and just like that

Every Saturday, BARK volunteers bring a selection of dogs from the farm to various pet stores around Richmond. Foster families can also bring their dogs whenever they want, even if a dog hasn’t been requested to be seen by a potential family. A week after Heidi joined our pack, I decided to take her to Petsmart for the whole three hours (12-3 pm).

For some reason it’s tough to find homes for hounds and at BARK there are A LOT so the odds weren’t in our favor but with a great, big stroke of luck, she met an interested family!

They told me that they’d bring their other dog to meet her the following Saturday.

All week I waited on Kelley, the Adoption Coordinator at BARK, to send me an email telling me that she had been requested for the visit. By Thursday I hadn’t heard anything so I emailed her. She told me that the family hadn’t given her all the information she needed and that she couldn’t get a hold of them.

My heart sank. They seemed like such a great family for Heidi!

So this past weekend at 1:30 pm, I had a strong gut feeling that we should be back at Petsmart and not shopping. I made my husband turn the truck around so I could rush home and then drive over.

Heidi and I got there at 2:00. Bob, the owner of the rescue, told me that the family had been by earlier. I had missed them!! Crap.

About 30 minutes later one of the daughters showed up with the rest of the paperwork they needed to adopt Heidi. I didn’t know this at the time but when they came the first time, Kelley had told them what she needed so they ran right home to get it. Thank goodness they still needed that paperwork or they wouldn’t have come back!

The daughter called the rest of the family so that they could bring their other dog to meet Heidi. If all went well, we’d be in the clear.

After another 30 minutes, the family arrived. Both of the dogs have pretty passive personalities so neither of them were very interested in the other. We didn’t see any negativity though, so it was a match!

The mom (from the phone) told us that she wanted a ‘trial run’ with Heidi just to make sure she was the right choice. I was informed that the only way they could do that was if they adopted her first. Bob said that if she didn’t work out, they could bring her back and get a full refund.

I wasn’t sure how they’d take the news. I gave the dad his option. There was a long pause but then he said, ‘Welp, I guess we’re adopting a dog today!’

YESSS. I would’ve totally done a happy dance but there were too many people around.

Obviously there’s still a chance that she doesn’t fit in at their home but I can’t imagine that happening. I feel like the family will work with any issues that might come up. Heidi’s too cute to give back. ๐Ÿ™‚

As they wrapped up the paperwork, I realized she was leaving me… today. I hadn’t prepared for that part. Sure she’d only been at my house for two weeks but ever since January whenย we first met, I wanted to help find her a home. Now that day had come. It was time to say good-bye.

I had one of the daughters take a photo of the two of us at that moment.

Course Heidi had no idea what was going on but I have to admit I was a little upset!

I took off her BARK collar so the family could put on her new one. I handed the collar to Kelley but she handed it back to me and said, ‘Do you want to keep it? You should keep it.’ I took it back and then walked the family to their car.

And just like that she was gone.

I have her collar to remember her by and a new facebook friend. They said they’ll post pictures of progress and playtime. I can’t wait to see them!

The other dogs at our house seem to be doing fine without Heidi. Without a hyper puppy to play with, Roary is sleeping a lot more but I don’t think she minds. She now has time to heal her playtime wounds and spend more time with her buddy Olivia.

It was a fun adventure. I learned a lot about love and potential. I hope to do it again sometime! It’d be great to have little collection of collars. ๐Ÿ™‚

second chance

I meant to write yesterday per my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule but a little something (or someone) got in the way this week.

Let me start by telling you about my new job. I’ve been working as a Veterinary Assistant for about a month now and I love it. Along with simple tasks like a ton of cleaning and stocking, I get to play work with animals all day, help with labs, bloodwork, prescriptions, x-rays, ultrasounds and probably some other stuff that I can’t think of right now. Remember my blog’s tagline about helping others? At this job I get to help (yay!) and learn about fun medical stuff that I’ve always been interested in. I believe I’ve found a winner.

No need to jump the gun but we’ve already had talks of me going back to school to become a Veterinary Technician! Of course I’m still it that ‘honeymoon’ phase with my new job so I’ll give it some time before I plan my next move.

My new career is already much more fulfilling than my old one so I’m making progress!

———-

Back to that ‘little something’ that I mentioned at the beginning of the post.

On Tuesday I got to witness just how much Veterinarians can help animals. I was assisting my doctor in an appointment for a possible euthanasia. This was my first euthanasia so I expected a very sick, old dog with very sad parents. That’s not what we found.

Between a lot of laughter and jokes, the owners complained about how the dog would always cry, couldn’t walk well and often had accidents in the house. Oh and that she possibly had cancer. They then said that they were moving and couldn’t deal with having to stop every couple hours (on the drive to the new state) to let the dog go to the bathroom <- I found this comment odd since it’s not a reason to kill a dog. The whole situation just didn’t sit right with me.

After the parents left the room and we were alone with the dog, the doctor decided to put her on the floor to see if she could walk. She had already been eating treats out of my hand during the appointment, (not looking like a dog near death) so he wanted to test her out. The dog walked slow since she was 14 but pretty well!! It was crazy to see her move easily since her owners said she usually had a tough time.

The doctor decided that he just couldn’t go through with it. There was no eminent reason to put her down. In the end the owners gave the dog over to the clinic and in turn we saved her life!

Enter Belle, formerly known as Taco. (Get it?? The name wasn’t my idea but I think it’s pretty great.)

She is currently sitting beside me on MY couch in MY home. Yep, we’re testing her out… and she’s a chihuahua! Baha. Her small size is why she can be 14 and still have a few years on her.

We’re going to keep her for a week to see if she meshes well with the family. At the moment I feel that it might be better for her to be with a family where there’s someone at home with her all the time. We’re a very active family so maybe an older couple would be a better match for a slower-paced dog? I’m trying to keep an open mind though! Either way, the clinic that I work at will make sure she finds a good home. I love my job.

It appears that her previous owners spoiled her rotten and maybe even carried her everywhere which is common for such a small breed. I say this because she sometimes sounds like a dying piglet when she’s left alone (all night!) or wants to be picked up. It’s not pleasant. I think they would come to her aid every time she made a peep so she has learned that crying is the best way to get what she wants. Not in this house though! She’ll learn in time… I hope.

Oh and all the issues her old owners talked about? None have been true except for the crying. It was amazing to find that her bloodwork came back negative – no cancer, no diabetes, no nothing. The little lady has a pretty bad heart murmur and really bad teeth (AND BREATH, yikes) but that’s it! She hasn’t had any accidents and during her second night here she only woke up twice to scream cry. Not to shabby for a dog that was supposed to be euthanized. Every time i see her walk or sometimes RUN, I shake my head in disbelief at how someone would even consider putting down their dog of 14 years even though it was fine. So sad.

I feel like this post is one big opinionated vent but I have to tell you, my best friend was in a situation where it was best for her to re-home her dog and it worked out wonderfully! The dog is now in a loving home and both of them are happy. I think that’s the best way to go in these types of situations.

Yay for second chances!!

———-

Oh and if you’re wondering, we will still be fostering a dog even if Belle joins the family. ๐Ÿ™‚

And even though I now have a direction towards a more fulfilling career, my husband and I will still be volunteering at various places because we enjoy the experience and helping others.

Do you plan on volunteering this weekend?

olivia – week 6

Since I’m currently watching paint dry for tomorrow’s post I thought I’d update you on Olivia since it’s been awhile!

You know someone is officially part of your family when you have 5 nicknames for them -> Liv, Wiv, Livia, Wivia, & o-liv-i-AAA (sang to the tune of ‘Activia!‘). Yeah that last one…my sister’s odd. ๐Ÿ™‚

socializing
Yesterday we went to the dog park. I don’t know if it was the smaller amount of dogs in the park due to our earlier than normal arrival but it was a turning point for Olivia. She PLAYED in PUBLIC. If you’ve read my earlier updates about her, (found here and here) you know she’s a timid lady so for her to have the confidence to play is super exciting.

they're playing not fighting, I promise!

She mostly stuck to running with Roary but she did have some bouts of playfulness towards other dogs.

food
Olivia is still eating well but as I mentioned before, Roary is having trouble staying out of her bowl. A couple times now I’ve even caught Roary growling at whoever is too close to her own bowl. ME included! I laid the smackdown when I caught her in the act – by making her submit and lay down on her side until she relaxed. I won’t tolerate a food aggressive dog in my house! Roary’s issue isn’t helping Olivia so let’s hope I can get her under control. They don’t have any problems drinking from the water bowl at the same time though! Hmm.

walking
Walking is going so much better. I purchased two new leads (found here) for the girls that keep the loop at the top of their necks so they are easier to control. Instead of stopping when Olivia starts to pull, I now tap her on the side of her torso with my foot (as always, Cesar Millan style). Because she’s so skiddish, she stops pulling right away and falls back in line with Roary. This is a great example of my dogs’ difference in personalities. I could probably kick Roary across the street and she’d still be staring at an elusive squirrel but with Olivia it’s just a tap. For Roary I use the tug to the side approach which (usually) snaps her out of her pulling trance. Oh and Olivia still freezes when big trucks go by which I admit IS a bit scary when they’re flying down the road. She’s also not barking at other walkers anymore. She might let out a little growl but once they get close to us she’s fine.

potty training
She did have an accident yesterday but we tested the girls by leaving them with free range of the entire house for two hours while we were gone. In the past couple weeks we went from keeping them in their crate to letting them roam the kitchen/den area. We’ve only tested the kitchen/den area a couple times so expanding their freedom to the entire house was probably premature. It’ll take a couple tries before Olivia realizes she just has to hold it until we get back!

roary & playing
As I mentioned earlier, this is going great! Course now they’re so comfortable playing that they like to jump on my bed at 6:30 in the morning and wrestle. As you can see from this picture, it’d be pretty intense for the early morning!

at the park

the husband
His patience is waning but Olivia is still making good progress with him. The other day I heard a girly yelp from the other side of the room. I looked over and saw that Olivia hadย  jumped up and put her paws on my husband’s stomach. (She often does that when she’s excited). The girly cry had come from the excited grown man with the giant smile on his face. I have to tell you that this man does not show much emotion so it was a hilarious sight to see!

She also willingly sits near him these days. In comparison to when we first got her – she would run out of a room if he were in it. Breakthrough indeed!

his girls

We are so glad that she’s a part of our family. She’s learning commands, showing emotion, and getting more comfortable each day. It’s so fun to watch her progression.

At first we thought she might be too mellow for crazy, cooky, Roary.

hello there

But we’re finding out that she has a very entertaining personality as well!

relax, take a load off

I might have to do a post consisting of just awkward Olivia poses and faces. She has a TON and it’s hilarious. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that she’s settled in, we’ve been discussing our next foster. We’re thinking we’re going to stick to just one for now and see how it goes. Next Saturday we’ll be volunteering at BARK again so we hope to make a decision then.

Stay tuned!