New Houseguest

After we lost Sid, it felt pretty empty around here. Well, animal-wise, at least; it’s still pretty full of people! But truth be told, Sid had been sick for a long time, and so through no fault of his own, we have not had a dog to actually play with and love on much for quite a while now. Just a little bit before Jay lost his job we began kicking around the idea of looking for another dog. Not a puppy; as I’ve mentioned before, I still have Josiah to train! We were hoping to find a young adult, hopefully a rescue dog of some kind who hopefully needed us as much as we needed him. And who would behave nicely with young children in the home. We applied with a local Lab Rescue Organization, and also visited with the Dallas Humane Society and were quickly reminded that there are way more doggies in Dallas than homes to care for them. Sad.

After the news about Jay’s job, we didn’t feel it prudent to run right out and adopt a dog, though of course doing so would be a much more economical decision than buying a purebred puppy. Still, until we have a sense of just how little we can live on a month, we couldn’t consciously add more expenses to the bottom line. At least not just yet. The irony here of course is that we have probably never been home so much in our lives as we are right now. In an effort to quench spending, we don’t eat out, we don’t shop, we don’t seek out activities which cost money. So…of all the times to assimilate a new dog into the family, now would be ideal, were it not for the money thing. Which is of course the main thing.

Well, so we began offering to babysit dogs for family and friends. We know we can usually count on Cousin Daisy, the Golden Retriever, to come visit when her people go out of town, but Peter and company had no travel plans in the foreseeable future. When Sandra and Keith came and brought us supper last week (thanks again, Guys!) we begged them to bring Bailey (Sandra’s lab mix) along. My children entertained her by playing a lovely game of dress-up. I don’t know how much Bailey liked it, but she was nice about it all the same.

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We offered to watch some friends’ chihuahuas for them some time, but they sort of balked – something about their little doggies being rather terrified of children. Wonder why they thought it wasn’t a good idea for us to help out there??

Then last week we were very excited because we had finally found some other friends who agreed to let us care for their Bichon for a week while they traveled out of state. This dog was great with kids – he is from a family with five and Jonathan, who ADORES little dogs, was especially thrilled about this arrangement. And then sadly I had to rescind our offer to help out because after looking at our picket fence I determined the tiny Bichon could easily get himself into serious trouble if he wiggled out through the fence pickets and into the alley.

But…it turns out there was a doggie who needed us badly, at least for a time. We stayed in touch with the nice people at Lone Star Labs, and they told us about Goldie, a 2 year old girl who was in need of a foster home now that she had completed her stay at the vet’s. (Immediately after a dog is rescued, the animal goes to the vet for the works and to stay for a period of time to make certain there are no issues. Then the dog stays in a foster home next, so their personality and behavior can be observed in a home setting, before they are adopted to a new family) There were other people who were happy to foster Goldie, but she needed a home with no other dogs present (none of which were available) since she was recovering from a little illness which could be contagious to other canines though it would not affect humans. We gladly accepted (well, Abigail and I gladly accepted, Jay did it to humor us girls) and a couple days ago Goldie came to stay at House of Horne.

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So, we are officially a lab foster family, and will care for Goldie until someone comes along who would like to adopt her. The LSL folks take care of all expenses and provide crate, toys, food, etc as well as round the clock advice/support as needed. We supply the TLC, and in return we have a furry friend to keep us company for a little while.

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Goldie has done pretty well so far, though like many fosters she has her little quirks. When we agreed to keep her, no one was absolutely certain she was even housebroken, though thankfully we have been pleasantly surprised on that front. She can even tell us when she needs to go outside, and has had no troubles in the house.

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She is a smart, attentive doggie who is deeply in love with Jay, which is ironic considering he was the least enthusiastic about her in the first place. She knows some commands and we are teaching her a few more. If Jay has a week or two with her he will likely have her catching the frisbee like a pro. She loves to play fetch and likes to play with him best of all.

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We’ve had to help her learn not to cry and bark in her crate at night, but she goes in obediently even though it’s obvious she doesn’t care for it at all. We tried to get her to sleep in Abigail’s room but she refused; turns out she couldn’t stand to be away from Jay. Silly dog.

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Well, silly or not, we are glad to have her here. And will be happy when her forever people come along to take her home to be a part of their family. And then, well, we will just see….

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6 Comments

  1. Missy
    Mar 28, 2008

    Oh, she is so beautiful, how are you going to let her go??

  2. Tricia
    Mar 28, 2008

    Well, perhaps Providentially, although Goldie is a decently well-behaved doggie, and yes indeed very pretty, she is not as interested in my children as she should be if she were going to be a candidate for permanent residence at House of Horne. I don’t wonder if she knew children in her past who perhaps treated her badly or what. But our little Abigail, dog and animal-lover extraordinaire, has yet to be able to charm her enough for Goldie to pay her much mind. She is tolerant, but that’s about as far as it goes. And any dog who joins our family will have to be pretty nuts about my kids, heheh. Given a lab’s propensity to love on children, I am actually quite eager to hold out for the right doggie.

  3. Mom/Ruth
    Mar 28, 2008

    She’s quite impressive! And I think she looks very wise and thoughtful in her pictures. Maybe she’ll warm up to the children more as she gets used to them.

    I can imagine Daisy, on the other hand, is thinking, “Please don’t let another dog see me in this get-up!”

  4. Mom/Ruth
    Mar 28, 2008

    Oops! Pardon me, Bailey! I meant Bailey, not Daisy, above. (brain cramp, senior moment, whatever)

  5. COD
    Mar 29, 2008

    When we got our beagle / dachshund mix from the Beagle Rescue my wife also volunteered to foster a beagle. 8 years later we still have two beagles in the house :)

    So I predict Goldie has found her home.

  6. Tricia
    Mar 29, 2008

    Mom, when Josey sees the picture of Bailey all dressed up, he points and exclaims, “Bailey is a ballerina!” Haha! Whadya’ think of that, Mr. Uncle Keith, eh??

    Chris – I do not deny that we may one day foster a lab and ultimately adopt him/her. In fact, that is one of our hopes: that we might be able to find a good fit for our family when the time is right. Until then we are pretty happy with the notion that maybe we can help a few other nice dogs along the way to find some good homes too.