It would be very easy to keep Flannery. I’d love to foster fail and make her a permanent part of our pack.
Undoubtably, she fits in here just fine. All of us love her, even Gracie, which is saying something since Gracie has no patience or welcome to offer any of our foster dogs.
Flannery is endlessly entertaining – the much needed comedy relief time and again. Between regular attempts to catch her own tail, spinning herself silly, and her unbounded enthusiasm for EVERYTHING, she can lighten a mood and bring a smile every day.
She is my constant companion, even outside, never straying far and racing back to me at the first word.
I have a weak spot for those overly enthusiastic, joyous, into-everyone’s-business kind of dogs. So, naturally, I love her.
BUT, Flannery is too much dog to settle for third-string dog in a busy dog-shuffling foster family. She deserves to be the star of the show. At our house, her high-energy must be sequestered when new foster dogs arrive, as they are nervous enough. Lucky for us, she doesn’t mind her crate and races to it whenever instructed. But the huge heart inside this tiny dog deserves better.
So, yes people, she is still available for adoption, no matter how many Frankery pictures I post.
She will need the just-right family. Someone who can manage her. Someone who ‘gets’ her because maybe that person is kind of a quirky person themselves.
The reason we all get along so well with Flannery is we accept her as she is—a happy conundrum who will waggle a greeting and then nip the hand that reaches for her. Like a cat that will indulge you petting it for a few minutes and then bite you, Flannery will occasionally communicate her limit with her mouth. Thankfully, these bites are rarely hard.
Flannery is a tiny alpha dog who is MUCH bigger in her own mind. I know that if I try to forcefully make her do anything – give up the toy she stole from Frankie, move her out of the way, or trim her toenails, she will likely nip me with or without a warning growl. So I offer her a different toy to get her to drop the one she so unfairly took from Frankie (he never puts up a fight), I lure her where I want her with a treat (she will do pretty much ANYTHING at high-speed if there is a treat involved), and I leave the toenail clipping to the professionals (and walk her on the pavement to keep them under control).
The bottom line is Flannery will not be bossed. And she needs to believe that she is the boss, even if she isn’t.
When people meet her, I tell them not to be fooled by her enthusiastic greeting. Do not offer your fingers to her face – she will nip. Let her excitement dissipate and later you can probably touch her without getting nipped. Training this nipping habit out of her is not something I can do because a) she never nips anyone in our family and b) I can’t really ask people to come over and let Flannery nip/not-nip them so that I can teach her.
The best tactic, which seems to be working, is to not give Flannery what she wants – attention from the new people—until she has settled. It generally takes Flannery longer than most visitors like the UPS guy or the friend picking up her flowers sticks around, so the easiest policy for all involved with Flannery is to look but don’t touch.
Here, I want to clarify, that in my presence her nips have never broken the skin of her victims. I know (first hand) that they do indeed hurt, but rarely is there ever any permanent damage.
Both of her returns, though, were for biting. And thus, she does have a ‘bite addendum’ attached to her adoption contract and she cannot be adopted out to families with young children. (Which is a shame because she had the opportunity to meet some little people on Sunday and was beyond happy – repeatedly licking their faces even as they obediently didn’t touch her as instructed.)
What will become of Flannery?
I think she’d make an awesome competitive agility dog; I haven’t met a more intense people-pleasing, treat-motivated, endlessly-energetic dog. (Frankie and I are taking agility and many, many times as I watch him happily lumber through an obstacle, I think – Flannery would ROCK agility.)
I have to believe that one day the adoption magic will happen for her. Someone, somewhere will see her face and recognize their dog. They will be able to see past her bad habits and love her despite her quirks. They won’t mind ‘managing’ her and be rewarded a hundred fold by this loving, nippy, silly, smart, absolutely joyful dog.
If you or someone you know, would like to apply to adopt Flannery, click here.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, visit AnotherGoodDog.org, where you can find more pictures of the dogs from the book (and some of their happily-ever-after stories), information on fostering, and what you can do right now to help shelter animals! You can also purchase a signed copy or several other items whose profits benefit shelter dogs!
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more pictures and videos of my foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog Facebook group.
Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now