Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fostering Questions

You've mentioned rescues before.  What exactly is a rescue?
*A rescue is state recognized organization who is responsible for the dog.  They provide finances for medical expenses, give fosters necessary supplies (like crates and blankets), approve the adoption and essentially, network the animal. 
What's the difference between working with an in-state and out of state rescue?
*Rescues are amazing organizations.  And most of them (if not all) are non-profit.  The main difference (in my experience) was the support.  With the local organization, there are adoption events, social activities, volunteer opportunities, etc.  I had to network the 2 pups with the out of state rescue on my own.  They were both listed on PetFinder, but as far as adoption events and such, there weren't any.   
I see dogs in shelters all the time.  How do I help them?
*The great part of rescuing an animal is there are different things you can do.  Donate goods.  Volunteer.  Offer Transportation.  Short term foster (this is needed if transportation is being arranged and it'll take a few days or weeks to get the animals to their destination.)  Offer to take pictures and network. 
Contact the administrators at the shelter and they can let you know what they need and how you can help.
What goods to shelters and rescues need?
*In one word, EVERYTHING.  Toys, food, treats, supplies like bowls, puppy pads, blankets.  If there is one rescue that has particularly touched your heart, contact them.
I'm interesting in adopting.  Who do I contact?
*Check your local shelters.  Go on Petfinder.  (Petfinder lists the organization the animal is with.  Chances are, they're a local rescue, especially if you type in your zip code when searching.)  There are many different places to adopt an animal.  Most rescue groups have events on the weekends with their adoptable animals.  If you're having trouble finding events in your area, contact your local shelter.  They should have information on local rescues.  
Do you keep in touch with your fosters?
*Absolutely.  I let every potential adopter know we're kind of a package deal. :o)  It can be comforting to them too, knowing they won't be alone.  But I work hard not to step on any toes.  I check in once a week at the beginning then once every couple weeks after that.  For me, it's a selfish thing.  I like to know how the pups are doing!

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you for reading!  I hope ya'll have a fabulous week :o)

Monday, July 30, 2012


(Sorry ya'll, this may be a bit long...)
People always want to know how I got into fostering and some of you have asked exactly how things work.  This post will be about my experience then I'll answer all questions tomorrow.
To be perfectly honest, I fell into fostering on a whim.  Growing up, I always liked dogs, but I wouldn't say I was a dog lover.  In fact, in middle school, my dad and sisters REALLY wanted a dog.  I remember sitting at the dinner table one night and my Mom said "Okay guys, it's either me or a dog..." I was the only one who chose my Mom.  :o)
Anyway, I got into fostering after I friended a local shelter on Facebook a few years ago.  It amazed me how many dogs needed homes.  I always knew they were out there, I just had no idea how bad the situation really was.  It broke my heart.  And I started to feel really guilty that Toby wasn't a shelter dog.  Neither was our family dog, Brandi. 
I contacted the shelter, originally wanting to volunteer.  When the shelter e-mailed me back, they said they really could use fosters, would I be willing to do that?  I didn't really know exactly what that meant but after I said I needed a bit more information, they sent me the name of a women they worked with frequently. 
She owned an out of state rescue, but due to the high volume of shelter dogs in our area, she had several dogs in her rescue that were local to me.  I had to fill out some paperwork and give her 3 references.  We talked a bit, and my basic responsibilities were to take care of the dogs and socialize them.  In other words, get them used to a "normal" life.  I fostered both Ali and Trixie (at different times!) with this rescue.  They were posted on Petfinder and I believe that's why they got adopted so fast.  Not to mention, they were super cute and their personalities were adorable!
I stopped fostering while I was house hunting/buying and contacted a local group when I was ready to foster again this past January.
While I loved working with the out of state rescue, the benefits of a local group fit my lifestyle better.  I had to fill out paperwork, get a home visit and give 3 references again, but honestly, that's just protocol.  And I wouldn't trust a rescue who wouldn't check out someone they were giving a dog to anyway.
A few benefits of working with a local group:  there's support with adoption events, volunteer opportunities and a list of people who will show up at your door anytime, any day if you have a problem with your foster.  For me, that's key and comfort and I prefer that over being "on my own."
To sum up the experience, fostering is the most selfless, rewarding and difficult thing I do.  It's time consuming, fun, frustrating, entertaining, and bittersweet.  I love each of these little pups like they were my own (and yes, I cry every single time I take one to their permanent home.)  I really, truly love it and I wouldn't do it if I didn't.  Saving a homeless animal is an uphill battle.  You feel like you can never do enough, especially when you know how many are out there.  But, at the same time, you have to realize a life saved is a life saved.  And that life does matter.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Random Diagnosis

Let's just face facts...I should probably submit myself to medical science.  Is there such a thing?  I found a new doctor I love but I'd been putting off making an appointment (more on that later) until I was left no choice. 
Last week, I couldn't eat.  Literally.  Every time I did, I felt like food was stuck in my chest.  Let me tell you how good that felt. 
For someone who wants to lose weight, it's amazing.  For others...not so much.
Anyway, it was really more annoying than anything, until last Tuesday (it had been 3 days) when things just got painful.  I tried everything...Tums.  Maalox.  Zantac 75.  I even tried to make myself sick.  I'm happy to report my days as a bulimic are slim to none.  And I apologize if this is too much info.  But I believe in painting the whole picture because otherwise it's just not worth telling.  You're welcome. :o)
Anyway, I went to my Dr Wednesday morning.  I wanted to NOT schedule an appointment because she's my new doctor and I didn't want her to think I was high maintenence.  (Yeah, I can hear you laughing.)  But I went and even moved up my appointment because I was desperate.  I told her my symptoms and she diagnosed me with esophogeal spasms.
It's a real thing.
I know, because for a good 10 seconds, I looked at her like she was playing a joke on me and she assured me that this was, in fact, a real diagnosis.  I should know better than to look online for anything because I managed to convince myself I was suffering from esophagitis and possibly worse.  I also assumed I was going to need an endoscopy and did a happy dance when she told me "we didn't need to go there."  (It probably didn't help that I told her "I don't do cameras down my throat.")
ANYWAY, I'm here to tell you, esphogeal spasms are no joke.  And they do exist.  And no, no one in the medical profession can tell you what causes them.  (I'm going to guess stress does but unfortunately I'm not important enough to be in a medical journal.)
The moral of the story...if you feel like you have food in your chest, go to the doctor.  Do not look online.  And please, do not diagnose yourself.  It does NOT work.

PS-The reason I was avoiding the doctor...with a new doctor comes new paperwork.  I was fine until I got to the "emergency contact" part.  Not to insult my friends here, but who wants to be strapped with that responsibility?  My family lives out of state.  My best friend lives in Denver.  It's the lonliest feeling ever to not be able to put someone in that space.  So, instead of writing a name, I said, "I'll get back to you." 
How long until you think they call me for a real name?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fainting Goats

This is my new favorite video.  Have ya'll seen it??  It cracks me up every time.

PS- My coworker Jodi showed this to me 2 weeks ago. 
We made our VP watch it too and in the team meeting last Friday said she tried to use the same method in the board meeting.  Apparently a bunch of people were talking to her all at once so she squeezed her eyes shut and held her breath.  Our CEO grabbed her arm and said "NOT NOW!"  Hahahaha.  You know you work with a great team when your own boss tries to pull the "fainting goat" maneuver :o)
PPS- Jodi wants one and after watching this 100 times I'm tempted to agree.  How fun would it be to have a fainting goat?!?!  I kinda want to name her Sally...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


**Foster fur child got adopted!! She is loved and spoiled and as happy as a newly adopted girl can be. I will be taking a break from fostering as my hours at the office are a bit much for a new pup to handle. (Not to mention Toby threatened emancipation if I even think about bringing one more dog in this house. He's SUCH a diva.)
**I don't know about y'all but I'm just about over these unbearably hot days. Every summer I say it's too hot to live here and every summer I'm STILL here! Ha. Apparently I have yet to learn my lesson.
**I watched a 12 week old chihuahua last week. (Toby still isn't speaking to me.) Do you know how small a baby chihuahua is?? SMALL. Luckily, he was also loud so finding him was never a problem. Unfortunately my hours were too much for him so I had to turn him over to another foster. 
The 2 pound Chihuahua vs The 6 pound Yorkie. 
Never in this life did I think Toby would look big!

**I took a full week off for the 2nd time in my entire career and I think it may have to be an annual thing now. It was amazing to get away for so long. I highly recommend it :o)
That's just about it for me.  Now you know why I haven't been blogging!  Not too much going on around these parts :o)
How are ya'll??