Ten Commandments

Being a dog owner parent is a serious responsibility.  It comes with for some, a basic set of requirements.  Sadly for some, this may be only food and water.  For most (or I hope and convince myself that it is most), being the  mom or dad of a pet means much more.  As parents, we provide love, training, discipline, structure, playtime, fun, cuddles, love, vet care, food, water, shelter, love, and much more.  We can think of it like wedding vows, “in good times and bad, in sickness and in health..”.  These are of course, the type of home that I want for my fosters.

I came across something cute today and I thought I would share it.  A few weeks back I wrote about my most important foster, Dillon.  These ten things make me think about him.  They make me think about my perma-dog, Leroy… and also every other foster that’s passed through my home.  I hope that they all are blessed with families who listen to these ten things.

 

Dillon- Rest In Peace

Dillon- Rest In Peace

Ten Things Your Dog Would Tell You

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me- it is crucial to my well being.
4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
5. You have your work, your entertainment,and your friends. I only have you.
6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
7. Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.
8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative,obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting to old and weak.
10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I cannot bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death.
Remember that I love you.

 

And I’ll add in my personal mantra: Love is an infinite resource. ❤

 

If you have any questions about Tofu, Jora, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Sponsor me here: All donations are tax deducible and benefit the rescue dogs of LCPO

Foster Mom’s *$^%# Panic

The thing about fostering is that people don’t like to talk about the mistakes.  We know the proper steps, the protocol, the right ways to do things; so when we do something wrong… well we have to blame ourselves!  But I don’t like to admit that I did something wrong!  OH MY GOSH.  I didn’t do it!  It’s Tofu’s fault!  GAAAAAAAAAA.

 

Anyway 🙂  It’s almost been two weeks since Tofu’s arrival and I’ve been trying to strictly follow a de-stress period for my new house guest.  Since we know that she was living outdoors and let’s say “roughin’ it” before coming here, I wanted to take things slow.  I felt a little out of the game because my last two fosters were puppies.  They were happy to be thrown right into the party as quickly as Leroy would say, “Let’s play!”  So I knew I needed to be a bit more patient and understanding with our girl Tofu.

Leroy and Tofu have been saying “Hi” through their crates, getting comfortable with each other’s presence while on tethers, and having a few brief meets- generally while Tofu was tethered and Leroy was leashed.  Leroy was being playful yet cautious while he got used to this new friend that I brought home for him.  However, we had a little incident that had me very panicked upset frustrated worried about these two white fluff balls ever getting along.  Basically this ‘incident’ was that Tofu reacted very poorly to Leroy trying to play with her.  Considering this and her past history (outside, chained, breeder dog), my heart sunk and I spiraled into all of these tragic thoughts (she’s aggressive, she’s never going to get adopted, she doesn’t like Leroy, I’ve ruined the chance for them to be friends, I took things too fast, I set them up for failure).

Now the reality is that some of those thoughts were true.  I pushed a little too hard.   It is a common, although potentially dangerous and very risky, mistake that fosters do.  We want to skip to the part where they play and cuddle and frolic.  I’m a full time Grad student and I have a part time job (and I volunteer a lot).  So I’ll admit it- I hate to follow the crate/ rotate.  I feel bad for the poor dogs, pathetically watching each other through wire.  Being crated for 8 hours, then again during dinner, then again while I shower, and again at night.  GOSH that’s hard.  Well the thing is, it’s harder for me than it is for them.  The dogs are adjusting during this period.  And that it something that you should not rush.  A few extra hours in a crate can make all the difference!

So as I said, I rushed them.  I rushed and I panicked because I made things more difficult for myself, for Tofu, and for Leroy.  And because of that, I certainly can admit that I was wrong and I made a mistake.  I was carefully supervising and it wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to a foster; but it was a mistake.

So after another week of panic/ rotation/ tethering/ muzzling/ stress, I decided that they were ready to try again.  My conclusion is that Tofu has never had a canine “friend”.  She is Ok to be around Leroy, she is even pretty comfortable around him, she is not openly fearful or aggressive in any way.  However, she doesn’t know how to play.  This is really sad because it makes me assume that all she’s ever known is being mounted, used, and abused.  So when Leroy wanted to play, she didn’t understand how or why or what he was doing!  We will continue to take things slow.  Any type of excitement or play will cause panic be very closely monitored.  But for now, we’re doing a pretty good job of just hanging out.  🙂

Mom, I don’t know how I feel about this.

If you know a lot about dog body language, you can see that they are not completely relaxed.  Leroy is alert and very aware of his Tofutti friend to his right.  Tofu is actually a little more relaxed because Leroy is being very calm and not trying to play with her.  However, she is still aware and watching him.

I guess maybe she's OK.

I guess maybe she’s OK.

The two are a little more comfortable here.  Leroy is still alert but not as stressed about sharing his space.  Tofu is pretty relaxed because Leroy was calmly tip toeing around the bed.

If I don't look, she might go away.

If I don’t look, she might go away.

Leroy and Tofu decided to look at the same ‘noise’.  Well, Leroy heard a noise outside and then Tofu tried to find what he was looking at 🙂

This is exhausting.  Let's nap.

This is exhausting. Let’s nap.

Leroy and Tofu participated in their first nap together 🙂  Leroy was trying to sleep with one eye open for a little bit.  But he continued to get closer to Tofu and he is now happily sleeping.  So he did decided that he could trust her (and me) that it was Ok to let his guard down for a bit.  Tofu is doing great with Leroy mostly on, near, or up her butt.  She is currently snoozing as well.

So the point is that mistakes happen.  But with time, patience, perseverance and close observation, I was able to (mostly) repair the damage.  However, this will be a lesson to myself for next time.  Take things slow and do it right the first time! SERIOUSLY 🙂

 

If you have any questions about Tofu, Jora, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com 

Visit http://www.lcpoinc.org for more information on our organization! 

 

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday- Tofu Smiles

419731_507848329253487_628961407_n

481501_507848335920153_36403261_n

600655_507848415920145_338941712_n

525609_507848445920142_711257167_n

My favorite shot of the bunch :)

My favorite shot of the bunch 🙂

Thank you to Christine Ann Photography for these great pictures of my happy foster girl!  🙂

If you have any questions about Tofu, Jora, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com 

Visit http://www.lcpoinc.org for more information on our organization! 

Getting to know Tofu

I’ve had Tofu for a few days now, so I thought it was time to share some things I’ve learned about her.

First of all, she was estimated to be around three years old.  But she is a spunky girl 🙂  She like to play the tag and run game, though it does make her a little nippy and jumpy.  She also likes to play with a big rope toy and tug on that.

Tofu will run around with a great deal of joy, especially now that she doesn’t panic and think she’s going to be left outside for good.  The most heartbreaking part of her first few days was that every time we went outside, she got upset.  I actually had to put her on leash, push or drag her out a few times.  Happy encouragement was not cutting it.  She would just sit as far away from the door as she could get.  😦  Then when we finally did get outside, she would just linger by the door, hoping that I wouldn’t forget about her.  I did a lot of running around my backyard this week and standing in the cold, to show her that she would not be abandoned.  She was so used to her life outside, that when she was finally in a home, she just wanted to bad to preserve that.

IMG_8463

But now Tofu is more trusting and understands that I will always let her come back inside.  She has not had even one accident in the house.  So it’s safe to say that she’s housebroken.  However, she does something which blew my mind.  She lifted her leg to pee!  Not always.. but it happened.  And I made sure it happened twice before I told anyone, because I thought I had gone crazy.  But this female dog does certainly mark it like a man.  However, normally she just does her business the squatting  regular female ladylike way.

The other things I’ve learned about Tofu is that she’s smart!  I’ve only had her for a few days, but we’ve already been working on training.  And she is doing great! Here she is in action- Tofu training!   (since then her down has gotten much better, plus we’re working on stay and paw!)  She also has good basic manners.  So while she loves getting up on the bed to take a little nap, she is not jumpy when she’s meeting new people.  Although she does get very happy and wants to smother them in kisses 🙂

IMG_3839

And while I’m spending the time to get to know Tofu and prepare her for her adoptive home, she’s also getting to know herself;  In the mirror 🙂

So enjoy and stay tuned for more!

If you have any questions about Tofu, Jora, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com 

Visit http://www.lcpoinc.org for more information on our organization!