I’ve wondered what I will write about now that we are holding steady with the same two foster dogs. I could tell you more about Flannery and how entertaining she is—how she chases her tail on a near daily basis, how her enthusiasm for her supper knows no bounds, how she zips around outside like an oversize hummingbird and comes the moment she is called. (And don’t worry, in that second video she totally takes out my husband but he is fine).
I was able to spend some time at the OPH booth on Saturday at Dogs Day in the Park talking to people who stopped by. I didn’t have a dog with me since neither Flannery nor Daisy could handle an event like that (but I did run into one of my former foster dogs, Hula Hoop, a mama I had last Christmas time with her three pups).
Being at the booth gave me the opportunity to explain to people why adopting from a foster home is smart, the very same topic I will speak about at an event at the Hereford Library in Baltimore County, Maryland where I’ll be signing books this Friday from 1-3pm (along with several cute Baltimore Blast players!).
Dogs living in a foster home, particularly ones who have lived so long in a foster home, are a known quantity. They have settled in and let their real selves emerge. And because our rescue is completely transparent, if you apply for one of these dogs, you’ll hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thelma’s adopters knew all the messy details of her chewing habits before they signed that adoption contract!
Dogs, like people, are complicated. And some dogs, like some people, are very complicated. Daisy is one of those dogs.
If you read the notes about Daisy in a shelter facility, it says she did well in playgroups and approached men in a “friendly manner.” I don’t know if it was the tragedy of losing her pups or the trauma of being abandoned, but the report from the shelter reads to me like a different dog. Yet I know this shelter, have visited it twice, and I trust their judgment. If they say that’s how she was while with them, then that was true.
Here at my house, Daisy gets excited at the sight of other dogs, but when she has had access to them it has turned into an altercation. Granted, the first time it was with Frankie and he surprised her in a dark hallway with several strangers. She reacted defensively, he backed down, and Nick pulled her off. No one was hurt.
The second time, it was with Flannery. Due to a miscommunication on my part, Daisy attempted to jump in my car and accidentally landed on top of Flannery who reacted as one would expect a thirty-pound dog to react when a fifty-pound dog lands on top of her.
Flannery, like Gracie, though, is a ‘blusterer’. When either of them meets a new dog their default reaction is to bluster – puff up and snarl and bark—but it’s all for show. Neither of them ever backs it up. After her bluster, Flannery has played great with every other dog she met. But in this unfortunate instance, her bluster caused Daisy to react defensively and an altercation resulted in Flannery needing stitches on her head.
So which is the real Daisy?
I don’t know. She has walked nicely side by side with pretty much all the dogs we’ve had at this house (Gracie, Flannery, Frankie, and Thelma). When she sees other dogs on our walks, she gets excited, wags her tail, and jumps around excitedly with a big smile on her face. She does not snarl or bark.
And watching Daisy, I can’t help but think that the company of another dog would give her more confidence. Maybe the fact that she was allowed access to other dogs at the shelter made her more confident and thus ‘friendly’ with men and women.
I don’t have a dog to test this theory as Flannery now has reason to react at Daisy and I won’t try with Gracie because I made her a promise a few years back when she was hurt by another foster dog that I wouldn’t ever put her in that position again and I won’t.
So, for now, Daisy is listed as needing to be a solo dog.
And men? Well, Paul’s efforts have certainly proven that she can approach men in a ‘friendly manner.’ But I wouldn’t say she would ever approach a man in an ‘unfriendly’ manner – she simply wouldn’t approach men, at least not if they aren’t sitting and being still and calm. (One of this blog’s readers made a great suggestion that we market her to single women as a way to help determine whether a man is patient, gentle, and kind, since those are the kind of men she warms up to.)
Here’s Daisy greeting Nick in a friendly manner:
Daisy is a conundrum to me. She has so, so, so much love and affection to give to people, yet she is also very afraid. Complicated. But absolutely worth it. Now, what we need is an adopter willing to give her a chance.
Thanks for reading!
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