Becoming familiar with your foster pet’s likes and dislikes is important for developing boundaries and trust. Both of those are pretty handy if you ever plan on convincing an untrained dog to quit crapping inside the house on your great-grandma’s antique rug.
Our last foster dog, Rex, was a picky guy. He liked only one kind of treat, one kind of toy . . . you get the idea. He also really hated being left alone and cried like a siren unless you left the radio on WRR, our local classical radio.
Merlin is certainly less demanding and more light-hearted, so that seems to be helping us earn smiles a lot easier. He’ll eat anything and thinks everything is a toy.
But he’s definitely not a WRR kinda dog. In fact, Merlin has an embarrassing secret.
That’s right. He’s never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, and don’t you know it by that wagging tail.
(Notice Banksy to the left. She’s more of a Flaming Lips kind of gal, and Clover gets down to Loverboy.)
If you’d like to jam out to Rick Astley with Merlin forever, he’s available for adoption through DFW Rescue Me.
If there’s one thing everybody knows, it’s that cats just LOVE having their claws trimmed. That’s a fact (in a parallel universe where everyday is opposite day).
Ordinarily, I’d post a personal photo here of something sorta relevant, but I have no images featuring any cat I’ve ever known in the middle of a mani/pedi. Why? Because it takes two people and a strongman from the circus to wrangle my potential furniture-shredders. And no one ever seems to think of stopping to pose for a shoot.
Last night was no exception as Clover and Banksy were wrapped in the cat burrito cloaking device that is the official clipping blanket.
Merlin the Magic Lab Foster Dog observed in horror as the cats he’s dying to befriend made desperate sounds, unmatched by even the most professional of drama llamas. Switching his eyes back and forth and pacing like a nervous pony, his brain was having a real workout.
After the horror where, yet again, neither cat was injured but acted like they’d been dangled above a boiling pot of acid, Merlin tried to investigate. It wasn’t received terribly well. His cat testers’ egos were deflated, and they weren’t in the mood for battling his gigantic, over-lickity tongue.
Good thing Merlin had a Plan B.
Thirty minutes later, the house was quiet. The cats had recovered. Merlin was chewing on his bone. Clover brushed up against Merlin like she loved him. Aw.
A quick glance over the coffee table revealed a better view, though. The bone wasn’t the bone. It was the cats’ nail trimmers. Merlin was done with that business. Snap, snap, snap. There wasn’t gonna be any more cat torture on his watch.
Smart lab. If ever there was a way to win over a mad cat, that has gotta be it. You KNOW you want to adopt this dog. Who could refuse?
Merlin is available for adoption through DFW Rescue Me. His stocking would really look great hanging from your fireplace right now.
With reason, people often worry about how their holiday trees and decorations are gonna affect the animals around them. Amy Midden Fleming and her employer, TravelFocus, have taken this concern to an entirely different level.
Here’s the idea: Employees choose “ornaments” with various wish list items from a local no-kill, animal shelter or rescue organization. Then they venture out into the consumer wonderlands of pet supply products and spoil these homeless pets silly. This picture was posted on the Monday after Thanksgiving, so I’m imagining the TravelFocus group will probably be unable to get past its own front door from all the generosity by the end of the week.
Keep rescue groups in mind when considering end-of-the-year donations. They are tax-deductible gifts and go a long way toward helping not only the dogs, et al, but also the people who are footing bills for foster care, food, boarding expenses, crates, blankets, beds, medication, and all the little things we do to make life easier for our friends looking for homes.
Major gold stars to Amy’s company (and Amy!) for being so kind-hearted. Be sure to check them out when planning your vacation.
P.S. For good measure, I know Amy’s cat Knickers would be offended if I didn’t include some kind of blog-nod to him as well. Here you go, Mr. Knickers. You can be the Six Days meme as long as you stay this fabulous.
I wasn’t sure I could foster another dog after this one we’ve got now, Merlin. Don’t get me wrong; he’s incredibly cool, but my kid needs a break. My husband needs a break. I want to stay up until 4 a.m. if I feel like it without having to worry about being up again in five hours or less to walk a little guy. Plus, it was hard saying goodbye to our last dude.
And the cats . . . the cats need to recoup and reclaim for a minute before they claw my eyes out while I’m sleeping or something.
You’ve got to balance your home, first and foremost, and I’m not losing focus of that goal.
As a compromise, we decided to visit the boarding facility where the dogs without fosters live. I figured they could use someone to show them some love between adoption events.
When my husband and I arrived to meet the other volunteers, it was like that scene from The Matrix where the camera pans out to reveal a gazillion people living in small pods. Row after row after row of dogs in chain-linked runs stretched out for as far as I could see and all around. The barking was deafening; my husband pulled out earplugs from his pocket. There was no sneaking up on anybody in this place.
The other volunteers had already escorted our group’s seven dogs to the play area, and I was pretty impressed with how nice those were. I’d been overwhelmed by the amount of dogs in boarding, even if most of them had homes with out-of-town families. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to help me feel better because I could tell there were still a large amount of dogs living there, waiting for someone to permanently adopt them from the weekly events and online placement services.
In fairness, the facility was a nice spot — clean, ace views, inside-and-outside runs. I’m definitely not knocking the place. It’s just that I was sad thinking about our Merlin at home and how it would break his heart if we had to board him until we could find his forever family. Merlin’s a sensitive dog, wants to be around his peeps, and has gotten used to a warm bed and lots of walks and playtime. I wish we could keep him, but he really needs a family with kids or another dog. As much as Merlin likes our cats, they’ll never be the dog friends he deserves.
I helped guide the dogs back to their “apartments” after playtime. One of them was really upset and was hard to get back through the gate. I knew he wanted to hang out some more, to find a home of his own. He knew it was gonna be another day before he was petted again and clung to my knees. Leaning over, I hugged the older black lab mix and tried to explain how lucky he was even if he didn’t understand. He accepted the bone I gave him, set it down to lick my hand, and then picked his treat up again before settling into his temporary home. (I thought about him all night. Good dog.)
As the group prepared to walk out together, I kept thinking about how glad I was that I’d decided to come. I would have never understood how important it was otherwise. The experience made me want to get back to Merlin, hug him on the couch, and promise him I’d be there for him as long as he needed us. After all, it’s not his fault that he ended up at the pound, narrowly escaping unwarranted death.
That’s when my eyes welled up, and I broke out in tears in the middle of the compound. Right in front of everybody I knew and didn’t know. Embarrassing. I just want the world to be an easier place. It isn’t, and there’s not so much I can do to change it. Certainly, there isn’t a lot I can do as quickly as I’d like, but my plan is to spend more time with our friends at the boarding places as a jumping off point.
If you’re not able to foster, but you’ve got a few hours a week to share with a dog who needs interaction, this is a rewarding experience that’s very helpful to not only the animals, but also the overwhelmed volunteers who work and plan events, foster, transport animals to receive medical treatment, etc. Plus, it’s a great way to spend a stress-relieving lunch break, get in a bit of exercise, or even a good way to get outside for a while with your family. Contact a local boarding facility and offer your frisbee-throwing, leash-holding, tummy-rubbing services to their shelter pets today.
Throughout the evening, shoppers gifted a total of $450.00 toward serving needs for homeless animals searching for adoptive homes — all currently living in foster and boarding facilities after having been saved from euthanasia in Dallas County.
DFW Rescue Me is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that rescues dogs who might otherwise not be permitted to live past the 45-day limit imposed by Dallas Animal Services.
To view all of the fun photos taken by Nicole Durbin for the Etsy event, go here.