FDR recently took on a plethora of dogs from kill shelters in the Central Valley and dogs (puppies!) were literally living in offices. I knew they needed the help, and maybe my human love and I did too. We took in two sibling terrier pups, too young for permanent adoption and under vaccinated for general populations, went home, and had our whole worlds shifted out of perspective for days-days that seemed longer and fuller and more robust than the same hours felt not a week before. Barnaby and Wes adjusted, slowly. Cooper adjusted at a snail’s pace. But what seemed chaotic and a bit traumatic took on its own rhythm, its own harmony. We committed to a week and a half and sadly, for us, one of the two was adopted last night so we returned to the shelter to meet the new Forever family. And in sending off the two pups to new homes, we cried-totally like babies. Or at least I did. The FDR staff are amazing, and in our small moment of sadness at giving up these bundles of energy and love, they assured us that young fosters need the stability a home can bring them, that fostering outside the shelter gives them the unconditional stepping stones to leading a healthy life with their future families-socialization, love, warmth, care, and even other animals to safely interact with. They reassured us, and so we took in two more just too young for their Forever home. We had committed to the full week and a half, so why not? They needed a safe space, our home was already prepped, and FDR has more than enough puppies to go around.
The thing about this experience, even while housing our second set of sibling puppies, is that it is FUN but it is also HARD. Puppies need a ton of care and they need a ton of love. Barn and Wes have been grown for so long now that I forgot what that stage was like. They are their own beings. Puppies, man…puppies are the best and the absolute worst. They give you love but they show you to your core your deepest weakness. Are you a bad morning person? They say “F**k that.” You no longer have a choice. Want to be lazy and watch Trueblood on HBOgo all night? They say “Lolz, I want to pee on the carpet, then the couch, then chew on your toe until it bleeds.” Want to lounge in bed an extra ten minutes or go to brunch or maybe, just maybe, go to the bathroom with some peace and quiet? Puppies response: “You’re so funny, big fleshy thing. Now, feed me kibble one at a time like they were grapes from a vine.” (Remember, grapes are bad for dogs).
“We had committed to the full week and a half, so why not?”
These last two little ones, the ones my fiance has in his arms? I don’t even know their names. He named them Hazelnut and Chocolate. The are Merle Chis mixes with bright blue eyes and they are so light and small that I think I must be dreaming, at least until they start choking on my hair. They’ll be adoptable soon, with all their vaccinations. Keep an eye out for them!