Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge: Day 71

Today's Challenge: Talk about a pet you have (or had). 

I recently got approved to be a foster parent for a nearby animal shelter. While the shelter is not a "no kill shelter," they do everything in their power not to euthanize any of the animals. They work with rescue organizations all over the Southeastern United States to place the animals in loving homes and they make treatment available through fundraising for the sick animals. One way to prevent euthanasia is to place animals in foster care with temporary families in order to open up more space for incoming animals. I was so happy to be approved and my daughter and I eagerly went to the shelter to pick a dog to bring home. 

shelter, humane society, foster pet
waiting to leave the shelter
When I got there, I was amazed at how many dogs there were. Makeshift dog pens had been set up in an effort to not turn anybody away. Even those were full. I was able to choose who to bring home with me and, after walking all the way through, I came back to a quiet little puppy named Clemson. Now, I hated the name. I live in SC, where the two big college football rivals are Clemson and University of South Carolina. I am a huge USC fan. Maybe the name is why I felt so sorry for her? Not really. She is 3 months old and about 20 or 25 pounds. She was brought in alone, so she did not have the rest of the litter with her. There was an ugly scar on her leg, so I know she'd had a rough start in life. She looked so bored and so sad, lying on her back in a hole she'd dug. They said she was an escape artist and I thought how it would be easier for her and the shelter if I took her home with me and kept her inside. 
arriving at my house

We were set to have Clemson for a week and a day. We had no idea how quickly she would steal our hearts! She was terrified in the car on the way home and stayed in my lap, shivering. When we got here she didn't want to play, but would snuggle against our chest so sweetly and just look up at us. The next morning my daughter spent some extra time with her outside, walking on the leash, meeting our other dogs, meeting our family members and some neighbors. She quickly became less and less frightened, but she also quickly became attached to my daughter. When she would leave Clemson with me, Clemson pull on the leash and whine, trying to follow. They snuggled in the chair so much during the week and we worked on socializing her with people and the other dogs every day. We worked on house breaking, too, but couldn't make much progress in only one week. That meant a ton of work cleaning up after her, but she was worth it. 

This morning we had to take her back to the shelter to get on a van that was going to take her to a rescue organization and then to her forever family. My daughter and I got up at 5:45 am so that we could give her water, take her out to potty, and get to the shelter by 7:00. We stayed to put her in a crate and on the van and tell her goodbye. It was so hard to say goodbye to those sweet sad eyes! 

They offered to let us bring another dog home today, but my daughter and I agreed that we needed a week or so to recover first. It actually was a lot of work having an extra dog around, especially one that was not housebroken. But I have a feeling we will be back there very soon because it feels so good to know that we helped that sweet little puppy, even if she did have a rotten name! 

this is how she liked to sit!

after a few days...

Isn't she adorable?


  1. What a cute puppy! It is great that you are fostering a lot of shelters need people like you. It makes the dogs so much more adoptable.

  2. Adorable! We got our Garrett from a foster home, so I know that we need more fosters! I would love to do it, but as a working mom, I know I can't dedicate enough time to a pet that needs extra attention.