This time adoption day was a little weird for me. After all the puppies were adopted…..
Instead of cleaning out the puppy room, putting my feet up and opening a bottle of wine….
For the first time, after saying good-bye to 94 dogs and puppies, one stayed with me!
I filled out the contract and then wondered whether I could sign it as ‘adopter’ and as ‘OPH representative.’ I wrote my check and explained to Gracie that she has a new brother. After watching so many dogs come and go, I’m sure she was skeptical.
Gracie was polite, wagging her tail and giving him a gentle all over sniff, but this morning when I put him in the monster-sized crate next to hers which we’re using as his playpen, she barked at him. He watched her with his big blue eyes and a wrinkled brow and then wagged his tail and curled up in his doggie bed. He doesn’t know what to make of her mixed messages, but I think there’s hope they can be friends. It may take her a while to believe that this one isn’t leaving, too.
After the last adopter left and I officially signed Frankie’s contract, I surveyed the wreckage of the puppy room and then took the crate out and carried it up to my room. Frankie seemed uncertain, wondering where his sisters could have gone. He snuggled on the couch with Nick watching football while I got his new bedroom ready and cut the tags off the toys I’d purchased. After an unproductive trip outside (in the scary dark with no sisters to lead the way), I gave him time to race around the kitchen and have the Frank bed all to himself.
When it was time for bed, I carried him up to the crate I set up in our room. Nick wasn’t thrilled about sleeping with a whining puppy in our room (or any dog in our room for that matter), but Frankie was a wonderful bunkmate. He whined for a few minutes, but then settled right down and slept through the night.
Gala is in love with him, but so far her enthusiasm is too much for Frankie. When I’ve allowed them to be together, Frankie clings to me to avoid her happy nosing and overly affectionate paws. Mostly they play through the crate. Gala gets excited at the sight of him and presses herself against the wire sides. Frankie squeals and licks her ear when she lets it hang out of the crate.
This morning, Frankie stood with both paws on the crate and Gala lifted her paw to his, like a prisoner and her loved one seperated by the visiting room glass. Then he ran to the other side of the kitchen, looking back to see if she was following. She double-checked that the crate door was indeed closed and then chewed a squeaky toy since she couldn’t chew Frankie. Hopefully soon, they can have actual time together, but for now, he is too small for her BIG enthusiasm.
Frankie has only had two doses of the vaccine that will protect him against common life-threatening viruses, like parvo. Until two weeks after his third shot, he is still unprotected. Because of this, we can’t visit dog parks or pet stores, or places where dogs congregate; and we can’t foster any other puppies. I’m planning to use the time to work on the house – finally shampooing the carpet that’s been peed on too many times to remember and seriously scrubbing the puppyroom and kitchen floor.
My other plan is to commence Operation Get Gala Adopted ( or “OGGA” which coincindentlly sounds like the chant my brothers and I used to shout before jumping off rafts into the ocean).
The rescue road has been too long for Gala. She needs to find her family.
Here’s the plan:
- Get help. I met a trainer over the weekend who gave me some great ideas and who volunteered to come to the house and do a free training session for Gala (and any other OPH fosters in the area).
- Do a better job of advertising what’s great about Gala. I’m working on getting more video of Gala. Seeing her in action is so much better than seeing all the pictures on her page. Because of her fear of other dogs, she can’t go to adoption events and this means the only way people find her is through the OPH website. Time to spruce up that page.
- Nurture Gala’s friendship with Frankie so she learns to love another dog safely.
- Work on improving Gala’s basic training and ball-catching skills. As I’m getting more confident that Gala won’t run away from me, it’s easier to try more outdoor activities. We created a 60-foot leash and I’ve been taking Gala out to chase balls and wander the field. She is gorgeous when she’s allowed to really run. The super nice people at the Locust Point Cattle Company stand in Central Market gave me some free smoked liver treats made from their grass-fed cattle. These uber treats are inspiring Gala to come (even from 60 feet) when called. I’d love to try some agility challenges with her, so I’m doing my research and trying to figure out if we can build some of our own.
- Post daily (if possible) pictures on the Another Good Dog facebook page of Gala, so potential adopters can get to know her and see the sweet, funny, clever sides of Gala.
I’m toying with a few other OGGA ideas, like having Gala’s DNA tested. She’s listed as a ‘Retriever Mix’ which seems incredibly vague. While I know most of the dogs we foster are true mutts, I think she might be more popular if we could list her predominate breed. I’m guessing Boxer. I think that’s where she gets her intensity, smarts, beautiful physique, and the ability to use her paws like hands.
I would absolutely welcome any and all suggestions for OGGA.
I’m already getting reports of the Pepper Puppers – they are loving snuggle buddies who are quickly catching on to housebreaking. Frankie still isn’t too sure about the wet grass or the dark in the mornings.
Nick said last night, “You are smitten with that pup.” Sigh. I’m well beyond smitten.
We’re headed to Bark, Wag, and Wine this weekend and while I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and visiting my favorite state, I’m already missing Frankie. Can’t wait til next year when he’ll be fully vaccinated and completely housebroken and joining me for the party!
Thanks for reading.
If you’d like to know more about OPH and how you can foster, volunteer, donate, or adopt, visit OPHRescue.org.
If you’d like to know more about my writing, books, and blogs, visit CaraWrites.com.
If you’d like more regular updates on fosters past and present (and maybe too many pictures of Frankie), be sure to join my Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
If you still haven’t gotten your tickets for Bark, Wag, and Wine (THIS WEEKEND!) click here.
Have a wonderful week!