Monday, August 4, 2008

Ella was adopted; Noah is renamed; Training begins; Supply Drives

Ella, the first cat I ever fostered, has finally found a home! I guess as foster cats go, it really hasn't been that long, but as a relatively new person to the rescue world, four months seemed like a very long time for such a wonderful animal to be without a home. Especially since she's spent the last two months of her life in a little cage at Petsmart. I hated leaving her there all the time, but it was the best way for her to meet the most potential adopters, and she was much better off there than at my house since she wasn't crazy about all the noise and excitement and other animals. She had a lot of people, volunteers and employees alike, stop by and visit her every day, and she was well cared for. Her time there finally paid off, as she went to a wonderful new home yesterday! I am so happy for her!

I hate to do it, because my mom will get mad at me, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm changing Noah's name. My mom hates it when my foster animals names change, because she gets confused enough with all the different animals going into and out of my life - changing the names of the animals is even more confusing, she says. And generally, if we know what name the pet already had, we never change it. But Noah is a special case. Noah, my shepherd/hound foster dog, is very skittish and shy. If anyone in the house raises a voice, whether its directed at him or not, he cringes and runs away to hide. The problem is that in order to get the attention of Remi or Jade, a loud voice is usually required. One day something made me realize that I spent a lot of time saying "Remi, NO!" or "Jade, NO!", and each time, NOah acted like I was yelling at him. I thought, NO! does sound similar to NOah!, and could make it very confusing for him. I could have started saying "Remi, QUIT" or Jade, QUIT", but NO is a common English word, so I thought it'd be easier for him to just change his name. So now Noah is Elvis! It started out as a nickname, but now I'm so used to calling him that, that I keep confusing the names when I talk to people. He might take awhile to get adopted because he is so skittish and shy, so until we find the right home for him, I might as well at least change his name in my blog to match his name in real life. He answers to Elvis all the time now - and I think he's doing much better at accepting the loud voices and noises around him in the house. Although, if anyone has a nice quiet house and wants to foster one of the best dogs in the world, let me know and we'll talk. :-)

All the dogs have started obedience training, courtesy of my amateur attempts at training. We have nightly "classes", and each dog is working on a different skill. Granted, it'd be easier to teach them all the same thing at the same time - but not as interesting! Elvis is working on "sit" - he has finally figured it out, so we're in the "practicing stage". Reese can sit and is working on "down" - she almost has it figured out. And Jade can sit and is working on "stay" - this is really hard for her because she has never had to learn self-control before. But she desparately needs to be taught this because she has so much energy and enthusiasm and hasn't learned many manners yet. All in all, I'm very proud of my dogs and the progress they've made. I hope with additional training this will help them to find good homes, since all three of my fosters are likely going to be harder to place than cute puppies or small dogs. Reese is still a puppy, but she is, and looks like, a pit bull, so that scares some people away. Elvis can climb fences and is very skittish, so that limits the homes that will be right for him. And Jade is a wonderful dog, but she's big, black, and high energy, so that automatically is three strikes against her in most people's eyes. The more they can learn over time, the easier it will be to find them homes, so I will hopefully be able to keep up their new training schedule and they will learn a lot!

The girl scouts have been holding supply drives for the past couple Saturday's at PetSmart, and we have received several donations from people. Someone donated a big package of liver treats that the dogs LOVE - they work great for training - so if you made a donation of supplies - THANK YOU! You are helping to care for the dogs and cats that don't have homes, and you're also helping to prepare them to find new homes! If you are interested in sponoring a supply drive at your school or workplace, please contact me for more information at dogfostermom@aol.com. Our group is 100% volunteer run, and all of the foster homes provide their own supplies, crates, dog/cat beds, cat litter, etc - this quickly adds up and we can always use help. Our biggest needs are cat litter, canned (wet) cat and dog food, cat climbing trees/scratching posts (okay, this is my biggest need - not sure about others) ;-), and of course we can always use cat/dog treats, collars, leashes, toys, dog bones, paper towels, bleach, old blankets, cat/dog beds, and anything else that cats or dogs use! We are in a program where we are provided dry cat and dog food, so that's about the only thing we can't use - everything else would greatly help our foster homes care for their foster dogs and cats. If you have any items to donate, you don't need to wait for a supply drive - just drop them off with Heartland Humane Society volunteers at Petsmart on Highway K on any Saturday between 11am and 4pm, or contact me and we'll make other arrangements. Thanks!

1 comment:

Nerida said...

What an amazing life you have! Great progress with the dogs. I wish everyone took as much time to teach basic obedience.

I worry about the number of small dogs I see walked in my local park who are basically just dragged around because they don't know how to heel or walk on a lead.