Saturday, October 29, 2011

FOSTER FAILURE...........by Rosamond of RJM Creations

I came to adopt my first two rescued Australian Shepherds through a very long and complicated process. The owner was a former friend who went from being a successful and productive member of the community to a man serving a prison sentence. During his decline he had two beautiful and sweet Australian Shepherds, near the end they were very neglected and I just happen to have been at his house when the police raided the place and left me alone in his house with his dogs. Panic set in, I have never been in trouble of any sort and found myself in a relative stranger’s house with his animals.

Long story very short, I took the dogs and after 3 court cases, prevailed and retained the dogs. They went from neglect to the loves of my life. When my daughter grew up and left home they were my “empty nest” dogs.

I had them for 14 years. They had seen me through thick and thin, good and bad times. It is truly like a rescued dog knows you save them.

Of course, saving an animal does not automatically make you an excellent adoptive parent. I studied up on the breed and quickly learned that this is a very active and intelligent breed. One that will do anything you ask of it except be ignored. We almost immediately began long runs in the early morning hours before I would leave for work. The dogs could rest at home after and I got in the best shape of my life.

We made it through Flyball lessons, Frisbee games and sheep herding, and many cross country road trips. My “boys” Jackson and Montana are remembered in the name of my shop: RJM Creations.

Jackson and Montana
Jackson passed first at 17; one day he was jumping at the end of his leash with great abandon as we headed for the park and the next morning had a massive stroke. He lived every day with me as a happy and fun boy. His brother, Montana, was the clown of the two and I worried about him after his brother passed. I debated all of 2 weeks before putting out a note to the local Aussie Rescue (SoCal Aussie Rescue) group. I had decided to go for a deaf Aussie. Jackson was always the super high energy one of the two and as he matured and calmed down (at 13 years of age he began to calm down) I found that as his hearing went, so did a lot of his anxiety.

I waited two months and no word from the rescue people. Through the website I saw a cute girl who was being given up by her owners. We went to visit and Montana and I came home with Schmna (formerly Pepper) a roly-poly little girl with a big attitude.

About a month after this I received a call that there was a pair of Aussies, deaf sisters, that needed a home. I apologized and said that I could not have 4 dogs. The rescue lady, Diana did not understand; she had just two days ago received my first note from two months prior asking for a deaf dog.  So technology had interfered with me getting a deaf dog. Well, Diana, being the devoted rescue lady that she is, called me when she had an emergency rescue of a deaf and mostly blind Aussie (Lethal White – due to poor breeding) dumped at a high kill shelter. She asked if I would be willing to do a temporary foster for Prancer (Once known as Spot).

I am sure there are many out there who have failed fostering too but this was my first and I went into it with every intention of giving Prancer a good temporary home.  He came to me scared, on medication for Giardia, very ill.  He had no idea what stairs were and ate his food like he was starving. Poor thing didn’t even know how to play or what toys were. He is one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen, and within one week of the calming influence of Montana (now 16 years old) and the strength of Schmna, he blossomed.

My precious Montana passed away this past year just 2 days before Christmas. I have never had overwhelming sadness for the loss of either of my two original Aussies because I knew they had the best life possible and did not suffer. Their love and devotion has left me with such wonderful memories.

Prancer and Schmna

So Prancer is now a permanent member of the family with Schmna. He is calm and the most loving dog ever. I encourage anyone considering a rescue to even go a little further and consider a deaf or blind dog. You will be amazed when it finally clicks that no one has told them they are handicapped and they are as happy if not more so than any other dog.

Want a reason to get up and smile when life hands you a difficult obstacle? It is as close as a cold nose and loving heart.

Written by Rosamond of RJM Creations on ArtFire where you will find many wonderful handmade products showing Rosamond’s love of sewing and a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to check out her studio and contact her with any questions.

Rosamond is a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild which is celebrating National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month by raising funds for the Close to Home Animal Rescue group which you can read about HERE or click on the box below.
Use coupon code 10CTH-CFA at participating stores to help Close to Home Animal Rescue

4 comments:

Pam said...

Amazing, heartwarming, and informative. Thanks for writing.

Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...

Wonderful story about your dogs in the past and now. If there's any time for someone to fail at something, foster failure is surely it! People who fail at fostering in this way deserve awards!! Thank you for sharing.

Fisher and Staff said...

Such a beautiful story! We are a cat family, but are fortunate to have friends who live with an Aussie. They travel fairly often and we get to take care of Mandy at our house. She is a delight, and there are no problems between her and the cats. They aren't huge buddies, but they get along well.

Pam said...

Bless you and bless your loving fur babies.