Saturday, September 29, 2012

Foster Romeo update!

Today, our sweet Romeo was adopted.  I delivered him to his new home this afternoon.  I cried the whole way home. I miss that little guy so much.

Romeo had a tough start.  You can read about it HERE.  Over the past two weeks, he has really relaxed and turned into a great dog.  He warmed up to Trevor and this morning jumped up on the couch to be with him and licked his face.

Romeo loved our other animals.  He especially loved Maggie and our cat Murray.  He slept with me every single night and I loved it.

Trevor and I were out of town for a weekend and we had a pet sitter stay at our house.  Romeo growled at her the first time she arrived, then warmed up pretty quickly.  A couple nights later, he took a trip to the emergency vet because he was very lethargic and couldn't walk.  He spent two nights there. They did some tests and couldn't come up with a solid reason for why he acted that way.  He had behaved in a similar fashion when he first arrived at our shelter.  Our best guess is that he was stressed and he expressed that by shutting down.

We picked Romeo up from the emergency vet when we got back in town and he has been just fine.

 On Thursday, a nice man came into the shelter to ask about Romeo.  He was SO nice and seemed very kind.  I wasn't sure how Romeo would do with a man, but figured we would see.  I cried the whole way home and then sat in my garage and read his application.  Everything I read made me believe this would be a good home for Romeo.

Friday, the nice man came to the shelter and met Romeo.  Our little guy walked right over to him and by the time he left, Romeo would sit on this lap.  He was the one.  Romeo's new dad was going to come back on Saturday to take him home. He would be working Friday night and didn't want to leave Romeo alone.  He has a 17 year old daughter who I knew would LOVE Romeo.  I was actually happy to have one more night with the little guy.

Saturday morning we took Romeo to the shelter while I worked and Trevor helped.  12 o'clock came and Romeo's dad wasn't there.  I called the number on his application but it was the wrong number.  That didn't seem like him, but I figured if he wanted Romeo, he would come down to get him. (I had told him I would only be there until noon)

Around 3 pm, I got a call from a volunteer who was at the shelter to walk dogs and Romeo's dad was there to get him.  He said he had left a message and could come back on Sunday.  I drove down the shelter, listened to the message and called him back (I had read a 7 as a 2 in his phone number!).  He was ready for Romeo, so I headed over to his house to deliver him.

Romeo was fast asleep in the passenger seat and had no idea what was in store for him!

I arrived at the house and Romeo did great, no growling or anything.  He really liked the daughter and didn't mind the dad or the male teenage boy.  There was lots of tail wagging and investigating.  We sat at the table and filled out paperwork.  Romeo would check in with me now and then.

Finally the time came to leave.  I picked him up and said my goodbye.  I tried so hard not to cry as I told him how great his life was going to be and how I would always love him.  Then I handed him over to the daughter and left.

I cried the whole way home - a combination of happy and sad tears.  Its hard to let go.  I loved that little guy from the first second I met him, scared and trembling in his kennel.   I don't know how his story will end and I will most likely never see him again.  But I will love him always and a piece of my heart is with his heart.

I love how my animals were with him and with the other fosters.  They have been so tolerant and welcoming and that just makes me love our babies even more.  They are fosters too - brothers and sisters.

I have always thought it would be impossible to foster.  We got Maggie and Asha from foster homes and both times I cried when we left and said "How can they let them go".  I now understand how they did it  and know that they probably were sad after we left. 

Two weeks ago today, Romeo was scheduled to be euthanized at the shelter in California - I got this picture from the woman that rescued him.

Tonight, he is Home.

To be able to play a part in this story, to be the bridge between Romeo's old life and his new one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.  It hurts my soul to know that literally thousands of animals like Romeo are killed in shelters every single day.  Wonderful, amazing, sweet doggies and kitties who would make terrific pets, die each day.  I can't wrap my head around it.

So while I cry tonight for missing my Romeo and I cry with happiness for him and his new family, I cry out of frustration and anger for every creature who will never have the same chance at life.  And I cry for the world we live in for letting it happen.  

Please spay and neuter all your pets.  Adopt, foster, volunteer, donate, be aware.  Please.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Foster doggie - Romeo

I have been missing our little foster Wishbone.  I have never had a little dog and I wasn't sure our big dogs would like it, but it was really fun having her in our house. I loved seeing how my other animals were with her.  At first, they were obsessed, then they got used to her and kind of brought her in as one of our own. I loved seeing that. I figured we would take another foster dog if asked.

Saturday morning, I stopped at my shelter (West Columbia Gorge Humane Society) to pick up some doggies to take to an adoption event. When I arrived I saw our newest resident.  He didn't have a name, he was a little chihuahua/terrier mix.  He came to us from a high kill shelter in California.  He was set to be euthanized on Saturday morning.  A local Vancouver woman who rescues animals from this high kill shelter got him on a transport Friday and had him sent to our shelter.  He was SO scared.  He wouldn't lift his head and would barely walk.  I got in the kennel with him and it took about 10 minutes for him to move onto my lap - one step at a time. Then he laid down and stopped shaking.  "He's coming home with me", I said. We would foster him.  I texted Trevor a picture and said "I am bringing this guy home with me." and he said "okay"
I decided to name him Romeo because I was totally in love with him, within a second.

I took him to the vet to get his rabies shot. He laid on my lap in the car and didn't lift his head. When I carried him into their office, he buried his head in my neck.  The vet asked to do blood work because he was so lethargic and his heart rate was very low.  I think this little guy had given up on life. 

I picked him up later in the day and took him home.  Again, he laid with his head down the entire way. I stopped to see Trevor and Romeo wouldn't walk on the leash.  Then we got home. I carried him inside and the second his paws hit the floor, he came back to life. He ran around, went right for the back door. I let him out and he ran around the back yard, tail wagging, looking up at the sun.  I sat down and watched. He came over and climbed up on my lap. I looked down at him and he licked my face.  I burst into tears. 

This little guy was supposed to have been killed that morning.  Instead, he was alive and he was happy about it.  I cried for a little bit because I hate that we live in a world where dogs like this are killed in shelters every day - thousands of them....every. single. day.  Then I stopped crying and continued loving on him.

I let my other dogs meet him and that went pretty well. Buster was obsessed, just like with Wishbone.  Maggie was like "whatever" and Asha couldn't track him so that annoyed her.

Romeo is not too sure about Trevor. I think at some point, he must have had a bad experience with men.  But he sure does love me. He gets along with all our doggies and kitties. He likes to chase the kitties.  Maggie is his favorite, he jumps up and lays down with her. Its very cute.

He sleeps with me most of the night and then I hear him playing with kitties. He has started to know him name and comes when I call him.  He runs around the yard and kind of prances when he is on a leash.

I took him to an adoption event on Sunday and we meet the woman responsible for saving him. She was so happy to see how happy he was!  She said that he was so scared that he became aggressive and when she was moving him from one kennel to another in the car, she had to literally dump him because she couldn't reach in to get him.

And now look at him....

This little guy is just waiting for a family of his own. I would love to keep him, but if we keep him, we can't help others.  He can stay with us for as long as he needs...until he finds the RIGHT family.  I am so glad he was saved from his scheduled death.  I love him.  With all my heart, I love him and I wish we could save them all.

Please adopt, foster, volunteer, donate and SPAY AND NEUTER all your pets.

Another Foster Kitty - Diggory

Last week, we got back from Rev3 Cedar Point Ohio on Tuesday and I think we picked up our next foster cat on Wednesday.  This is Diggory. 
I swear, in a prior life, he must have been a man. He has a man face, don't you think?  He was an owner surrender and once at the shelter, he got a respiratory and eye infection.  We treated him for less than a week.  Wednesday, he went back to the shelter and got a clean bill of health.  Onto the adoption floor he went. Hopefully he will be adopted this weekend. 

Diggory REALLY wanted out of the cattery - which is what we call the room where we keep the fosters.  He would cry all day and all night. When we went in to spend time with him, he was all loves.  He will be an amazing cat for some family. update

Wow.  It has been a long time since I posted.  I have so much to post about just no time to post it!  My parents were saying that they could tell I had been busy because they checked my blog and there was nothing!  I have written several blogs in my head and will try to cover it all…

In one of my last posts, I was excited about being hired as the part time Volunteer Services Manager at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society.  I also had just be hired as a spin/cycling instructor at the local gym.  I signed up to sub about 9 classes a week over a three week period because everyone was on vacation.  

The job at the Humane Society was way more than I had anticipated and my head was swimming with all the amazing things I was learning there and with all the things I wanted and needed to do.  I was loving teaching cycling.  If I had known that I would be starting another job, I probably wouldn’t have signed up for so many two a day classes!  I found myself running from the gym to the shelter and back to the gym. Rushing everywhere, always just a couple minutes late.

Our August 21st, I got a call from my friends at Rev3.  They had a race coming up on August 28th in Old Orchard Beach Maine.  They were in a bit of a pickle with their volunteer situation and wanted to know if I would help out between then and the race.  And would Trevor and I be able to come to Maine to work race weekend.  Their Volunteer Director was having some medical issues that were keeping her out longer than anticipated.  I said sure and then we tried to clear our schedule and figure out how to get things planned.

I spent the next week filling every minute of free time with emails  and phone calls, planning and creating documents for the race.  For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I realized that I was totally over committed.  I had said yes to WAY too many things.  Yet I was excited about all of them and so it wasn’t so bad. I just felt rushed every second of every day.  Like there just wasn’t enough time.

Trevor and I took the red eye to Boston on the Thursday before the race, a week after we were invited to join Rev3 in Maine.  The red eye seemed like a good idea, but as I lay with my head on the tray table as if it were a pillow, I realized that the red eye was NOT a good idea.  

We arrived in Boston and made the two hour drive to Old Orchard Beach.  We were exhausted before the weekend even began.  Trevor had a cold that was going downhill fast. I wasn’t so sure we would make it out of Maine without a trip to the Emergency Room.  Over the weekend he just got worse and every time I saw him it made me want to cry.  But there was no other choice except to power through and that’s what he did.

In true Rev3 fashion – the weekend was a whirlwind.  The crew of about 20-30 people swooped in on Thursday, built our own little city, put on an Olympic and 70.3 distance triathlon for 1200 athletes.  We had about 400 volunteers.  It was hectic and crazy and a TON of work.  It was also fun, amazing and inspirational.  I love that Rev3 crew.  They are hard workers and good people.  The 17-20 hour days wear on you, but in the end, the finished product makes me proud and honored to be a part of their team.  By Sunday night we were cleaned up. Monday we hit the road for home.

 We got home Monday night and hoped we could get some rest.  We had a new house sitter staying with our pets while we were gone.   Our house is a lot of work, our pets are not easy and this guy will not be returning.  He did a great job while we were gone and I was surprised when he said “sorry it didn’t work out”.  I guess Asha wasn’t happy with the new  sitter because she didn’t sleep at all while we were gone. 

Tuesday morning at 9:01, the phone rang. It was the shelter (not mine, the other one in town that we foster for).  They had a little doggie who needed to go to a foster home.  Wishbone was a little terrier/jack Russell mix who was not doing well in the shelter.  She had fear aggression and was labeled unadoptable and put on the list for euthanasia.  Her last chance was to see how she would do in a home. 

I was exhausted, Trevor was sick.  We had no time or energy for anything else and I picked Wishbone up that afternoon.  While I wasn’t sure I had it in me to help, I knew she was out of chances and I couldn’t say no.  This little doggie changed my life.

Wishbone did great in our home, our other animals did great with her.  She ran and played, mimicked the other dogs, learned from them.  She sat in the sun and slept with me at night.  She was a great dog and would be a great dog for some lucky family.  We had a meet and greet with someone who wanted to adopt her, they fell in love and she eventually went on to be a part of their family.

I cried when I said goodbye to her. I loved her, I will always love her.  She is alive because of us and there is no doubt about that.  She gave me the opportunity to feel good about myself.  I am proud of what we did for her and I love what she did for us.  I have gotten some updates from her new mom. Her name is now Bailey and she is adjusting well.

In the meantime, I had gotten another call from Rev3.  Their Cedar Point, Ohio race was coming up on September 9th and could Trevor and I come there too?  We again scrambled to get everything covered.  The tricky part this time was that we had our own triathlon that was taking place on the 9th.  Every year we put on a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon.  We needed to find someone to take that over for us.  We also needed to schedule a new house/pet sitter.  Plus get all our other stuff covered.

Our friend Brian, took on our triathlon, our Pet Sitting company (Home Buddies) found us a great new sitter and we were able to get the rest taken care of too.  So it was off to Ohio for another Rev3 Adventure!

This race was epic – Saturday would have a sprint and a kids triathlon, Sunday would be a half and a full distance triathlon.  Over 1900 athletes and 850 volunteers.   We again swooped in on Thursday and got all set up.  Saturday morning we arrived at the race site in the midst of a storm - gale force winds, pouring rain, rip current warnings in the lake.  The sprint and kids races turned into runs. 

Sunday morning, the weather was perfect and the longer distance races went off as planned.  We arrived that morning around 4:30 am and did not get back to our hotel until almost 3 am the next morning.
  We got up on Monday and spent the day packing up.  We headed home on Tuesday and again hoped to get some rest.  Right back at it, we hit the ground running.  

All of the above could have had posts of their own, but this will have to suffice. If I tried to get them all done individually, it would never happen.  We had another foster cat last week and currently have another foster dog. I will post about them on their own.  This weekend I am in New Jersey for my 20 year high school reunion and hopefully I have the chance to post on that.  I expect lots to talk about.  Until then....stay tuned....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Foster Penelope Update

Its been a while and I need to update!!!  Here is a quick one, Foster Penelope was adopted to an awesome couple who saw all our postings on our Meet The Fosters facebook page.  Trevor set up a page so we could track our fosters.  When he posts, he tags the Humane Society and so people we don't even know get to follow our stories.  One of those people started asking about our little PP.  They came to meet her and ended up adopting her, she didn't even have to go back to the shelter. We've received updates and she is doing so well.

Here is the link to that page

We love you Miss Penelope....