Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Princess Carla...

Anyone miss me?!

I apologize if anyone has.

The past several weeks have been a little on the crazy side. I've been exceptionally busy at work, and last week RR and I were out of town on business-related speaking engagements.

And just incase you were wondering, I am NOT a big fan of public speaking. I best fit into the "Rather-Be-Dead-Than-Giving-The-Eulogy" category.

But I digress...

Not all of my time in the past several weeks has been spent preparing to feign professional expertise on the subject of multicultural education in the field of history to a room full of academics, though. I also took the time out in the past couple of weeks to, you know, foster a puppy.

No, this was not a planned event in any way, shape or form. It just...well...happened.


…Well, a friend of mine (let's call her "Claudia") wanted to get a dog, and asked me to help her find one online. She wanted a shelter dog, which was fine with me (I'm always trying to improve the lives of homeless dogs and puppies). So, I asked her to describe the kind of dog that she was looking for, and entered it into

We came across a 2 year-old named "Lily" at an Irving shelter. She was perfect for Claudia - almost exactly the kind of dog that she had described to me (a Pomeranian mix). Lily was going to be available for adoption on February 15th. She was scheduled to be "disposed of" on February 16th. Apparently, at this particular shelter in Irving, dogs get 24 hours to find a home and puppies get 48 (this is in addition to the 3 days that they get before being eligible for adoption). Thus, we made immediate plans to make the trip to Irving on Wednesday morning to adopt her save "Lily".

So, early the next morning Claudia, my mother and I piled into my mother's jeep and headed out to Irving. The shelter opened at 9:30 AM, and we arrived around 10:15.

The three of us headed immediately into the back to find Lily. We looked in every pen, and saw lots of wagging tails and pleading eyes, but no Lily. Finally, we headed back to the front to inquire about the location of the little Pomeranian mix, and discovered - much to our dismay - that Lily had been adopted promptly at 9:30 that morning. We were too late (but glad that she had found a home).

Claudia was, of course, disappointed, but we decided to check out the other dogs and puppies looking for homes in the back just incase another appealed to her. While she was looking around, I started playing with this shepherd-mix puppy in the pen closest to me. Very sweet little girl, and I remember thinking to myself that I thought that she would have no trouble finding a home - that is until I read her shelter ID info. The puppy (called “Rosie”) was due to be "disposed of" that day. Not only that, but the man that was scheduled to perform the euthanasia was standing there waiting to see if I was going to adopt her or not (Mr. Euthanasia had just put down her sister earlier that morning, and the puppy I was playing with was next).

So, what did I do? I started to cry…

My mom went and got one of the shelter attendants and asked if we could take the puppy outside for a walk. A girl came back and put a green rope around the puppy's neck, and dragged her to the door for us. The puppy was crying and looked absolutely terrified (I'm sure she must have thought that her time was up and we were taking her back for...the end). So, I picked her up (yes, I was still crying) and carried her outside to the grass.

The puppy didn't want to be put down, though, and so it wasn't long before she was back in my arms. She had her two front paws tightly wrapped around my forearm, and an expression on her face that said, "Please don't make me go back in THERE!"

It was at that moment that I decided that the time had come for me to foster a puppy.

So, I took the puppy back inside to start the adoption process. Mr. Euthanasia approached me for a second time and asked if I, "wanted her or not". I said I did, and he had a visible look of relief on his face. In fact, he was so happy that he gave me a free bag of Science Diet Puppy Chow, and told me that the puppy was probably really, really hungry. Since she was scheduled to be euthanized that morning, no one had bothered to even feed her.

So, just to recap, I did the two things that I promised myself that I wouldn't do that morning - I burst into tears at the shelter (in front of everyone) and paid the puppy's $45 adoption fee*. I've wanted to try my hand at being a "foster parent” for awhile now, and it seemed as good of a time as any that morning (especially with a little life on the line and all). I just couldn't live with myself if I left her there - knowing she was next and I didn't save her. I know you can't save them all, but I was there and I could save her!

I took the puppy (who I named "Carla" because she looked a little bit like the dog in the GOOD DOG, CARL children's book series) to the vet that afternoon, and she checked out okay. She was running a low-grade fever so the doctor wanted to hold off on some of the vaccines for a day or two, but we got her all de-wormed, heart-wormed, flea-treated, micro-chipped, etc.

Anyway, I really, really wanted to find Carla a good home – preferably not with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to keep her (I did!), but I already have one dog and I take care of my sister’s dog, too. Three BIG dogs in my little, itty-bitty house seemed a tad…well…much.

So, I started the process of finding little, Miss Carla a permanent home the very next day. The last thing I want for Carla was to end back up in a shelter. Nothing but the absolute best “forever home” would due for my first foster baby.

But then she got sick. Really sick.

We are talking not-eating-not-drinking-only-sleeping kind of sick.

And, of course, it happened late on a Sunday afternoon. Why wouldn’t she go downhill on the one day of the week when all vets are closed?

So, bright and early on President’s Day, I took Carla back to the vet. Honestly, I was expecting some sort of grave report from the doctor – that is the kind of sick that she was (or, at least, appeared to be). All she could do was sit on my lap, look at me, and whine. Very pathetic.

Thankfully, though, the vet wasn’t nearly as concerned as I was. His diagnosis: Kennel Cough and a case of the Doggie Flu. Neither case was fatal if properly treated with antibiotics (and surprisingly my two dogs never got even a hint of sick after being exposed! Here’s to properly vaccinating the pets in your life!). The doctor gave me two different pills to give little Carla twice a day, and promised me that she’d be feeling better in a day or two. No worries.

And you know what?...she was!

I was so relieved, but I decided to put the breaks on the whole finding-a-home business until she made a full recovery…

…that is, until I found a home for Carla just a couple of days later. I wasn’t even looking! I just picked up the phone one morning, and discovered that my Aunt Mimi had mentioned that I was looking for a home for a puppy that I had saved from a local shelter. One of my grandmother’s nurses had just lost a dog and was looking for a puppy. It sounded too good to be true – a perfect match!

The lady on the phone wanted to meet Carla as soon as possible, but the weekend was quickly approaching (and to be honest, I wasn’t ready to part with her yet). So, we decided that I’d bring Carla to meet her on my lunch break on the following Tuesday.

So, on February 28th, I picked up Carla and took her out to meet…uh…let’s call her “Toni”. RR went with me, which was really sweet (I think she understood how difficult this was going to be for me, and wanted to be there to support/console me).

Toni and Carla clicked right away, and just ten minutes later it was clear to everyone that Carla wouldn’t be making the return trip back to my house (although, I offered to keep Carla until she finished up her two-week round of medication. Toni just laughed and reminded me that she was a nurse and very well-skilled when it came to properly medicating a patient). My puppy had found herself a new – and permanent – home!

I was happy, but it was bittersweet all the same (I get attached very, very quickly). If RR noticed me desperately trying to choke back tears, she pretended not to (although, she did remind me twice on the drive back to the office that she had brought Kleenex with her – you know – just incase). If that’s not a true friend, I don’t know what is…!

So, that’s my story about Carla (who is now known as “Princess Carla”, by the way).

And what a little princess she is! And you know what else? Carla never even had a single "accident" inside my house in the two weeks that I had her. How's that for amazing?!

Princess Carla

Sleepy baby...

Ready to pounce...

...on her ball!

Love me...please?!

What are you doing up there?

Rub me...I'm too cute to ignore!

If I can ever help anyone find a dog best friend, please don’t hesitate to ask. Nothing makes me happier than finding a loving and deserving canine soul a good home!

As a final Carla treat, here is a short video of her playing in my guest room. Big, red ball...BEWARE!!:

* NOTE OF CORRECTION: Grammy Pammy paid Carla's $45 adoption fee. The shelter only took cash or check, and I was (sadly) without both at the time. Grammy Pammy saved the day by donating $45 to Carla's cause.

Three cheers for Grammy Pammy:
Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!

(Thanks for saving the day, Mom!)


Lia said...

You were missed. Just so you know.

Carla looks very lovely. Just the kind of dog I love to see, but I'm not so good at having them living in my space. Still, that's a wonderful happy ending.

The best line, though, is still "Rather-Be-Dead-Than-Giving-The-Eulogy". I have to keep that in mind; I'm sure it'll come in handy at some point.

GrammyPammy said...

So, who paid the adoption fee???Hummmm??? Wonderful story, though. I'm glad Princess Carla found a forever home! You are a great foster mom. I think everyone thought you'd end up a 3-dog family. Congratulations!

Amstaff Mom said...

Deals, you have been missed. MISSED!

This is a precious story. I'm so glad that you were able to save her life. Her poor sister. This is exactly why I can't go to a shelter. Because I am a softie of the highest degree. Might as well change my name to Willow because I'd be weeping the ENTIRE time.
And how do people do a job where they could be refered to as Mr. Euthanasia. That's got to be the worst job ever. EVER.

The pictures are great. I couldn't get Castpost to work, but maybe sometime. It's finicky to me sometimes too.

BTW, I refered to your eulogy/funeral line today. I met with my boss and we were talking about public speaking. It was perfect.

The four of us need to get together soon. JLR/RR. SOON!

Deals On Wheels said...

Lia: Not a dog person? Or just a dog person from afar?

Grammy Pammy: I still might end up a three dog family. Nothing makes me happier than coming home and playing with them, taking them on runs, going to the Dog Park, etc. I'll probably end up with a pack one day...

AM: "Might as well change my name to Willow because I'd be weeping the ENTIRE time" --> HAHAHAHA...I'll have to remember that one! Maybe Gypsy Kitty and Abby need to get together for a play date sometime soon?

Amstaff Mom said...

Abby loves to play, she used to have a Choc. lab as her best friend, and before that, a Boxer. She wasn't ever as fast as them, but oh could she play. Now, since we moved, her best friend is her cousin Scootie, her next door neighbor. But he's a 10 year old Bassett Hound and he's not exactly "excitable".

Deals On Wheels said...

Yeah, it sounds like my sister's dog, Dolly. She's 11 and Gypsy Kitty is always trying to get her to play. Dolly is generally less than interested, though. Poor Gypsy.

I buy Gypsy a lot of toys to pass the time. It is so funny to watch her play with them by herself. She's got quite the imagination. She'll look at her toy and then at me as if to say, "Did you hear what he just said to me?" Then, she'll pounce and proceed to shake the toy to death. This goes on for hours, and never fails to amuse me.

Since Gypsy is half lab and half border collie, wearing her out is kind of a chore. She loves to go to the dog park, but she has a tendency to be shy once we get there. Actually, it is rather pathetic – she so desperately wants to play, but won’t initiate play by herself. Instead, she waits for an invitation or for a dog to approach her. Then, once she finally finds a willing playmate she wears them out, and then proceeds to barks at them when they are too tired to keep playing a never-ending game of chase (I’ve decided that all dogs can be categorized as “chasers” or “chasees”. Gypsy likes to be the “chaser” – unless, of course, she has a toy, but keep-away has different doggie rules than “Chase” and therefore doesn’t apply). :P

Amstaff Mom said...

Abs, being an Amstaff, has her indoor favorite (and only) toy, a figure-eight shaped rope. Her favorite outside toy is the biggest stick she can find. Which she will proceed to eat after awhile, after a good game of chase. No squeakers or fun toys for her. I used to buy her the giant tennis balls for her stocking but she'd pop them after 5 min. Stuffed animals don't have a chance. Although, she hasn't had one since she was a pup so I'm not sure what she'd do with it now. Her jaws are too strong for her own good. Ruins all her fun!

She loves a good game of tug-of-war or chase, but other than that, she just chews her bone contently.

Lia said...

Not a dog person, I'm afraid. Although I'm a stuffed animal person in a major way, and all my favorites are dogs. So it's nothing personal (species-al?). Although I have been known to make exceptions. But I have to be in the mood. Like I would pet a husky in Alaska, but not in NY.

Katie said...

ohhhh she's so cute