Monday, December 16, 2013

Meet the Fosters

So it has just been a week of firsts! And progress!  The progress part mainly oozing from our lovely doggy Starbelly, who in the past week has graciously welcomed my best friend Squish (last week) and as of last night....stray puppy/foster dog/ whatever you want to call him.

J found this little guy at her work south of downtown LA in a parking lot.  There are lots of stray dogs around where she works, but this one was super friendly and immediately became attached to her, ended up spending the afternoon snoozing in a chair in her office.  Luckily she had a mini doggy bed in the trunk of her car!  We couldn't just leave him last night outside by her work, so we took the risk of bringing him home for the night.

A little background, Starbelly is not the most welcoming nugget.  She's generally sweet to strangers and dogs (unless a mailman outfit is involved) outside - but coming into our home?  That's a different story. We jokingly call her Kujo for a reason.  Not so funny when the future in-laws come over..or anyone for that matter.  We've tried many different approaches with her, and while her overall behavior has improved a lot in the past three years, the whole *outsiders coming into our house* thing still really gets her.  I was half expecting last night to be an exhausting, stressful, what the fuck were we thinking nightmare.  But holy moly, it really is the Christmas season because Starbelly was curious, friendly, and  as sweet as vegan eggnog.

We had them meet outside and they seemed to be cool with each other.  Once bringing them in, we kept Bells (Starbelly) on the leash for a little bit and put the visiting pooch in his bed (he's been great at making that his central location) while I tried to finish cooking dinner while monitoring the whole situation with J, who was getting out of work clothes.  Not once did we have to put Belly in the crate.  We all ate dinner in the living room together - visiting pup in his bed, Starbelly chilling out under the coffee table.  I was so. freaking. proud.  Somehow, the night ended with all four of us on the couch watching Nashville.  Seriously, this made me so happy and full of love that J joked (?) that if we ever have a dry spell she'll just bring an animal home.  It's not a bad plan.  My whole life I've dreamed of being able to give animals a home that need one, or at least help them find one.  I used to do a lot with dog adoptions and animal advocacy groups but lately my energy has gone to parenting the pit.

This morning the three of us went on a walk together and they were so adorable.  They haven't cuddled yet but I feel it's on the horizon.  Oh. and the only issue they seem to have so far is that Bells thinks the visiting pup's bowls are for her too, so she flips out when he goes over to them; I've been having to separate them to get him to eat and drink.  And maybe this is premature, but I feel like Belly has been listening to me more with the addition of the pup.  Maybe now she feels more in a pack, and recognizes that I'm the leader-she sees how I'm in charge of the new guy and sees that they are the same.  Before when it was just parent-to-pup maybe she was confused about our roles...who knows.  But so far she has been very calm and attentive and I like it :)

So now the work of finding this guy's family begins.  We're going to the vet today to see if he has a microchip, and I put an ad on craigslist.  He had on a collar with no information on it, and he's not neutered - which to me, is just, wrong and weird and kind of a red flag?  But he did seem to be taken care of so hoping we'll find his family.  I can't imagine the agony I'd be in if Starbelly was missing.

And all this in the middle of trying to get our house ready for Christmas - parents flying in from NC and Christmas day at our place.  We still have to get our tree tomorrow!  Oh well...the more the merrier - especially when they are furry and cute.


  1. They are cute together! Sounds like you have a new dog! :)

    You should call animal control too to let them know you have the dog. I know if one of my dogs was missing I would be calling them repeatedly to see if s/he had gotten picked up.

    I agree that the intact part is a red flag. Does he know how to sit? If he wasn't neutered or given basic commands, my bet is he didn't have good owners even if he was taken care of. He lucked out when he found J!

  2. Geez. Ok so I typed this long reply to you, and then it got deleted - but I think this is an LA thing - but the shelters here are so frustrating!! I just called and the guy was like "we don't take found dog reports" and I explained to him that I meant in case the dog's owners were calling and he said "we don't know who's here. they have to come see. you can drop the dog off if you want" UGH. I was afraid of this- this is getting stressful. He's adorable but we can't keep him- we can't afford him, and more than anything Starbelly can't be trusted with him- she's been pretty good but still had some incidents where I've had to throw her down and growl at takes close monitoring and it's a full time job. We have family coming in this week, we're going out of town, and we still have to get our tree and get all ready for Christmas! Now I'm thinking maybe J should have left him and seen if he was there the next morning...I just don't know what to do. I don't want to drop him off at the pound when he's had personal attention and a warm home for two days. This is becoming a headache, and I can't give him to an adoption place because it's only been two days and I can't be responsible for his shots, neutering and all that...okay, just had to vent!

    1. That is hard. Can you keep him separated from Starbelly when you are not there/can't focus on them (even if in the bathroom)?

      Have you called animal rescue groups in addition to the pound to see if they have room/connect you with a foster?

      It really is okay if you have to take him to the pound. Since he is a stray, they will have to keep him a certain number of days in case his owner comes looking for him. Long enough that they might realize he is adoptable and put effort into finding him a new home.

    2. Oh yes, they were definitely separated! Our dog is so bipolar, one second shes sniffing him and wagging her tail and they are sleeping in the room together, the next she decides he's breakfast. BUT good news- last night a couple came over (who saw him through a shared post on instagram- THANK YOU technology!) and he really loved him, they took him last night and are going to have him at least until saturday morning, they think they want to adopt him so fingers crossed!!

    3. Fantastic news! I'll keep my fingers crossed. Lucky dog!

  3. This is hard! I don't really have anything to offer in the way of advice, so instead I'll just be here with support and well wishes!