Saturday, September 11, 2010

Failed once again at Failed Foster Club membership

Pretty much all my friends were surprised that I have decided to place our foster pup Meggie. My reasons for not keeping her are multi faceted. To understand why we are not keeping her, first you need to get inside my head a little on the reasoning on how Meggie was even being considered to become third dog.

First of all, we are not looking for another dog. We said we weren't fostering for a while either, but looks like that is out the window. When my middle daughter and I went to the kennel to pick up Meggie, I didn't even have the leash in my hard before we looked at each other and said at the same time

"Dina." Dina was my last Border Collie and like most dog owners, I thought she was pretty special. She had a sweet spirit about her that I have been searching for ever since. To many degrees, Meggie has it. She is so incredibly sweet and wonderful with people. Meggie has a soft, super duper sweet temperament. She is special no doubt.  If you had a do-over with a dog like your heart dog, wouldn't you take it?

On the one hand, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this dog. She is super star smart, and biddable and athletic and I LOVE her size and her adorableness.

You know and I know that all dogs have "something, " and Meggie's something has to do with other dogs. She is reactive, and controlling. These two traits often go hand and hand with some herding dogs, and yes I am a trainer and yes I can train her, and yes she only just turned 6 months old, BUT and this is a very big but, just because I can, doesn't mean that I should. If I have learned anything from having a reactive dog for nearly 12 years and a non reactive dog for 4, I don't want another one and  they are not a fit good for us.

I have garnered some wisdom along the years and listen up because here it is. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is not put a dog in stressful situations over and over and over and over. One of my "needs" or "musts" in a dog, is a dog that I can take in public. My next dog will have to be able to come to teach classes with me and be a demo dog at public events.

While I "could" help Meggie, and she has made progress already, the sheer number of dogs that she would be exposed to you would not be in HER best interest. "Flooding" her constantly both in our home and out and about, is not the best training plan for a reactive dog.

After a short time, Meggie was fine with Stella and they became fast friends, and she was fine immediately with both of my dogs, but again I repeat, we were not looking for a dog. She won us over immediately, and we love everything about her, but. It is not that I don't think she is or could be the right dog for us, I am trying to not be selfish . We are not the right home for HER.

Three years ago we almost adopted a Border Collie. The day before we were to pick her up, Finney chased a squirrel up a tree and pulled out a toe nail. It cost us a dollar more than the price of the dog. I re-evaluated our ability to take on a third dog and passed on Fancy siteing that "Finney took a hit for the team."

On Wednesday, the first day all three of my kids were back in school. Finn collided with the puppy in the woods. He was flying at warp speed and didn't see her on the path in the tall grass. Warning, it is like seeing a horse break down at the track, or at least it is for me.

Another hit for the team we wondered?
Sure seems to me that the universe doesn't' want Finney to have a little sister. He didn't put weight on his left hind leg for a day or so, and he is still favoring it a bit. Finney is a drama king and he didn't get rushed off to the vet but if he doesn't improve greatly, he will be going first thing next week. 

Then there is Charlee. She has always done better with males in the house, and Charlee is irritated by Meggie's rapid  movement pretty much all the time. While I do think it is possible to find a dog for Charlee to live out her golden time with us, it is just not fair. Charlee is no dumby, and she knew that Meggie was granted different rights than the other foster dogs, and she doesn't' like it.

Just because Charlee can share me, doesn't' mean that she should have to.
And so ends the saga, of how I have still managed to stay out of the Failed Foster Club.
Meggie's (Lucy's) Pet Finder listing. It will be updated shortly. She was listed as adopted after the rescue heard me gush over and over about her, although I did tell them she was on a three week trial. 


KathyF said...

FWIW, I think you're doing the right thing. My dog would have HATED for me to bring another dog home for good. While she tolerated other dogs, she much preferred people. She really liked being the only dog.

I hope to get a dog that will share me with another dog next time, in fact, that's one of my requirements for my next dog, which I hope will be a rescue retriever. Because I've decided I need an heir and a spare. Life without a dog is no good!

You'll find the right one another time, I'm positive. And you know what you need more than most people do.

gooddogz said...

Loved your comments Kathy. Especially an heir and a spare. So stealing that. :)

melF said...

Nancy - I completely understand your reasoning and thinking around your decision to let Meggie be adopted.

I kind of wondered (through all of the teasing) if you wouldn't end up letting her go. Not because you don't all love her, obviously your whole family does, but because it just wasn't the right time or the "right" dog for right now.

I think Charlee and Finney will be happy to have you to themselves again. I hope Finney is okay.