It helps that several of the dogs and cats are short-term fosters. Three of the cats are going back to their regular foster home by the end of the weekend. And one of the dogs is pending adoption and should be gone in another week. Another of the dogs is only staying through this weekend - I hope. But in the meantime, my life involves a lot of rotating dogs in and out, and even rotating cats. Here's what happened:
I was down to only six dogs, and all six were doing well. I received the many e-mails that I always receive, with pictures and bios of dogs that are scheduled to be euthanized. So I picked out one dog and offered to save her. Then, I received a good application on Lindsay. I figured she'd be adopted, and I could save another one, so I offered to take two of the eleven dogs on the e-mail. I couldn't save them all, but I could save two. This is how I ended up with Amber and Sox.
This is Amber. She is a one year old Pointer mix. She is house-trained and good with everyone.
And this is Sox. She is also a year old, a Border Collie mix, and the happiest, most playful dog!
After agreeing to take these two, a friend told me about a Boxer mix at the local shelter. He had been there for several months and since he wasn't yet adopted, he was scheduled to be euthanized. My friend was upset because she really liked this dog. I wanted so much to help her, but I was up to seven fosters (eight until Lindsay went to her new home). I couldn't take another one - especially another large male dog who didn't have very good manners with other dogs. So I talked to the shelter and offered to take the dog for just a few days to do a home evaluation. This would give me a good idea of what he was like in a home, and help to network him to find a rescue or a foster home for him. They were happy with this idea and this is why after picking up Amber and Sox from the volunteer who transported them from their animal control facility, I went to the shelter and picked up Sarge.
So at this point I've picked up three new dogs and I take Lindsay to her home visit with her potential adopters. They want to adopt her, but need to wait another week before taking her. So she comes back home with me and the three new dogs. Back to the five other dogs waiting at home for me. And then as I pull into the driveway and start unloading the car, this uninvited visitor showed up.
|"I didn't know I needed an invitation!"|
|"Can I live with you?"|
Still, that puts me up to ten dogs, and lately I feel more like I'm living in a kennel than a home. Some of the dogs can't be around each other so I have to do a lot of rotating outside for playtime and in their crates for meal-time/'sleeping. Here's the list of "rules":
Chloe the pit bull can be out with anyone but must be supervised to make sure she keeps calm since she's undergoing heartworm treatment.
Jefferson the Shepherd mix can be out with anyone - he is very playful and gets along well with everyone
Lindsay the Aussie mix can be out with anyone except Ziggy and Sarge
Charlie the Terrier mix can be out with any girls or with Bogey or Jefferson. He tries to push other dogs around so have to watch him around certain dogs.
Bogey the Shar-Pei mix can be out with anyone.
Ziggy the pit bull can be out with Jefferson, Bogey, or Chloe
Sox the Border Collie mix can be out with anyone except Ziggy - she's very playful and gets along well with everyone
Amber the Pointer mix can be out with anyone except Sarge, Oreo and Ziggy, but she's kind of shy so need to make sure she doesn't get overwhelmed by the other dogs.
Sarge the Boxer mix can be out with anyone except Ziggy and Charlie, but must be closely supervised to make sure he acts appropriately
Oreo the American Bulldog can be out with anyone except Amber because she's not spayed yet and he's not neutered yet. Haven't tried him with Charlie or Ziggy because of potential conflict.
So as you can imagine, it's a bit of a challenge to keep everyone happy, and give them all the attention and play time that they want. If the dog challenge isn't enough, I also have to rotate Murphy the cat out with Midnight and Merlin. Murphy is being mean to the other cats, and I'm thinking he might need to be an only cat. So in the meantime he has to stay in a separate room, or I have to make sure if he's out he can't get to Midnight or Merlin to attack them. Hopefully he will find a permanent home soon, or even another foster home that has no other cats, and he'll get all the people attention that he wants.
At times like this, when I have so many fosters, I feel more like a "halfway house" than a foster home. With the exception of Lindsay and Chloe who are never crated, the rest of the dogs are living a life where they get more attention and training and playtime than at a shelter, but less than they would in a regular foster home with just one or two fosters. When I choose to save more, it comes at a price for the dogs I already have, and that is the tough choice. If I didn't have these dogs though, they would be in a shelter or be euthanized, so I tell myself that they are all better off here even if I can't give them all the freedom they desire. Still I want so much for them to go to an adoptive home or even a foster home where they can be totally spoiled. Tomorrow is Adoption Day, so hopefully at least one of my fosters will find their forever home!