Saturday, January 22, 2011

Molly & Rootie

The local Humane Society did it's best. They had their own foster network and tried hard to keep up with then influx of abandoned animals, but there was only so much they could do. They developed a pretty good relationship with local rescue groups who would take the animals that would face euthanasia at the shelter.

As a foster home I've noticed a LOT of people think the dogs I take in must be quite the handful. I hear things like "Oh, does she/he bark/bite/have too much energy?" or some variation way too often. The consensus seems to be that all these abandoned dogs did something wrong to end up in the pound and that's total BS. I have never had a foster that wasn't adoptable. Sure sometimes they need to learn a few doggie house manners or they might be afraid of totally random things (like ketchup..?) but they didn't do anything that bad. Sometimes their completely innocent. Take Molly and Rootie.

I got a call saying the local Humane Society had found two small dogs wandering alone in a park. I was told they had been neglected but seemed friendly. The shelter didn't have the resources to care for them so I was asked to go pick up one of the dogs, and someone else would come for the second. I got there was saw two rather excited looking mops. They seemed to be a small long-haired breed but they had obviously never been to a groomer or had even seen a brush. Their fur was one giant mat, from the eyebrows to the tail. Shannon begged to take the little girl dog so we packed her up and went home.

She STUNK. Bad. Really bad. Her fur was stuck with twigs and bits of god knows what. But she was happy as can be and desperately wanted to snuggle. We decided on Molly just because it was a girlie name and she was a girlie dog. I booked a groomer for the next afternoon and we settled in. We noticed that Molly kind of walked a little funny and when I looked at her paws I saw even her paw hair had become matted. I spent a couple hours rubbing her belly and gently cutting her toes free. When I had finished and was completely covered her dog stink, I carried Molly to the yard and watched her walk around. She hadn't been paying attention to what I was doing and when she finally noticed her new toes she was over-joyed. I actually watched her wiggle her toes. We finally went to bed and thankfully Shannon had bonded with the smelly Molly so I suggested they share a room for the night. The next day we went to the groomer and got a call asking if we could also take the second dog from the shelter. Apparently no one came for him. When Molly was done my boyfriend drove her to a new foster home (I still had Lexi and couldn't handle three) and we picked up the little male dog from the shelter.

                                           Molly as one big furball

I had learned my lesson from the stinky night with Molly. One of the vet's we used was just around the corner from the shelter so I went in and begged one of the vet techs, who happened to groom on the side, to make this new dog more comfortable. Honestly I wanted to be able to pet the friendly little dude without gaging but I figured using his health as an excuse would appeal to her more. It did and he looked wayyy better when I picked him up. Since I hadn't named him and he also got his shots and microchip the vet tech decided to name him so he'd have a name on his vet records. She decided on Rutus (?) and for awhile I was calling him Rufus (makes more sense!) until I had a very confusing phone call to the vet office to get his microchip information. Rufus is a classic dog name so when she told me his new name I just assumed I heard wrong, what can I say! Rutus? What is that? We ended up just calling him Rootie because at least that was cute. He was a bit shy compared to Molly but a complete sweetheart and totally undeserving of how he had been living before. I still can't believe these little dogs managed to live with their hair completely matted for who knows how long - the itching and the pain - and still be completely loving. Dogs are like that I guess.

After Rooties haircut
Molly found a home almost immediately, and Rootie only took a little longer. He actually went to a new foster home for a couple days before adoption because I agreed to take on a puppy. I actually had the puppy, Lexi and Rootie for a day or two which was completely hectic. Before Rootie left he was kind enough to pee on pretty much every Christmas present under our tree, which we discovered after the holidays when we opened our roommate gifts. They always find little ways to thank you, don't they?

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