canine health, dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, Texas

Rescue Comes With A Lot of Unkowns

I put off writing this post because I wasn’t sure what was really happening to my little foster dog, Bippity. I still don’t know, but I’ve decided to write anyway.

The not knowing? That is a big part of rescue.

As I tried to answer the vet’s questions yesterday, I struggled. I don’t know really where Bippity came from except south Texas. I don’t know who she belonged to, if anyone. I don’t know her health history beyond the barest of details provided by the bill and the verbal communications from the vet who gave her the health certificate in Texas (which I also didn’t have because the transporter didn’t deliver it with her – which, technically is against the law, but what was I to do – refuse to take her? Send her back?).

I knew she was Erhlichia positive, but only because we’d been told she was and we paid the bill for the doxycycline she was prescribed, not because I saw the test. I had to go on faith that she had a distemper vaccine, but yesterday we did finally track down evidence that yes, that happened.

I knew she’d had a rabies shot because the tag and certificate, plus the sticker from the Bordetella vaccine were all that arrived with her from transport.

I didn’t know how old she really is, just a vet’s best guess (a yearish) and my observations that she is still very puppy like.

Other than that? All I know about this pup is that she is shy and sweet, afraid of people but hungry for their attentions. She is HUNGRY all the time, but doesn’t gain weight. (I had planned to give her another deworming treatment this week, and probably still will, but am hoping for some improvement first.)

I guess I should tell you why she was at the vet’s office (again). We’d graciously been offered help from the Humane Society of Shenandoah County (for whom I am fostering two delightful kitties – more about them in a moment!). They offered to add Bippity on the spay/neuter run yesterday to Anicira in Harrisonburg.

On Monday, Bippity had been trying to eat grass and doing the foam/saliva/vomit thing that all dogs do when they have tummy aches. She is a desperate scavenger, having likely spent her whole life fighting for daily nutrition, so I figured she’d eaten something she shouldn’t have, but couldn’t be sure what – bunny poop? Weeds? Leaves? Trash?

She is low to the ground and I am not always quick enough to remove whatever she finds from her mouth. I call her Scrappy Doo for a reason – she is scrappy, resourceful, and smart, and she certainly knows how to take care of herself, at least as much as a 25-pound dog can amongst my pack who are all twice her size or more.

I didn’t think a lot of it, and she seemed fine when I walked her at 5:30am before meeting Melisa who was driving the kitty bus to Harrisonburg. Bippity was drooling a little in the crate when I loaded her up for the transport, but I assumed that was nerves. The last time she was crated and put on a van, she didn’t get off for nearly three days.

It wasn’t until the vet tech called from the clinic two hours later that I realized something was more seriously wrong. Bippity had been having what looked like mild seizures, walking in circles, and drooling. That’s when all the questions came about her history I didn’t know.

After bloodwork that didn’t conclude anything, a day of fluids to flush her symptoms, plus various meds to treat symptoms, the working hypothesis is that she may have ingested something toxic – a plant, rat poop (with poison in it – that’s my guess), anything really. She was sent home with a sedative, and I am trying to give her frequent small meals (which she is happy to scarf down) because they noticed her blood sugar went down just before each seizure.

Everything I’ve read about dogs ingesting any kind of toxin says it can take a week to a month to flush it from their system. Unless the seizures worsen, this will be a waiting game now.

Because, like so much about Bippity (and almost every foster I’ve ever had), I just don’t know what is going on. She can’t talk and no one has paid attention to this little soul up until this point her in life. We will do all we can and hope for the best. I will post updates on my writer page and the Another Good Dog facebook page.

And now for some much more fun foster news! I have foster kitties!

Simon and Garfunkel are adorable six-month old cats who were surrendered to the Humane Society of Shenandoah County by their owner who could no longer keep them. They are both gorgeous. I’m not sure if they’re siblings (more I don’t know!), but they couldn’t look more different.

Simon is sleek and gray with gorgeous eyes and even more gorgeous long white whiskers that contrast with his dark coat. He has lots of ‘chrome’ – white bib, white socks, tiny white mark on his head.

He is the bolder of the pair, trotting toward me already purring when I enter the sun porch where they are living.

Garfunkel is thicker, heavier, with a lush coat and a bushy tail. He is on his way to being a BIG long-haired cat, if the size of his paws and the massive tail are any indicators. He watches me when I enter their room, his yellow eyes give away nothing. He watches me lavish attention on Simon, who head butts me whenever I pause in my adoration. After a few minutes, he can’t stand it and swoops in for his share of the love, shoving Simon out of the way.

I am enjoying these boys, sneaking away from the stress of Bippity’s situation, work, and family visiting (good stress!), to sit with them for a few minutes several times a day. Their pleasure is so simple and their needs so easy to fulfill.

I’m sure they won’t be with me for long. HSSC requires that they stay in foster for ten days, but then they’ll likely be off to one of their shelter or rescue partners north or east of us. They are both doing fine after their neuter surgery yesterday. Simon seems a little more put out by the assault (his words) than Garfunkel.

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at

8 thoughts on “Rescue Comes With A Lot of Unkowns”

  1. So sorry to hear Bippity is under the weather. Poor thing-that trip must have been so traumatizing. It’s easy to fret about the unknown when it comes to rescue, but know you’re loving care is equally important. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

    Enjoy those handsome kitties and all the purrs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope Bippity gets well soon and finds a loving home she deserves. She sure is cute. My Alex is a rescue from the streets of a large city. It took him a few months to feel at home and after that he has been ruling the roost for almost 11 years!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just catching up on your posts on here. I’ve not forgotten your blog. Neat names for these two male cats. Makes me think of the first line of one of the human duo’s songs: “someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo.” When you’d go into the sunroom to spend time with them, you’d be enjoying the sound of silence. I like Simon and Garfunkel’s music, even though it’s from a few decades before my time. Keep blogging.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s