Fabulous fosters

Published 8:12 pm Thursday, September 13, 2012

I’ve just emerged from the midst of a super hectic weekend, trying to be three places at once.  Before I go on I’d like to thank the folks at the Grassroots Art Project and those at St. John the Baptist Church during their Italian Feast. Your efforts will help save another life.
Anyway, with so much going on I forgot to put pen to pad and zero in on one particular subject to write about. Things are going on and being finalized and new cases are emerging, but things are a bit in flux.
My dear wife Elaine said, “Why don’t you write about our kittens?” So I’ve decided to use ourselves and a dear friend to explain why fostering is such an integral part of the successes we’ve had at Foothills Humane Society.
Frances and the five boys came to us as foster parents eight weeks ago. At 6 months she was a bit young to have kittens but unfortunately it happens and far too often.
Our job was to fatten her up a bit and monitor the kittens, who were mere days old. All were orange tabbies just like momma, a rare occurrence, as was the fact that they were all boys.
Frances was an excellent momma and we watched as they opened their eyes and after a month began sharing her food. At 6 weeks they all passed 1½  pounds and received their shots.
Soon after they began playing and purring just as loud as momma. We had toys throughout our guest bedroom and at times it sounded like a roller derby in there. Safe to say the cute little critters wormed their way into our hearts and dear Frances got loving pets and  kisses from me each time I visited.
Last week, nearing 3 months old, they went back to the shelter for adoption and all Elaine and I can do now is pray they find good and loving homes.
At 1½ years of age, Dixie came into our friend Pat Viera’s home, joining her four other girls, Mandy, Lexie, Hannah and Izabel. Dixie, a black and tan coon hound, was a perfect specimen representing her breed.
Pat was to foster her until a good home could be found, but in her heart she had designs on keeping Dixie if she would fit in. Dixie was not only young and strong, but she was absolutely full of herself.  All the girls got along fairly well but Dixie was tearing up their toys, hopped the five-foot fence and more than once had pulled Pat down during a walk.
Out of concern I visited a few times, although it was a great excuse to also visit my girls.  Dixie was loving and playful and behaved beautifully when I took her for a walk.
“That’s because she loves men,” Pat said to me.
She also seemed to behave well with Pat’s brother, who had visited for a while.
“She needs a job, Pat, and she most certainly needs a different environment. The other girls are beginning to pick up on your frustration,” I said.
Dixie played well with the other girls but had designs on being the alpha female and a few minor altercations occurred over food and toys. Mandy, the first girl I brought to Pat, had it all under control. She’d just look Dixie in the eye and curl her lip.
“Okay,” Dixie thought “I’ll shoot for number two.”
Pat finally relented and we began to look in earnest for a good home for Dixie. We put up flyers at our vet and visited Lori Jewell at Pet Tender Angels. Lori took pictures and got Dixie on the Internet through her network and promised to house her when she had an opening.
A few days before Lori was scheduled to take her, a home was found in Charlotte through Todd, a master huntsman in Green Creek who knew hounds like no other.
Last Friday at 7 a.m. I met with Pat and Dixie at the Waffle House where the transfer was to be made.  I took Dixie for a walk and when I returned I met Todd.
Todd and I lifted Dixie into his truck and she joined another hound who was making the trip. Not only did Dixie not fuss, she seemed to sense she was going to be what she was bred to be.
As they drove off, Pat was visibly in tears. I hugged her and said, “You didn’t fail, Pat, you gave her the best chance for a good home.”
“I know,” Pat said, sniffing, “but that’s the last time I’ll foster.”
“We’ll see,” I answered, smiling.
I wish to dedicate this tale to all you fabulous fosters who give up your homes and hearts to give my kids an extra chance at a good life. I see the board at the shelter and I know who you are. God bless you all.
Thanks to you all and a special thanks to Rosie who did such a magnificent job with Aragon through tough times.
Thanks for listening.

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