The Foster Dog Files.

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Yesterday Paul & I brought a very sick dog home from the shelter. The dog, formerly known as Amy, is a young pit pull mix who developed pneumonia. Not much is known about her past, except that she was found as a stray in Philadelphia about 2 weeks ago. It breaks my heart that, not only this dog, but, so many are brought into the shelter as strays. *And, don’t get me going about the “owner surrenders”.* It especially breaks my heart when they are either very young, or very old. A dog under a year old has little idea how to fend for herself, and I find myself wondering how she ended up there. Was she once someone’s cute, little puppy and they decided that they had enough of “puppy stuff” and just let her loose? Or, did she take off from a backyard where she was kept night and day? Did she ever know love? Was she ever treated like a member of the family? We will probably never know. What we do know is this: she is very sick…she is very skinny…she trusts people (likely due to the attention she got at the shelter by some wonderful volunteers)…and she is very tired. Other than brief periods outside, or Paul and I sitting with her…she has slept probably the best sleep in her recent memory these past 18 hours or so. This poor girl, now known as Angie…for the Rolling Stones song (shout out to my dad) is so sweet and trusting, that despite being so sick, her little tail wags like a whip when either of us enter the room. Also, she is pretty much house -trained, so either someone took the time to teach her to do her business outside, or her time in the shelter taught her that pooping where she eats and sleeps is yucky. I’m guessing the former, but, I could be wrong.
What made us decide to bring her home? Clearly, taking on another dog, any dog, is a big responsibility. A sick dog, even more so. Here’s why: I was told her situation, and knew that she would likely be euthanized in the next few days if someone didn’t step up. And, I know that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself had I said no and saw it happen. And, Paul and I are presently in a position where we can do something like this. It will probably not always be the case, but, right now it is…and that is a gift. This is how I am choosing to pay that gift forward.
My good friend and sorority sister Bethanne once told a story. It must be close to 20 years ago, if not more that I heard it, but, it has stuck with me all this time. I don’t remember the specifics of the story, but, the gist of it was this: a house may be full of people, too small for more…but, there is always more room for love. This is kind of how I see welcoming this dog (at least temporarily) into our home and our lives.  I have a lot of love in my heart, and so does Paul. We don’t have children (at least the two-legged kind), so our animals get all of that love. Surely, there is enough for one more. We will get her well, I will work on training with her and when she is ready, she will make someone a very lucky person (or persons) of her own.
Angie has already figured out the short cut to her door. She has already decided that she doesn’t like dried beef liver treats or Canine Carry-Outs.  She has already figured out that the bed is comfy, but, will wait until I let her know she can hop on. She has already started feeling better, as her breathing has improved dramatically with the help of a humidifier. And, she has already shown me that I made the right decision: she is alive and has a chance at life that she may not have had yesterday.
When thinking about a new name for her (I was not a fan of Amy, because I know a lot of human Amy’s), I kept coming back to Rolling Stones songs. Angie seemed to work, because it is not too different from Amy, which she has been hearing for the past few weeks. Though Paul has been insistent we keep the name Amy (likely more to get a rise out of me than a strong affinity for the name), once he sees the lyrics, I think he will agree with the change. Some of this song just fits. I like that. I like her. It’s a win-win.
Please share this post if you want to help save Angie’s life and be part of finding her forever home 🙂

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