Good Karma Pet Rescue is a network of foster homes in South Florida dedicated to providing dogs and cats in need with the love and care they need and deserve. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
GK was started in early 2011 by Stacey Tollackson Chen, who decided that she could best provide for her foster animals by starting a rescue that aims for high quality care rather than high volume. We intend to stay as small as we need to be to ensure that every one of our foster animals is treated with the same care and respect we show our own furry family.
GK is based in Fort Lauderdale and is supported by wonderful, dedicated foster parents throughout the South Florida area. If you are interested in helping to save lives through volunteering, fostering, or adopting, please get in touch with us!
So I had been suckered (by myself!) into taking some cutie dogs from South Carolina. The how had yet to be figured out, but I was committed. Then I got an email that this dog was at the same shelter the dogs I was taking had come from. They only hold them for about four days there, then the dogs are killed. :/ This is the email I saw:
My heart snapped in two when I read her story, so I put her up on Facebook just in case someone in South Florida saw her and was able to help. And what do you know, a potential foster and a potential adopter stepped forward, as did another rescue that specializes in chihuahuas so she had a backup plan.
I flew yesterday to South Carolina and rented a car to drive the three dogs home. The other dogs are there own story, but here is Katie’s.
Katie came into the shelter on August 24, in labor. She gave birth to one puppy, who was dead. Five days later she would be killed unless someone came forward for her. So we did. A rescue in South Carolina had a temporary foster mom, Deana, pick her up for us, and then I picked her up yesterday from Deana at her office. I guess after reading her story and seeing her sad picture, I thought she’d be a frail little girl and have to be carried. But nope! She pranced along side Deana right down the steps to come see me. She was very scared of me at first and wouldn’t let me pet her, but when Deana handed her over to me she took to me right away.
Deana was great to her and gave her a bath and something to take care of her fleas. Here she is post-bath:
I had been told she had a hot spot by the people who saw her, but I was not prepared for what she in fact looked like.
She rode on my lap (on a towel) to the pet store where we bought her a new carrier and pad to get comfy for the ride. While I was driving I kept looking at her and just feeling horrible that someone would let her get in such a condition. Pregnant, giving birth at a shelter, her puppy dead from what I’m sure was horrible care while she was pregnant, THIS.
Yet despite the neglect she has suffered, Katie loves people. She cried when I put her in her crate; she wanted to be on my lap. She is so sweet it breaks your heart. Here she is looking up lovingly at Deana.
I got home with her early this morning and by this afternoon she was at the vet. Our vet is very tender-hearted when it comes to the animals and I could tell that her condition bothered him. He would not even guess at her age because of her condition. Over 5 years, but that’s as much as he could commit to in her neglected state.
It turns out the skin condition is just flea dermatitis – something like I’ve never seen. The vet said she must have had a horrible case of fleas, and for a very long time. She just scratched and scratched until her skin looked like this and got infected.
She is anemic from parasites. She has whipworms. She is severely emaciated. One eye is larger than the other, probably from a birth defect. She recently gave birth and her body is still recovering from that. We did bloodwork and the results should be back within the next couple of days. Hoping and praying that she is not heartworm positive on top of everything else.
She was shivering on her towel on the floor of the vet’s office (cold or fear, I don’t know) so I put her on my lap and she snuggled right in for a nap:
Katie is now in her temporary foster home, and will go to another on Sunday where her foster mom has committed to “fattening her up” with lots of good food. She’s on anti-parasitic drugs and antibiotics while we wait for the results of her bloodwork. The vet wants her to be spayed as soon as she is strong enough for the surgery, so we are working on that and hoping she is well enough in a few weeks for surgery.
We are hoping Katie is a match with the lady who came forward wanting to adopt her, but if not we will keep her in a good foster home until she finds a wonderful home where she will never suffer from fleas, parasites, and hunger again. We hope to share happy-Katie pictures very soon.
I started fostering the cat I called Patty Cat for another rescue last year. I first met her at a pet store where she was being displayed. Apparently she and her identical sister were adopted together as kittens, then returned some months later after they were pretty much full-grown. Her sister found a new home pretty quickly with a volunteer, but Patty Cat was still waiting for a home when I met her. Here she is at the pet store (she’s the tabby):
I brought her home for what was to be a 3-week foster period. Of course, once the three weeks were up she still hadn’t found a home and there was really nowhere else for her to go, so we kept her. Here she is hanging out in my “cat room” at the time:
I advertised her for adoption over and over but no one was interested in this grown-up girl. I even had people that were at my house to meet kittens who commented on how friendly and pretty she was, but they wanted a kitten.
She stayed in the cat room most of the time, but I let her out for at least a while every day to have the run of the house. Patty Cat LOVED everyone, but none of my cats or dogs knew what to make of that, so the end result was that she pretty much drove everyone crazy trying to play. And the poor thing never understood it. She was just so happy & outgoing.
I was planning a trip home to Wisconsin and I knew my mom’s cat had passed away some time before, so I tried to talk her into adopting Patty Cat. She said she wasn’t ready to let another pet into her heart yet, but asked around and found a co-worker who wanted her. !!! So I planned to drive instead of fly so Patty Cat wouldn’t have to spend 12 hours in a carrier.
Then just a few days before I was to leave, my mom called to say her co-worker’s husband had vetoed getting a cat. (It’s always the husband!!!) I was so disappointed, but right away my mom said that she and my stepdad had talked it over and decided they would take her. Woo-hoo!
So last July, Patty and I had a lovely 2-day drive to Wisconsin. She was actually a pretty good car buddy, sleeping on my lap, the backseat, and in the back window.
My mom renamed her Lulu and now whenever we talk, she tells me about how funny and happy Lulu is. For example, Lulu kept emptying a shelf in my mom’s linen closet. My mom would put everything back in, and Lulu would pull it all back out. Then one day Mom found Lulu sleeping inside the closet on her little shelf and understood why she wanted that shelf empty — she wanted a hiding spot! That’s where she goes whenever the grandkids come over and are being too loud & clumsy.
Then last December, my stepdad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Here he is, with my niece:
He had to start a pretty intense chemotherapy regimen soon after he was diagnosed. He had to have weekly treatments, and the side-effects from the drugs made him feel pretty awful from the day of treatment pretty much until the day before his next weekly treatment. He had to spend a lot of time in bed. Mom reported that Lulu was an amazing companion for him. She stayed right by his side day in and day out, snuggling in bed with him, sharing his electric blanket. When my mom had to go to work, she said that she found it so comforting to know he would have Lulu to keep him company.
My stepdad just finished a round of chemo and gets a little break before they decide where to go from here with his treatment. I visited Mom, my stepdad, and Lulu last week for the first time since I dropped her off, and was so happy to see how content they all are with one another. My mom told me they play hide & seek with Lulu and she loves it. Oh, and she has her own little spot on the living room floor with toys and a cat tree, which she loves to lay on. She has grown to be a huge cat.. everyone in the family jokes that she is half bobcat. When she gets her daily can of wet food, Lulu can grab at the food while it is on the kitchen counter by standing on her hind legs. It’s my stepdad who gives her her daily wet food; he seems very fond of her and likes to dote on her.
Mom said a while back how thankful she is that she adopted Lulu; she has been such a source of comfort and amusement for her and my stepdad during his illness. I find it pretty amazing that she almost was not their cat, that she wound up with them by chance and more out of resignation on the part of my mom than really wanting a pet… and then look at how wonderful it has worked out for the three of them. Lulu has a family to love that loves her, and my mom & stepdad have a loving, funny little companion who gives them an opportunity to play and laugh, and who makes sure her daddy always has a friend nearby when he’s feeling sick.
Here is Lulu last week, on her little cat tree in their living room:
I was just thinking about what a nice story Lulu has, and thought I would share.
We had a nice woman contact us wanting to know if we had a wish list of items we need for our rescued animals. I hadn’t had anything posted, so here we go!
Dry Cat Food ~ We usually Science Diet and mix in whatever other brands we get donated when that happens. Iams and Purina One are good ones on our cats’ tummies. We welcome any brands, however; if it isn’t something we can use, we save it for our friends in Hollywood at Cat Pals, who feed 100+ stray/feral cats every day!
Wet Cat Food ~ Kittens need wet food at least twice a day! Science Diet, Fancy Feast, Wellness, etc. Any brands welcome!
Meyerson’s Goat’s Milk (canned) ~ Our little ones that still want to nurse appreciate some goat’s milk; can be bought at most grocery stores in the canned milk aisle
KMR kitten formula ~ we don’t have any bottle babies right now, but if you have some kitten or puppy formula to donate, we will be sure to get it to a rescue who can use it!
Advantage Flea Medicine: Extra Large Dog Version ~ we can use this to treat both our rescue dogs and our rescue cats by measuring out the appropriate dose, so this is a very cost effective way of treating our pets for fleas! Can be bought at Pet Supermarket, Petsmart, etc.
Nutri-Cal for Cats: Great for giving an extra boost of energy & vitamins to sick kitties, can buy at any pet store.
ENRICHMENT & ENVIRONMENT:
Cats Toys: Any and all sorts of toys! Scratching toys, little mousies, little things with bells. Our foster kitties just love any and all toys!
Beds: Washable, please!
Chewies: We go through a lot of rawhide chewies for our dogs in the rescue, so that is always a good donation!
Tasty treats to put in Kong’s to keep foster dogs happy & occupied
Toys ~ washable is best
Towels, blankets, sheets, pillowcases ~ used and washed are PERFECT!
KEEPING THEIR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN:
Spray cleanser with bleach
Cat Litter (any kind)
Cardboard box bottoms, such as the kind wet cat food is sold in. We use these as disposable cat litter pans
Garbage bags – 33 gallon is perfect
Gift cards to Kinko’s, etc. for foster homes to make records copies
Small pet carriers
Food & water bowls ~ untippable or non-skid are best
Cat & dog collars
Ziploc baggies (sandwich size)
Used prescription bottles ~ these are great for passing along liquids/dewormers/dips, etc. to our foster homes
Live traps for TNR program
Pet store gift cards ~ so our foster homes can get what they most need!
This is the first I saw of Mamadog at the end of October 2010.
She was at MDAS with her six puppies and there were please going out throughout the rescue community for someone to save them. I happened across the posts and thought I’d look into the situation. There were conflicting reports about Mamadog.. Some said she was fine, others said she was aggressive. As it was clear their time was almost up, we started to work together to at least find people who would take the puppies in twos and bottle-feed if the mama was too aggressive to pull.
At the time, I was working with another rescue. I had sent the links to the person who OK’d the pulls so if all went well I’d be able to take them and was told it was fine. The day I visited the dogs, they were basically on their last day there, which was confirmed by the shelter worker I spoke with. Want to talk about an emotionally difficult situation? I saw the puppies. Met Mamadog and had her growl at me. At the very least, I wanted to save the puppies.. I had a volunteer to take maybe two of the puppies, but didn’t even have a firm commitment on that.
I have dogs at my own house and I have been bitten in the past and take dog bites very seriously, especially from big dogs, so bringing home an aggressive dog was a very scary idea to me. One of the volunteers assured me Mamadog was probably just scared and she should be OK. I went back and forth on it. I ended up saying I’d take her for a walk and see how we’d do. I didn’t get to the door before she growled and picked a fight with a goofy lab minding his own business. I took Mamadog back and, with tears in my eyes, said I could save the puppies but that I couldn’t risk bringing that dog home. I went home with the puppies in a box and with the assurance that nothing would happen to Mamadog at least overnight in case I was able to make arrangements for her. That night my husband and I went out to dinner and decided over pizza that we would give her a two-week chance. If she was still a bite risk after two weeks, we’d take her back to the shelter, but at least we would know we gave her a fair chance.
So I drove down to the shelter the next and pulled Mamadog, then took her to the Burger King up the road for the customary just-out-of-the-shelter double cheeseburger.
She was so scared. So scared. She stayed hunched over and looked just.. droopy. Skinny with her ribs showing and droopy.
I had set her & her puppies up in the garage with a pen she could jump out of, blankets, a heater, etc. I would let her out in the backyard to get some “her” time and run around. I would have to put her back on the leash to bring her back in the house and talk about nervous… I had no idea what to expect from her. The first time I did it she went at my hand.. “Here it comes,” I thought. She got me with her lips. Literally, she lipped me. I rolled my eyes and laughed and I think that was the end of the tension between Mamadog & me. By the next day, I was taking her in the shower with me to get her stinky doggy self clean. Soon, Mamadog & I were like peas & carrots.
Mamadog & puppies
The problem is, while she loved me, she didn’t really trust anyone else. Including my husband. I knew I was going to have to work on her before she’d be able to be adopted out, but with the puppies taking up all my time I figured that could wait. The puppies were growing like weeds, making a mess, playing, and having a wonderful time. I was so thankful every day that they did not meet their end at the shelter.
Then just as her puppies were at the age they could begin to be adopted out — SIX WEEKS after they had arrived at my house and when they already all had homes lined up — Mamadog’s runt baby, Sesame, fell ill. The vet diagnosed him with distemper. The two largest, healthiest puppies were already in a new foster home and continued to do great, but the four smaller ones at my house came down with distemper one by one. And one by one, they died. My husband and I worked so hard to keep them alive, to give them the chance to fight the disease. We adopted a puppy, Olivia, who we fostered through her distemper outbreak and she lived, so I stayed optimistic we could beat it.
RIP Sesame, who was peacefully euthanized at the vet’s office after he went into an extremely bad neurological phase of the disease.
RIP Blossom, who fought for so long. We syringe-fed her and gave her fluids around the clock (I learned to do fluids just for these guys and thankfully my husband already was comfortable doing it). Her diarrhea would just not quit, despite the immodium treatments, so nothing we put into her was absorbed. We were making a recipe given to us by the vet with whole roasted chicken along with vegetables, potato, and high-protein Boost to blend it all together. She grew thinner by the day and eventually it became obvious that it was cruel to not let her go. She was euthanized at the vet’s office.
RIP Nutmeg, who we thought was going to live, just as our Olivia had. Her distemper were not as bad as Sesame’s or Blossom’s but then her breathing difficulties began; she had pneumonia. She had a heater keeping the bathroom toasty, a vaporizer, coupaging and nebulizer treatments. We gave her a TV when we couldn’t be around since her siblings were all gone and I made little mounds with towels in her open crate where she could get comfortably propped up, just as I had done for my Olivia. I thought if we could JUST get her through her pneumonia… Then she stopped pooping. She would eat a little on her own, I fed her via syringe all day long, but she wasn’t pooping. Meals of pumpkin, laxatives.. nothing helped. Then one night while a volunteer was holding her and sitting outside on the side of the house with her, she got spooked… she pooped.. and then went into respiratory failure. Within minutes she was brain-dead and it took just minutes more for her to stop breathing. She was the last loss at our house, and the hardest. I am so sad that she will never get to grow up to be the beautiful dog she should have been.
RIP Anise, who was adopted before any of the distemper struck at my house. She developed it within weeks of going to her new home. Her adopters are wonderful, wonderful people and tried to help her survive. I got the good news that her vet declared her out of the woods and she wasn’t due for a check-up for a month. A week later I found out she had gone into respiratory failure herself and was humanely euthanized at the emergency vet’s.
After Mamadog’s puppies had all passed away, except for the two who were thankfully adopted into great homes and are still doing wonderfully, then we went to concentrate on Mamadog, who after two months at my house still ONLY liked me. If I weren’t home and she was outside, she’s stand at the sliding glass door and bark at my husband until she was panting. If I was in the room, it wasn’t so bad… a bark here and there.. sometimes we could even sit down and watch TV and she was calm. But if I left the room, Mamadog got anxious and would bark at him. She nipped at his pants once, and nipped at his shoe, just as she mouthed the behind of the woman who came to give the puppies their first round of vaccines, but I never have seen any real show of aggression.
This is Mamadog, while the puppies were still here. She was happy and loved being here, but still trusted only me.
I am going to do the short version here. I have the long version if anyone is interested. Basically, due to the fact that she was a one-person dog and they did not feel it was something that would get better despite not offering her the rehabilitation she required (yes, this still makes me mad), the rescue that I was working with wanted to put her to sleep. They felt her fear/aggression made her unpredictable and dangerous; I call it fear/aggression because I have only seen her exhibit fear, although she was fear aggressive when out of my home and in a new, scary environment.. from what I am told she was downright terrified. My options were: put her to sleep in a home environment with me present; put her to sleep elsewhere; or take her back to the shelter and let her take her chances to get rescued again, knowing full well what would have happened to her. So I fought.. we’re talking phone calls and emails and meetings.. to make sure she got a fair chance. Obviously she was coming from a bad place, but the way she acted with me made me believe that she had the potential to eventually be in a good place with a good future. Eventually the rescue that had sponsored her pull from the shelter surrendered her there so that I could adopt her back out under my own name. I saw her as the other rescue was dropping her off.. she had pooped herself in the crate in the back of the car and was drooling. It was extremely sad, but I never understood how she had not acted like that with me, even on day one. And then even after that it was agreed upon that I could adopt her, it was a fight. A dozen times, I felt like it was an overwhelming situation and maybe I should just give in.. But then I couldn’t imagine not letting my girl get a chance, just because for some reason the rescue was against giving her one, just because it was difficult for me. And I certainly did not just go through the deaths of four precious puppies only to put their mama to sleep. No way.
Mamadog coming out from MDAS, the second (and last!) time:
When we brought her home on January 24, my husband and I tried to do things differently so she could live here without barking at my husband all the time… my husband came up with the method, which was basically keep him between me and Mamadog every moment we were in the room together. If she wanted to be by her Stacey, she’d have to be dealing with Chris too.
This was early on in our attempts.. as you can see Mamadog is not thrilled about the attention:
I had spoken with some dog experts throughout this whole ordeal and one who I trusted very much I felt was being realistic while also allowing me to be optimistic about Mama based on my experiences with her. She said that if we could not get Mamadog to be a normal dog at least in my home, there really was not hope for her being adopted out. And since I can’t keep her.. Mamadog has prey drive and my house is full of prey (cats, bunnies).. she needed to be adoptable. Mamadog NEEDED to be able to trust my husband. If she could not be a normal dog, a workable dog, she would need to be euthanized. While crying, hard, I agreed.
With this in mind, I made sure that we worked not only on socialization but also in making sure she had the best life she could in the case that she would have to be put to sleep. This was a possibility I had to keep in mind, despite the fact that every time I even started to think about it I would get choked up. But I knew as well as the next person that we couldn’t have a dog who could only function normally when I was at home. We couldn’t go the next 15 years without me being able to leave the house unless my husband wanted to listen to Mamadog bark at him through the garage door. We couldn’t go through that or put her through that stress, or have a dog living in the garage for her whole life. So I took her on lots of walks. Spent a lot of time in the Mamadog den we made for her in the garage.. Twin size mattresses, dog bed, chair & ottoman, TV, unlimited chewies. Snuck her onto the beach, which she loves.
We also worked on basic commands like sit and down to build up her confidence and give me something to tell her to do when she got anxious when we were out.
And guess what? It worked. Mamadog loves Chris, my husband, just about as much as she loves me now. When he comes home from work, she barks at him until he gives her attention, crawling all over him with the HUGE TAIL WAG she used to have reserved only for me. She loves and trusts him and in return he loves her back and takes her on doggy jogs a few times a week. I will get video of them together soon. It’s pretty awesome how far she’s come, and it started just days after she got home here this last time.
Yes, ALL SHE NEEDED WAS A CHANCE.
Although Mamadog has prey drive, thankfully my kitties don’t come in the living room. Sadly, this prey drive makes her a non candidate for becoming a forever pet here. But for now we are happy to be able to make it work for her here for the time-being. We have a baby gate on one entrance to the room and sliding doors on the other with locks. So as long as I am in the living room (like right now as I type this), Mamadog can be out with me and the big dogs and she can go outside through the doggy door whenever she wants. When I can’t be out here, she goes in the garage. Sometimes we go in there and watch TV with her. It is not a forever situation, but I’m happy to make it work for now.
She likes to play with her buddies…
Jump on the furniture…
Play with her toys…
Snuggle up in her too-small doggy bed.
And do the best goofball tail wag I’ve ever seen.
Someday I’ll get video of when I first get home and walk into the room with her. She puts my dogs’ happy reactions to shame with her bouncing around, tail wagging, jumping, happy, love-love-love-happy-happy-happy reaction.
She is Mamadog’s beautiful face, a happy video still from one day when we were out for coffee.
Does that even look like the same dog from the earlier pictures? And we are sharing a table with a stranger here. My happy, pretty girl!
Mamadog is still not perfect. But she had the absolute best reaction to a stranger house guest last week. My aunt & uncle came for a visit and she actually acted happy to meet them.. Sniffs and happy body language and jumping up to get a better smell. When we were all outside together, she was fine with them. When my husband and I left, however, she did bark at them. So.. not perfect.. but doing so much better. She barked at our houseguest the week before for the first few minutes he was at our house, but soon ignored him. She played happily at his feet while we watched TV. She let him pet her. Whereas she used to bark at strangers in a BIG and SCARY way if they came in the house, nevermind the garage, my friend went in the garage the other day and she was just fine about it. Not a peep out of her.
And I had a trainer take Mama away from me at an event a couple of weeks ago to spend some time with her. I hid behind a tree and spied on them so Mama couldn’t see me and was happy to see her walking around and sitting with someone who was not me. The trainer came back saying she was a GOOD DOG. Just scared. Needs confidence. Very sensitive to correction. NOT AN AGGRESSIVE DOG, however. And she said she’d love to work on her for free to help her become a more confident dog. So we’ll see how that goes.
So this is Mamadog’s story. Or the beginning of it anyway!
Going forward, I am going to try to find people who can help me with Mamadog. I think learning to trust a new person should be on her list of to-dos. I would like to get her to the point where she could happily do a night a week away from home. I tear up when I even think about her being adopted someday, but it is what we are working towards, so I am trying to think of new ways to get closer to that goal. If anyone can help, please give me a holler.
Since our friend little Sparky got adopted last weekend, and it was obvious his adoption was going to “take,” I mentioned getting another dog from the shelter to my husband. Nuh-uh was the answer, on account of the other foster babies.
On Wednesday morning, 2/23, I emailed him a picture of this dog, Valentine. “Can I go get him pleeeeeease?” I asked. Valentine had been there since Valentine’s Day. Dogs at this particular shelter who are brought in as strays are given a 5-day period for their owners to come for them; after that, they are fair game for euthanasia due to behavior, illness, etc. Kennel cough or sneezing can be grounds for being put to sleep.
I got a firm no. Then in the late afternoon, my husband called and asked what had happened with the dog. “WHAAAA?” I asked. I guess he was expecting me to go anyway. So Thursday I did go to meet Valentine. I was IN LOVE. Love love love. I asked a volunteer to let him out of his cage so I could hold him and he just jumped into my arms, like I was meant to take him home.
Now, I had been following Valentine’s status on Facebook for a couple of days. I knew that there were NO HOLDS. I saw this much-better picture of him on a rescuer’s feed:
I went to check on his status at the desk and was told that, in fact, he did have a hold. A rescue hold. I was a little disappointed I wasn’t going to get to take him home, but happy someone else was going to save him. I went over to say hi at least two more times and assured him he’d be getting out of there soon.
Then I had to do what I hate doing; deciding on the spot who to help and who not to help. It’s not fun. But strangely it seemed like every dog I checked on that had been there for way past five days had lots of help on the way. (Mind you, I was only checking on the little dogs. I already have one big dog foster and that’s the limit for my house.) One dog was super sick.. I met him and was so worried about his chances for getting out. He was emaciated and had green snot clogging up his nose. I went to check on him in the rescue office and was told he was actually walking out right then with the rescuer who had come before me.
Then I came across this little dear:
She had not been there long, but was an owner surrender which means she was given NO grace period. Beyond that, she had a skin condition. So Mia Bella it was! She had been adopted from MDAS before so was already spayed so got to come home with me that day. I found out that she had actually been returned TWICE; the folks who adopted her as a puppy returned her when they lost their home, and the second adopter returned her for “medical” reasons. Maybe the irritated skin? It worked out well that I was taking Mia, I figured; she was fully vaccinated for months already so no worries about her coming down with distemper or kennel cough.
Mia at the shelter. When I saw her she was trying desperately to dig her way out of the corner of the cage.
Mia in the car:
Mia is an extremely sweet girl but I knew right away that she had been affected by her previous owners’ abandonment. She latches onto you like a terrified child whenever you pick her up, and she cries when you leave the room. When she’s around you, however, she’s so happy. Very sweet and lovable. She’s also super smart. She figured out the doggy door on her own.. I have NEVER yet had a dog do that! !!!
That night I tracked down the person who had the hold on Valentine and asked them to keep me in the loop, let me know when he was safe, etc. She said actually that he was not safe; she had put the hold on him to prevent him from being euthanized, but she had nowhere to put him so if she didn’t figure something out by 4 the next day, he’d be put to sleep.
I flipped out! I woke my husband up and explained the situation. He said, amazingly and unexpectedly, “Well, go get him tomorrow.” ?!!?! I spoke with the person who had the hold on Valentine and figured out a way for me to be able to pick him up the next day. And thankfully, to her credit, she said that she actually had never left a dog at the shelter to die that she had placed a hold on yet.
So the next day, last Friday, Valentine was neutered and I went to pick him up. Here he is on the drive home:
I didn’t get any more pictures of him yet because I thought I found him a home the very next day, but the potential adopters had to back out, so I’ll work on getting better pictures of him. He’s so cute. Just 9 lbs or so. Super happy and playful and adorable. Loves his squeaky toy and chasing a ball. He is separated from the rest of the house since he went into the shelter with no vaccines presumably, and now he’s sneezing a bit, but hopefully he will get to come out of the “office” soon. Also, I decided he looked like a Max, so now he’s Max Valentine.
This is Mia with my dog, Olivia.
Mia is great. She doesn’t like it when I leave the room (although that’s improving already!), and she hates being put in her crate (except at night or to eat), and she barks at the cats, but other than that she is just a wonderful little dog. Affectionate, gentle, playful. She and Olivia were immediately best friends. She was itchy the first couple of days, but has been on a high-quality food with limited ingredients and it may be that her skin irritation was a food allergy because it seems better now.
So that’s the story of Mia & Max. Funny how I went to the shelter to pick up Max Valentine, ended up taking Mia instead, and then still wound up with Max Valentine. And I think it worked out for the best. I think Max will have a pretty easy time finding a home. He’s very cute and small and easy-going. Mia is a lovely dog, will be a wonderful pet, but your average person who brought her home from the shelter may not have understood or wanted to deal with her separation anxiety. So now she is with me, and I will make sure she only goes home with someone who intends to care for her until she’s old and grey. So I have to say: I think it worked out the way it did for a reason.
I am thankful I have such an understanding husband. I’m sure so are Mia & Max.