It’s been a week since the lil nugget had a seizure.
Maybe one day I’ll stop counting. Not today.
Princess Val is amazing. She is doing all the things a puppy should do. Lots of sleeping, lots of eating, lots of playing, lots of chewing, and lots of pooping. She’s got this down to a science and will let me know if we are at all of schedule. There’s lots of howling also. I don’t know what’s up with that but it’s the cutest thing ever when you don’t have to listen to it all day long.
I fell in love with the puppy quickly. The day after she arrived she started having seizures. We thought we were going to lose her and I have never been so afraid. She’s a miracle baby though and even in her 2.5 pound body, she held on and started to improve every day.
Today we had a set back. She a small cluster of 3 seizures this morning. They all seemed milder and shorter than the ones from earlier in the week. You just don’t know what’s going to happen, so we will love her and cuddle her for as many days as we have.
No seriously. She is cute. What’s her story. Where is she going?
Remember when we discussed fostering a few times a year when the situation was right?
Mmmaybe, no. No. I don’t think so.
Frosty is going to have his surgery in the next couple of months and then we’ll be on break for the rest of the year. She needs us.
She’s blind and
Possibly hearing impaired.
Yes okay. Let’s get her safe.
We are picking here up at 4pm today. She will be always be safe.
I didn’t wake up on a Monday morning and go, yeah I want a puppy by the end of the day and while you’re at it, make her blind too. But we are a bunch of mess when it comes to double merle dogs and well, here we are.
While I could go into rant about double merles and how this was preventable, I’ll skip it for today and be SO grateful she is alive and rescue was an option.
One month ago, this sweet gentle and precious little girl named Ava Belle came to live with us as our new foster dog.
She is really a little thing, weighing only 13 pounds. She fits right in, size wise with Dew and Frosty. The vet estimated her to be no more than 2 years old. She is also completely deaf and mostly blind — she can see light and some shadows, but for the most part she can’t see at all.
When she arrived, having never had a special needs dog, I was pretty scared. Then I realized, more than scared, I was really angry.
What sort of low life drops off a deaf/blind dog in a shelter? What sort of asshole breeds merles together with the likelihood of 25% of the puppies being blind, deaf or both? How do they even sleep at night?
I was angry for Ava. What a cruel fate for such a precious soul.
It wasn’t fair.
She deserved better.
I quickly learned though, that she is the most amazing and resilient dog…neither upset nor bothered by her circumstances.
She lives completely in the moment.
I could learn a lot from her…we all can.
As far as she knows, we are all the same, in every way. She isn’t different. She is exactly the same as every other dog she meets.
She loves people.
She loves cuddles.
She loves cookies.
She loves running around in the yard.
She loves meeting other dogs.
She loves hanging with her people.
She is smart, and vibrant, and happy, and so full of life.
Her forever home is going to be with a very special family. One that will hold her dear and never betray her, for she loves and trusts with her whole heart.
For now…she is ours and we are hers.
Every day I am thankful for her. She reminds me to be patient, to trust myself and others, to love unconditional. And most of all, to let go of fear…because what’s the worst that can happen? You run into a pole, bounce off and keep on going.
Yesterday’s post about Ginger was a bit of a downer. I didn’t expect people to be touched by it as much as they were. Thank you for reading it and for your comments and messages.
Today I’m feeling a little better, though when I think of her leaving, all the emotions come flooding back. The next few days will be bittersweet. A part of me wants Saturday to hurry up and get here so I can move on to acceptance and happiness for her. The other part of me wants it to never arrive so I can keep her all to myself forever.
I remind myself though, that she will always be safe. If it doesn’t work out with this family, she will come back to us. If it does, then she’ll be forever loved by them. All is good and right.
Sadly I won’t be here on Saturday to say goodbye. I’m going with my mom, mother-in-law and two sister-in-laws to the Biltmore for a Mother’s Day Tea. It sounds so fancy! My mom and I have never been there, but from their facebook posts and the info on their site, it looks pretty gorgeous. It’s a six hour round trip, so we’ll be leaving really early and getting home pretty late.
Since I won’t be here, I’m leaving Ginger’s adoption in Sean’s very capable hands. I know he won’t let her go if he feels they aren’t the right fit or if she doesn’t get along with her potential new brother. All signs though point to them being perfect for her, so I’ll say my goodbye’s before heading out Saturday morning.
I guess it’s good in a way that I’ll be out all day. It will force me to not wallow in my sadness. I’ll have all day Sunday for that.
As some of you know, we foster Australian Shepherds. We’ve been doing it for almost a year now and it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. People say how can you give them up? I could never do it. I thought the same thing.
Our current foster arrived here in January. We named her Ginger.
She was a sad, stressed, super shy, worm infested, sun bleached dog. For the first week she laid around, only getting up to eat and potty. At the time, she was also really sick. We didn’t know that right away but once we realized it we took her to the vet where they took great care of her and gave her the medicine she needed to get better.
She was sad, sick and scared. A shell of a dog really. If you looked at her for more than 3 seconds, she would drop and roll over. It was heartbreaking.
When I took her home that day from the vet, I made her a promise.
I laid with her one our bed, and held her paw.
I promised her that we would love her, and make sure she was healthy and happy.
I promised to always give her a big soft bed to lay in, fresh water and food every single day.
I promised her that we would pet her head gently, scratch her belly anytime she wanted and hold her paw when she was scared.
I promised her that life as she knew it was over, for now and always she was safe, never to have to worry or be in pain again. We would take care of her no matter what.
Days turned into weeks and when Ginger was better there wasn’t much interest in this now beautiful red head. Her coat has turned into a luscious deep red, her eyes are bright and grateful.
She is a beauty.
But that’s just icing on the cake. Her real beauty is her heart.
She affectionate and kind. She is gentle and sweet. She loves us. We couldn’t love her more.
In April she was adopted; off to a forever home where she would have other big dogs to play with. It was bittersweet but I thought it was going to be so awesome for her. I had such high hopes. This was the right choice, I told myself.
Sadly two weeks later they returned her because she was herding the little kids…ya know, things that herding dogs do.
I was heartbroken for her. So sad for her.
I felt like she had been rejected and not given a chance to show her true self. The self that Sean and I both loved so dearly.
She’s not perfect. I don’t know very many dogs who are.
She has her quirks…like barking to get her dinner and doing the zoomies in the morning when she gets out of her crate and always miraculously landing on one of my toes. The rest of the time, she’s pretty damn awesome. So awesome she lets me wrap her up in a rainbow tutu without a peep.
This Saturday another family is coming to meet our girl. They were interested in her before and when they found out she was adopted they were really disappointed.
Is this the right family for our princess?
Will they love her the way we do?
To be honest, I’m torn. Not because they aren’t a great family. But because I was so wrong last time. I had given her to a family that was perfect for her and yet she came back to us. Am I doing the same thing again? Can she handle it? Can I?
We just have to take a leap of faith.
In the meantime, I have three more days to get in as much love and hugs as possible.
Of course Ginger has no idea what’s to come. Dogs live in the moment. She’ll go with the flow and be okay.
She had no idea that when I picked her up this morning and cradled her in my arms, squeezing her extra hard, that I was memorizing in my brain and my heart the feel of her in my arms, the sweet smell of her head (like lilacs for some odd reason), the beating of her heart against mine…every little detail down to the 6 speckled marks on her front left leg.
For now, as much as it saddens me, Ginger has the chance to live with a great family, that is over the moon about meeting her. She’ll have a couple of acres to romp around in, and a great big friendly german shepherd for a brother. There will be fishing and hiking and COWS for her to herd.
She’ll also have some teenagers to follow around and a family that understands that deep inside this beautiful girl, there is a herder that wants to run around and chase squirrels and birds and cows!
I’m sad…but selfishly so, for me.
I will miss her nose kisses (she doesn’t lick, she just pushes her nose against you).
I will miss her big dog barks when it’s dinner time.
I will miss her big paws up around my shoulders giving me a hug.
I will miss my bruised up toes from her digging a paw into one in excitement.
I will miss my wanna-be-lap dog.
I will miss her soulful amber eyes that tell a beautiful story of strength, survival, trust and love.
I will miss so much about her…and at the same time be so thankful for the time we had together.
Everything works out the way it should and even though letting her go hurts, it’s a pain I’d do 100 times over, if it meant she would get to live.
I have figured it out. There is the most simple cure for puppy fever. If you want a puppy, foster a mama and her nursing puppies. THEN deworm them.
Puppy Fever Over!
It’s like fucking magic. Disgusting, awful, the worst day of my life magic.
I could not go to bed until almost 2am last night because all I envisioned were worms…everywhere. Did I feel one on my foot? Is it now in the BED? OMG strip the bed, take a shower, what’s that feeling on my head?
OCD people should NEVER EVER deworm a puppy.
This is Layla. She is the mama dog we are fostering right now. She’s a double merle, but it seems she can see and hear just fine. She is a wonderful mama, taking very good care of her beautiful pups….all 8 of them.
Before she arrived I was so excited and a little nervous about having so many little ones to look after. Layla does most of the work though. The poor girl has to be so exhausted…plus being in a new place, with other dogs that she does NOT want anywhere near her babies. I imagine it’s a bit stressful for her, but she’s getting through it.
We have Layla until the 2nd…and I know I’ll miss them when they are gone, but I will not miss the spaghetti poop and the pooping all over and the poop on them. Day 2 and I’m already pooped out.
About a week ago, I saw two Australian Shepherd puppies (about 6 months old) located at our local county kill shelter. They had until March 11th to get out or they would be killed. Thankfully the rescue that I volunteer for was able to find them another rescue to go to. But, they wouldn’t be able to get into that rescue until March 16th or 17th…much later than there kill date.
A lot of time, rescues can pull a dog, but they need a temporary foster who can take care of the dog or dogs for a couple of days to two weeks, until transport can be arranged. Knowing that these pups were going to die, I begged Sean to let me take them in.
We already have a foster. Ginger has been with us since early January and when we agreed to foster, I agreed that we would only have one dog at a time. So this would be totally going against that agreement and I was sure that Sean would say no…not because he’d want them to die, but because he doesn’t want things to get out of control. If he set no boundaries, we’d be fostering 5 or 10 dogs and who knows how many cats. So I appreciate where he’s coming from. I’m insane, and he keeps that insanity in-check. Thanks honey!
After explaining to him that both dogs had a rescue, they just needed to crash here for a few nights and that I would TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING, he said yes…without any hesitation.
Of course that sent me into a total tail spin. Could I really take care of them? Coming from the county shelter, they would have been exposed to parvo, or kennel cough or who knows what else, and by taking them in, I could be risking our own dogs and foster (even though they are up to date on all shots, you never know)…can I handle that? I was nervous and scared, but the alternative was just not acceptable. So last Thursday, I pulled them from the shelter for New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue, a great organization, that I worked with a few months back when trying to assist a family in our town with rehoming their aussie.
When I got them home they were just so excited to be free. They ran around in our yard for about an hour, rolling in the grass, wrestling with each other and being silly crazy happy puppies.
There was no doubt that we made the right decision. Look at those happy faces! Look at that little play bow. How could anyone kill these babies? It makes me ill just thinking about it.
For the past week, they have been in our guest bedroom. I picked up two crates for them, though I wish I had gotten one large one because they LOVE to be together. Because of the risk of disease, they’ve been separate from our dogs, which has involved a lot of clothes changing (I have specific clothes I wear with Inky & Blueberry) and a lot of sanitizing…which bleach! And if you know me at all, I hate bleach, but it’s the only thing that will kill parvo so it was a must.
Every day, I worry about these two. I’m constantly gauging the food they are eating (is it enough? are they eating it all? is there any vomiting? ) as well as inspecting their poop rigorously (is that blood? is there any signs of diarrhea?) and of course making sure they are acting just as playful as a puppy should (Does Inky seem tired? Is Blueberry wrestling as much as she was yesterday?). I know I can’t stop parvo from happening, but watching for early warning signs is so important. I even have Sean check in on them in the middle of the night to make sure everyone is okay.
Thankfully they have been great. Eating, playing, and pooping like champion puppies.
Today I took them to the vet to get their health certificates and they are all set to head out this weekend to their permanent foster. While it’s been a stressful week making sure they were healthy and our dogs remained safe from any spread of disease, it’s also been fun. Having two puppies is exhausting but also really wonderful. They get along so well, and I could watch them play all day long.
There is just something something about these two though. It’s hard to explain really. There’s this immediate connection, this bond that’s just there, like it should have always been…I feel that way with both of them. I love them so much and we’ve only known each other a week 😉
A little piece of my heart will leave with them. Knowing that they have this second chance at life though, is totally worth any heartache I’ll feel.
“For one little time you are mine. I will feed you with my own hand. I will love you with my whole heart. I will make you whole. -Diane Morgan”
Hi! I'm Melissa. Most people call me Mel. I'm an artist, entrepreneur, creative online business owner manages with depression, anxiety, and a lot of dogs. I'm kinda obsessed with dogs. 🤷♀️This is a judgement free zone so...you should have a lot of dogs too!
I write about art, grief, mental health, dogs, and what's involved in running a business and life online. I'm pretty much an open book so if you have a question, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.