Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hard Business

Being how the inn is full here, I knew that placing the little stray dog was a must.  I have to tell you though, that my heart wasn't in it.  With three dogs and umpteen cats sometimes I feel stretched pretty thin.  However the little guy just fit in so well with the girls.

One last bath

As you can tell I was very torn.  I had sent out several emails after I got him asking for advice in placing him.  One went to my friend Kati who works alongside the St. Louis Senior Dog Project, a rescue based in the St. Louis Missouri area.  My email was basically asking for advice on what questions to ask that might raise red flags for a prospective adopter.

What scruffy cutenss
The next thing I know, Kati emails me back and evidently not quite understanding my email, she had smoothed the path to having him entered into the rescue via the foster program, and that we would just have to figure out how/when to meet.  At that point I completely flipped and probably started hyperventilating!   I emailed her back explaining I didn't want them to take him, as I was going to try and find him a home myself...but I would think about her offer.  So I did.  All night.  I realized by my response that I had 'crossed the line' and become too emotionally invested to be objective. Most likely 'no one' was going to be good enough in my mind to adopt him!


I thought about it more.  In the end, although it was terribly hard I decided to turn him over to the rescue, I thought it would be for the best.   They are equipped to interview people, and get all needed vet work done (micro chip, heart worm check, vaccinations, teeth cleaned) as well as place him in a foster home that can evaluate him as regards to what his temperament is like and if he is fully house trained (he is, but refuses to acknowledge the doggie door!) and how he might integrate into a prospective adopters home.  

Carly gets down on his level
Most importantly they do screen prospective adopters and microchip all their rescues so if somehow they get back 'into the system' the rescue is called and will retrieve the dog.   This organization is made up of a group of fosters so that no dog is kenneled somewhere in a building with a bunch of other dogs, just passing the time.  They take the dogs out every Saturday to adoption events and are actively seeking homes for them. 

Scruffy, scrappy and happy
A week ago Saturday I met Kati in Rolla, which was a little under halfway for me and turned the little guy over to the St. Louis Senior Dog Project.  That was one tough day. 

Time for some tug of war....

While he was here, he finally became comfortable enough to have wild play sessions with the collies.  They were worrisome for me, but evidently he was having a blast.  He only got rolled a couple of times,  and never hurt.  The two 'pups' Minty and Carly were quite thrilled with his running rabbit like ways and there were lots of chases, with either him being the pursued or being the pursuer.   Carly liked to use him for a chew toy which evidently delighted him.  She would pretend to gnaw on his hind leg and he wouldn't even flinch.   Ashley thought the whole display disgusting and politely pretended he didn't exist. 

And to the victor goes the spoils...even if they are as big as you are...

In his nearly four weeks here he also managed to grow a downy covering of fur on his hinder parts and while quite funny looking he was well on his way to being healthy looking.'re it!

I literally spent hours looking for this little dogs owner.  I put up flyers around the nearby roads, and in nearby towns, ran ads in the two local newspapers,  called every float and/or camping outfit near the river (and there are many...let me tell you....), listed him on as many internet sites that I could, and scanned pages and pages of statewide and nearby states lost and found ads on the internet.  And not forgetting that he was scanned for a microchip right off the bat at the vets.  It still disturbs me greatly that no owner was forthcoming.  I had a few calls, but they were wistful hopeful ones from people who had lost dogs that didn't really even come close to matching him.  I'm sure I'll never know his story, but I do know that for probably most of his life he was a much loved little lapdog.  Someone cared enough to have him neutered, to house train him, and to raise him to be a polite and joyful little dog.  And it breaks my heart for him that that was lost or thrown away.

And the chase is on....

However.  (deep breath) With all that being said, there isn't any use in dwelling on the sadness, but to be prayerful that he will find a special loving permanent home as he enters the next chapter of his life.

Hey!  Wait up!!!

For now he is in a foster home and has already attended one adoption event, had a haircut that has made him look quite dapper, plumped out even more, grown more hair, been deemed to be a "Freddy" and Thursday is having his teeth cleaned.  He will officially be up for adoption after that.   I know he can't understand it, but I'm out here rooting for him and keeping tabs on him....and I told them if he ends back up 'in the system' then he would have a home here.

That was fun....
In the meantime if you are looking for a rescue to sponsor check out St. Louis Senior Dog Project--they have a Facebook site and website, and their original intent is to rescue and place older 'senior' dogs, but they also work with all ages, shapes and sizes if they can--even the oft hard to adopt 'big black dogs'.  They also have a  program called the  Red Ribbon Program where select older dogs are offered at lowered adoption fees (or waived in the case of the adopter being a senior citizen) and vet costs covered for the dog even after adoption.  They also have on occasion puppies, younger dogs, senior citizen dogs, puppy mill 'breeder' rescues and more. 
A week later, new haircut and new digs

Handsome 'young' dog looking for a loving forever home!


thecrazysheeplady said...

You did a great job with him and did all the right things. He'll find a perfect home :-D.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I've heard of the St. Louis Senior Dog Project, and follow them on FB--I think they are a great group of people that do a lot of wonderful things!! I admire you for giving "Freddy" a home when he needed it the most and letting him go. I've no doubt that since he can't stay with you, he will find another amazing home and it'll be because of you that he does--You truly made a difference!!!

Nancy J said...

Hi, I hopped to you from Kim, all our cats have been rescue ones, and they hold such a special place in our hearts, these little girls and fellas, I'm sure he will get a wonderful home and be so loved. You gave him the love and so much TLC while he was there, and they do not forget. Greetings from Jean in New Zealand.

Peter said...

All of my dogs are from rescue groups (the two collies from New England Collie Rescue) and I bless the fosters who gave them a start and got them to me. You did a wonderful thing for that little guy and someone will bless you for it. But is is hard.....

Vicki Lane said...

Good job, Tammy. He's so darling -- may he find that forever home soon!

Sue said...

He is so adorable. Forgive me but I hope he doesn't get adopted and comes back to you and the girls.

BeadedTail said...

He's a cutie pie and he sure had a lot of fun while at your place! We're sending purrs that he finds his furever home soon! Thank you for making sure he went to the best place possible while waiting for that home!

Also, thank you for the advice on our blog about the SSSScat air canisters. We hadn't heard of those before but that'd work great for when he walks up the steps onto the deck and it'll scare him right away! That will help protect our birdies too. We'll try it out! We appreciate you lurking on our blog and hope you feel like commenting from time to time! :)

Angel & Isabella

Phyllis Oller said...

Catching up with you,Tammy.What a cute little guy! You did a great job caring for him while deciding what was best for him,even though you would like to keep him yourself.
I look at all of those high kill shelters on facebook,& want to adopt all of them!though I know I can`t give them ALL the proper attention.So,so glad you did your homework & placed him where he will be fostered till rehomed.P.S.I believe you`d make a great foster home for these animals,phyllis

Tina T-P said...

Where oh where have you gone? 6 weeks and nary a word... T.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I was going through my blog-list and thought I'd stop by to say 'hello' and let you know you're being thought of in northern Virginia. I hope all is well with you, and that you're enjoying the fall!! Take care!! :-)