Stella’s last day!

25 Mar

Today was Stella’s last day with me before heading off to her (hopefully) forever home! I LOVE her new family and I know she’s going to do fabulously with them, but it was kind of a bittersweet day for me; Stella’s lived with me since October and she feels like part of the family. I am sure going to miss her. Anyway, before I took her over to her new home, I wanted to spend the day with her doing all the things she loves. So this morning, we had a good old-fashioned sleep in; she cuddled with me and Nellie and we all hung out together and watched the Food Network for a while. She got a (delicious if you’re a Stella, gross if you’re a me) lamb heart for breakfast and then we headed off to meet Karen and Brew for a hike around Frog Pond.

Fancy Dog On A Rock shots of Stella and Brew!

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yay brew!

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Yay for slightly less ribby dog!
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There was a little bit of swimming, which turned into an impromptu game of Bobbing For Duck Bread
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After all that exertion, we obviously had to go get ice cream.
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After a little break at home to pick up her crate and get everything situated, we headed out for another one of our favorite things: fetchy ball at the local school playground

A montage of Happy Dog Returns From Fetch shots

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artsy filters
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Look at that tail!
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Hoverdog
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The three stages of grief in re: having to wait for the ball to be tossed (I ask her to down between throws to prevent her leaping up and grabbing the ball off the thrower.)

HURRAH HURRAH YOU HAVE THE BALL AND YOU ARE PROBABLY THROWING IT FOR ME IN A SECOND!
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Pleeeeeeeease throw it please please please COME ON!
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Fine, you are NEVER going to throw it, WOE, I have the hardest life of any dog in the world. FINE.
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YAYAYAYAY YOU THREW IT!
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After that, I brought her back to the house to say goodbye to her foster sisters, loaded up the car with her stuff, picked up Karen and brought her over to her new family, who were thrilled to see her. She was super excited to see them (‘let’s not jump on people when we first say hi’ went totally out the window) and was just as excited to check out the new toys and awesome new bed they had gotten for her.

Her new family just wrote me a little bit ago to tell me that she did a lot of playing and then finally hit the wall and sacked out on what is clearly her new favorite chair.
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I love this little dog an unbelievable lot, and I am so happy to see her safely launched. While her adoption isn’t yet finalized (her rescue does a trial period to make sure that the fit is good), I think she’s going to love her time with her new family for as long as she’s with them, be it a couple of days or the rest of her life. If it isn’t a perfect fit, she will come back and we will keep blogging; if it is a perfect fit, then I am so happy for her.

***

When I tell people that I foster, they nearly always say one of two things:
1) “Oh, I couldn’t do that; it would be so hard to let them go”
2) “How do you manage to not keep them all?”

And I have to say that while I’m sure this isn’t the case for everyone (I don’t, after all, foster very frequently), for me, it IS hard to let them go, even if I feel absolutely great about their placement (which I sure do in Stella’s case). I am not going to lie; we are all a little bummed out here at the house tonight. And I do have a moment with every single dog I foster where I think, “Oh, they can stay, we can probably make it work”. This is especially true with a dog like Stella, who fits in really well and has just the kind of personality I love in a dog. My dog Nellie was Foster Fail #1, and if my circumstances were a little different, Stella could easily have been Foster Fail #2.

But even though it’s hard to say goodbye, there’s one major reason why I do it and keep doing it: Stella’s an amazing and special dog, but she’s not unique. Wherever you are reading this from, there’s likely a shelter within 30 minutes of you, and that shelter is probably overflowing with smart, funny, crazy-in-a-good-way dogs with big smiles and pretty eyes who will lick your face and crawl in your lap and work hard for you and make you laugh every day. And in general, what they need is pretty basic: they need some good food and a safe place to sleep, a little basic ‘this is how to live among humans’ training and someone who loves them and cares about them and thinks that they are worth something. Depending on where you are, a lot of those dogs are not going to make it out of the shelter alive (this is doubly true if, like Stella, they’re some kind of pit mix), and that’s a tragedy, especially because what turns a nameless faceless shelter dog into a Stella is pretty simple: it’s love, and it’s someone looking at them and saying, “you are special”. It is a huge thing to be able to take a little dog and make them feel happy and healthy and safe, and then let them go off to be the light of someone’s life. And not keeping every dog means that I can keep being that bridge for scared, lost dogs in the pound: I can continue to be the person that looks at them and says, “I see you. It’s going to get better from here.”

Bon chance, little Stelladog. It all gets better from here.

-Foster Mama

PS: I will keep the blog active, at least for a little while, so I can keep posting updates from Stella’s new family as they come in. And maybe I can persuade them that they want to blog themselves! (HINT HINT, New Friends from the Internets!)

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THROW. THE. BALL!

21 Mar

This afternoon I took Stella to a big empty soccer field and threw the ball and threw the ball and threw the ball until she was all sacked out and happy (for two minutes. Then she wanted me to throw the ball some more!) Here are a couple of crummy iPhone pictures that I got before the light faded. I wanted to post them for two reasons: 1) so you guys could see Stella’s amazing down while she waits for me to get the Chuck-It ready and 2) because of her happy, happy, sweetpuppy face. I am so excited for her trial adoption, but of course I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this dog, so tonight Foster Mama has a teeny bit of a sad.

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LOOK GUYS LOOK I GOT THE BALL! ❤ ❤ ❤ Stella
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I met a hippo! And also: some changes

20 Mar

Hi everybody! Here’s a post I should have made last week, because it was SO COOL, but I hope you will forgive me: I have been super busy, which I will tell you more about later on!

Anyway, guess what? I met Eugene! Aunt Emily, who got me out of the shelter, also got him out of the shelter and he lived with her for a long time. Now he lives with his awesome new mom and dad, who I looooooove, and they live right on the way to Nellie’s flyball class, so last week, Foster Mama brought me along for the ride and I got to play with Mr. House Hippo! I was so excited when we got there that I LEAPED out of the car (which made Foster Mama say “STELLA!” like she did that one time I accidentally ate her bear. Oops!) Anyway, we went on a little walk together and had some good snacks (Eugene’s mom has the best snacks, don’t tell Foster Mama) and then we got to run around in the backyard! Eugene tried once to bonk me with his meatball head, which is how hippos say hello, and I said, “Hey, new hippo friend, please do not bonk me with your meatball head” and then we were friends and we played chase all over the backyard! It turns out Eugene has Extra Special Powers of Jumpings too, and he showed me how good he was at leaping off the deck and how he was going to do dock diving when it gets a little warmer (Foster Mama, we need a deck! And probably a pool!) Foster Mama says we are going to go back and play soon, which I am VERY EXCITED about! Eugene’s mom wrote all about our adventure here and posted some good pictures of us. Most of Foster Mama’s pictures came out D-U-M-B, but here’s one from early when we were still negotiating the part about meatball head bonks

meeting Euge! #3
(look how smiley my friend the hippo is!)

And here’s a much better one Eugene’s mom took!
meeting Euge! #1

Yay for friends!

And here’s the other part where I tell you about how things are maybe going to be a little different soon.

This weekend, Foster Mama and I went on a hike with my New Friends from the Internets. They were really nice and gave me lots of hugs and cookies, and Foster Mama let me walk with them. Afterwards we went back to their cool house, which has a window for looking out over the city and a little park just for Stellas and a fireplace for snoozing in front of and lots of comfy couches where I can practice my ninja moves [Note from Foster Mama: Stella, we already talked about not practicing our ninja moves in the house]. And then we went back to our house, and Foster Mama told me that my New Friends From the Internets were wondering if maybe I could go live with them. She told me all about the fun things they wanted to do with me (like flyball! I have always been jealous that Nellie gets to do flyball!) And they live really near us, which means that I could still see Foster Mama and Nellie and Lucy and I could still go to my park and hang out with my cool dogfriends. And that sounded pretty good. And then she told me that she and Lucy and Nellie loved me very much and thought I was the best and most perfect Stelladog there ever was, and that all we would be doing if I went to go live with New Friends from the Internets is making my family bigger. My family is already pretty big; I have Aunt Emily who got me and my brothers and sisters from the shelter, and Aunt Kris and Uncle Dan who took care of me when I was a baby Stelladog, and lots of other people who I have stayed with and hung out with and hiked with and played with, and Aunt Karen and my cousindog Brew, and all of the people who have adopted my brothers and sisters, and I have Foster Mama and Lucy and Nellie, and they promise they will be in my family forever. And if I go live with my New Friends from the Internets, I will be adding two more people to my family! So I think I am going to go try out living with New Friends from the Internets soon. Because more family is always good, especially if you are a little Stelladog.

Here’s me, setting out for adventure
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Stella and Nellie

20 Mar

sisters

New friends from the Internets!

10 Mar

Hi, friends!

7 Mar

Sisters make the best schnozzrests.

lock up your babies!

news at 11: killer pit bulls rampage

Halfway to a handstand!

3 Mar

I stole an idea from Katie and her awesome dog Steve and decided to teach Stella to do a handstand up against the wall. We are…getting closer, I guess?

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HI HI LOOKIT!
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[just try to tell me that is not the cutest dog you’ve ever seen. I dare you!]

Also: Project Get Stella Less Skinny is having some guarded success. After three months of feeding her enough food to sink a battleship, she’s finally gotten to the point where I can officially deem her Still Too Ribby But Not Quite As Waifish Looking.

project Get Stella Less Skinny #2

-Foster Mama