Foster Day 0: Spencer’s Miracle

Spencer who is now Benji is now Spenji to me!! Spenji came in as a stray with another dog and lived there until August 18th the day I began fostering him. He was declining in the shelter and becoming unadobtable. I cannot even begin to tell you how bonded the two of us became and I was dying inside because I knew in my heart this dog was special and deserved a chance to grow and find his forever home. My kids had just bought a house and were getting ready to move out the weekend of the 18th. A window of opportunity opened for me give this boy a chance to show how great he was. Although my husband was not thrilled with me fostering, he supported me, knowing how important Spenji was to me.

You can read all about our time together in my previous blogs. I had been working with a potential adopter who was so amazing and willing to give Spenji all the time he needed to get to know him. We were setting up a time for our next meeting when I got a call that shook me to the core. I should have been thrilled but I was terrified. Spenji’s former owner had found him and was there to reclaim him. Normally I would be jumping up and down but I didn’t know this person who was going to be taking my baby off my hands. The information about how he found Spenji and anything about the case was confidential so they couldn’t really even tell me about his dad and the circimstances that led him to the shelter and his being found. I cried all night and all day the next day, so much so I gave myself a throbbing headache. I couldn’t even talk about it so I had to hang up with my hubby and text him instead.

I had spent some much time and hard work working with Spenji’s shy and fearfulness and loving his with all my heart. Was my baby going to be ok? I had to put my trust in the shelter and believe that they wouldn’t allow him to go back into a bad situation. I can tell you now, that that the moment Spenji saw his daddy walk through the door, he was home….his forever home!!! He was so excited he peed on the sidewalk and from that point on never left his daddy’s side. All the weight I was carrying for him just fell off and was replaced with joy and happiness. My baby was so happy!!! The video speaks volumes. I have watched it so much that my husband says, “You’re watching it again?” I can’t help myself. It was a beautiful moment that I will never forget.

So now what do I do with my heart? I’m so happy for him but darn if he didn’t take a piece of my heart with him. I couldn’t even go down to the basement for hours after because I knew I would see his empty crate, bowl and food dish sitting there without him. How can one be so happy yet so sad at the same time? Last night I felt so lost. He wasn’t playing ball upstairs or chewing on his enrichment. I felt like I needed to be taking him outside for his last pee for the night and around 9 I was ready to take him down to bed but arrgggg he wasn’t there. Today I feel so lost. My schedule is all messed up. I keep feeling like there is something I need to do. I can’t imagine how foster peeps deal with this, who have had their foster’s a lot longer then I did.

Fostering is hard work especially when you have other dogs. Because Spenji had snapped at other dogs, we kept ours apart from him except when walking. He had shown great progress walking with my Jewels and we were working on integrating them when the time was right. I had to have a schedule for Spenji, my dogs and my grandkids. It was hard but we were in a routine. Now I have this extra time on my hands so I rearranged my kitchen. If you ask me would I do it all over again, I would say in a heartbeat. However, the next time I foster will be after my girls have passed on. They are 7 and 10. When they do pass on, my dream is to pour myself into fostering seniors and endangered dogs.

So happy life my sweet baby boy. I will never forget you! Be the best boy I know you can be. I love you sooooooooooooooooooo much!!

Saying good-bye and hello again. Look at the way he looks at his daddy. So precious!!!
Together again at last!

Foster Day 36:Spencer Meets the Neighbors

A few nights ago Spencer got to meet several neighbors in the neighborhood. It just happened we were walking him with my Jewels and there was a guy standing outside smoking a cigarette. Spence went right up to him and was very friendly. He had his muzzle on as we are trying to integrate him more with our dog family. He did bark at Jewels when they got close but my girl is a very submissive girl and she just backed away heeding his space warning. Our plan is to keep walking them together to get him used to her and hopefully he will accept her and then others.

The following day we took Spence out with a muzzle and my Jewels but this time to the park. I was so pleasantly pleased as he walked next to her, behind her, bumped into her and at one point looked like he gave her a little kiss. I was so proud of him. Gave me hope of him being integrated with another dog if someone is willing to go slow. There was absolutely no sign of aggression and seemed to be some acceptance.

Other neighbors came out and we had a sidewalk party hahahahaha. Spence did very well with the group of people. I told them all to not try and pet him but to let him come up to them. He allowed for pets and only showed some fear with one lady and she gave him room. My Jewels was in heaven. She loves people and is friendly with everyone!! First time I met so many neighbors at once and I think it was really good for Spencer. He did so good and no treats were involved.

A few days ago Spencer had another milestone. For days he has been trying to engage my 6 year old grandson in play but I told Liam no only because of Spencer’s toy possessiveness. He has been coming up to my grandson and sniffing him and has allowed pets for a couple of weeks now. While Liam and I were sitting there talking Spencer went up to Liam and dropped his ball, sat down and waited for Liam to pick it up and throw. I told my grandson he could try and to move slowly to the ball but if Spence moved, he could not pick the ball up. Spence just sat there patiently waiting. Liam threw the ball and Spence brought it back to him. Liam told him to drop it (took three times) and he dropped the ball. Liam told him to sit and stay, picked up the ball and threw it again. It was so amazing to watch them together. People! Spence listened and obeyed a 6 year old!!!!!

Spence’s 2nd greet went pretty much like a stressed out dog’s meet and greet. Spence hates the shelter and immediately started pacing once inside the yard kennel. We are rethinking dog to dogs and planning to do the next one across from the shelter in the field. I had to keep Spencer from being outside when my neighbor’s dog is outside. He used to just ignore him but last week started running the fence with the neighbor dog. He stays on a very long yard leash that doesn’t allow him to go to fence. Spencer just got tired of that dog goading him. So now I have a text relationship with my neighbor to keep them separated. I already have to keep my girls away from him as well and he and Jewels would run the fence but he would stand up on fence and Jewels would meet him and he punctured her neck twice. Fortunately my neighbor is willing to work with me.

Yesterday I discovered that Spencer likes bubbles. I had crappy bubbles so gonna buy some new ones for the next bubble play time. I sure love this little boy!!!

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children. He’s not mean to them but he likes tug of war and doesn’t like to give his toy up. If adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at

Foster Day 28: Spencer Gets His First Meet and Greet

On Sunday, I got to take my sweet foster baby to the shelter for his first meet and greet with a potential adopter. I was so proud of Spencer. He didn’t shy away one time and kept coming right up to the PA (potential adopter). Because Spence is a shy boy and didn’t always like to be touched in the shelter, our training staff person just had him play a game of treat/retreat with him. Treat/retreat is a game that allows the dog establish trust in people and teaches a better way of handling his or her conflicts and fear. While playing this game he or she chooses how far or how close to approach. Everybody wins in this game. I think Spencer ate the whole bag of treats thoguh. He’s such a foodie!!

What I observed was him choosing to come right up to his PA which is a beautiful thing. He didn’t seem to carry any fear with him and was eager to interact. I knew he would welcome the interaction when he brought his toy over to him and tried to drop it in his lap. Spence didn’t use to like to give up his toys but he has been learning that when he drops his toys, his human will throw it and he gets to play chase. Watching him trying to engage the PA made my heart so happy.

How Spencer plays ball!

I think Spencer would have accepted pets. In my home he has encountered my husband, 3 adult sons, my son-in-law, my daughter, my two daughter-in-laws and my two grandchildren (limited contact with the kids). He seems to warm up very quickly to attention now. He greets everyone at the door and sniffs their hands. Once when my grandson came out of the office to ask me a question for his online schooling, Spence went right up to him and sniffed his hand. My grandson wanted to pet him so bad. He said, “Grandma, he wants me to pet him.” I have permission now to allow contact and Liam got to pet Spencer for the first time yesterday. Spence was so good. He just stood there and allowed the contact.

The other day the mailman came up to the porch and Spence did not like it one bit. I thought oh gee another mailman hater. My boxer pit wants to eat the mailman. I think he was just protecting his home. It was the first time he jumped on my couch.

Spenser has his next meet and greet in my home on Sunday. So excited to see how that goes but I think it will be great. After that it will be back up at the shelter for a dog to dog meet and greet with the PA’s roommate. So hoping Spence will like her. He came to the shelter with a female dog so I’m hoping he accepts her.

I love watching Spencer play on his back with his toys. It makes me feel like he is a very happy boy.

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children. He’s not mean to them but he likes tug of war and doesn’t like to give his toy up. If adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at

Foster Day 25: Spencer Learns “Down”.

My sweet little foster boy is really adjusting to the non sheltered life. The last four days Spence has been able to come upstairs (or when I hang out in the basement with him) to relax. He is no longer trying to play 24/7 tug of war. He is realizing it’s ok to just lay down on the floor and go to sleep, chew on a bone, or chew on his toy. He isn’t trying to forever engage me anymore. He’s learning that life isn’t all about the tug.

He does however spend a lot of time with his upper body in my lap. He’s becoming quite the mommy’s boy. He is so loyal to the people he loves. He tries to jump in foster daddy’s lap but because he can’t just lay down without giving kisses and wanting to play, daddy says no. But he gives him tons of love and pets on the floor hahahaha.

When we play ball, I will tell him I’m not throwing it until you drop it. He has gotten so good at dropping it now and allowing me to pick it up without grabbing it back. He does from time to time regress to the old way but I will firmly tell him to leave it and the ball becomes mine. Yesterday he finally got the concept of “down”. Oh my gosh I was so proud of him. Down is a very important command for him because he will get the zoomies and I have to say down and sometime put him in that submissive side position for him to settle. He’s still a puppy in so many ways but he is learning. You just have to be patient and firm with him.

Learning “Down”

The closer he gets to me the more he doesn’t like when I leave him downstairs or in his crate. He will bark a few time but usually stop. Sometimes I will speak to him from the camera and last night and the day before, he laid down on command. He’s a perfect boy after that and will stay asleep until I come get him in the morning.

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children. He’s not mean to them but he likes tug of war and doesn’t like to give his toy up. If adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at

Foster Day 20: Loving Spencer

I really wish someone would come along and adopt this precious boy. He deserves to be 100% with his humans and not separated like I have to do now. He’s is the sweetest, most loving dog, loyal dog. He loves walks and gets so excited when we go. I wish he could find a human that would like to walk as well and had the time to do it. I wish for him to find someone who wouldn’t mind letting him come up on the bed to snuggle and nap with.

I wish he would find a person who would take him on rides and to the park and I bet Spence would love to hike. I just wish my sweet boy could find his forever home and as hard as it will be for me to give him up, it will also be a day of rejoicing because I wish for him more then what I am giving him now. Darn tears!!!!!!

I can’t believe it’s almost been 3 weeks since this precious boy came home with me. Every day I see him settling in and learning that it’s ok to relax and not have a ball or tug toy to play with, although settling would not be his first choice. I have to keep remembering that he is still very much a puppy and wants to play like a puppy.

He has turned into quite a lap dog but hasn’t quite got the full concept of laying peacefully in my lap. He wants to lavish me with kisses and then wants to play. My favorite moments are when he just lays on the floor and sleeps because then I know he is feeling content. It was so hard for him in the shelter to ever feel those quiet restful moments. At night or when I leave the house, I leave on soft music for him as they do at the shelter.

I really wish we could mix him in with our dogs so he could really feel like he is part of the family. I think he would get along with my youngest boxer. My older would show interest but pretty much stay away. She doesn’t like other dogs to get aggressive with her and Spence can be snarky when another dog gets in his space. Jewels wouldn’t care. She has a very submissive temperament…well until the mailman, fed ex guy, ups guy, prime person, etc comes in our yard…ah but that’s another story.

Spence is becoming both an inside and outside dog. He seems content outside laying on his rug and basking in the sun. In the morning I leave him out there after breakfast to do his business and just get some good old vitamin D. I will step out to play some ball or frisbee with him and just give him some loving. As soon as the shade dissipates I bring him inside to hang out with me. On days when my grandkids aren’t here I take him for a walk so he can do his 2nd poop. There is always a second hahahahah.

On school days my grandson stays in the office to do his virtual school until two or lunch time. Spence has shown a little interest in him when he comes out to get help or has to use the restroom. I think he would like my grandkids but because he has tugging issues, he just can’t be placed in a home with kids as he could accidently bite as he was trying to grab his toy. My granddaughter is usually napping when he’s inside. My grandkids don’t even play with my dogs.

We are still working on the tugging. Spence has a tendency to think everything is a tug toy and doesn’t like to give it up. Sometimes I can simply say leave it and he will drop but other times I have to say it a couple of times, like when he thought the sprinkler was tug worthy. We almost have “down”, down. Today I had to touch his front leg and move it forward but he finally went down. Sometimes at night when he gets the zoomies, I have to hold in in a down position so he is learning that way as well. I think that dog would let me do anything to him except grab his cute cheeks!!

I notice that Spencer really does want to please his humans. When he has had an accident in the house and I have said, “Spence that’s bad” he will tuck his tail and move back. He has had one accident this week in the basement and none in his kennel or upstairs. I think in the basement it’s hard cause he can’t tell me he has to go. Inside the house he has this look he gives me and he kind of backs up so I have been taking him out immediately to teach him that if he looks at me like that, he will get to go potty. He never fails me.

We took the ball out of the house at night for the most part but last night I let him have it and he didn’t bug me to throw it. He contently chewed it on the floor. He just loves to chew things and fortunately has only chewed one of my pillows. Except for the pillow, he has done very well at not destroying household things. He loves the chew bones. I accidently left one in his kennel one night and at 1 am I heard him on the camera chewing it. He usually sleeps right through the night and has gotten accommodated to the sounds above him in the early morning hours as hubby gets ready for work. There are times he doesn’t like to be crated and will bark but it’s less then two minutes and he will settle down and go to sleep. He really is a human contact dog. He wants to be with us all the time and sometimes will bark when I leave him to play in the basement unkenneled but it only lasts a few seconds or so before he finds something to do or naps.. He loves loves loves when I come down and hang out with him there on my days off or when hubby works late.

He was ignoring my neighbors dogs for the longest time. My neighbors dog is a bit of a bully. Always in pounce position and ready to attack. I think he is barrier reactive. My boxer is the same way but she doesn’t attack, she just wants to play but his dog has bit her neck a couple of times so now we don’t leave them out together. I keep Spence on a yard leash so there is no physical contact but he started running up and down the yard with the neighbors dog this morning. I just brought him in early. He has been very patient and tolerant with the other dog. I’ve noticed it’s mostly if I am out there with him. I think he’s just trying to protect me. He is very loyal to me.

To know Spencer is to love him!

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children and if adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at

Foster Day 14: My Whole Life Depends on When Spencer Poops Ha Ha!

Can you put in place a schedule while you’re fostering? Ummmmm well no but then yes and sometimes maybe. Just when I have things moving along great, it rains! Rain totally messes up my schedule. I can’t leave Spencer outside and it’s hard walking him in pouring down rain which means…poop on the floor. It’s not his fault but it’s not mine either. You see I kind of know Spences poop schedule. Yeah you can laugh but just put yourself in my shoes. Like I said in my other blog; I am trying to figure out a routine where my dogs, my grandchildren my husband and Spencer are getting equal time from me. Since Spence has to be kept separated from my dogs and kids, it’s been a challenge.

I get Spence up between 8:30 and 9:00 just after getting my grandson set up for his virtual school and my granddaughter with coloring or a good clean learning show on TV. I run downstairs feed Spencer, wait til he’s done, then lead him outside to do his business. He has not once soiled his crate. His crate is both his and my safe place. Spence has two poops in him in the morning. If I can get out and walk him, I will get them both on my walk but……if grands are here I can’t walk so I let him hang out in the yard til he goes. If he does both, he gets to go hang out in the basement outside his crate but if he only does one, and I walk him around the backyard twice and he still doesn’t go he has to go back into his crate until my granddaughter has finished lunch and is down for a nap which is around 11. Once she is down, he gets to come up and hang out with me for a while and my two girls get to go hang out in my bedroom..yeah they like that, she says sarcastically. My grandson is safely tucked in the office doing his virtual school until he gets kicked off, wants a snack, gets a break, or wants some white paper.

Spencer then goes back outside to hang for a while. I will usually come out throw the ball or some toy for him for a few minutes and head back in to let my dogs out for some mommy time. Then they have to go potty so I run Spence back downstairs either crated or uncrated depending on his poop situation, If he still hasn’t gone, I will walk him around the back yard another couple of times. Usually he has pooped by then and gets to hang out in the basements uncrated. I have to text my neighbor when my dogs go out and in because his dog and my dogs don’t get along. Now, I add to it when Spencer is out because his dog will try and egg mine on and it’s just a pain. But it all works out but my poor neighbor is getting double the texts now hahahahaha.

Granddaughter wakes up so Spence goes back outside for a while. I’m am so grateful that he loves being outside. I lay a rug out there for him to lounge on and have big basin of water for him and sometimes a chew bone to keep him occupied but he mostly just lays down and chills. The kids usually leave around 2:30 and I will go get Spence let him do his business and let him hang upstairs again. But for the next two days the kids are here til 6:30 so again my “schedule” is messed up hahahahaha. But if they weren’t, I would go down feed him again, wait til he’s done and take him back outside to go poop again and let him have free time in the basement. Sigh…..He goes back out about 6 til 7:30 and then comes back up stairs for foster mommy and daddy time (if daddy is off work. If not I will just stay down in the basement with him. He’s quite happy to be wherever I am.). Between 8:30 and 9 is bed time.

So you can see my whole life is revolved around poop! Hahahaha

In other news…Spence met my other daughter-in-law and walked right up to her for some love. When my sons come over now, he will come up and then back up but then go right back. He rough housed a little with my oldest and had a ball. The dog loves to play!!! He welcomes everyone at the door and only barks if he’s surprised which has been on rare occasions.

He does not like to go in his crate at bed times and will bark a few minutes, accept it and go to sleep. I think he just wants to always be with his humans. I wish so much for him to have a family that didn’t have to divide their time. He is such a wonderful, loving, playful dog. Last night when he came up, he was really mellow for the first time. No zoomies! He is becoming more and more cuddly with me and would love to cuddle my hubby but hubby isn’t the dog cuddling type. He will let our boxer mix lay in his lap though.

I’ve beat him at tug of war three times now. When I win, he has to leave the toy alone for a few minutes before he can play again. He is learning “leave it” and we are still working on “down” and “shake.” Once he learns “down”, I think it will help with his zoomies and a good prelude to other training.

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children and if adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at

The Reward and Challenges of Fostering

The rewards of fostering are pretty obvious. You’re giving a dog the chance to live and the time to grow into the good boy you know in your gut he is. You’re given an opportunity to prepare him for his forever home through training that he might never had before or you’re reinforcing what he has already learned. I won’t have this opportunity again for many years. I have two boxers of my own and two small grand kids that demand a lot of my attention which leads me to my challenges.

My grand kids stay with me while mom and dad are working which means I am monitoring my grandson online schooling, making sure he does his homework and trying to keep my three year old busy. Then there’s the coordinating of outside time since I have to keep my dogs and grandchildren separate from Spencer and my neighbors dogs. I have some what of a schedule but it varies depending on life happening. I’m trying to spend time with my dogs and they are having to adjust to Spencer time by staying in my room. I feel a bit guilty and they might be getting fatter with the extra treats I give them as I shut the door to my room. I could hang out in my basement with Spencer but then my husband gets neglected (I’m neglecting my hubby right now hahah). He’s on vacation right now but when he goes back I will be able to do more basement time and my dogs won’t have to be put in my room. My days of sleeping in are over. Maybe by the end of the day I’ll be so exhausted that insomnia will not strike and I can actually get a good nights sleep. I drop my grand kids off at their home after school and run any errands I might have, then head back to their house for an hour til mom gets home. It’s a lot of work but I would do it over and over for my boy Spencer cause he deserves to live a full and happy life.

I’ve been watching as this sweet boy is learning to love with hugs and kisses more often. Sometimes he just wants to shower me with kisses and I have to gently push him down and still show him love and affection. He has become such an affectionate little boy and even towards my husband now. He likes to climb in your lap with his front legs and just be a big baby. I have to remember sometimes that he is a puppy still in a big dog body. Just today as I was trying to write this blog, he must have climbed in my lap 6 times. I finally had to be firm and tell him off. I think I hurt his feelings but even so he went over to the floor rug, dragged it over to me and laid down next to my chair. This boy just loves to be with his human.

I moved him out of my doggie den into the basement. It’s pretty big so he has a lot of room to roam and play. I noticed that he really doesn’t play much when he’s alone. It seems that he’s only interested in play when we are together, Even though he can entertain himself, he prefers human contact or presence. I tried leaving his kennel open to see where he would sleep and he automatically go to the kennel which is great. Only problem with that is that he pooped on the carpet I have laid out on the floor. So tonight going to have to lock his kennel door as we work on that. He knows it’s bad from the way he reacts when I say, “Spencer this is bad.” I’ll keep his door shut for a few days then try again.

Every day he is getting better at sharing his toys with me. Sometimes he will drop his toy in my lap and I don’t realize it until I look up and he is sitting patiently waiting for me to pick it up and throw it. He has learned that I will not play with him until he releases his toys. I play tug with him once a day and today I finally won. That is a rarity. Instead of him taking his victory lap, I got to take mine. Tonight before bed time we are going to try no toys before bed as he gets the zoomies in the evening. I am giving a bone to chew on though to keep him occupied and maybe mellow him out a little at night.

When he doesn’t have toys he likes to cuddle but sometimes he gets too affectionate with kisses and I have to push him down. We are going to work on being invited to sit in laps, so as he grows away from his shyness, he won’t be jumping all over everyone. My husband is way better then me at that.

Spencer is growing so much. He’s very smart. We are working on shake and down. It’s kind of funny cause he looks at me like, “ummmm you know you look silly right and I don’t want my tummy to touch the floor. I want to play!” I tried to coax him into the tub today for a bath but he wasn’t having it. I even put a cherished ball in there. I may have to give him a bath outside.

I mentioned before that he isn’t reactive with my neighbors dogs. He just ignores them but the last two days he has lunged toward the fence when I’m outside. He can’t get there because the yard leash won’t reach but I had to walk over to him and tell him it was ok. It’s really not his fault as the other dog is constantly baiting him but I don’t want him to do that. I don’t know if he was protecting me or showing me he was a big bad dog. My Jewels does the same thing.

My hope was to blog every day but since I’m doing school and fostering it seems my days are pretty full and I have to try and do it in pieces. So this has encompassed the last 5 days.

I’ve had three people inquire about him but no follow thru yet. I pray every day that the perfect adopter will come his way and that they will bond as quickly as he and I have.

One of the greatest rewards of fostering is sending your dog off to his fur ever life. The challenge is finding that perfect person. I get my hopes up every time someone inquires about him and then my heart breaks when I don’t hear back. I haven’t had the opportunity to even show him off yet. Hoping that changes soon. My biggest fear is having to send him back to the shelter life when my temporary fostering is up.

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children and if adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at

My Sheltered Routine

Update first: Patron and Malcolm have been adopted!!!!!! (See my previous blog posts for their stories. Hinkley is in isolation with an upper respiratory infection. I stop in to visit her every day I’m there. Will share more on her in my next blog post. 

I seem to be drawn to a certain personality in a dog at the shelter. The seniors are my heart string pullers but I also am hopelessly drawn to the shy, timid and afraid. It’s like I want to be their mommy until their forever mommy or daddy shows up. I want them to overcome their shyness and fear and know it’s ok to be loved and give love back. Sometimes I swear I feel their sadness. Some of them shake in their kennels when you talk to them and I just want to scoop them up in my arms and smother them with hugs and kisses. Some of them are staff only dogs which means volunteers can’t take them out. I wait and watch for what seems like forever for them to become volunteer dogs and some never do so the only thing I can do is give them treats and pets through their cages and just talk to them in a soothing loving way. The staff are wonderful with them though so they are definitely getting great love and care.

When I get to the shelter, I love to go up and down the first row and say hi and give some love pets to the babies. No matter how old they are they are still babies to me. When they are not in their cages or out for walks, I try to find out where they are hoping they got adopted. The thing is they could be missing for several reasons such as transferred to a rescue, transferred to one of our other shelters or just another shelter altogether, adopted, or on a medical hold because they got sick or worse………have passed away. I always arrive hoping especially to see the seniors adopted.

I then go to the boards and look for the dogs labeled priority walks or holds it. After walking the priorities and holds it dogs, I start on row one and then just walk till the staff is ready to go home. I have a routine that I usually follow with the dogs. I take them through “poo poo” alley first.  It’s a wooded path that usually encourages the dogs to do their business. After that I take them to the play yards and just love on them, give them treats and play with them. If the play yards are full, I walk around the front of the building past the medical trailers, up the hill and sit on what I call the love bench. The dogs don’t get to run free here but they get loved on, fed treats and I will brush them if they allow me to.  I love to walk around the front to show them off. When people see them, they will comment on how cute they are. I tell them the dog’s name, how wonderful they are and tell them if they are interested, they can talk to a staff member about meeting them. Once we as me and my dog get inside, I grab a peanut butter treat out of the refrigerator and take them back to their kennels.

We try to get each dog out for a walk twice a day but it takes a lot of volunteers showing up. I get so excited when we can give a dog three walks because we have a great turnout of volunteers. The hardest days are when I have to leave and there are several dogs that only got one walk that day. I would probably stay all night if they let me til every last dog got walked. Volunteers are so important!!!

The burden I feel for these dogs is my passion. I look forward to every day I get to go there. At first I was so overwhelmed with the amount of dogs not getting there second walk but I had to learn to be grateful for the opportunity I and the other volunteers got with the animals we were able to get to. You have to make a difference with one dog at a time. If you stay in an overwhelmed state of mind, you will quit. I know in my heart that this is where God has lead me and I am open to where ever this leads me and to learn from it whatever He wants me to learn. I have a lot of love to give and a lot of learning yet to do!!!

This is Marigold. She is just as sweet as can be. She’s very friendly and outgoing and is a great leash walker and loves exploring. She waiting for her forever family at the KC Pet Project on Raytown Rd.



































When Poop Flies: Malcolm

Walking the dogs at the shelter is not all sunshine and roses and good feelings especially when the poop starts flying. I mean literally; poop flies! When I get to the shelter, I start looking for the priority walks and dogs that hold it and walk them first. I start with row one and work my way to the back.

There was this one dog that needed walking but his kennel was full of poop. I didn’t see anyone around inside to clean his cage so I thought I will walk him last so when I put him back, his cage will be clean. The staff were really busy that day with walking, introductions and all the amazing things they do to keep the shelter running. It was almost time to head home and this sweet dog was still needing a walk. Seriously if you had seen his cage, his body and his paws, you may have walked by thinking someone else will walk him. I really felt bad for this little “holds it” guy who didn’t hold it this time.

I walked around until I found a staff  person and asked him should I wait a little longer  or could someone clean his cage while I was walking him. Fortunately, he told me he would clean it and to go ahead and walk him. Nice to meet you Malcolm!

I knew I would get poop on me from lifting him out of his cage and prepared myself but holy cow I didn’t expect what was to come next. I opened his cage and the poop went flying….in my mouth ( It is what it is people. Don’t judge me), on my face, my neck, my shoulders, my shirt, and my hair. Another staff member was standing near and came over and helped me get him out and off we went. Once I got outside this same staff person brought me lots of wet and dry towels to wipe off with directing me to the spots I couldn’t see. Forever grateful!!

We then proceeded to give Malcolm a much needed bath. He was quite the trooper and patiently endured shampoo and being hosed down. Poor guy!! He was just so desperate to get out of his kennel that his paws were going in every direction. Once his bath was over, we went on our walk so he could dry off. Let me tell you that boy knows how to clean up and is a very handsome dude.

When I got home from my Malcolm experience, my dogs refused to greet me, my daughter-in-law was laughing her butt of while I shared my story and my husband was pointing me to the shower…..sigh.

I haven’t had  a chance to walk him again. Usually someone has gotten to him before me or I am so busy walking rows 1 and 2. Would I do it again? Of course! It’s just another day at the shelter.

Malcolm is 5 years old and 11 months and just a sweet loving boy who loves to give kisses and available for adoption at the KC Pet Project in Missouri. I sure hope someone sweeps him up soon. These aren’t my pics but they are awesome!

















When Heart Strings Get Pulled: Patron

There are times when walking dogs at the Shelter that a certain dog comes along that pulls your heart strings. For me that comes often. I wrote about Hinkley in my last blog and she is my current heart string puller but there’s another little man (actually he’s an 81 pound Pitbull mix) that came along the first week in July. His name is Patron.

When I first met Patron, he was a grumpy, old man. He would come out of his kennel and we would head out for our walk and he would just stop and refuse to move. I would let him stay for a few and then give him a little tug and get him to move a few more feet. He wanted to be in charge and he just seemed mad to me.

I took him out to the kennel yard to try and get acquainted a little but he was so indifferent to me. It was almost like he was doing me a favor by allowing me to pet him. As I was stroking his head, I started praying he would find a special home with special people who would love him and make his last days more special then his first. And of course the tears started flowing. I just thought how unfair it was that a 10 year dog who was accustomed to living in a home was now possibly spending his last years in a shelter.

When I took him back inside the shelter, he reluctantly walked in with me and planted his bottom in the doorway. I had to get help from a staff person to get him to his kennel and get him back in. He just broke my heart.

I took out again another time he was a much more compliant boy but still didn’t want go back into the building. I had to have a little help this time but once we got through the door he actually moved a little quicker to his kennel but I still had to coax him in and give him a little push.

The third time I walked him he walked with me with out stopping, ate my treats and when we stopped at the love bench, he put his paws on my legs and let me totally love on him. When we got back inside the building and in front of his cage, he walked right in. I was smitten!! I saw a young puppy coming out of him..

Every day after that was just amazing. He had a spark in his eye and seemed genuinely happy to see me. I would be so bummed when I came in and someone else had walked him but I made sure to stop by to tell him how awesome he was and give him treats.

The last day I walked him, we were walking up the hill and he stopped and dropped in the bushes and just began rolling around. My boy was frolicking. My old man was acting like a puppy who had found his happy place. He even played tug of war with me. I was so happy that I just wanted to shout, “Hey everyone! Look at this beautiful boy playing and being a puppy again!”

When I came back the next day, he was gone. He had been moved to a different location. Where he went, could have given him a better chance of being adopted. I kept checking his profile on our website and then one day I saw he was in a foster home. I was so happy, someone was loving on him and he was in a home again. Just recently I saw he was once again at our other shelter.

If I didn’t have my two precious boxer girls, I would adopt him in a heartbeat. So now I just continue praying that my precious boy will get to live out his last days in a home with some amazing people loving all over him. I’m hoping that I can take a trip to the Zona Rosa Adoption Center at 8721 N Stoddard Ave, Kansas City and maybe walk and visit him some time.

It’s a good thing my heart has a lot of strings that can be pulled cause……..I’m hoping to be here for a long time.

I walked Hinkley again today! This time I took her to the play yard and she let me pet her and feed her hot dogs. She didn’t flinch one time. Progress!!!!