Mar 3, 2011

Puppy Love

It has been a busy 2 days for us on Walnut Avenue.  Though I haven't had time to do much housework my reasons are so much bigger than trying to find the time to trim out my cabinets.  Let me introduce you to another part of us...

I have ALWAYS loved animals - especially dogs. I have volunteered at 3 different shelters over the years and taken home many a wandering pup in an effort to find their owner - so far I have managed to reunite them all.  This September I took my love of pups another step further when we became foster parents to two 4 week old lab puppies, Bonnie and Clyde. Though they were only with us for two weeks, it was an amazing (and exhausting) experience and we enjoyed every minute of it.  Come November we took in a 6 week old pit bull named Itti for six weeks. As soon as I saw her I fell in love with her beautiful white face and big black lips...she was gorgeous. By the time Itti left us she could sit, stay, give paw, and was potty trained.  We loved her immensely and had a VERY VERY hard time giving her up. I went so far as to tell E we would not foster again for a long time... Monday that all changed.  Enter Driver.

With the weather getting better and the office nearly done I thought I could add a little more to my plate and some more love in our house.

Driver is a 5 month old German Shepard. He is sweet and gentle and has no idea what "No pee pee in the house" means. I picked him up from the shelter yesterday and he has been at my feet ever since. Driver is my shadow and, even as I write this, he wants nothing else in the world than to be as close to me as possible which means he is currently sitting in my lap. 

From all of this fostering we have learned a lot.  As newlyweds we have learned each others parenting styles and the rolls we might play.  E likes to take them outside and rough house (big surprise) but he also likes to hold them at night while they sleep.  I like to nurture and sooth them, bath them, and pick up after them when they have their little accidents (not the most glamorous but it is all part of the process).  We both teach them how to behave - constantly repeating commands and praising their efforts.

Bubba has learned to "mother" in a way she would never have had the chance to.  Whether it be licking their coats or nipping the pups when they play too rough...she is our partner in temporarily raising these pups.  E and I are there to teach them the way of the people and Bubba is there to teach them the way of the dog.  These puppies have come to us having been abandoned or from the streets and have no clue what it is like to be inside a house and not in a cage.  They don't know how to sit or stay or not to jump and bite.  That is what we are here for - to teach them the ways of the world for their new forever home. 

Itti and Bubba

Fostering is by no means easy-it means many sleepless nights while they are adapting to their new environment and new way of living.  It means reaching a higher level of patience that you didn't know you had when they accidentally poop the crate for the second time in one day (thankfully that only happened to me once with a very sick Bonnie).  It means having to give them up at the end of the session and never knowing what their life turned out to be like, if the things you taught them lasted, or if you saw them on the sidewalk one day if they would remember you or not.  It is hard - very hard - and a mostly thankless thing to do but overall it is what you do for yourself to know that you made a difference...even if it was just for a little while. 

I felt it important to share this part of our life with you all.  I also want to thank all of the people who have it in their hearts to foster and/or to adopt - whether it be an animal or a child.  There is no greater love than the love that you CHOOSE to have in your life.  Nothing and nobody in life is perfect but giving a child or an animal a chance at a real life, a full life, is the biggest gift you can give.  Thank you to all of the great hearts out there. 


PS - I hope to be able to post in the next few days but my schedule is now wrapped around a puppy who coincidentally is wrapped around my legs!!
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