I’ve been a bad blogger recently. Part of that, of course, has been due to my ridiculous travel schedule. Out of town for DragonCon, for the Florida signing, for NINC in St. Louis — I’ve barely had a breather in a month.
Part of that has been due to my challenging work schedule. I’ve been really busy with revisions to the second killer unicorn book, as well as working on an upcoming anthology (more info on that TK) and some new projects (ditto).
I’ve also been busy with the dogs. As many of you know, I’ve been fostering dogs from a rescue organization for the better part of this year. We’re currently on our fourth — and our first puppy. Puppies are always more work than adult dogs, and this little guy has proved no different. However, he’s also a super sweet dog that everyone he meets falls madly in love with. On top of TempDog#4, I’ve been dealing with some fallout from TempDog#3. She was adopted very quickly, but it turned out to be a mistake.
I should have known it. I had a bad feeling about the situation when the people came to meet her. I should have turned them down. I should have realized that when they looked at her and said they’d been expecting her to be smaller, more like “that one” (Rio, who was also around), that it wasn’t going to work out. (For the record, she’s all of five pounds bigger than Rio’s 40.) I should have realized that they were resentful that I wasn’t giving them Rio when I had to explain to them that I didn’t “choose” which dog I was “giving up” — that Rio was my dog, and the other was a foster I was temporarily caring for so it didn’t get euthanized in an overcrowded shelter. I should have simply said no when they asked me, after spending two hours in my home waffling, if fostering shelter dogs was “my business.” I should have known they were a tad confused about the procedure of adopting a rescue. I should have decided they weren’t ready to make the commitment and ushered them out the door. Live and learn.
I had TempDog#3 for about 4 days. When they returned her to the rescue organization (after a week) due to the appallingly bad behavior of chewing up a newspaper, they made a few pointed comments about how her foster caretaker should have worked harder to curb said bad behavior. Um, four days. Shouldn’t they have worked harder? They had her for longer. They were also upset that I had another foster dog already, because it meant TempDog#3 would be placed in a kennel, where there would be “backsliding.”
In truth, what there was was a terrified dog. In two months, she had lived in her former home, in a shelter, in the rescue kennel, in my home, in their home, and back in the kennel. She thankfully made it into another foster’s home last week. The new foster mom emailed me and said the dog was very nervous. Well, little wonder. Poor thing.
However, it’s a good thing she was returned. The point of a rescue is not to find pets for people, it’s to find good homes for dogs. That was not the right home for this dog, clearly. They weren’t happy, which means she wouldn’t be happy. I do blame myself for not realizing it before everyone had to deal with so much turmoil. But I’m still pretty new at this fostering thing, and both of my other fosters went to great homes where they are very beloved. Like I said, live and learn.
I bring this up because October is National Adopt a Pet From a Shelter Month. Times are really desperate right now. Dogs have been victims of the housing crisis in a big way. When people lose their homes and must move into apartments, guess who often can’t go with them? Cats, too. So, if you’re thinking about getting a pet, consider a pet from a shelter or a rescue. Six months ago, I may have been very skeptical about it, but now, after fostering four shelter dogs, I realize that they can be some of the most wonderful pets in the world. Good-natured and sweet-tempered and well-mannered and above all of it, so grateful to you for giving them another chance at life.
Right now, I’m watching TempDog#4 nap in his crate. He’s a beautiful, loving little thing, with big ears and dark eyes and little white paws that he hasn’t quite grown into yet. He’s already so much more calm and self-assured since we took him in two weeks ago. He’s already bigger and more beautiful. He sits and lies down on command and comes to a whistle. We’re working on stay. He’s going to make some lucky person/s a remarkable pet, and I’ll cry when he goes. But then there’ll be another dog whose story breaks my heart, who has had a rough time of it and for whom I can provide a little TLC and a safe, calming environment on their way to their new home.
In other news, the winners of the LIAR giveaway are: Michelle at website comment 15 and AudryT at website comment 61. Congrats, guys! Contactl me with your address to receive your prize.