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 https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

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 https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

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 https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

Foster Day Four, Five and 6: What I’ve Learned About Spencer

He does not demand much. Give him some love, play time and food and he’s in heaven

He is not reactive to my neighbors dogs who constantly tries to engage him. The first day he ran towards him but the yard leash didn’t reach so he went the other way and totally ignores him now. My two boxers are usually watching him from behind the glass doors and there has been no reactivity there. He did growl at them when he was looking out the window of his doggie den and my Jewels went up to the window. I think she startled him. It was a short growl and he just stared at her after that. He didn’t scratch at the window or try to get out.

He enjoys cuddles and kisses. He plays hard but will stop every few minutes to come and put his paws in my lap and turn his body sideways for a hug and to give kisses. I call it a Spencer hug. Forget taking naps cause he will bring his ball over to you to play or jump on the couch with you and drop the ball on your hip so it will roll to the floor and he can go chasing after it. Oh and if he gets tired of ball then it kisses and smooches time.

He’s possessive with his toys. We have been working on that. He is learning that if he wants me to throw his toy, he has to drop it next to me and let me pick it up or we don’t play. Yesterday he gave me his toy four times. Today he’s given his ball to me all day so far. I tell him thank you and have him sit then say ready, I throw and say get it!! We’re making progress. I don’t play tug very often because he doesn’t like to lose. I limit it to once a day and yesterday I won!!! The training staff has been working with him and are going to give me more tips to keep reinforcing what they have done. He will play with the tug rope by himself and keeps himself entertained. He does like to be close to his human while he plays. And he loves to roll on his back and play and get tummy rubs.

He does not cry, whine or bark when left alone or put in his crate. In fact sometimes I let him run free in the doggie den and will find him in his crate sleeping.

He does great with routine. I try to balance my time with my dogs and him and my grand-kids and he has been so great with our love times, whether in my house or out in his doggie den. Every morning I get him up and let him have some outside time to do his business and if my grand-kids aren’t here, he comes inside for a little bit. If kids are there he goes back to doggie den and he has free run of the den. I have a camera inside and so far he’s had no accidents or destroyed anything in the den. He did have an accident in the house though yesterday. But when I told him it was bad, I could see he understood.

He hasn’t jumped on the furniture in my house but in the doggie den he will jump on couch when I’m sitting on it. Most of the time he’s just rolling on my black carpet or sleeping in his crate. He is crate trained and that is where he sleeps at night.

He loves to play in the sprinklers. He will try to pull it out of the ground tho and that’s when I usually end water play.

He loves to go on walks and is muzzled trained because of his shyness. He has given me no trouble putting muzzle on because he knows he’s gonna get a walk but you can tell he’s happy when I take it off. He saw my neighbors across the street and tried to go over but I kept a distance between us as he didn’t know them. He didn’t seem aggressive at all. He was really good on his leash while I talked to them about him. He’s always curious.

He has warmed up to my family quickly. He follows my husband around the house now and gets excited when he walks through the door. He sometimes shies away but then comes right back. He has greeted my whole family at the door when they come in. He mostly sniffs them and walks away unless they offer him treats. After treats he will let himself be petted. He actually jumped up to be pet by my son.

And last but certainly not lease…he chases the vacuum cleaner but will back away when I say ut uh!

,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 aazing video at https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

Foster Day Two and Three: Spencer’s Perfect!

Day two and three started at 8:00am with potty/poop time and then breakfast. When I walk into his bachelor’s pad, he is always in his kennel in a state of relaxation and smiles when he sees me. That boy sure loves to eat!! I have treats and toys up on the shelf and when he wants a treat he will sit and stare up at the box. He’s so smart. He knows exactly how to work me.

We’ve continued to work on sit, stay, ready, go get and ut uh. He is doing so good at it. There are times I have to tell him sit a couple of times but for the most part, he’s quick to obey. He gets better every day at dropping his ball at my feet and letting me pick it up now. Yesterday He didn’t jump at it when I reached to grab the ball. I try to play ball with him every day and give him water play. He sure loves the sprinkler. I had to cut that time a little shorter as he pulled the sprinkler up out of the ground. Stinker!!!

Spencer loves toys but he will eventually destroy them. It takes him a whole day but he’s pretty determined. He will climb up into my lap to try and engage me in some tug but I avoid that for right now. I am trying to teach him to let me have the toy and to touch it. He will let me touch it now but still wants to play tug. A couple of times yesterday he dropped it at my side which is progress. He also pretty much entertains himself when I won’t tug with him and when he’s by himself. I have a camera in the pad and keep and eye on him.

Every day Spence is becoming more and more affectionate not only with me but my family as well. He warms up quickly especially if they give him treats. He climb right up on the couch and let my son(adult) pet him. Made my heart so happy to see him accepting some love. He likes my hubby too but will still shy away if he reaches out to pet him so he is letting Spence come to him on his own time. He does wag his tail though when he speaks to him. Once he comes to them on his own though, my family is able to give him some love. When my daughter-in-laws comes through the door he goes right up to her to sniff but he doesn’t bark or act fearful. She doesn’t engage him as she is not really a big dog person. Lol. I think he has barked one time since he’s been here and that was in the bachelor pad when he heard something outside. Oh and the boy loves to shower me with kisses!! When outside filling and hanging hummingbird feeders, he came right up to my husband for some pets and my husband walked him around the backyard. It was really cute.

He seems to enjoy is outside time. I have him on a 25 ft yard leash because the boy can jump pretty high. He’s become my little shadow and although I don’t think he will jump the fence, because this is new to all of us, I don’t want to risk it. He will lay in the sun for a bit then explore or do his business, all the while though watching for me through the window. He would rather be with me but he’s so good. He doesn’t bark, whine or cry just waits patiently for mommy and son time. My dogs watch him through the window and there has been no reactivity on either side. When my neighbor lets his dogs out, Spence will head in that direction but the leash doesn’t allow him to get to the fence. He does not bark at them and pretty much ignores them when he realizes he can’t get close. My boxer mix is really interested in him and would probably want to play with him and he seems ok with her from the other side of the window.

When he wanders into the kitchen all I have to do is call him and he comes running. So far he hasn’t tried to get into anything but the toy box. He does enjoy exploring though. Spencer is an amazing dog and I just can’t hardly wait to see who he picks as his forever parent. I’m so glad he is allowing me to be his temporary mommy.

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 aazing video at https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

Foster Day One:Spencers Bachelor Life

Featured

Someone pinch me. Did I really just bring my shelter crush home? You might think I’m crazy but I believe this was meant to be. No other time in my life has this happened or probablly will happen again for a long time. A window of opportunity opened up and I climbed through it!!! Hubby wasn’t thrilled but was very supportive because of the bond I have with this ray of sunshine dog.

Spence made himself right at home. I’ll get back to that in a second. On our way home, I stopped at Starbucks and got a pup cup for my special boy and a Venti Green Tea Frappe with no whip for me. He knew exacty where we were and what he was getting. The boy is really smart and doesn’t forget. After he devoured or slurpped his pup cup we headed to McDonalds for cheeseburgers. Don’t you love his whipped cream mustache? Oh, and just because you buy him more hamburgers then you buy for yourself, don’t think for one moment you’re gonna get to eat the whole thing. He eats way faster!!

We were going to go to the park first but I just got so excited for him to see his new and improved bachelor pad that we just headed home. The first thing he did was to walk right into his kennel to check it out. I think he was pleased because when I leave him to enjoy the whole den to himself, he goes to sleep in his kennel.

After lunch we had outside play time. As I was filling up the pool, he started jumping at the water coming out of the hose. Who knew he liked water? He never got near the pools at the shelter except to get a drink. He had so much fun.

A little later we played catch. Spencer would bring the ball back to me and drop it at my feet, waiting for me to pick it up and throw it. I had been playing at the shelter all week and instructing him to sit and wait while I picked up the ball because before that you had to throw two balls to get one to throw. The boy is smart! He’s not perfect at it yet but shows real promise.

I keep him on my 25 foot yard leash because the boy can jump so high into the air and I don’t want him to be tempted to try that with my fence. I don’t think he would leave me because he is quite my shadow but I don’t want to take any chances on day one. My neighbor let his dog out and he was trying to instigate Spencer to run the fence with him. Spencer headed toward the fence but the leash doesn’t reach and he couldn’t go. After that try he could care less about the dog next door. He totally ignored him. My dogs stood at the sliding glass door and just stared at Spencer. There was no reactivity on either parts. I was thrilled with this because I didn’t want to have to lock my girls up. My son and son-in-law bring thier dogs over all the time and my girls love them. I think they would love Spencer too but it’s too soon to even think about it since Spence requires dog to dog visits at the shelter.

Jewels Bees and Cady Rein staring out the window at Spencer.

The training staff at the shelter have been doing muzzle training because of Spencer’s shy and fearfulness, so we took a walk in my neighborhood to see how he would do. I had absolutely no trouble getting the muzzle on. He shook his head twice once it was secured but after that it was as if nothing were different. Good job, Spence!!!!

In the evening when the grandkids went to bed, Spence got to come in the house and meet my husband and just have some family time. He went right up to my husband who was holding out treats for him. We didn’t initiate petting because we wanted him to make the choice. When my daughter-in-law walked in the front door, he went right up to her and sniffed her hands hahahahah. There were no signs of fear or shyness. After that he climbed into my lap for a few minutes of snuggle time and kisses.

I put Spence back in the doggie den about 8pm and he didn’t get up til 8am. I think he had the best sleep he’s had in a long time. I loved watching him sleep on the camera installed in the den. I only kennel him at night or if I have to leave the house. Other then that he has free run of his bachelor’s pad. No accidents at this point. Day one was amazing. He seems to be adjusting quickly. When I leave the den, he pops his head in the window to watch me leave. The best part of taking a dog out of the shelter is watching them sleep because they are finally at peace.

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 at https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWySnIU

Hinkley Got Adopted!

 

Today my prayers were answered….Hinkley found her forever home! Today was not an ordinary daimg_20191002_185313-1y. Everything about it felt like a miracle was taking place. I think it was actually taking place all week for me. You see all week up until that moment, I had already started missing her. I knew the day was coming when I would have to say goodbye and for some reason all week long, I seemed to be practicing with my tears. Every time I left the shelter, I would say good-bye to her and tell her I loved her and that I was so proud of her. Getting adopted was the best thing in the world to happen to her and it was my greatest desire but it also meant I would never see her again, never get kisses, no more hugs and no more walks together. I would talk about her to my husband and daughter-in-law and tears would flow. It was almost as if I knew she was leaving.

The day of her adoption, I got there around 3:45 and saw another volunteer who loved Hinkley too and we decided to take Hinkley together on a hike up the hill so she could run and roll around in the grass but halfway up she was looking pretty tired and it was hot, so we decided to go back down the hill. Meanwhile another volunteer was showing a family of four a dog and all of a sudden she thought of Hinkley and started asking around trying to locate Hinkley. I keep thinking if we hadn’t walked back down the hill when we did, Hinkley might have missed her opportunity.

I brought Hinkley inside the main shelter area and put her back in her kennel. As I rounded the corner to get another dog to walk, the volunteer who was looking for Hinkley said to me, “Is Hinkley good with kids?” Hinkley had met my two grandchildren and a boy at the park when I took her out for a doggie day out and seemed to like the kids. She also allowed the boys mom to come over and pet her. So I said, ” I think so.” She also told me the woman was looking for a mellow dog and THAT I could say for sure, she was!

Stacey took the woman and her three kids down to the play yard, and I went back to get Hinkley. I stopped one of the staff to ask her to check Hinkley’s file to see if there was anything behavior issues the family needed to know. I knew there wouldn’t be but I had to go through the motions of doing everything right. True to my thoughts the only thing listed about Hinkley was her shyness and they would need to have a consult about how to help Hinkley adjust. To read about our first encounter.  Funny thing was just two days ago I went to a class to become a matchmaker. (Matching dogs to potential adopters)Who would have thought my first attempt would be with my Hinkley. Stacey could have done the meet but she was gracious enough to let me

I then headed down to the play yard for introductions. We always ask that potential adopters let the dogs come to them when the dog is ready.  I opened the gate and took Hinkley in and much to my great surprise, Hinkley went right up to the kids waiting for them to pet her. My eyes filled up with tears. I was watching my little girl growing up and ready to have her forever family. When they said, “We want her!”, my tears couldn’t help but start falling. My sweet sweet Hinkley was going to get her forever home. The truth of the matter was they didn’t choose her; she chose them. 

The family then headed to the office to start the adoption procedures. While they were doing that, me and my hiking partner that day Cindy and I headed to the blue bench in front of the shelter to take goodbye pics.

 

 

It was about 7:15 when I look through the main office door and saw the family with Hinkley on leash headed out the door. I had a dog with me and I took her back to the kennel and just hoped I made it in time to say one last good-bye. They were loading her up in the car and I went over to say thank you again and to take a final pic of my baby leaving.

 

She looked so right! This was her family now. She was my baby until she became somebody else’s.

I headed back inside the shelter and grabbed me another dog to walk. I headed outside and as I was walking down the sidewalk, I turned around to see the car leaving and Hinkley was watching me watching her go. I will never forget that moment. It is forever etched in my memories. Happy life sweet baby girl!

Doggie Day Out

img_20190914_133356At the animal shelter people who get approval can take a dog out for the day. Some of us are not able to foster because of rental agreements, other dogs, young children, etc….The  next best thing to fostering is taking a dog out of the sheltered environment for a break. This could be for 30 minutes to a weekend overnighter.

I did my first DDO last Saturday and I’m addicted! Of coarse for my first adventure, I took Hinkley whom you can read about in my former blogs. I really wish I could bring her to my home but they ask us not to bring them into an environment with other dogs. Since I have two beautiful boxers living with me, I could not bring her to a home environment but we had a beautiful day together.

Our day out consisted of cheeseburgers, two park visits, a hike, and a leisurely roll in the grass and nap, well for Hinkley, that is. I just watched her enjoy herself and my heart was doing cartwheels.

The other purpose of a Doggie Day Out is to help the dogs get exposure so they can get adopted. When people come into the shelter, they have no idea what jewels are hidden in those kennels. All they see is the outside of the dog: not it’s personality. A lot of dogs get overlooked or passed by and for the staff and volunteers who work with these dogs every day, it breaks our hearts.

Some dogs are so stressed out inside the kennel but once out and away from the strangers coming through and the dogs passing by, they become a whole new dog. On Doggie Day Outs you see a dramatically different dog. They become relaxed, playful, and more loving.

My beautiful, shy Hinkley rolled in the grass and took a wonderful nap. I got to see another side of her personality and it was beautiful.

Today when I went to the shelter, I saw this adorable girl get excited to see me.

Sometimes right after a DDO a dog will get immediately adopted. But sometimes they don’t. Fostering and DDO’s give people a chance to get to know a dog and many dogs end up getting adopted by their fosters but even if they don’t they get “seen”.

Dog shelters really need YOU! Why not take a dog out for a few hours or a few days. This is an awesome opportunity for you to help give a dog hope! I recently hit my 200th hour of volunteering. If something ever happens where I can’t walk anymore, I still plan of doing Doggie Day Outs. I hope those reading this will consider brightening up the day of one special dog.

If you would like to know more about Hinkley click on this  web address Hinkley’s Adoption Info

 

 

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.

img_20190819_174022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!