adopters, fostering, Gingersnap, oph, Whoopi

Adoption pending? Maybe. Maybe not.


Just picked up Whoopi and Ginger from their vacation. They are tired, fat, and happy – the way everyone should be when returning from vacation.

While we were gone they stayed with OPH superstar foster Juanita who spoiled them rotten. They had free run with her pack in Juanita’s big, shady, fenced yard; were allowed ON THE BED for naps; and even had a swimming pool to cool off in.

Ginger’s chocolate coat is shiny and sleek, with the extra pound or two she picked up, she looks much like a seal. Whoopi’s sporting an extra roll around her shoulders now. As Ian says, “You could fit another dog in all that extra skin.”


Her nails look fabulous. Juanita took her for a mani/pedi at the local spa where they even offered ear cleaning service. (Her huge bloodhound ears are just fine. I forgot to ask what they thought about the fact that she has shotgun pellet in one ear – you can actually pick the ear up with a magnet!)

Here are a few vacation photos and videos of their adventures.

This is the picture Juanita texted me after their first night. Oh yeah, commence spoiling!

This is a view from the window of Ginger (left) and Whoopi (right) enjoying their new kingdom. Free at last, they thought, thank God we’re free at last.

Here’s a video of Ginger wrestling with her two new pals (on a bed no less!). It’s dark, but I’m sure you will still be able to see her happy smile.

Here’s a video of the girls checking out the pool at the resort….

And here’s one of Whoopi letting loose with her new pack. Think she enjoyed herself? (couldn’t figure out how to reorient it, but it’s short so hopefully you won’t get a crick in your neck. It’s really the audio I’m after anyway.)

So now they’re back slumming with me. Back to wearing leashes. Back to being stuck in the kitchen. Back to snarly Gracie dog ignoring them. Back to being hissed at by unappreciative cats. Back to being shrieked at for licking passing legs and hollered at for barking at the squirrels they are not free to chase.

Oh how I missed them, though! During our week at the beach, I found myself watching every passing dog and wishing it would stop to visit with me. Early in the morning, as I walked on the beach, lucky people passed by with dogs – tossing Frisbees and balls. Biking back from the beach one day, I passed a woman riding an old fashioned bicycle with a tiny toto-like dog in her wicker bike basket. She was even wearing blue plaid – no lie! At moments it felt like I was being taunted. I kept my longings to myself lest my vacationmates think I have a dog problem.

I’m pretty sure I missed Whoopi and Ginger (and Gracie) more than they missed me. When we left we worried they would both be adopted by the time we came back, but as can happen, the ‘adoption pending’ status changed for both of them.

Let me shed a little light on the terminology tossed around on the dog listings on OPH’s website.

[Disclaimer: these are my definitions and not officially sanctioned OPH definitions, so keep that in mind and if some official-type OPHer wants to correct me in the comments, no offense will be taken. Promise.]

When you visit OPH’s site, each dog is labeled. But what do those labels mean?

Adoptable means apply now and he could be yours! It does not mean that no one else has applied for this dog. It only means that no one else has been approved to adopt said dog. Applications take time to process, but OPH does try to handle them in the order they come in, so no dilly-dallying if you see an adoptable dog you think is yours- get on it! Once you fill out the forms online, you are placed in line for a particular dog.

If you are a smart cookie and you are currently looking for a dog, you would be wise, oh-so-wise, to fill out the application before you start choosing dogs to avoid possible heartbreak. If you are already an approved adopter (someone whose application has been vetted (so to speak), references checked, and approved), you can jump to the front of the line if you spot an adoptable dog. All you have to do is contact your adoption coordinator and get the ball rolling. Then you can turn up your nose at all those other poor schmucks waiting in line for your dog. (Kidding. Approved adopters are wonderful people who would never taunt. I’m certain.)

Coming Soon means the dog is not yet in a foster home, but you can still apply! In fact, you SHOULD apply so you get your name on the top of the list and avoid all that potential taunting. A new transport of dogs is coming up THIS Friday and I’ve been drooling over the list – there are some gorgeous dogs on their way north. You should take a look RIGHT NOW. Coming Soon dogs are added all the time. They’re usually on the last page of dogs. I’ve yet to figure out the system for which dog is on which page. Ginger has been stuck on page two the entire time we’ve had her and I’m pretty sure she’s developed a little seniority by now and really should be on page one. Not my call, though. Obviously.

Adoption Pending means that a dog has an approved adopter but has not yet been adopted. Many people see that adoption pending label and move along. I’m here to tell you – BAD IDEA. Looking back on our history of the past 40ish dogs we’ve fostered, probably at least ¼ of them, maybe even 1/3 were Adoption Pending and went back to Adoptable. Especially the puppies – they waffled back and forth right up until the day they left.

Whoopi’s most recent approved adopters had a change of heart after some serious thought. Whoopi is not a dog to adopt lightly, so I appreciate that. What we all don’t want is a return. That’s heartbreaking for everyone involved – adopters, fosters, adoption coordinators, but mostly the dog. We were disappointed when we heard the Whoopi’s adoption wasn’t going to happen, but respectful of these adopters who take this decision so seriously. Because it is serious, adopting a dog SHOULD BE a lifetime commitment. The dogs deserve this, especially these dogs who have already spent too much time in a shelter or on the street.

Luckily, the AP status on Whoopi didn’t stop her current adopters from applying to adopt her. They got the happy call late last week that Whoopi was once again available. Everyone’s holding their breath, hoping this is the one. But we shall see, right? Ginger also went from AP back to Adoptable for probably the third or fourth time. We no longer pay any attention to that silly label when it comes to her. It doesn’t seem to mean anything at all.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned about this whole process. The right family will eventually find these dogs. I’ve seen it happen again and again. I remember thinking no one would ever adopt Carla and she landed in the perfect set up – in Indiana! And remember my wildman, the ball-catching maniac, John Coffey? Same. Reports are he’s happy and healthy and very much appreciated in his forever home and still catching balls like a champ. Probably the one dog, I worried would never be adopted was Hadley. And even Hadley found her person.

So, no fear here. I know we’re only babysitting while Whoopi and Ginger’s forever family are on vacation. They’ll come for them someday soon. I’m certain.


3 thoughts on “Adoption pending? Maybe. Maybe not.”

  1. Great blog! They did gain a lb or two but had a great time doing it! I REALLY enjoyed having them for the time they were here. It was only 13 days but they both just adjusted to the change of scenery immediately and it was as if they’d been here forever.
    Ginger was truly the life of the party that everyone wanted to play with and she just loved taunting them all to chase her. She didn’t mind having the whole pack of dogs chasing her… In her eyes she was “Leadingthe pack”. She was so motherly to Whoopi, licking her droopy wrinkled face “clean”… Or maybe she was just showing her love. Either way it was so wonderful to see. She’s such a happy soul and loves indiscriminately with 110% of her being. She was also a great watch dog, alerting me to a solicitor on my doorstep…where my personal dogs, well, failed lol
    And Whoopi…she was a huge hit at the groomers because she is so laid back and has that smooshy wrinkled face and big droopy ears, you just can’t help wanna grab and hug. She was always the first one to the crate at feeding time, never left a single morsel, and even cleaned everyone else’s plate if they were foolish enough to think they could leave some for later lol
    Thankfully she was also respectful, and didn’t want to get up on the bed or furniture… She simply wouldn’t fit with the other three up there wrestling around… Or, more likely, I wouldn’t have fit lol Instead, she would just walk up along side of the bed and flop that smooshy, velvety soft face up on my shoulder and give the best Whoopi hugs EVER. My heart would just melt.
    While my house is way too small for 5 dogs (2 of which are large breed), and I was very nervous and hesitant to dog sit BOTH Ginger and Whoopi, I’m so glad I decided to take the challenge…They made it so easy and fun; I’ve never felt so loved or been so entertained:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are the absolute best. The girls are missing you I’m sure. I can’t thank you enough for looking after them for me – it made vacation much more relaxing knowing they were having a blast with you!


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