Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Foster Pooch

I picked up a new foster dog on Monday. A local shelter asked the rescue to take him. Peanut was surrendered to the shelter when his family moved (or at least I think that was the reason for surrender - it's all a blur sometimes . . . I'm moving, I have a new baby, the dog forgot to train himself, blah blah blah).

I left work a bit early on Monday, picked up the kid from daycare, and then headed over to the shelter. The rescue coordinator wasn't in so I worked with the front desk person. I signed some paperwork and received a bottle of Doxycycline for Peanut, for an upper respiratory infection.  I knew ahead of time that Peanut was being released to rescue because he was stressed in the kennels. Plus, he had acted squirrely when the medical staff approached him. So, when the shelter employee went into the back to retrieve Peanut, I was expecting a dog who might be a little skittish.  She took the leash and collar I had brought along and then came back with a fawn Boxer who seemed very frightened indeed. Peanut had a tail, which I wasn't expecting. We do get the occasional Boxer with a full tail, though.

My daughter and I took Peanut outside and then attempted to get him into the van. He wanted no part of it.  It took a while. I was hesitant to lift him because you just never know if that might be a particular dog's trigger to bite. Finally, I braced him against my shoulder and lifted him, holding my head in a way that made it impossible for him to bite my face. I needn't have worried, though.  Poor Peanut just stood there, looking fully shell-shocked.  We drove him home.  I called ahead and asked my husband to put the other dogs away so that we could do introductions properly.  Peanut milled about in the back yard while I figured out the best way to proceed. I gave him a few treats, which he loved.

I noticed that the shelter employee had put the new collar (the one I brought along) on the dog but also left the collar that Peanut had been wearing. So, he was wearing two collars.  I started tugging at the original one to see where how it fastened. It was then that I noticed a paper collar beneath that one.  It had one word on it: Gus. "Um, is your name Gus?" I asked this sweet, shy dog. His ears perked up a little. Crap. I had the wrong dog.

I called the shelter and informed them that I thought I had been given the wrong dog. They put me on hold while they checked. Finally, someone came back on the line. "Yes, you have the wrong dog."

I sighed.  Driving all the way back across town was not on my agenda for the evening, but it had to be done. No wonder poor Gus was ignoring me when I called him Peanut. Also, I had been thinking that I was picking up a black-faced fawn Boxer and this guy was a flashy fawn (meaning he had lots of white on him). However, I see a lot of dog photos in a day and I thought maybe I was just confused.

I loaded Gus into my van and headed back across town.  When we approached the door to the shelter, he flattened himself on the sidewalk and refused to walk in. Poor pooch.  I felt about two inches tall, taking this guy back to the shelter. But, it had to be done.  I finally got him inside and returned him to the shelter staff. Moments later, the right Peanut came bounding out of the kennels, looking like someone had rung his bell.  Young (one year old) and dumb and gorgeous, Peanut needs a new name because he is huge. I took him home and introduced him to the resident dogs, all of whom accepted the new dummy without much of a fuss.

The next day, I emailed the rescue coordinator about Gus, as I was concerned about his status. She informed me that before I picked him up, he had just arrived on a transport from TN (not sure why the front desk person was unaware of that, but c'est la vie).  If you're not aware, a lot of dogs are transported out of the south because the overpopulation problem is worse down there. Anyway, no wonder the poor dog had been so frightened.  She is going to let me know if he doesn't get adopted. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he gets a great home because I really don't want anything to happen to him but I really don't need another dog at my house.

Peanut is settling in pretty well. He didn't eat for a full day but gave in this morning and started eating. I think he was holding out for something more exotic than kibble. I'll keep him for a couple weeks while I complete some veterinary care items and a temperament assessment, and then put him up for adoption. I'm sure the big lunkhead will find a home quickly.

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