Thursday, May 12, 2011

Re-Introducing Tulsa... Again

Tulsa a blue heeler
Tulsa as a puppy
 I first introduced Tulsa on February 3, 2008.  At the time I brought her home, she was just a six month old puppy.  She is a deaf purebred Australian Cattle Dog (also known as a Blue Heeler) who was turned in by her first owners because they didn't have enough time for her.  She was my first attempt at fostering a deaf dog, and she was just as much of a character as Ziggy is! 
She seemed to think the other dogs were there for her convenience. For example, she used Remi as a table while she munched on a cow's hoof.

Remi laying on the floor while Tulsa chews on a cow hoof rested on Remi

She also tended to have a sarcastic streak.  After taking a small bite of dog food, she immediately pretended that she had been poisoned.
Tulsa in her crate next to a bowl of food lying on her back with all four feet in the air

But it wasn't all fun and games with Tulsa.  She was only my fourth foster dog and I still had a lot to learn about dog training and dog behavior.  After two months at my house, I realized she was just too much for me to handle and I sent her to another foster home who had much more dog experience. 

A month after that, in April 2008, Tulsa was adopted!  She went to a home with two other Australian Cattle Dogs, and I thought that she would have her happily ever after.  But it was not to be. 

Eight months later, in December 2008, Tulsa was returned.  Her owner had to move and was unable to keep her, so Tulsa came back to my house.  She settled right in, and was doing great for the most part.  But we weren't sure that she'd ever be adopted because at every adoption event, she'd bark non-stop at any dog she saw, including the ones she lived and played with at her foster home.  So most adoption events, you'd see something like this:
several crates at an adoption event, one covered by several blankets
That's Tulsa in the crate underneath the striped blanket.  She didn't bark, but no one could see her either!  Not a good way to get adopted.  By the way, see the white dog sleeping in the crate on the left?  That's Noelle.  She always slept through adoption events - another reason she never found a home before we adopted her.  Anyway, back to Tulsa.  She continued to be her sweet, silly self at my house.  She continued to use Remi as her own personal furniture - in this case, a pillow while she slept:

Remi lying on the floor with Tulsa sleeping on top of his front legs

Several months later, Tulsa was adopted!  This time the adoption lasted less than eight months, and she was returned again, back to her first foster home.  And then she was adopted again!  And then returned again.  I have lost count of the number of homes this dog has lived in, but I know that she was most recently returned because she had trouble getting along with other dogs.  So Tulsa is coming back to my house, to live with me and Ziggy and the Three Musketeers (Target, Forrester and Toby).  This will be a bit of a challenge, since she has become selective about what dogs she gets along with.  I'm a little bit nervous about it, because one difficult foster dog is all I really want to handle at a time, and Ziggy is already firmly established in that role.  But I made a commitment to Tulsa when I took her in as a foster originally, so I'm going to do my best to help her now.  And Ziggy and I are going to start praying that the perfect home for Tulsa AND Ziggy comes along as soon as possible!  Or at least that's what I'll be praying for.  I'm pretty sure that in spite of the instructions I give to Ziggy, he'll still be praying for treats.


Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

I hate hearing of people returning dogs. When we asked our parents for advice on adopting Havi, both sets of our parents told us "if you adopt her, she stays, you never give up on her." Thanks Dog Foster Mom, for not giving up!

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

The dogs are soooooooooo lucky to have people like you and your group to watch out for them. Tulsa is beautiful!

Cupcake said...

That's great that you took Tulsa in. You never know, Ziggy and her might become best of friends.

On another note, Remi's head is gigantic!

Kim said...

It's so hard to acknowledge that their "happily ever afters" aren't so happy after all. I cried the day Jack was returned to us (after 4 days.) You work so hard to find them a home, and then you feel like you're back at square one again.

Have you tried to cross-post Tulsa with an ACD rescue? Our rescue had luck with that a few months ago. (Funny because that dog also stayed in a blanket-covered crate at adoption days too!)

Anonymous said...

I hope Tulsa finds a permanent home - for real this time! That's awful that she's been bounced around so much - that cannot be good for a dog's mental health. I foster for a rescue and it really angers me that a foster will work very hard with a dog to make sure he/she is well-trained and socialized and the dog finds the "perfect" home only to be returned a year or three later a completely different dog because the people that adopted the dog didn't keep up with training and socialization and just general interaction with the dog. It's back to square one for the fosters and the dog. It's so hard to be able to know whether or not a dog is really going to a great home or not - people are so good at lying. Aside from doing home visits randomly once the dog has been adopted (and what rescue really has the time for that) - you just have to pray that the people are being truthful and will be good caretakers.

Corbin said...

It's the worst feeling when a foster gets returned... I've had a few that have been juggled around and it makes me feel so awful. Hopefully she'll find a wonderful real forever home!

Kari in WeHo said...

Poor Tulsa getting bounced around :(


bbes tribe said...

It is so hard when these pups get adopted and then returned sometimes thru no fault of their own. We have had some returned or just dumped at a shelter because it was "inconvenient" or the dog barked, or whatever. A sweet little Pom was dumped at a shelter and they found us by the microchip. he is getting another chance because of the chip. He is so sweet. How can people be so cruel and thoughtless.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Before I knew much about adopting or fostering, I was always shocked that sometimes dogs would get returned. I always thought that an adoption was forever. I do understand a foster-to-adopt which would be a time period to figure out if the dog is right for the home, then beyond that, I just thought you had to make it work.

Jess and Glacier said...

That makes me so sad for her. I don't think it's good for the dog's mental health for people to make a commitment to her and then send her back over and over again.
Thank goodness for you. I really hope she finds her permanent forever home.

brooke said...

Poor Tulsa. So sad to hear of a dog being "returned", especially so many times. It must be hard for her mental stability to be moved around so much.
I hope she settles in with the rest of the fosters nicely and is finally able to find her forever Forever home soon!

Tucker The Crestie said...

Tulsa's story breaks my heart. I sure hope she finds a forever home this time around.