Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have to say: Lilly was one of my worst/most difficult fosters. Probably my least favourite, but I still loved her. It was more to do with the fact I couldn't figure out a way to help her get better. More on that in a second.

She came from the States, Ohio or Kentucky (where we always took dogs from), but I don't remember which. She came with another dog, a giant hairy beast. We met the transport just off the highway. I brought Callie along to be sure this new dog wasn't going to act silly towards her. I was shocked when the dog just barked barked barked at Callie and I. It wasn't really a nice bark either, and to be honest I was a little intimidated. We walked them around for what seemed like forever - wrong decision to wear a pair of skimpy flats on a surprisingly cold day - but this new dog just didn't relent. I was given the choice to switch for the giant friendly dog, whose first time foster home didn't have a resident dog but did have a lot of visiting canines. We walked around some more and finally I decided to let Callie decide.Callie has a pretty decent ability figure out strange dogs and I trusted her judgement. Plus, she was off-leash and the other dog wasn't - which gave her quick feet an easy get away if she felt threatened. I unclipped her and to my surprise Cal strolled right up to the new dog and the barking ceased. There was obvious leash aggression the entire time but once Cal was free and the new dogs leash was loosened everything was fine. So did I take the giant, friendly dog (my fav kind!) and let this slightly aggressive dog go to a first type foster home? Five minutes later, Callie, new dog, Ryan and I were on our way home. I don't tend to make the best decisions when a dogs life lies in my hands. 

Her name on her papers was Lauren. I hated it. Ryan hated it. Pretty sure Lauren hated it. Never been a fan of regular people names for dogs, although some will say "Hey, Callie is a people name.." but I didn't name her, so shut up! She was "Callie the Collie" (she's not a Collie but oh well) and I didn't change it because she already was getting the hang of her name. Lauren on the other hand had no idea what her name was, so Ryan suggested Lilly and it stuck. It was a pretty girls name for a really pretty water dog, it was nice. I think Lil was possibly a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Same sort of personality and she has sort of curly brown hair and a white feet.

She was very cute. Loved to cuddle and be petted. She had a bit of orange in her coat when we got her but to my surprise it went away after a while on a decent quality food. She loved the water so I went out and got a long flexi-leash so she could go in without dragging me with her. She loved Callie. Occasionally she'd get a little too bossy when they were playing and a fight would break out. Never any serious bites, just a lot of  barking and snapping and three seconds later they were chasing each other around again. I had enormous trouble when it came to walking Lilly. She wasn't a puller and she was great with people but god forbid a dog crossed out path. I attempted the whole calm and cool thing and most dogs were fine as long as Lilly didn't get the chance to pull on the leash towards them. If the dog was off-leash, super friendly, or ignored her, she was fine. All hell broke loose when the on-coming dog was in any way dominate towards either of my dogs. I worked with her and off-leash she was great. A bit rough so I was never really comfortable with small dogs - although they didn't seem to mind- but she was doing better. I had bought her a muzzle to get myself more comfortable and it worked. I'd give her a good walk and then would muzzle her and let her off leash with other dogs. The moment she stopped pawing at her muzzle and try to play with another dog I'd take the muzzle off and she was fine. The same soon happened when she was on leash. She wasn't perfect, and I had to control every move, but she was better. 

Eventually Ryan and I decided to move to Toronto after we both graduated and Ryan found a good job. We hadn't had any applications for Lilly and it was going to be quite a difficult situation to move Lilly with us. I hate having a dog move home to home but fostering from two hours away is a little difficult. Luckily for me, my friends little sister - the same one who gave me Skipper - was ready to foster again for the summer. We arranged everything and I went over every last detail we had been working on and she accepted the challenge. Lilly eventually found the right home, but it took a few more months in foster care until the right one came along. Lilly was an experience that I'm glad I had. It made me realize I need a lot more work myself if fostering is something I'm going to continue to do.Throw a shy dog at me and I'll show you a dog who just needs a little guidance. I think I just need more experience ;-) 

Monday, March 28, 2011


We got Keisha after I got an email from the rescue with all the dogs who needed immediate foster homes. I'm sure anyone involved in a rescue is used to these, each day new dogs need to be taken in and current fosters may need to be re-homed. I forget why Keisha had to be re-homed but when I saw her pictures I almost died. She looked almost identical to Callie! I did a triple take thinking they had put Cal's old pictures up by mistake. Nope, it was a totally different dog but she was the same approximate age, same size, same body type, same colourings, same side-ways folding ears - except I came to notice Keisha's one ear folded more forward then the other making her look a little goofy (and Callie was still prettier of course). I had to meet this dog! Its not often you find your dogs doppelgänger.... Well at least not if you have a Heinz 57! 

The old foster family came to drop Keisha off and we took Cal and Keish for a walk to make sure they were friendly with each other and they got along fine. I remember Keisha STUNK like cigarette smoke. For someone who grow up constantly creating new and interesting campaigns to get her parents to stop smoking, it really made me a bit sick to my stomach. I don't like smoking, but hey if its your thing that's fine,* but I couldn't even imagine in what kind of chain smoking hell would get her fur so completely saturated. It took three shampoos until it was tolerable, and about two weeks for the smell to completely go away!

The twins on some weird doggy adventure together by the river.

Keisha was rrreally skinny but a lot of it was her body type. Like Cal she had long skinny legs and a deep chest which exaggerated her little tummy. She was still underweight. I could count each of her ribs which is never a great thing for a medium coated dog. Putting weight on her was a near impossible task. She loved to run more then anything and her metabolism was set to hyper drive. By the time she left her ribs were slightly more hidden which I'll take as a success. 

She was a complete cuddle bug. The dogs were never allowed on the furniture but it quickly became "Ok not on the couch or chair, but the ottoman is fine." That of course soon turned the entire chair into a free zone but to the dogs record they usually left the couch alone. A lot of dogs like to cuddle, but Keisha wanted to be held. She'd love when you'd hug her while you slept. She would often stick her body underneath mine in an effort to get closer. She was also really smart. She learned all the basics from Callie in an instant, like ringing a bell when she had to go outside. We also have dinner time rules which she picked up without being asked more then once. With my fosters I have no tolerance for food aggression and developed a rule that they must sit (outside the kitchen) and wait to be told to eat rather then have a huge free for all. Pretty much each dog has just kind of accepted it without much effort on my part. This way I could fill all the dishes, but in medicine if it was needed and then monitor each dog and work on any food issues if they happened to have any. One day Ryan but the food in the bowls, asked the two of them to wait and walked into the living room - something we did from time to time to kind of make them work for it. A long while later I came out of the other room and saw Ryan on the computer, busy into something, and no dogs to be found. Unusual considering they were always following us around. I peeked into the kitchen to see both dogs sitting, staring me down, at this point almost shaking in anticipation and a giant pile of drool by their toes. I told them to go ahead and asked Ry how long they'd been waiting. It was a big pile of drool after all. Twenty minutes! He has completely forgot about them and the girls had waited, not even in the same room, for twenty whole minutes! They didn't move an inch!

Keisha finally had a decent application, but the woman lived a two hour drive away. She came to meet her and fell in love. At this point we had had Keisha for quite awhile so it was a sad goodbye when Keish left a week later. But the woman was great. I got lots of updates and stayed in touch. We saw Keisha any pretty soon but I'll post that story later. 

*Unless your Ryan, then the slightly psychotic me rears her ugly head 

Friday, March 25, 2011


So Skip was off to greener pastures and by now I can only assume you've noticed a pattern: Ryan once again demanded we take a break from fostering. So I took in a cat. Obvious choice here - the shelter in a small town outside of London was going to have to put down a bunch of perfectly good cats after a cat rescue decided they weren't going to take cats from that particular shelter any more. That's right! A still functioning cat rescue decided not to rescue these particular cats basically because it was too much of a hassle. They didn't implore other rescues to help out or to my knowledge do any shout outs for new foster homes just pulled out from that shelter leaving these cats to pay the price. So the DOG rescue whom I worked with decided they had to do something and looked far and wide for new homes for these cats. I decided to help out. And besides, it was a cat, not a dog! Our break was from fostering more dogs after all! Oh how I've come to enjoy loopholes. 

The cat we were going to take on was already in a home. The family had went to rescue her since her time was due, but was unable to care for her long term. We went to get her (Ryan was begrudgingly on board after a bit of truth stretching to make the situation sound more desperate) from this cute apartment that had been carved out of a huge old century home. The couple who rescued her let me know before leaving that they had been calling her Lucy which, she added with a giggle, stood for Lucifer. Great. 

She was a beautiful cat, but maybe I'm a little biased since I've always loved that greyish-blue colour in animals. She had longish fluffy hair with very subtle stripes. Her bright green eyes looked like she hired a make up artist to get the eye liner on so perfectly. She was also tiny. Her hair made her look a lot bigger but I swear the first time I picked her up I almost threw her across the room. I was told she was doggie friendly but  she wanted nothing to do with Callie. A few times I had mini panic attacks thinking I'd lost her after scouring the apartment - and the apartment wasn't that big. I'd find her smushed between an end table and the wall or her favourite spot between the wall and a cork board we had leaning against the wall. 

I liked her just fine, but she had her moments. She would SCREAM for her food. Meow Meow Meow until I'd give her some. She would just gobble it down no matter how much she got so I couldn't free-feed her. I started to just give her little bits throughout the day to keep her belly in check, and to stop her whining. And then of course Callie was pissed seeing how the cat was being fed so much and she was only getting it twice a day so I had to make sure she got a treat each time. Speaking of Callie, soon Syl stopped hiding so much, which was nice, but then decided to beat the crap out of Cal instead. Callie wasn't intrusive. After the first few smells she was happily ignoring the cat. Sylvie on the other hand decided this wasn't good enough. All it took  was for Cal to walk by the spot she was laying and *Wack wack wack* out would come the claws. Cal started to just avoid her at all costs, which kind of sucked considering I loved our mommy/doggie cuddle times that were now impossible with the kitty as my shadow. 

I was worried that we'd have her for a long time. I knew cats didn't tend to get adopted as fast as the dogs and her attack cat persona and meowing was eating away at my nerves. The meowing was getting better with a little work but the Callie was now resorting to pouting in the corner alone. Finally a woman came to meet her and ended up taking her home later that night. Soon after we took a trip back home and Callie ended up getting chased out of my families hay loft by a couple members of a feral cat population we take care of. After that we decided cats were a no go for the time being. I do think Cal needs some good experiences so I think we'll try fostering a young kitten sometime soon. Full grown cats still kind of freak her out so we have to start her off small. 

A lot of the cats that came to the rescue are still actually looking for homes - and this is almost two years later. If your looking, or no someone who is, please visit I  recommend Paco. I scammed my friend into fostering him for a bit before she moved into her new place and he was pretty great. He needs someone whose going to be around, or maybe some furry buddies to cuddle with. A huge cuddle monster. I once heard someone say "Every dog needs a cat" and I totally agree. Unless you have a total monster on your hands that beats the crap out of your wussy dog. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Skipper was actually a foster dog of my friends little sister. I got her into the whole foster thing after she decided to spend a summer in London to work rather then go home to the boonies in our home town. All her room-mates were gone for the summer and she wanted a dog to keep her company. She got paired with a giant mastiff who was the biggest baby in the entire world. It was hilarious to see because she was this tiny girl with this huge, power, male mastiff peeking at strangers from behind her legs. He was incredibly attached to her and she was great with him. He ended up being adopted out to a family who already had a large dog and the two dogs got along fine. That was until the older dog suffered from a sudden seizure and came out of it only to attack the much larger mastiff. After that they couldn't trust to have a second dog in the home so my friends sister ended up getting her oversized baby back. What that all meant was her current foster dog - a cute little black and white mutt - needed a new home so she could properly help the now timid-with-dogs mastiff. 

Did I mention at the time I only lived two blocks away? We met in my apartments front yard, which for the record was pretty awesome. There was this lllong grassy area where the friendly and well-behaved apartment dogs gathered to play chase. There was also an old fenced-in playground area with all the equipment gone which was like a little dog park just for our building. Callie and Skipper got along great. They ran and played and I decided it would be a good situation for Callie. And although he had a kind of silly name, he was pretty cute. Flash to a few hours later....  I took the two dogs for a super long walk which made me a little late for work so I stuck them in the apartment and left in a hurry. In the excitement I had forgotten to tell Ryan what I was doing and he was due home soon. Two hours later I get a call at work with no hello, just "What is this white and black thing I'm staring at?" which confused me for a second or two. I then tried apologising and ended up just blaming it on our friends little sister. Of course he couldn't be mad at her! (and it worked, hehe).  

Skipper was a cool little dog. When we got him, he and Callie were about the same size. He was a bit more outgoing then Cal when it came to strangers but he was scared of the weirdest things. One day I was putting a little ketchup onto my plate and all of a sudden Skipper ran from the kitchen into the living room where I found him hiding in the dog bed. I had no idea what caused it , because seriously, who has ever heard of a dog being scared of ketchup? I eventually put two and two together and brought him the ketchup bottle and tried the "Look see its not scary!!" which of course scared him more. So I let him sniff it and then gave him a treat with a bit of ketchup on it. Although wary, he ate it, and seemed to be fine afterwards. I also remember a time I went to give the two dogs a slice of steak that I was making. Cal gobbled it down - she's a morbidly obese dog in waiting - but Skipper turned his head and ran the other way. It was meat!! Real meat, not the crap they call meat in dog food, but legitimate real life, carnivore sustaining, meat! He was a bit of a weirdo but we loved him. Maybe he decided to join PETA and not tell me.

Love this picture. I could barely get Skip to sit still and Cal wouldn't leave me alone!

Finally we met a great family who just loved him. He was with us for a few months when the family came and met Skip, took him for a walk, and decided they wanted him. By that time Cal was a few inches taller then him - she has grown quite a bit and it was all in her legs, something she didn't quite get the hang of for a lllong time. They were pretty attached and I was a bit worried how Cal would react when he left. It was her first foster dog and that can be difficult for humans and dogs alike. I made the new family promise to keep in touch. About a month later, when they were settled and bonded, we decided to meet at the dog park. Skip - who was now named Jack - noticed Callie first and came barrelling over the see her. He was attached to her hip, which she didn't appreciate because she had to hit the little girls room, but they soon were running and playing like long lost friends. Maybe ten minutes in they finally came over to us to take a little break and that's when Skip/Jack saw me. He froze at first and just kind of stared, so I bent down. Epic mistake - that's when he decided to launch head first into my arms, knocking me into the mud. I could only just sit in the mud while he did jumped around and wiggled all over me. Finally he noticed Ryan which gave me a chance to stand up. We kept up meetings while we lived in London and Skip would great us similarly, but thankfully a bit less powerfully, each time. I think it gave Cal a nice chance to see her old foster brother and kind of understand he was still alive and well. It was a perfect introduction  to the foster life for Callie, who has since been a great role model for other fosters. 

Monday, March 14, 2011


Callie at Sixish Months

I had once again promised to take a break from fostering. It was April, which meant not only was it final exam time, we were also moving out of the house at the end of the month into a small one bedroom apartment. I really don't know why Ryan tries for this whole "take a break" thing because it never works out. Think he'd get with the program by now. I made it about half way through April when I got a call from one of the volunteers saying she had just got a call from the local shelter about a young dog utterly terrified in her new surroundings. She was cute and very sweet but would not stop shaking in the back of the kennel. If the rescue couldn't take her, she was going to have to be put down. Do you really expect me to say no to that?

Since I had an exam that night the volunteer offered to go to the shelter, pick her up for me, and watch her for a few hours until I was finished. I tried to study and cram for the last exam but I was SO excited. Getting a new foster has always been one of my favourite moments. You never know what their personality will be since each dog is so different and I love getting to know a new dog. I've always been a good test taker so the exam went well and I got home and called the volunteer to bring me my new dog.

At first sight she was gorgeous. A pretty tan/orange colour with white feet and markings, sideways flopping ears, and huge doe eyes. The shelter thought she was a Collie mix and very uncreatively named her "Callie the Collie." When she walked into the house we let the leash drop and talked about the first impressions. The volunteer told me she was a complete sweetheart but was scared of pretty much everything. The only thing that had stopped little Callie from cowering was the volunteers friendly little Jack Russel who wouldn't take no for an answer when he wanted to play. I didn't have a second foster around but thankfully a good friend of mine was staying with us temporarily and her almost-a-year old Golden Retriever, Cooper, was staying with us also. The volunteer finally left and I was alone with Callie for the first time. Although she liked to sit by me and get petted when I'd leave the room she would go and hid under the living room table or squeeze herself between the couch and wall. Sudden movements scared her, strange noises scared her.  Finally I made an executive decision and went to get the overly excited Cooper, who had been stuck in the basement watching TV with the roommates all night. He was just about to die of anticipation and exploded into the living room to see a bewildered Callie who didn't seem to know whether to stay or run away. Coop's charms are rather hard to resist and like I suspected, Callie had just found a new best friend. They played and played as we all gathered to watch. We eventually left them upstairs and were soon surprised to see Cooper racing down the stairs with a timid Callie following slowly behind. Play soon turned to worry when we found blood all over Coop's fur. We searched the two of them all over in panic (a lot of blood!) and soon found that Callie was loosing her baby canine teeth! I had suspected she was pretty young but now I knew for sure.

Callie and Cooper eating some doggie icecream

Callie had a transformation that night. After Cooper brought her out of her shell she was a lot happier. She was still scared of strange things and shy with strangers but she was no longer cowering in the shadows. What was interesting is that, like a lot of rescues, she was already pretty much perfectly house trained and knew a few tricks, like sit and shake paw. You would not believe the amount of fosters I take in that already know a few tricks like that. Anyways Callie and I really grew on each other. She took the move to the apartment like a champ and after a few puzzled looks she didn't even mind the elevator ride. She became to be known as "Calzone" and was a favourite to everyone in our new building. We formed this really cool relationship built entirely on trust. When she was scared of something, she'd look to me, and all I'd have to do is nod and she'd be fine. When something really scary happened, like big sewer grates or automatic doors, I'd show her first by walking on it or walking in the door and she'd follow happily along. Within a few weeks she was on her way to being pretty well adjusted  and someone from a couple hours away applied to adopt her. It was a nice home, a young girl who understood Callie would need to be introduced to new and interesting things to keep up her progress.

The woman asked for a time to meet and possibly adopt Callie. I replied with a "Sorry she's been adopted" and offered other similar dogs up for adoption. Then I filled out the adoption application and sent the rescue the adoption fee. I called Cooper's mom and we went to get Callie a new "I have a home" collar and tag. Then I avoided telling Ryan for a while and offered little hints here and there. Finally, after Ry's graduation I told him I had just adopted Callie as his graduation present. He called my bluff since he had a feeling for a while I had adopted her but was actually pretty happy about it.

What made Callie perfect for me and not any of my other fosters is hard to say. We just kind of connected in a way that was different from the others. When other fosters had been adopted it mae me sad, a little anxious, and I hated to see them go, but I knew it was for the best. When Cal got an application, the thought sent me into a complete panic.We had very similar personalities and have always seemed to kind of understand each other without much effort. I love everything about her. She's a complete couch potato inside, but loves to run and play outside. She's a constant shadow where ever we go but I like to encourage a bit more independence. She has these little eyebrows that make her face so much more expressive and you can almost always read what she's saying. She still needs work and still scares easily but the transformation has been amazing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Looking back, Cash was one of my favourite fosters. I'm kind of upset I don't have more pictures of him. I'm kind of a sucker for big dogs and he was the biggest we'd had so far (and since, I think). I don't like them for their big, scary, tough appearance. More so because I've never met a large dog I didn't like. Big, goofy, lazy for the size - that's my kind of dog. And every big dog I've met is a total baby, and Cash was no exception.

He followed me around the house and always wanted to be touching someone. He was always sticking his giant egg head into your lap or putting his elephant nose under your limbs. At first he was scared of everything but he quickly managed to build up his confidence. I remember he loved people, especially kids, but when meeting new people, dogs, or in a new situation he'd hide behind my legs like a shy toddler. Kind of a funny sight to see this great big dog peeking out from behind my small self. I remember his needy-ness kind of pissing off my boyfriend because when I wasn't available Cash would be following him around like a lost puppy.

For his size he was rather skinny. He had this giant, leggy, houndish frame but barely weighed 65 pounds. The rescue saved him from a shelter in Kentucky just days before he time was due and he really wasn't in the best shape. You could have gave a skeletal lesson with him just standing there. At the park I found it necesary to constantly tell people "We just rescued him! He'll be gaining weight soon!" We started helping him put on some healthy weight and his dull fur soon became soft and shiny. You can  seem him shinning it up for the cameras in the pics

Cash gave me my first experience with a completely insane potential adopter. Ok that's not fair, she wasn't insane.. just a little loonie toons. I read her application and although I didn't think it was the best fit (for multiple reasons) I agreed to let them meet. When the middle aged woman and her older teenaged son got to my door I sensed a little bit of the crazy but they were perfectly polite. We talked and they met Cash. Cash seemed kind of indifferent to the whole thing but when he jumped up on the son - a habit I was trying to stop - the son turned around and walked out of the house and the mom started crying. For the record a HUGE pet peeve: you tell your jumping dog to get down and the other person is all "ohh it ok I don't mind!" and continues to pet and play with the dog. When someone tells their dog to get down its more than likely their trying to teach the dog manners, so when your all baby-talking "oohhhh puppy" you're not really helping. Rant ended. Anyways, turns out the anniversary of the death of their last dog was coming up and the son had just gotten a tattoo on his chest of the dogs paw print, and Cash touched it. The mom decided they wouldn't be able to make a decision till after the anniversary of the dogs death and said she'd been in touch the next week.

Flash to three days later. I happen to check the email I use for fostering and there's a nnnnnasty email from the woman criticizing me for not getting back to her. Apparently she had sent me an email the night before and since I hadn't replied by 5pm the next day she assumed I'd given Cash to another family. Turns out the crazy train had arrived and it would be way too long to get rid of it. She basically called me every name she could without swearing. Must have used a thesaurus because she didn't seem that creative in person. For the sake of the rescues good name I didn't fire back! No, I took the high route! I sent a rather nice and contained email back informing her that since I hadn't expected to hear from her for another week because she was taking the time for her old dog, and I was still considering her application, I wasn't checking my email as often. I also threw in there the fact SHE had asked for the time to think, and I was respecting HER wishes.

For the record: coming to meet a dog and/or filling out an application first does not entitle you to the dog! You can't call shot gun on a dog's life! In the case of two great applications I'd definitely consider giving way to the first person but if you're not a good match you're not a good match. Enough said. That weekend we took Cash to an adopt-a-thon and he wowed the crowds. We actually saw the woman there for a brief second and she was kind enough apologise. By the end of the day we had a few good applications, and two that I especially

I HAAATTEED the thought of telling crazy mom about my decision, but she had seemed so calm and collected on the weekend I figured she'd understand. Besides, she did see us at an adopt-a-thon, what did she think we were doing there? I emailed and let her know that we'd gotten an application that was a better fit and I even offered a couple other dogs from the rescue that may be a better match. Crazy got crazier. She went off not only to me but to the rescue, flat out making up lies about me to the resuce's founders. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details but basically said we had already signed the deal in blood and I changed mind to personally destroy her. WTF? Thankfully the ladies from the rescue were seasoned pro's at sniffing out cases of the loonies and trusted my judgement. To their credit they didn't question my actions once and respected my opinion to choose the family of my foster. They had always kind of left me on my own when dealing with adoptions, and this lady wasn't about to change their opinion of me.

Look at that adorable egg head!

A few weeks later I saw the husband and wife who adopted Cash at a local festival. They weren't hard to point out in the crowd since they towered over everyone. They reported that Cash was completely in love with the kids and thanked me multiple times for choosing them. You could just tell how important Cash had already become to them, especially the husband, as they told me stories from his first few days. I'm so glad I didn't give into the pressure one crazy woman because it would have meant sacrificing the happiness of Cash and his new family.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Livvy was a weird one. I’m having a little trouble remembering all the details. We really didn’t have her long, only a couple weeks at most. She was this elegant looking sight hound mix of some sort. I’m a little upset I don’t have any pictures of her running, or at least standing because you can’t really tell how pretty she is when she’s laying down. She had these long legs and tiny little head and her soft black fur was kind of a medium length, a little longer on her belly and tail. She was built to run that

She was also super sweet. Always wanting to cuddle and be around. Unlike most my cuddle bugs in the past, she generally kept to herself unless invited. That was a nice surprise. After months of constant shadows it was nice to have someone who was a little more secure in themselves. We still had Bruiser and they became fast friends. And by fast friends I mean Liv tried to avoid Bruise at all costs and he’d follow her around. He was constantly tugging on her. He’d grab her ears, her collar, her tail, even her paws and she just dealt with it, occasionally snapping at him when he’d go too far. When he wasn’t bugging her he’d be latching on to my pants or slippers so it was nice to have her babysit.

She had a weird problem when on leash. She was my first caseof leash aggression but she wasn’t as  that bad. She would just loose her mindwhen she’d see things like people arguing or kid’s playing too roughly. One minute she was playing the regal Best in Show dog and the next she was going all Cujo on me. Actually I’m not sure about the Cujo thing, never saw it. Kind of always avoided it. Also haven’t seen “Birds” either. Birds are already a little too freaky for me, with those beady, seemingly never blinking eyes. Anyways to the best of my knowledge Liv went from perfect companion to a Cujo-esc crazy dog at the blink of an eye. And only on the leash. I remember one time we were walking past a school that had just got let out for the day. Thank goodness I had a hold of the leash. We got about half way down the block these two boys started to play fight and before I could react and just before the parents could yell at them Liv went crazy train on me. She lunged and barked and I managed to get her on her second try and calmed her a bit. Thankfully the parents were pretty cool with the whole thing and told the boys: “That is way you have to act calm when dogs are around. You scared her and made her think you were in trouble.” Good child parenting, bad dog parenting. From that moment on I was always watching for warning signs to catch her before she went nuts. She actually got better but was always a little harder to control when kids were involved. It was a little scary to think of what her past may have been like. 
Finally Liv found a great home. A nice family with two kids whom fell completely in love with Liv at first sight. I warned them about her aversion to play fighting, or real fighting I assumed, but they wanted to take on a challenge. And they lived out in the middle of nowhere so a leash would only
need to be a needed for special trips to town. They also enrolled in obedience, which I’m sure helped a lot.