I sometimes question why I foster dogs when they piss all over my house, poop in every room, and ruin every rug. But when we get a dog adopted that we took in, fostered, and changed to a good pet, the feelings come though so strongly that I know why I foster.
It is still very frustrating to walk through your home at 1am and step in a puddle where a dog has pissed in the night.
We are taking care of a dog that is not a foster. JB is the dog of a friend that is taking a Cruise. We knew of this in January before Atlas was our foster. Mike forgot about that or thought that Atlas would be here only 2 weeks.
Either way, we have 6 dogs in the house. Apollo (aka Goof), Kira. Clifford, and Remy are permanent. Atlas is the foster and JB is the dog we are taking care of.
I am sick with a head cold. The head of development came in on Wednesday saying that he had no voice and then took the next day off. On Friday I started feeling bad and today I have no voice.
But what surprised me is that Apollo seems to know I am sick and has been staying by my side constantly. That is unusual for him. I am not sure if something else is going on or if he indeed knows that I am sick and is being a helpful companion.
Well.. tonight Apollo seems to have turned back to being my pup. He is back to normal and is not pestering the gigantic dog (Atlas) . He has returned to his pattern of checking in on me every hour to just get a scratch on the neck and then he runs off.
I stopped on the way home and got new tags for Apollo (aka Goof). The new tag has the name Apollo with Mike and my phone numbers on the back. Mike wouldn’t accept calling him Goof, and Goof doesn’t seem to have any care for me now that Atlas is in the house.
My actions could be because I am so mad about Atlas that I am overreacting to Apollo’s reaction. But it appears that I am as unlovable as Kira. So, maybe Kira is my last dog. She hates everything except for me. She doesn’t let me out of her sight. She is 14.
Well, Goof (aka Apollo) is in love with Atlas and has decided that humans don’t exist. He walks around looking at Atlas like he is better than a bowl of food. So, I have lost the little dog I adopted. He seemed to adore me so much. I thought I had another Darby, but clearly I just have a puppy that loves anything that seems bigger than him.
Atlas is persona non grata with me. I am still thinking through why I am so mad. I have narrowed it down to not even being asked if he could be our foster. I have thought about it and if Mike had asked if the animal could be brought home, I would have capitulated. But I think I am angry because I wasn’t even asked.
I stopped on the way home and got the new dog a handsome collar and a tag. The collar is grey and black with a reflective tape on parts of it. I almost got Blue, but decided that he is a manly dog and needed the grey kind of colors.
I bought a dog tag and put his name of “Goofy” in comic font. I call him “Goof” but everyone says that is a bad name for a dog. So, I named him “Goofy” after the Disney character and people seem to be OK with that.
I got home and put the tag on his collar and Mike just rolled his eyes at me. But the little guy seems to adore me.
We call this a “foster failure”. It is where the foster home loves a dog so much that they adopt the dog.
We have fostered “Apollo” for 6 weeks now and well…. I just adopted him.
I have been the CEO of a company, COO, and various other officer like things. I know when something is right and when something is wrong. And when this dog got here, I knew it was right. There isn’t a magic pill or a specific thing that I can identify. But from the start, I knew this little dog would be part of our home. I have spend 6 weeks hoping he would get adopted, hoping I would not like him, and trying my best to kick him to the curb.
But that just isn’t possible. He is ugly, he is difficult, he is intelligent, he gets into everything, and I adore him.
I have not written much about Apollo. He has been a really interesting foster. He is an intelligent, inquisitive, and free spirit. He gets into everything but he is not destructive. Compare him to Kira (my girl). Kira is the most well behaved dog I have ever seen but as a 9 month old puppy she chewed up the legs to an antique sewing table and I struggled to keep her in control just walking the property.
Kira is 100% Labrador and so her personality evolved exactly as expected. And she is the perfect companion for me. But she is near the end of her life and I will be devastated when she dies.
As I did with Bones (Mike’s beloved dog) I arranged to adopt Remy before Bones died. But Bones lived a lot longer than I expected so I ended up arranging to adopt Clifford to help in the transition. The strategy worked and the move from a lifelong companion was eased by moving to another companion that was similar in color and size.
Well… Kira is a dog that shares my soul. She is moody, grumpy, happy, affectionate, and determined. She is a mirror image of me. But she doesn’t have long left. I truly thought that she would die last year, but she pulled through.
I need a companion. I really need something that really adores me so that I have something to care for. Not just a random creature that I adopt but that doesn’t care in the least about me. I really need a creature that looks to me as the most important thing to their life and I look to them as the most important thing I must care for.
That relationship is really difficult to find. I have it with Kira to a limited degree. Kira appears to exist with no dependency on any other creature in life but she dislikes Mike significantly more than me so she stays with me. She doesn’t adore me or see me as anything more than the alpha that doesn’t hurt her. Mike gives her shots, gives her meds, and does the difficult things. I pet and love on her and so I am the most desirable protector. But she doesn’t adore me.
I never knew what it was like to have an animal that absolutely adored me until I had Darby. If you look back in my posts, Darby was one of the most difficult dogs we ever fostered. But he showed me something that I have never seen or felt before. Darby absolutely adored me and was so attached that his life revolved around me. I liked him a lot, but he created terrible problem in that he was so destructive. I hated caging him but he could not be let loose on his own.
I have a chance with Apollo to fix the mistakes I made. This dog appears to be the exact incarnation of Darby in a different body. I mean, this personality is precisely Darby. He is ugly and cute at the same time. He is 9 months old, he adores me, he is uncontrollable, and in every way he is Darby except that he is not destructive.
It would be a very bad thing to adopt a dog because he reminded me of a dog that I let die in bad circumstances. But I do not think I am trying to recreate Darby in another dog. Apollo is unique. He is interesting, he is a free spirit (like Darby) and he seems to have a soul like Darby. But he is not Darby. He is a wrinkly terrier mix that walks upright and he doesn’t have the least desire for birds, squirrels, or groundhogs. He doesn’t care in the least of the chickens. He isn’t Darby.
But he has everything I loved in Darby and he seems to adore me. This will take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but this dog could something really great.
I love most all dogs. But it is rare that one really touches me so deeply as Darby or Apollo.
We call this a “foster failure” and well.. I am pleased with this failure.
Well… it has been a while since we fostered a pooch. We don’t usually foster between Thanksgiving and Christmas as we are almost always dog sitting for friends.
So, it has been about 2 months and we now have a foster named Apollo. Well, that isn’t his real name. HART has this thing that they don’t repeat names so they removed an “l” from his name but we really know what it should be.
Apollo is a cute little thing with a wrinkly face. He is a puppy and acts exactly like a puppy. He runs like a puppy and acts like a puppy. But he is big. I suspect he is part shar pei and part boxer.