Yesterday, a volunteer from the rescue I’m hoping to foster with here on the Island came to do a home visit! He walked around the yard, checked out the house, and asked a bunch of questions. Lucy was on her best behavior and charmed him like I never could! It went well. I was happy to hear that they seem to have similar values to the organization I was with in Edmonton; positive reinforcement, local rescue, rehabilitation, education, training for people, all good stuff. Can’t wait to get started! In the mean time, I wanted to share more foster cuteness from the Edmonton days.
Shortly after Faline left us, we heard we might be getting a new foster. He was rescued in a pack of three dogs who had been wandering around some farmland for a long time. Long enough that the residents all recognized the dogs and no owners had been found. They were a funny bunch. A medium bull-breed looking dog, a large retriever-looking guy, and an extra-extra-large possible Pyrenees cross who they thought might be aggressive. They brought in the first two dogs, but were cautious about the third – understandably as extra-extra-large aggressive is nothing to mess with. A couple of the main hart volunteers drove out to find the big guy, and the first thing he did was roll over for tummy rubs. They called him Zeus 🙂
He did a LOT of laying around at first. He had been through a lot, and was also on deworming medication which probably didn’t make him feel great. Because he was so big his doses were huge! He could tell when I hid the medication in things and the only thing he would eat it with was warmed-up canned puppy food. Otherwise his appetite wasn’t huge. We just let him laze around and took him for slow walks. He wouldn’t come upstairs to our second story. Maybe he had never lived in a house before. Lucy was a bit frustrated after having the playful, bouncy Faline around. Who was this big, lazy, stinky guy who wouldn’t pay attention to her?
And man. He was stinky. I had bathed Faline in my tub (and threw my back out getting her in) so there was NO WAY I was getting this guy into our bath tub. Not only his size – that fur would have required a visit from a plumber afterwards. I managed to find someone through hart who worked in a vet clinic, and we bathed him there with industrial equipment. He took it like a champ.
Zeus was starting to feel better, and his appetite came back. He thought that having people to pet his tummy and feed him delicious meals twice a day was actually pretty awesome. We always have dogs wait while we get their food ready; they can’t start eating until we say so (it’s just good manners!) but he just couldn’t contain his excitement and developed an adorable dinner dance. He never did want to come upstairs with us though. Maybe because it was carpeted and just to hot for him, or because it just seemed like an unnecessary steep climb. Every morning he was lying right at the bottom, waiting for us to come down and feed and pet him. He loved looking out the window and seemed especially interested in trucks. He occasionally gave men bear hugs. He helped Lucy corner squirrels in trees.
Once he was feeling better we had to take him in to get neutered…which meant weeks of wearing a cone. Then he got hot spots, which required MORE cone so he couldn’t lick them. And this guy loved to lick himself 🙂 despite the extra-large cone, he somehow managed to lick around it. We couldn’t risk that, as it could have caused complications with his healing wounds. And since he wouldn’t sleep upstairs…I ended up bringing a mattress to the living room to keep him company. I’m such a light sleeper that if he started licking, I’d wake up and stop him. We even tried to put a t-shirt on him to deter licking. He managed to heal just fine and his spirits were high, cone or not. Check out this video of his dinner dance, cone and all.
Finally, Zeus started giving in to Lucy’s constant attempts to play. Persistent girl she is!
All too soon it came time to say goodbye. It felt a bit easier for me, maybe because it was the second time, but it was tough for Kaelin. He really loved Zeus. They were a good match. Standing together watching out the window with our arms linked, I imagined sending a teenager off to college. He seems to be getting along great with his new roommate!