Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month- On Fostering a Dog

Boss wrote this one a while back, on her old blog.  She thought it was a good one to share, and thought that everyone would enjoy a little "warm fuzzy" feeling after reading about so many happy endings, as our buddy Kaiser (now known as Geno) will be embarking on his happy ending on Friday.  Take it away, Boss!

"I think I mentioned this in my first post of 2014, but I thought I'd write a longer post about this for all the dog-lovers out there. In September of last year, the hubster and I decided to volunteer at the local Golden Retriever rescue, and wow- have we learned a lot.  There is so much more to dog ownership than I ever have realized.  Even though I grew up always having a dog, I feel like I still have only scratched the surface in terms of experience.  Here is what S and I have learned in the past 9 months:

I have always had a love of dogs, and always had a dog when growing up.  Our first dog (that I can remember) was a mix of a few different breeds and was named Honey.  Despite her name, Honey wasn't always sweet.  My parents bought Honey out in the country as a small puppy, before they had children.  She was the typical puppy- energetic, a tad naughty, but knew some tricks and my parents loved her.  Then, they had two kids, and Honey wasn't "the world" to them.  Honey developed very aggressive behaviors, including resource guarding.  Honey was sat on, ridden like a horse, but she maintained her composure for many years (after reading many articles on child etiquette with dogs, I realize that this is very inappropriate for children to do to dogs).  My little brother and I were always reminded to not bother her while she was eating, and let her do her own thing.  Add moving to a new house into the mix of stressors a few years later. We were all playing in the yard one day, and my brother accidentally stepped on her tail.  She immediately whipped her head behind her and bit my brother in the face, ending up in a visit to the ER.  He ended up recovering from the attack, but it was evidence that how you interact with your dog is so important.  

After Honey died of cancer, we adopted our next dog: the polar opposite.  Rocky was a Golden Retriever/German Shepherd mix.  And oh, what a joy he was!  His personality was a perfect fit for our family, and everyone adored him.  Rocky was a very cherished member of our family- we often called him our "red-headed brother" (since he was a dark red golden color).  He didn't run away, he walked beside you, he was very obedient, and also very loyal.  You could see the best of both breeds shine in his demeanor.  He never needed a leash at the cabin, he rode on the pontoon with the family, he enjoyed rides in the car, he never resource guarded, and loved cats.  The only thing he didn't like?  Swimming.  Odd.  Rocky hung through the best times and the worst of times.  During my parents' divorce, even Rocky was being fought over.  He was a senior dog at the time, and was quite literally a piece of glue in our family.  He got a tumor on his spleen during the finalization of their divorce, and died peacefully before the papers were signed.  I guess he knew that the time was right.

Sweet Rocky, and his one ear that was up
Cue 2013- S and I = newlyweds, and were considering adopting a dog (I have been begging for a dog ever since Rocky passed away).  I am head-over-heels in love with Golden Retrievers, so we picked the local Golden Retriever rescue.  I saw that they needed volunteer foster families, and since S was a little unsure about owning a dog, we decided to foster to make sure that this was what we wanted to do.  So, we got trained in, and we picked out our first foster dog- Cody.

Cody, our first foster dog
Cody is a beautiful 5-year-old Golden Retriever mix, who traveled all the way from Georgia to spend the rest of his happy days in Minnesota!  He was on a euthanization list at the shelter there, and so Mobile Mutts (a volunteer transport group) helped him make his way up here to RAGOM (Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota).  When we picked him up, and he instantly was a ray of sunshine.  His tail was wagging, his ears were perky (well, one was- he had one ear up and one ear down, just like my Rocky), everything was beaming happiness!  He even went camping with us in the fall and liked taking naps near the campfire!  He had a case of what we thought was kennel cough, but when the antibiotics were over, his cough still had not resolved.  Unfortunately, Cody became a bit too interested in our two kitties, and he went to another foster home.  There, they did more medical tests and they found out that he had two different types of bacteria in his lungs.  He went on more medications, and he eventually got better and was adopted by a lovely family, where he has another furry friend to play with and all the toys he could ever ask for.  I love to hear that there are so many happy endings to these stories.

Cody, on our way to his first camping trip!

Our next foster dog was a completely different breed (no pun intended)- 12-week-old Harley, a Black Lab/Border Collie/Who-Knows-What mix.  His mom and all 10 of the puppies were abandoned in a foreclosed house when the pups were 2 weeks old, and so RAGOM decided to help them out to find them homes.  We picked Harley up when he was 12 weeks old.  He was a cutie!  I mean, look at his ears.  How can you not love that!  And I can't forget- he is full of energy!  He has a great demeanor, and was a true "velcro" dog- he never left your side.  He was a quick learner, respected "most" boundaries, and was a very happy-go-lucky dog.  He was adopted by a young guy who, when Harley is old enough, will take him on runs around town.  After he went home with his family, I felt a big smile on my face, knowing he'd be happy in his forever home.  While I get quickly exhausted by the herding dog breeds, getting our next dog was a little breath of fresh air!

Harley is friends with Willie, too!
Harley, our second foster pup
....And then there was the dog we couldn't live without- our little Sadie Bear.  She and quite a few dogs came from a retiring breeder in Iowa.  The dogs who came from here lived outside their whole lives- friendly, but very shy.  What the organization thought was going to be 2 litters of puppies and 5 females and 2 male adult dogs turned into 41 puppies, 5 females, and 2 males!  Many of the female dogs were pregnant when they were surrendered.  Sadie (then known as JJ) was one of the litters that was born in Iowa.  The volunteers and foster mom of "the little family" spent hours upon hours around the clock working to socialize these dogs (let alone clean up their messes)!  There were eight pups in Sadie's litter, and when we went over to meet them, Sadie immediately went to S's lap and slept in it.  After that, she was S's little girl.  So, we adopted her.

Little Sadie, around 9 weeks old
And from then on, she has stolen our hearts.  We'll foster again in the future, because Sadie always loves the company of furry friends, but for now, we're just fine loving on our little fuzzball. :)  Ahhhhh, now I'm feeling warm fuzzies.

Momma,Sadie and two of her siblings at a playdate
I'll probably post all the time about Sadie and her adventures, because quite frankly, I can't get over her cuteness.  And, I love dogs.  They always have that way to scoot right into your heart.

If you have ever considered volunteering with a dog rescue, I recommend it- whether you help with fundraising, event planning, training, home visits, transporting, or fostering- everything is worth it.  Knowing that you're helping for the greater good for someone or something who needs it is very rewarding.  Or if you can't commit to volunteering, donations are always welcome- even $15 can help a dog get a vaccination!"

Thanks, Boss!  Ahh, those warm fuzzy feelings are flowing now.  Enjoy your day!  What is your rescue dog story? :)
Ruckus the American Eskimo Dog Blog
- See more at:


  1. What a doll, that playdate looks like so much fun! We always help out with fundraising for our local shelters!

    1. We foster when we can, and a month back, we did a walk for Golden Retrievers through RAGOM- called Goldzilla. It was so much fun- there were hundreds of Goldens in one place! Woof-dah!

  2. Great story - lots of warm fuzzies.

    1. Thanks! We always feel warm and fuzzy reading our past stories too- I wish I could've met all the dogs that my Bosses talk so fondly of!

  3. wow, what a wonderful post! I truly thank you for sharing on Thoughtless Thursday!
    I absolutely love the photos as well!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    1. You are so very welcome! We love gabbing about the fabulous dogs we get to interact with- whether it be old family dogs, or foster dogs! It's just so comforting and makes our whole family feel warm and fuzzy from head to tail! :)

  4. Fuzzy feelings tingling up and down! Happy Thoughtless Thursday!

    1. Mission accomplished- we love it when others feel comforted by our experiences, too! :)


Thanks for stopping by! You're "paw"some. I do my best to respond to my "fan mail" within 24 hours of it being received, but please be patient- my paws are pretty clumsy at the keyboard! :)