Abby is still here. And it’s just not fair.
She’s no longer living on a chain (yay), but she is confined to one room much of her day. She can see the other dogs, hang out with our foster cat, and watch the activity out her window, but she’d much prefer to be with a person.
Abby is a people-dog. She loves people – all kinds, all sizes, all attitudes. She isn’t discouraged by her predicament, but I am.
I had hoped that she could be merged with our pack, and be able to hang out with me in my office (currently the dining room) with the other dogs. But she can’t, and that’s not her fault.
The dogs had been chatting amiably through the baby gates for two weeks, walking side by side on leashes, and it seemed all systems were go for allowing Abby access to the house.
The first experience went fine – I watched them like hawks, didn’t allow too much sniffing into each other’s personal spaces. They hung out with us for a few hours. No issues.
The next experience went well, too. Otis and Abby shared a dog bed beside me as I worked and Fanny and Gracie slept nearby. I did note that Fanny was keeping her distance.
But then things went south. Abby wandered apparently too near Fanny and Fanny went after her and bit Abby in the face before we separated them. Abby has two small puncture wounds on her face, Fanny was unscathed (and unrepentant).
So now Abby is back to her separate room, and I feel terrible. She deserves her own home and her own person. She was not the dog with an issue, my dog was. Fanny is the alpha here and whether Abby challenged that unwittingly or not, Fanny will not tolerate her presence.
This is the struggle for so many who foster. I hear it all the time – I’d love to foster, but my dog doesn’t like other dogs. And we have to respect our dog’s wishes. So I am respecting Fanny’s. For now. I’m still hopeful that they can work it out and may bring the muzzles back out to make it possible.
It’s a balance between teaching my dog to be more tolerant and not making her live in fear.
The best solution would be for Abby to be adopted. And I will work hard to make that happen. What I need is someone willing to give her a chance. I spoke with the director of the Humane Society and she’s open to a foster-to-adopt situation.
Foster-to-adopt is a brilliant way to adopt out animals, in my opinion. It takes away the risk and makes it possible for dogs like Abby to get a chance.
People are afraid of big pit bulls, and as Abby fills out, she is indeed looking like a large dog. (and also a tiger! As she gets healthy, brindle stripes are appearing!)
Abby is as sweet as they come, so grateful and trainable. She is housebroken, walks well on a leash, is quiet, likes cats, and is generally fine with other dogs (except alpha females who are not fine with her). She’s adoptable in so many ways.
Her biggest issues are her insistent affection and her smarts. Not everyone likes nonstop dog kisses or a 60-pound dog who thinks she can fit in your lap.
Abby is smart enough to open doors left unlocked, and nudge open cabinets (at least cabinets that have trash cans in them). She can escape a flimsy crate much too easily. She never goes anywhere on these escapes, just runs to one of us, grinning broadly proud that she has remedied our aloneness. Compared to so many of the dogs we’ve fostered over the years, she’s easy-peasy.
I think she’d be the perfect dog for a young adult who would like company and protection. She’d like to be someone’s best friend and shadow. She loves to go places but is happiest snoozing by your side. And while Abby is not likely to confront an intruder with anything more than kisses, she does look intimidating. She’s the dog I’d love for my young adult daughter to have with her at all times (and she would if not for the apartment that does not permit dogs).
That said, she’d also make a great family dog because she loves all people indiscriminately. She doesn’t favor one of us over the other (unlike Fanny and Otis who default to me if I’m in the house).
So if you know anyone looking for a dog, send them our way. Abby is something special and I’m sure she will be a ‘heart dog’ for some lucky soul/s.
Until Each One Has a Home,
For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com.
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 WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org 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 email@example.com.
Many of the pictures on my blog are taken by photographer Nancy Slattery. If you’d like to connect with Nancy to take gorgeous pictures of your pup (or your family), contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.