Friday, September 17, 2010
He is incorrigible.
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!