Yesterday evening I met with Jeri from Klamath Falls, OR. She and her partner extraordinaire Shawna are dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats of every shape, size and color. Shawna regularly springs dogs & cats from their local shelter - where due to a small population base they do not stand a good chance of being adopted. She shelters many of them and rehabs them both mentally and physically. Some she keeps, fosters and adopts out, others she sends elsewhere by coordinating transport to larger population centers for placement into foster homes. Jeri transported a truck load of cats and dogs up here yesterday. I picked up two. One for me and one for Vicki (another local foster home).
Meet our other new foster: Elf (name will be changed soon)
Elf is a gentle soul who is in 'shelter shock'. He has spent the last three months in a shelter. The shelter folks were deeply concerned for him since he is such a wonderful boy & arranged his placement into a foster home. The poor guy was transported to Shawna & Jeri's place last week (long drive) where Shawna spent alot of time with him. Then yesterday he was loaded up in the car for a 8 hour drive to Olympia. By the time he got to our place at 10PM he had been crated while traveling for 13.5 hours. He was completely shut down.
Last night when we got him home he crawled across the floor to the living room where he immediately let loose with a stream of runny poo on the carpet. (Poor Jeri already had a problem with him defecating in his crate on the drive up & he is covered with feces, so a bath is in order too). When we got him in the back yard - it took us over an hour to get him back into the house.
He spent the night in our bathroom with a cushy bed, water, and a floor covered with pee pads. This morning when I let him outside he darted right out the back door did his business then hid in the doghouse. When I let the dogs out he would go out and greet them, tail wagging abound. It is people he is not sure about...
Elf decompressing in the doghouse
After letting him be a while I went to check on him. I talked very softly to him at the door and viola! He came right out of his doghouse, walked right past me into the house! WOOHOOO! I was so happy! I left the door open so he had an escape. He explored the downstairs lots of sniffing and unfortunately he marked a couple things (thankfully not carpet or furniture). He let me pet him a few times, made eye contact & WAGGED HIS TAIL!
After a few trips in and out of the house Elf is now laying on a bed about 3 feet behind me in the office cuddled up in a nice quiet corner. Elf has taken some treats from my hands and let me pet him quite a bit. All I need now is a clothespin for my nose because PEEEE-YEW he is stinky!
He has a long way to go, but this little bit of progress is very encouraging in such a short time. I think with some peace and quiet, a friendly stable pack of dogs, good food, warm bed, steady routine, and lots of confidence building positive reinforcement he will snap out of this and make someone a lovely dog someday. Until that point he has a home here with us...no questions asked.
Gosh I love all of these dogs...They truly are our best friends.
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