Friday, September 17, 2010

He is incorrigible.

in·cor·ri·gi·ble-adjective  Impervious to constraints or punishment; willful; unruly; uncontrollable.

As most of you know, I had to get rid of all of my foster pets recently in order to meet the subdivison ordinance of only two pets per house. I sent my foster cat Rudy and my two foster dogs Tripoli and Ziggy to other foster homes. I also sent my cat Merlin to my parents' house. That just left me with my own two dogs, Remi and Noelle.

It also left me with a big concern. How long would Ziggy last at his temporary foster home? I thought about starting a pool to take bets from people, but I was afraid his temporary foster mom might take offense. I don't know her well enough to know if she understands my sense of humor or not. I know she is great with dogs, and has been fostering dogs for many years, so Ziggy was in excellent hands. But refer back to the above definition. That's Ziggy!

He's fine with cats - until he decides to play with them (then he treats them as chew toys). He's fine with other dogs - as long as he is the one in charge and everyone else obeys his wishes. He's fine with people - unless he is excited - then he wants to chew on them, and he doesn't like to take "no" for an answer. He can never, ever be left unattended unless he is in a crate or he will destroy the house.

So it was with some fear and trepidation that I left Ziggy at his temporary foster home and returned home. I wasn't worried about Ziggy - I was worried about his foster mom and the other pets and foster pets in the home. And sure enough, Ziggy exceeded all of my expectations and was evicted from his foster home less than 24 hours after arriving. Okay, he wasn't really evicted - his temporary foster mom was willing to keep him if necessary, but it was very clear that it wasn't working out. So we arranged a swap, and she took Remi while I brought Ziggy back home. Now I'm back to only two pets in the house, Remi is living the high life at his temporary home, and Ziggy is once again back home after his overnight field trip.

This brings up major concerns for me. If a very experienced dog owner and rescuer has problems with Ziggy, how do I expect him to ever find a home? I don't want to adopt him myself since fostering and working full-time keeps me too busy to give him the exercise and attention that he really needs. But finding another home for him may take years! Still I hope that someday he will find that one person who wants to exercise him several times a day and can deal with his Ziggy ways. He is more work than anyone would ever expect, but he will bring more joy and love to their life than they ever expect as well. We continue to work on training through positive reinforcement, and as always he continues to be adorable, affectionate on his terms, and hilarious in everything he does. Yesterday he made me laugh when he tried to run up the stairs, lost his balance and rolled back down. He then ran back up, stole an apple from the counter, and ate the whole thing, core and all, before I could get to him. Ziggy has so much enthusiasm and he throws himself into everything he does wholeheartedly. It makes life with him a wonderful challenge!

17 comments:

Erika said...

Poor Ziggy, kicked out already...maybe you just have more patience with him than she does. Your dedication to fostering is amazing, switching Remi for Ziggy. It makes me sad to hear that it seems like it will be impossible to find Ziggy a forever home. I absolutely love him and all his quirks. I hope someone who is able to have him enjoys him just as much, and soon!

Erika said...
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Erika said...
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JackDaddy said...

These are some good questions. Maybe he needs a home with a retired person who can spend lots of time with him.

mayziegal said...

Oh, Ziggy! We've missed you! I think maybe Ziggy needs a home with one of those peoples who trains animals to do tricks for movies or the circus. They're always going to the pound looking for the most energetic, outta control doggie for that kind of work. He most definitely needs some sort of job, for sure. Although I really don't think I'd trust him with heavy machinery, no matter how much he likes it.

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Leila said...

It's the incorrigible one's who steal our hearts, teach us the lessons that expand our world and earn us our stars in our heavenly crowns. While I know that you are working on the current house situation, I think that Ziggy needs to be with you because you are the one who understands him the best. Preparing him for that perfect home.

I think your crown is extra, extra sparkly!

kissa-bull said...

thes stairs and apple story made my moms day she can just imagen the adorable character that ziggy is. give him lotsa pibble sugars from us

the pittie pack

Two Pitties in the City said...

There must be the perfect home for him, I guess it just might take time. And maybe he'll mellow out a bit with age. He's lucky he has you to be so patient with him.

Cupcake said...

Ziggy is a genius!!! Don't you see, this is all a very well thought out plan. He pretends to be too bad to get adopted but just good enough that you will continue foster him. His real personality is a laid back, obedient, calm dog. The real Ziggy doesn't even like to chew but he can't let you see that. You fell for it hook, line and sinker. He's a genius I tell you!!!!

sp said...

the goofy, uncoordinated enthusiasm & excitable gnawing on the humans, the affection on his own terms ... well just about everything you said about ziggy reminds me of my own foster, carlos. i even think they look a-like! just add in some intermittent obsessive tail chasing and they could be twins.

some days i also think i'll never find him a good home, and boy is that depressing. what helps me is knowing that while he's not an easy match, he's not truly a lost cause - he's sweet and cute and has quirks that so many other dogs in happy, permanent homes have & that many more have worked through successfully. plus, sprinkle on a few days of boarding kennel magic dust a month and the reduction in stress helps me feel less helplessly about the situation. plus, i'm much more likely to think clearly about what i need to do to help make my foster a better balanced dog and get him ready for the day he finds the right match.

because once he's out that door to a new home i want to increase the chances he's NEVER EVER EVER EVER NEVER coming back. because i love him

brooke said...

AwwZigg! poor guy. And poor Remi having to be swapped. And poor you for having to limit your pets to 2!
Maybe Ziggy will calm down as he ages... maybe if you can find a foster with no other pets in the house he'd do better.

Kari in WeHo said...

It sounds to me like he needs a home where someone works/stays at home all day


Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Sue said...

Somewhere there must be the perfect home for Ziggy. I hope it comes along soon. Let's hope he mellows a little as he matures.

Mango said...

Well, you have kind of adopted him already, right? I mean he has been with you a long time. Maybe you are the right person for him. Who knows? Worth thinking about.

Slobbers,
mango

the booker man said...

i kinda agree with mango, miss dog foster mama. maybe you are the right mama for ziggy?

*woof*
the booker man

havetailwillwag said...

oh! and since he's still a puppy, he'll probably mellow out a little later anyway..

Amy and The House of Cats said...

I am sorry you had to switch Remi and Ziggy - I wish you had a way to have all your animals with you, including all the fosters. Have I told you how much I hate your homeowners association. But it sounds like Remi will have a good time, and hopefully Ziggy can learn to calm down a bit!