In 2007, my long time family of 6 dogs was winding down. Old age was catching up to my dear companions and the house became quiet. I decided to foster. My goal was to have a dog or two at a time and not get too attached. Ha! Instead I started a whole new family. And I want to introduce you …
Snickers is that first foster failure. He is a Pembroke Corgi mix and he was maybe 10 months old when he arrived. St. Seton’s Orphaned Animals had pulled him from a shelter. The note on his chart said he was given up because no pets where allowed where he was living. He is my dependable, stable partner that keeps everything running on track around here.
Maggie and Jackson are bonded litter mates that where delivered into my arms on a hot summer night in 2008. A friend and I drove an hour and a half, in the middle of the night, to meet an old church bus rolling up I-81 with a load of dogs rescued from a kill shelter in Georgia. They where headed to a no-kill shelter in Delaware. At the last minute, the Georgia shelter folks placed 2 late arriving puppies on board and agreed to drop them off to me. Maggie is a natural mother who cares for all in need. Jackson is happy to follow and he is the sweetest, kindest boy in the world.
Daisy is another foster failure and came in 2009. She and her sister where abandoned in a garage when their house was foreclosed. The neighbor figured it out and rescued the pair, but their infant daughter had a serious allergic reaction to the dogs. St. Seton’s Orphaned Animals was called in and their incredible leader asked me to foster one of the pair. I admit I wasn’t that jazzed about taking her on at that point in my life, and it took us a while to connect. But here she is. She is an amazing athlete that is always ready to jump in to adventure.
On a hot August night in 2010, a friend called to ask if I would take the 2 puppies she found under a shed on her Dad’s property. I told her to bring them on and I would give them a hand. Delivered to me in a diaper box were 2 of the saddest little creatures ever. Enter Emma Louise and Tunie. The vet said they would grow to be chihuahua size. Emma weighs 40 pounds and Tunes is close behind!! They are anything but bonded — they don’t mind one bit tearing in to each other. Tunie is a warrior and Emma is the brains of our operation. You can almost see that dog process information and make decisions. She is scary smart.
Katie also came in 2010. I was staying home for Christmas that year and I was walking dogs at the Orange County Animal Shelter (no-kill). One of the volunteers told me to not bother walking that dog in the end kennel because she was terrible on the leash and wouldn’t walk. Of course that was a thrown gauntlet to me. In fact, the woman was right. I talked to the shelter manager and home came Kate for Christmas. She didn’t think much of me, but she instantly bonded with Maggie and then the others. I did actually return her to the shelter in mid-January — but every time that I visited she had shut down a little more. I couldn’t stand it, so home she came for the final time. She jumped up in the car and I swear I heard her ask “what took you so long?”
A few years later, the shelter director put an email out asking for a foster for a dog that needed a lot of rehab after surgery. And so arrived Gingerbread, one week before Thanksgiving, 2014. With a cone of shame to protect him from pulling out the 20 staples holding his rebuilt leg (with 7 screws in it), and his broken pelvis … he had a long road to recovery. I renamed him Frankie but call him Yippee. More on all that in another post. I believe he is a Corgi/Jack Russell mix — he herds, he directs us all by nipping, it takes him a while to warm up to new folks … he just seemed like a feisty little challenge to re-home … and then he settled in here … so he stayed. He has a sparkle to him … a zest for life that never fails to draw me in and make me feel that I am in on his jokes.
Our most recent family member is Ace. He arrived in February, 2017. A friend knew that I was looking for a dog for my Mom. Someone contacted her through Facebook and needed a home for a small dog. She called me, I called the lady … and an hour later, here comes Ace. He is a 6 year old Yorkie/Bichon mix that has a heart murmur, needed a dental cleaning, and in the end, turned out to be too high energy for my 92 year old Mom to have to chase around. He is a pistol — all bark and boss. He terrifies Jackson, Daisy and Katie … all who are about 7 times bigger then him!
To complete the picture, let me tell you about Mr. Simon Snitz and Freddie Blue. They are my two indoor cats. They have been here so long that I don’t really remember how long it has been. Simon was a sickly kitten that the dogs chased up a tree on day morning. It took me a while to get him down, and longer to get him healthy. He is at least 12 now.
Freddie appeared in the neighbor’s yard a couple years after Simon and then took up residence in my car port. He was a kitty too. It took several days of bribery to get him to come to me … but he settled in mighty quick. They are both terrified of strangers, not faintly interested in the great out-of-doors, seem to enjoy irritating the dogs, and can’t catch a mouse!
So now you have meet all the members on my Ark. I wanted to share their back-stories with you. Each of them arrived in my life in a unique way that I believe, in a mystical, woo-woo sort of way , was supposed to happen. They are an ever changing source of wonder, laughter, frustration, worry and joy. Somehow we make an unconventional family unit and I am grateful to share their journey.
St. Seton’s Orphaned Animals – http://www.saintseton.com
Orange County Animal Shelter – http://orangecountyva.gov/index.aspx?NID=158