Marshmallow is Adopted!

Well it was a whirlwind three weeks with Mel that ended with a hard decision, and a happy and lucky forever family.  It was worth breaking all my “no puppy” rules.  I did enjoy having that little peanut in the house!  It was amazing to watch her grow, learn, and explore the world around her.  I was able to socialize her with so many people and other dogs.  I know she has a solid foundation to build off for the rest of her life.

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Leroy and Skylar

Lets go back in time, one week ago.  I was babysitting Skylar while her moms went on vacation.  Skylar was adopted through LCPO just about one year ago when she was a tiny love, right around Mel’s size.  Skylar lives a wonderful life.  She has great manners and is one of the most socially appropriate dogs I know!  Leroy loved her polite, yet friendly disposition. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that she was in good hands since she was a puppy.  But she also has the pleasure of being a “shop dog” at a local soap store.  Her mom totes her into work where she behaves like an angel and greets the costumers with a friendly wag and some kisses.  At night she goes home, happy and content from working the day away 🙂

I shared this video with Skylar’s mom and posted it on facebook.  Amanda and Cheyanne watched this video together while sitting on the beach.  Amanda said they loved it!  They were smiling and laughing and crying and she said, “Is this our dog?”.  Cheyanne was looking for a dog for quite some time… But she didn’t want to rush into anything.  The right fit is important!  But after watching this video, they decided that their dog had actually found them ❤

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Sisters ❤

This is actually the moment that sealed the deal for me.  There were three amazing families that wanted to adopt Marshmallow.  While I knew Skylar and Amanda, I still was torn.  Each of the families were great and would love and care for Mel for the rest of her life.  But which was the best fit for Marshmallow?  Well, it’s safe to say that this picture put my heart at ease.  Marshmallow was already quite content with her new sister.  Playing or cuddling; they were a happy bonded pair.

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Marshmallow, now Ryan, and Skylar with their forever mommies.

 

So Happy Adoption, Marshmallow.  Enjoy your new family and your sister, Skylar.  You deserve the best and they will give that to you. Grow up to be confident and happy.  Learn good manners from Skylar.  Practice training with your moms.  Give them lots of kisses.  Meet as many people ad you can.  Be proud when your moms say, “This is Ryan.  She is a pit bull, and we saved her life.” ❤

Happy Tails Update!

Every time I see a picture of Jora *now to be referred to as Bella* in her forever home, my heart grows 10x it’s original size.  So I wanted to share some of them with you 🙂  Not only did Bella get exactly the forever home that I wanted for her, but her mom came out to volunteer at LCPO’s 5k!  I’m hoping to see both of them soon at another event and catch up more.  So here she is: happy, gorgeous, loving Bella.

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Temporary Fix

Although the concept of a foster home is inherently temporary, I am sad to report that Tofu will be moving into a new foster home as of tomorrow.  This was not a quick or unplanned decision.  In fact, I was not planning to foster at all this semester because I knew what would be happening in April and May.  I am finishing my last semester in graduate school, preparing for the Annual Student Exhibition, and planning to move back home with my parents.  I will graduate in May with my Masters in Fine Art from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  And soon after that, I am moving back to Scranton, PA to save money and live with my parents.  Sadly, these situations are just not fair to a foster dog.  But most importantly, I cannot bring her when I move back home.  So as I said, I was not planning this to foster at all this semester.  Sure… I could have probably squeezed in a foster puppy less than 4 months old, or a super gorgeous, highly adoptable blue nose pittie who loves cats and other dogs.  But that’s not my typical foster dog, we have plenty of foster homes for them.  I was just going to take a break.

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But when the LCPO president asks me to help out, it’s hard to decline.  I do have a heart after all!  We had been cross posting for Tofu for a few weeks, with no interest.  (Her name was Mama back then) Her scumbag breeder “owner” was leaving the halfway home and about to hand her off the first offer he got.  Actually, the one offer declined once he found out she was spayed (thanks to Almost Home rescue).  No more Mama for this girl.  But another person was still happy to pick her up, we can assume for less than honorable reasons since dog fighting is common in that area.  So things were becoming dire and we just could not see her end up in bad hands.  So I was asked to take her in.  I said yes, but with the understanding that as finals approached, she would need somewhere else to go.  This is something that easier to say than follow up on.  And if I could keep her, I would.

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As a foster mom, I feel responsible for my foster dogs until they find their perfect forever home.  As the saying goes, “Fostering is not a lifelong commitment, it’s a commitment to saving a life.”  I hope that this is the last time I will take a foster in, and have to say goodbye before they have found their forever home.  It truly breaks my heart to uproot Tofu.  She has made amazing progress with me in terms of being a wonderful companion, preparing for that perfect home, and learning how to trust Leroy.  I will be worried about her being moved, confused, and starting this process over again.  And they all must do this again when they are moved to their forever family.

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The one benefit of her new foster home is that there is a well balanced female dog (along with a handful of other great pooches!).  Because of Tofu’s past as a breeder dog with little, if any other socialization, we think that she may feel a little more comfortable with female dogs.  However, it will likely still take her time to adjust and feel at ease with them.  But her new foster mom knows how to take things slow, so Tofu will be given a nice opportunity so socialization with a variety of other dogs.  I am hoping that this benefits her in the long run,  and allows our rescue to know what type of home will be best suited for her in the future.

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But for my girl Tofu, just because you are leaving me, I will not feel any less responsible for you.  I will think about you, and bother your new foster mom with questions.  I will worry and hope.  I will cross post and blog about you.  When someone says they are looking for a dog, I will suggest you.  I will miss your cuddles, kisses, and happy butt wiggles.  I will meet your forever family and see you on your way before you are adopted.  You will always have a piece of my heart.  And I will love and care about you always.  I am sorry that I was your temporary fix, but I am thrilled that I was able to help in saving your life.  You will never live in a yard again; never know loneliness, cold, or hunger.  You are safe and we will take care of you… until that special family finds you and wants to call you their own.  ❤

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

Sponsor me here!- 5k Race to Rescue

Just For Fun

 

 

 

 

At LCPO, we rescue a variety of “Pit Bull” type dogs.  Dogs that would be classified as a “Pit Bull” in the shelter system can range anywhere from 30-100 pounds!  I thought we’d play a little game, just for fun.  How much do Leroy and Tofu weigh?!  Please make your guesses in the comment section and use decimals so we can tell who is the closest.  Ex- 66.2  I will include a few pictures so you can get a good look.  🙂

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Short or tall?

Big or little?!

Big or little?!

Who is bigger?!

Who is bigger?!

Lap sized?

Lap sized?

A tiny little ball?

A tiny little ball?

As wide as a door? ;)

As wide as a door? 😉

Good luck on your guesses.  The winner will receive… well, my LOVE!  Yes.  And I will announce their name.  That sounds great, doesn’t it?!  Ready.  Set.  GUESS!

 

 

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

Sponsor me here- Donate

 

 

 

Top Ten!

One of my favorite things about being a Foster Mom is learning fun and wonderful things about my foster dog, and then sharing them with potential adopters!  Each foster dog is different with special quirks, likes, and dislikes.  One of the huge benefits of adopting a dog from a rescue rather than a shelter is that we (or any decent rescue) are able to give you SO much information about your potential new family member.  Imagine knowing what you’re getting yourself into, how well trained this dog is, if she has separation anxiety, if she is picky about her food; all before bringing her home!  The reality is that shelters can not always gather solid information about a dog because of the high stress environment.  But alas!  In a foster home, we can get a true read of an individual dog and assess what home he or she would do best in!  So here are the top ten reasons to adopt Tofu 🙂

1.  Happy!-  Tofu is seriously a joyful dog.  I spent ten solid minutes laughing at her yesterday when I picked up a bandanna.  The joy on her face was amazing!  Tofu gets antlers, nylabones, rope toys, balls ect.  None of these excite her in that special “happy dog” way.  But something ridiculous goes through her mind when she sees a bandanna, leash, collar, or scarf.  The wiggling!  Oh the wiggling.  I have no words.  We experience a similar reaction every morning when she is let out of her crate.  Every morning there are smiles, wiggles, happy dancing, joy, more wiggles.  She is a “morning person”.  But more than that, she’s a “life person”.

2. Genuine–  I wrote about Tofu’s past, how she got here, and what her life was like pre-rescue.  But I’ve come to realize that her past has given her a special gift.  She is genuine.  She lets you know how she is feelings and wants to express it to the world.  This is often experienced through tail wags, lap sitting, kisses on your face, and cuddle sessions.  However, she also was genuine about her initial feelings towards Leroy, and will politely know when he’s making her uncomfortable.  Way back when we were crate/rotating, she showed us her snarl teeth and said, “Hey, I’m not sure about him just yet.  Give me time.”  So we gave her time.  But Tofu is especially genuine in her reactions towards other people.  She wears her heart on her sleeve.  When it’s time to have a love fest- you’ll know it.  She’ll be whole-heatedly loving you to pieces.

3. Special–  Well of course, she’s deaf and has slight vision impairment in one eye.  But that’s not what I mean.  Tofu is special.  Something about her just makes you feel like you can accomplish more, dream more, give more.  Tofu makes you feel like the world is in your reach, and your only decision is to decide what you want to achieve.  She is inspiring.  She looks at you and her eyes say, “Just go for it.  I have faith in you.”

4. Home Ready– Most dogs who are living in a foster home will have this in common.  But none the less, it’s worth saying.  Tofu is ready for you.  She is crate trained, housebroken, knows basic commands, knows how to wait for her dinner in her crate, knows how to cuddle with her humans.  She gets it.  I thought it would take longer, since she was living outside, but she’s smart and ready for this life.

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5. Mature–  Dogs typically become “mature” around three years old.  Some of the issue’s I’m having with Leroy seem to have escalated in the past year,  but he is simply coming into his maturity.  Tofu however, is a ripe three years old.  She has likely reached her maturity, so “what you see is what you get”.  There will be little change down the road.  Of course none of this is a guarantee.  But her personality and core self is thought to be pretty set at this age.

6. Perfect Energy Level–  It may seem hard to define the “perfect energy level”.  However, I have a feeling that Tofu falls in the ideal category.  If you want to run, or hike, or even do some agility work, she will be ready with bells on!  If you want to walk or stroll casually, she would be happy to join you.  If you want to play with a toy, oh what fun!  And if you want to cuddle, well as long as there is room by your side.  I do think that Tofu would be a good agility dog.  I don’t know anything  much about this, but she has some serious jump in her step.  So I’d bet she’d figure the rest out 😉  But no matter how spunky your home is,  I would bet she’d do just fine.

7. Cute– Seriously, she’s cute as a button.  Better than that, she’s a Tofutti Cuttie! (Tofu is not endorsed by Tofutti in any way.  It would be cool though.)  But I mean her face!  Have you seen her?  Just look.  Ok.  This one is on you- look at the cute!

I iz cute!

I iz cute!

8. Cuddly– This is something that is very important to me.  Although it confuses me, I understand that not everyone wants a dog that will lick their face, sit on their lap, cuddle during nap time, and be all around cuddly.  But Tofu, she likes those things.  She can hang out independently or nap with Leroy at times.  But she loves being a cuddle bug.  And I would want her future family to love that about her.

9. Good– Tofu is a good dog.  She is not a perfect dog.  But she is learning and she tries very hard.  She wants do the right thing to make her humans happy.  She wants to please.  She wants to kiss you when you’re sad and sit politely while you’re on the phone.  She wants to wait for her dinner, no matter how hard and exciting it is.  She tries not to eat her toys, because I tell her “No” (but they taste so delicious!).  She wants to help you eat your dinner and do all the good things she can to make you happy.  She wants to be a good girl.

10. Adoptable!–  The best thing about Tofu is that she’s looking for you- her forever family!  She is waiting and ready for that right person to fall in love and say those special words.- “You will be with me for the rest of your days.  Your troubles are now my troubles.  I will be here for you, and never leave you.  I promise- I will never leave you.  You are not ‘homeless’ anymore.  You are mine.  And I am yours.”

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

Sponsor me here- Donate

Happy Tears and New Beginnings

Jora  was a very special foster dog.  The last time I saw her I was sad weepy nostalgic pathetic emotional a complete wreck.  I had to admit to myself, I adore this dog.  She wiggled into my home despite my “no puppies allowed” rule.  And truly, she grew up with me.  Jora had more meet and greets than any other dog, yet none ever panned out into the right fit for her. She was looked over since she was a scrappy pup of only four months old.  After a handful of meet and greets, a two hour adoption, and a trial adoptive home that decided not to keep her; I was stunned time and time again that these people did not see what I saw.  I was heartbroken that she didn’t have ‘her people’- the ones that would love her as much as I do, but more.  I knew she would find them, but I was becoming impatient, confused, torn, and sad for her.  I wanted to yell to the world, “This dog is amazing and you’re missing out!  It’s your LOSS!”  But I kept it in and tried to be patient.  The hardest part, was loving her so much.  I wanted her to feel the difference between foster love, and forever love.  I wanted someone to look into her eyes and say, “You will be with me for the rest of your days.  Your troubles are now my troubles.  I will be here for you, and never leave you.  I promise- I will never leave you.  You are not ‘homeless’ anymore.  You are mine.  And I am yours.”   And sometimes, I wanted to be the one to say that to her.

This is the lifelong struggle of a foster mom.  I battle with this every time I allow a dog to feel love, often times their first love, but I call it temporary.  Sometimes it hurts more than others.  And with Jora, I just felt that she was so deserving and ready.  I wanted her to be home.

My dad was quite smitten by her as well.  To paraphrase very accurately quote him, “Jora, we’re not allowing any more living things in this house.  None!  But if we were, I would let you stay.”  Leroy and Jora had an amazing bond as well.  She followed him around, played, snuggled, learned, and loved.  And for as amazingly tolerant as Leroy was with all of her puppy antics and instance on playing for 10 hours every day, he really loved her right back.

We lub when mom stays home from skool to write da tesis papers.

cuddles

But as it always happens with patience and a deserving dog, we got an email for Jora.  And this one was the one. ❤  Yes, I am happy to announce that Jora has finally found her forever home.  One of the most special dogs that I’ve ever known is officially adopted.  And on top of that, I think that she finally found the most perfect home that will love and appreciate her for all she has to offer.  When you have an adoption where everything just clicks, it’s as if the two souls were just waiting to find each other until the right moment in time.

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First family photo 🙂

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Jora, now Bella ❤

Congratulations Jora, you finally got your turn. I will love you forever my little Peanut ♥

Squeaky Clean

Tofu got her first bath while she’s been with me!  And the results are in- she passed the “Good Bather” test.  In order to appreciate a Good Bather, one must first have adopted a holy terror of bathers. 😉  I’m not talking, “throws-a-tiny-fit-but-then-accepts-the-bath”.  I don’t mean, “shakes-off-mid-bath-and-jumps-out-of-the-tub” or even “runs-away-hides-and-panics-before-bath-time”.  I’m talking “55-pound-terror-clawing-your-body-and-hauling-ass-out-of-the-tub-as-many-times-as-possible”.  This would of course be my one and only, Leroy.  And if you haven’t noticed, he’s white.  We use treats, wet food, special happy voice, water off, whatever it takes… He is still a terror to wash.  I’m not going to lie- it involves some full body headlocks.

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Pre-bath panic and shifty eyes

But my point!  It is not a “little thing” to know that your future newly adopted dog (Tofu) is not only wonderful in all of the typical “amazing dog” ways; but that on top of this she just so happens to be great in the bath tub.  Do not take this piece of information lightly.  It is a big deal.  When weighing your options on which dog to adopt; always go with the Good Bather dog.  It will be a decision you do not regret 🙂

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“Iz we dun yez?”

 

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Such a good girl!

 

And now I get to cuddle up with two green-tea smelling dogs that have been temporarily cleansed of dirt and other grossness.  (Until Leroy starts crying by the door because he wants to run in the dirt- Oh wait, that’s right now 😉 ).  But still- worth the battle. 🙂

All done :)

All done 🙂

 

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

 

 

Doggie Friends

From what we know about Tofu’s past, we can pretty easily assume that she hasn’t had many doggie friends.  She has been with me for over a month, and she has gained a great deal of trust in both me and Leroy.  While they haven’t engaged in joyful and comfortable play just yet, Leroy and Tofu are bonding and making progress every day.

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Tofu has done a few little play moves, but then quickly becomes nervous when Leroy gets excited and tries to engage.  It is very heartbreaking to see her struggle.  I think about how many days, weeks, or years that she spent outside and alone.  She just needs time to learn and trust.  Leroy and I are willing to give her those things. I am confident that she will play and have doggy friends in her future.

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And a shout out to my main man Leroy- While he is generally a huge pain in the doggy butt, he has learned to respect Tofu’s boundaries and take it easy on her.  Meaning there has been no face humping (which Jora happily put up with). 😉  He is polite and loving, sometimes just letting her cuddle nearby.  Other times, kissing her face and trying to get her to play just a little bit.  He has proven to be a pretty darn excellent foster brother.  And I thank him for that.  Tofu needs some TLC and we are both doing our best to give her that.  But in the meantime, we are all happy to nap and cuddle and hang out and explore, and observe the neighborhood cats.  No wrestling  just yet is fine by us 🙂

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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

 

Vet Appointment! – The Bad

Well poor little Tofu has been having some skin irritation, she also needed to get another vaccination, and we wanted to check on her lazy eye- So, we scheduled a vet appointment! As a foster parent, I do not pay for Tofu’s vet care.  I provide her with food, toys, training, socialization,  love, structure, and confidence.  However, vet care is something that I cannot cover (as a student with big loans looming over my head).  I wish I could, and I hope to be able to in the future.  But for now, we thank LCPO for being so amazing and providing wonderful care for their puppies.

In case you didn’t know, Tofu is deaf!  But please don’t tell her, we don’t want her to be self conscious.  We’ve also realized that she has a lazy eye that may be resulting in vision impairment.  So sure, she’s a little “special”.

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You can see her droopy eye on the left.  She doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest!  But we wanted to make sure it was OK and that there was nothing we could do to help her.

Well sadly, the vet said that it did not appear to be a regular cataract.  She wasn’t sure what was wrong so she suggested we look into an eye specialist for our girl.  It could potentially be anything from a different type of cataract to a tumor 😦  And the best solution may be removing the eye.  We are going to watch it carefully and have it looked at it again in the future.  My poor foster girl has a few issues going on!  However, neither of us notice them very much.  Especially when there is cuddling or kissing involved. 🙂

Ok, you can notice a little during cuddling :)

Ok, you can notice a little during cuddling 🙂

Please send her some good, happy vibes to help her keep her eye and find an adoptive family. ❤  She is truly a doll!

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