dog rescue, fostering dogs

The Foster Dog I Hope to Never Meet

Let me explain.

I’ve been watching Gina’s journey from a distance since I met her back in August at Saving Webster Dogs.

I actually must have met her back in June when I traveled there with Who Will Let the Dogs Out on a shelter tour, but at the time there were over 100 dogs and somehow, this large, muddy, sweet dog didn’t catch my eye.

When I see the picture of her in a kennel, looking forlornly yet hopefully up at the person taking her picture, it comes back to me. She was then housed with another dog (what kind escapes me) and was quiet and watchful, but took treats gently. That’s all I can remember about my first encounter with her when we walked through the property, documenting all the dogs and sifting through how we could best help.

During the work weekends, first the one we co-sponsored with Tails of Hope and then the one they did without us in the fall, one volunteer did notice Gina.

PJ became Gina’s advocate, determined to help this sweet dog who had been at Saving Webster Dogs since November of 2021, living outside in a muddy kennel in the woods.

Gina is a muscular brown dog who would likely garner the label pit bull. In a place as crowded as SWD, she didn’t stand out. She wasn’t a hound, like most of the dogs you find there. She wasn’t loud or demanding or destructive. She didn’t have any apparent health issues. She wasn’t a behavorial issue, and got along with other dogs and people well. She held her weight and seemed to tolerate the tough conditions without issue. Kind of like the kid in class who is quiet and well-mannered and demands nothing, and so slips under the teacher’s radar.

At SWD there are daily crises to deal with, so an undemanding dog like Gina, could linger there for years. And likely would have, except that PJ noticed her and made the decision to do something.

PJ had not pulled a dog or fostered one before, but she couldn’t let Gina sit there in the mud any longer, going unnoticed and unchampioned. PJ reached out to me to see if I might foster Gina, but at the time I had just found homes for my latest fosters and we were beginning to tear apart our foster cottage, and take a break from fostering. I encouraged PJ to foster Gina and promised to help.

She persisted – would I foster Gina when my cottage was ready? I told her that would probably be March. So, armed with that promise, she pulled Gina and brought her home and she and her husband sorted it out. Gina was in a garage and now she’s in a playhouse, but at least she is out of the mud and snow and cold.

They’ve been stunned to realize that even after living outside for over a year, Gina is still housebroken. She walks nicely on a leash. Clearly, she had a home and person of her own once upon a time.

I’ve continued to get updates and pictures of Gina. Once PJ got her home and settled, and on a healthy diet, the pictures she sent were shocking –she looked just like my dog Fanny Wiggles.

It was eery, and tugged at my heartstrings.

Gina loves people and wants nothing more than to be a cuddle bug by your side. PJ worries that Gina struggles a little with separation anxiety, not wanting to be alone. She cries and is anxious when left alone – which is heartbreaking when you consider that she’s been essentially living alone for the last year.

As she’s gotten healthy, her energy has come out too. PJ and her husband are doing their best to give her the attention she needs – playing with her, spending as much time as they can with her, and even running a few miles each morning with her.

They’ve shared her picture everywhere they can, but so far, there is no adopter interest. They are trying everything they can to help – installing a sound machine, supplying her with lots of chew toys and Kongs, and giving her melatonin at night.

Meanwhile, we did end up fostering Moose (more on his story next week!) in one room of the cottage, with a space heater (but no lights!). We’ve been renovating the cottage –tearing out rotted framing, tossing rodent infest insulation, rewiring, installing new doors, and will soon install new flooring, and probably a new hot water heater. Our goal is to have it ready for fostering by March.

Which brings me to the first line of this post. I hope I don’t ever get to meet Gina. I hope that she has found a family and a home of her own before then. She has waited too long.

Please help us spread the word about his sweet, darling dog, who has not had a good life, but clearly doesn’t hold that against anyone.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in meeting Gina and possibly adopting her, here are the stats:

Gina is approximately 2 years old and weighs about 60 pounds. She loves people and gets along well with other dogs of all sizes. She is spayed, and up to date on vaccines. She is housebroken and walks nicely on a leash. She enjoys cuddling and chew toys, but mostly just wants to be with people, so she would do best in a home where she is not left alone for long days. She is currently fostered in Maryland. If you would like to learn more or meet Gina, contact: savingwebsterdogs@gmail.com. Or if you would like to apply to adopt her, click here.

Hopefully, my dog-hearted community is going to come through for Gina and I will never actually foster this dog. Meanwhile, I’ll share updates of her story on the Another Good Dog Facebook group.

 

Until Each One Has a Home,

Cara

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 carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

3 thoughts on “The Foster Dog I Hope to Never Meet”

  1. Oh how much we would love to adopt her. Schuyler lives with Julia now. We are going to FL until late April and for a month in Maine in the summer. Schuyler made those trips beautifully and both places are very dog friendly. However she knew us for several years first. Any pup we adopt has to get to know us before making such dramatic changes beginning next week.

    Liked by 1 person

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