.

Snuggles on Sundays

4 Dec

This is my attempt at a “Wordless” Wednesday post.. even though it is Tuesday. 

My favorite day of the week is Sunday.  It is the only day that both my husband and I have off so we typically get a lot more time with the dogs than any other day. 

There’s something so precious about dogs in snuggle mode.  They curl up in teeny balls, or wind together in the most precious positions and I don’t know about yours, but mine turn in to limp noodles.  They will be my pillow or my leg warmer. They will be little spoon or lay completely on top of me.  They aren’t too picky.  

Here are some snuggle photos from Sunday.

Mylo curled up.

Mylo curled up.

Chase curled up.

Chase curled up.

Sophie and Chase.  So cute.

Sophie and Chase. So cute.

Sophie and Mylo.

Sophie and Mylo.

Sophie and Chase again.

Sophie and Chase again.

I was very foolish to believe that it would be easier to give up a foster puppy that it is to give up adult fosters.  Look at her sweetness.  She’s pretty much irresistable, even to Mylo and Chase.

11 (because I apparently can’t count) Things I’ve Learned from Fostering

16 Nov

1. The earth will continue spinning even if my couch covers are never on correctly.

I am a slightly anal and compulsive person.  I was a math major in college, this probably explains it.  I like things centered, I’m not artistic, I don’t like clutter.  Living in a 900 square foot house with three dogs sometimes has me reeling.  I can’t even count how many times I adjust my couch covers a day.  I just can’t STAND when they are crooked and

Do you think they do this on purpose?

apparently it’s impossible for a dog to get on the couch without screwing them up.  I have learned  I am learning that nothing bad will happen if I wait to fix them until tomorrow.  I will not have a heart attack.  The dogs will not judge my crooked couch covers, and the husband thinks I’m crazy for caring in the first place loves me no matter what our couches look like.

This same lesson applies to the dog hair situation in my house.  No matter how distraught I feel about it NOTHING bad will happen if I skip vacuuming for a day.

2. Caring means Sharing.

Sharing dads lap.

This is a lesson that everyone in our family has had to learn.  When we have a foster dog Gene and I share our floor space, our couch space, our bed and our time.  Mylo and Chase are forced to share their food, their dog beds, their toys and, most importantly, their humans.  At this point I’m proud to say that I’m pretty sure we would all pass kindergarten with our sharing skills.

 

3.  Accidents happen.

Milk gets spilled, injuries happen, rugs get peed on.  This is just part of being a dog mom, and also a regular mom, I suppose.  Things get chewed on, windows get broken.  It’s

“But MoooOOm. It wasn’t my fault!”

important to remember that you love your fur-babies and not to get too upset about material things.

4.  Judging a potential adoptive family is about what’s best for the dog, not about what you personally think about people.

I find it very hard to not be too judgmental when I meet prospective adopters for my foster babies.  See, I KNOW how happy they are at my house.  I know what their life is like with me, and I don’t want them to have to give anything up.  Dog people all have different views and different ways to treat their dogs.  Many people wouldn’t agree with everything that I do, just as I don’t agree with things that other people do.  This doesn’t necessarily define either of us as bad dog owners, just different.  (There certainly ARE bad dog owners.. I’m just observing differences between good ones).  Sometimes dogs do best in single dog homes, sometimes they do best with other dogs around. Some dogs are trustworthy off-leash, and some dogs aren’t.  Some dogs couldn’t live in the city (exhibit A: my lab Mylo) and some dogs do just fine.  I have to work really hard to remember that simply because people may be different than me doesn’t mean they won’t be a great home for my foster.

5.  Adult dogs bond just as fast as puppies.  Maybe faster.

Many people have the belief that it’s necessary to get a dog as a puppy in order to have that indescribable dog-human bond.  I myself always wanted puppies.  Since becoming a foster, though, I have had 8 adult dogs come into my house and I have learned from these dogs that it’s JUST as possible to form a bond with an adult dog.  They are more mature and more capable of forming relationships.  They want to learn from you and they are experiencing a new life with you.  This is a good way to start a relationship.  The other benefit of getting an adult dog?  They are typically potty trained, and are usually through their chewing phase already.  Also you know what they’re going to look like!

 

6.  Dogs who have never been given anything don’t expect as much.

Gene and I have both noticed that the dogs who have had awful or neglectful upbringings tend to me much less obnoxious clingy demanding endearingly-needy than our boys who have been spoiled for years.  They tend to be more appreciative of extra attention, treats, toys, and even the simplest of things like heat and a place to lay.  My dogs think that it is their  “whoever is in charge of doggie Heaven”-given right to lay on the couch, get at least one rawhide a week, play fetch once a day, sleep in bed, and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes it’s pleasant to lay down and snuggle next to a dog who hasn’t experienced that before.  The look in their eyes is priceless.

7.  I’ve learned to appreciate my own dogs even more. 

One of the things that I appreciate the most as a foster parent is that my perma-dogs ALLOW me to be a foster parent.  Over the past year I have fallen more and more in love with my own dogs for being so amazing and polite about letting strays into our family.   I love the time in between fosters when it’s just the two of them (which isn’t often) because this time makes me love them all the more for sharing the rest of their time with whatever foster we have at the moment.

8.  Money donated is money well spent.

I don’t have a lot of money.  I have a mortgage, insurance bills, cellphone bills, dog food bills, my own food to buy, ect.  Everyone I know can relate to this.  But somewhere along the line I started donating.  Not a lot, maybe $5 here, $10 there, but nevertheless, donating.  Once I started this I could no longer sit in a tanning bed, or buy a new shirt, without a twinge of guilt.  I always feel like maybe my money could be going somewhere better.  I don’t think anyone should donate outside their means, and I think everyone should splurge on themselves every once in a while, but I do think that once a month, or maybe twice a month, skipping that latte and sending $5 to a charity of your choice will make you feel amazing. I suggest you all try it!

9.  Fostering has brought me to a new level of contentment with myself.

I have always been a pretty happy person.  I love my family and my friends.  I am fortunate enough to be married to the man of my dreams and now I have his family as well.  I have always been happy enough with myself as a person and never really felt as though I was missing something.  Now, however, I have discovered how truly happy a person can be if they are doing something that they really believe in.  Having a passion gives my life purpose, and joy beyond words.  It makes me a better child, friend, dog-mom, and wife and I choose to believe that “A family that saves lives together, stays together.”

Family

10.  It never gets easier.

I have fostered, and given up, 9 dogs and I am on my 10th.  One would think that at some point it would get easier to say goodbye, but this never happens.  Each dog is so different and touches my heart in different ways.   Each dog thinks they are here to stay.  They fall in love with our family and they don’t understand that we are not their forever home.  Even when I say I won’t, I fall in love with them as well.  Often ours is the first good home they’ve been in.  Every time I find an adoptive family I worry that my foster will feel like I am just one more person that has abandoned them.  I wonder if they ask “why do you keep those two dogs (Mylo and Chase) but you won’t keep me?” My grief over giving up a dog is not typically sorrow for my own loss, but worry and fear about the rest of the dog’s life.  You can’t tell them what is happening; all you can do is give them a hug and a kiss and drive away.

Sometimes I wish Chase would drive me home.

11.  Broken hearts do indeed mend. 

My heart begins to break as soon as I even start THINKING about sending my foster away, and continues to rip until I am actually driving away.  At this point all I can do is hurt.  I have learned, though, that despite the immense pain I feel at that moment in time I WILL feel better.  My heart begins to heal, and while it’s left with a jagged mark, that mark fades with time.  In order to heal myself I spend time with my own dogs and I wait anxiously for updates about my foster-baby.  Knowing that I found them a wonderful home goes along way towards helping to heal my heart.

%d bloggers like this: