Someone told me I jinxed Mia by writing about her last week in such a celebratory way.
Sad to say, she is back and not because I jinxed her but because she was set up to fail. I’ve agonized over how to explain what happened. I don’t want to throw Mia, the adopter, or the rescue under the bus, but I’d say that we all deserve to be runover on this one.
Mama Mia left for her forever home after 11 months in foster care. I still find it so hard to believe it took so long to get this amazing dog adopted.
Her adopter is a determined and patient woman, who was certain all along that Mia was her girl. It took three meet and greets, this last one happening with the help of trainer, Geraldine Peace, who you’ll recall was such a huge help with Billie Jean.
Every time I spend time with Geraldine I learn more about managing and training dogs. She was able to do in minutes what I was not able to do through two other meet and greets—introduce Mia safely to her new 9-pound senior fur-sister. At each of my attempts, Mia was just too over-the-top excited and could not settle enough that I felt safe introducing them. I never, for a moment worried that Mia would hurt the little dog. What I worried about was her unintentionally hurting her because of the size difference.
What’s a girl to do when her puppy room is empty, the same foster dog has been here for months, her foster cats finally left (after more than a year with us!) and she’s itching to save animals?
Why take in a few foster kittens, of course!
Fostering kittens is a new venture. I know nothing about kittens this tiny. Lucky for me OPH has supplied me with everything I need, and their rescuer gave me lots of excellent advice. Ian is doing the bulk of the work—putting drops in their eyes, giving them their daily meds, feeding them, hanging out with them.
Sometimes rescue is hard. Sometimes it doesn’t come easy.
As I put the final touches on my next book, due to the publisher December 1 (and if all goes well, released July 2020), I’ve spent a lot of time remembering one particular dog who changed my life. Gala was with us for over eleven months, but truly she has never left my heart.
The new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (and yes, that is a mouthful and no, it wasn’t up to me), begins with Gala. Up until Gala, fostering had been mostly fun, occasionally stressful, but ultimately a win-win for all parties involved.
There was a time when we had two, even three new fosters each month, but for the last few years, it’s been one long-term foster after another (Gala, Flannery, Daisy…) and a few puppy litters. This weekend we had planned to welcome a much anticipated foster dog from Alabama – Houdini, whom I met while visiting Walker County Animal Shelter where OPH partners with RUFF to support the shelter and rescue dogs.
That reunion has been postponed because transport for Houdini and the other RUFF dogs fell through at the last moment. Hopefully, he will catch his freedom ride at the end of this month and we’ll welcome him then.
They eat up every extra minute in my day. I probably knew that, but it was painfully obvious last Thursday. It was just me and Gracie. The house was so very quiet and weirdly still. I had time on my hands. I even cooked a real dinner.
This morning as I began to reorient myself to life in the real world after three wonderful weeks in the mountains, I started by cleaning up and putting away the detritus of summer. School starts on Thursday. It will be the last ‘first day’ for us as our baby starts his senior year in high school.