I am finally getting around to finishing up the dog fostering saga (for the time being). If you remember from Part 1, and if you don’t, feel free to read it first, our dog fostering began when we got our dog Jack through an organization called Friends of Rescue (FOR). Through them we began fostering dogs, or keeping dogs that were housed at shelters that had no room for them, until a ‘forever home’ could be found. First we had Dash, and after handing him off to his new family, our next one was called Lola. A part lab, bull dog, pit, boxer, who knows what, Lola was a big, stocky girl, totally submissive with the aim to be a big lap dog. She had the mostsoulful eyes that looked right through you.

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Lola on her ‘Freedom Ride’

Her ‘forever home’ turned out to be with a very nice family with two teenagers. The son, almost college age, let’s Lola sleep with him  and takes her on rides in his two seat sports car.

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Chloe at home

The next one was a 6-month black lab mix named Chloe. She was just what you would expect out of a puppy; funny, energetic, and still finding her way around. Before we even had a chance to spend much time with her, my wife heard of a dog in the shelter with four puppies. Other fosters were taking all of the puppies but one so the Friday before Memorial day, we traveled to the shelter and picked up Lola 2 (renamed by my wife Bella) and one adorable black and white puppy. Searching for a name for the puppy, I saw the emblem for an automobile dealership on the car in front of us so that is how Ryder got his name.

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Bella and Ryder

Bella, Ryder and Chloe, had their own crates – their safe places – when not playing outside or chasing each other around the yard. While with us, Chloe and eventually Bella, when she healed from giving birth, received their necessary life-altering surgery that they had to have prior to being adopted. Chloe was posted on the FOR web site (if you are looking for a dog, see forrescue.net ), and she was seen by a man in Tennessee who drove down with a friend to pick Chloe up. There were rough spots. He was a first-time dog owner and she is still a puppy, but now they are best friends. Ryder was picked up by another foster and adopted soon after that, puppies always being in high demand. That left us with Bella. Bella was at times, endearing, such as when she would climb into your lap and look at you with needy, adoring eyes. At other times, she could be a test of your patience such as when she was trying grab Jack by the collar or chase him around the yard. It got to where Jack would not go out in the yard if she was out there. She also was a born hunter, a fact learned that a couple of birds unfortunately learned the hard way. With her puppy and Chloe gone, she also developed an aversion to sleeping in her crate, an accommodation made necessary by her propensity to chew furniture or other valuable artifacts. FOR arranged for us to visit ‘Such a Good Dog’ and meet with the owner to learn about handling Bella. The visit worked wonders. If not for her ‘prey’ instinct, we found out Bella would be a good candidate for service dog training. When we got her back, we worked with her, made the crate more of a home where positive things happened, toned down her demanding behavior, and everything moved on smoothly. A few weeks ago, even though my wife was feeling bad, we packed Bella up and went to an all-day adoption event featuring a number of agencies and organizations with dogs and cats looking for a new home. Against all odds, a lovely couple of empty-nesters with kids and grand-kids away from home, and who had lost their dog a while back, saw Bella, fell in love with her and within two weeks we were fosterless for the first time in months. All of the dogs have wonderful homes and we have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I say we, but my wife is the driving force, the one who is with them, and the one who has so much love to give. That is it for now. Look for my new book, Hollis County Mysteries, Cold Case and Other Stories, on Amazon in a couple of weeks. I’ll have an excerpt in my next post.

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