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. 🙂
– Stacey, foster mama