I think the universe is trying to tell me something along the lines of “Food Lady, take an effing break!”
First I passed up the opportunity to foster Skip, whom his foster home describes as “Can’t believe he’s as awesome as he seems and waiting to awake from the dream that is Skip and see some sort of “ugly” (lame excuse given he’s been tested on: llama, chicken, “fixed” males/females, strangers, flyball environment, off leash, kennel, bedroom dog, etc etc). I figured if I kept quiet you would forget that I had him. Bar none the most well rounded dog, foster or not, I’ve had the pleasure spending time with.”
Then I instead took in old man Blue, who did this to me earlier in the week:
It doesn’t look so bad now, but it really hurt and was very ugly (and bled a lot) at the time. It would have been worse I think, except his teeth are 22 years old, and he was wearing a cone that jammed against my arm so he couldn’t get the grip he wanted to. But it wasn’t a grab and release, it was a grab and HOLD and “try to bite harder” which is the kind of bite I fear the most. The criminal activity I was being punished for? Giving him a bowl of water in his pen. Yeesh.
He’s now at SAINTS (and you can read about him here) and try as I might, I couldn’t find it in me to be sorry to see him go. He tried to bite me lots more times before he went too!
Feeling guilty that I had abdicated my fostering responsibilities, I picked up this guy from the SPCA after dropping off Blue. Meet Poutine (yes the like french fry dish), a red merle Aussie.
Looks like a total cutie, doesn’t he? And he is! Too bad about the bad haircut, but otherwise, he’s adorable! Or at least he was adorable.
Yesterday I couldn’t leave his sight without him crying to come find me. He was so attached to me that I even walked him off leash after work on the property with my own dogs and he was great, always checking in and hanging out with me often, always coming when called.
This morning, I took everyone out for a pee and then put Poutine inside and a babygate across the mudroom doorway. I then called everyone else inside to wipe paws. The door was open about 6 inches because TWooie was still taking his sweet time coming to the house. I felt this SWOOSH of air basically over my back – Poutine had jumped the gate, and my BODY, and was out the door in a flash. There was no stopping him.
And of course he didn’t run for the farm, he ran up the road and was gone into the fancy house neighbourhood, with all its giant yards and twisty dead end roads. I called him just before I lost sight of him and all he did was put on the afterburners and run FASTER. I ran back home (still in my jammies, hair all askew, slippers on my feet) hopped in the car and started driving around the ‘hood trying to catch so much as a glimpse of him. For close to 2 hours I drove around, creepily stopping children on the road to ask them if they’d “seen my lost puppy.” I’m pleased to say that most of them recoiled from me and were poised to run, so all that hard work parents are putting into the “Don’t talk to strangers who say things like “I’m looking for a lost puppy dog”” campaign seems to be working.
I went back home and started posting “lost dog” ads on the internetz, and while printing up posters, had the world’s fastest shower, then I hopped back in the car with Dex, drove into the fancy house neighbourhood and hit the pavement, affixing posters to any surface that liked tape.
Then I spotted the bugger about 6 blocks from home, wiggling across someone’s yard. I called him, and he booked in the opposite direction. I almost had him cornered on someone’s doorstep and he deeked me out and went around their house to their backyard. I started to go into their yard and came face to face with an ACO who had Poutine on a rope.
Long story short, the ACO extended professional courtesy to a fellow shelter worker and let me take Poutine without a fine. Bless him! I retraced my steps to remove all the posters and took Poutine home. He is now wearing a harness and a collar and a leash attached to each, and gets crated before I even THINK about opening my front door. He, by the way, is my best friend again and doesn’t move more than 3 feet from me at any given time.
I have been fostering dogs for close to 15 years. I have had, literally, HUNDREDS of dogs come through my home. I have never been seriously bitten and I have never lost a foster dog. In the span of 4 days, I’ve experienced both of these things.
I think this is a sign that I need to give myself a fostering break…I went to physio this afternoon and my RMT said “What have you been doing, slinging sacks of cement around? You’re all tensed up!”
Gawd, has it happened? Did I burn out and not realize it? And does anyone want to foster a wiggly, shaved down Aussie with a dual personality who longs for his freedom??
Gah. I’m heading to agility class now … I’ll probably end up breaking my arms or something.