Fostering rescue dogs is a win/win

fitz & toy
Chappie snuggles with Mr. Pumpkin.

I used to think I was just a big-dog kind of person—Labradors, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Rottweilers, huskies, hound dogs, or any mutt over 60 pounds caught my eye. But we have been fostering rescue dogs for two different organizations, Hopalong and Paw Fund, and so far we’ve had only small dogs. And I have to admit—they’re cute!Chappie was so affectionate and jumped up and hung out with me on the daybed where I have set up my “home office” (as opposed to my work office at my real desk eight feet away). He liked to chew things, but other than one misplaced ball-point pen, which thankfully did not leak, he concentrated on the toys that came with him from Hopalong. We had Chappie for a week before he found a forever home, and I have to admit, it was somewhat difficult to leave him at the adoption event, knowing it was likely that he’d be adopted. (He was really too cute not to be.) But it was great being able to give him a loving temporary home until the right one presented itself.

Our second charge came with the name Coleman, but that didn’t work for us, and he didn’t know that name anyway, so we renamed him Fitz. Fitz is a 5-month old tiny puppy. He likes to carry his toys around with him, and even though some are bigger than his head, he still manages to jump up on the bed with one in his mouth. He likes to climb onto the back of the couch and look down on Rufus, our red coon hound who spends most of his time there.

A Dog's Life 2
Rufus relaxes after a hard day of eating and napping.

 

Cartwheel yawning
Cartwheel

Rufus wasn’t exactly thrilled to become a big brother to these pups, but he didn’t seem too annoyed. As long as they don’t touch his food, he’ll look the other way.

Our cat Cartwheel has been quite tolerant—he’s the perfect cat to be around dogs because he’s so chill, and we suspect that he thinks he’s part canine. He did look a bit put out when Fitz first arrived after Chappie had been gone for four days. He probably thought he’d already done his good deed by leaving Chappie alone, and here we were bringing home another.

One of the greatest things about small dogs is that they are so easy to pick up. There’s no need to coax and cajole them to go anywhere because if you want them on your lap or off the cat, you can just lift them up and carry them away!

Fitz hangin'
Fitz watches me exercise.

I could say we’re being altruistic by housing these pups, but they are giving back at least as much as we’re providing. They love us so unconditionally even though they don’t stay with us very long. Officially Fitz already has a permanent home, but his new companion will be out of the country for two weeks, so we get to have him for that time. I got to meet the woman who is adopting him, and she seems wonderful. I think it would be much harder to give him up if I didn’t know he’d be in a happy home. But apparently during his trial visit, he played with his new sibling dog quite well and got along with the whole family.

So I can’t say that I’m ever going to be one of those ladies who carries miniature dogs in their purses a la Legally Blonde, but I’m definitely warming up to these little critters. How could I not?

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