January 1, 2010

I’m still in shock. Kathy from the shelter called to ask if we might be interested in fostering a mother dog and her 11 puppies. The puppies are 3 weeks old. Can we do this? I’m already thinking about the logistics – where will we put them? How will it work with our dog? How much will the mom need? Dirty bedding – more laundry? Kathy answers all of my questions – they’ll come over and check out our space, provide a configurable kennel, dog bedding, laundry service (for the dogs…), food, even volunteers to help clean up, walk the mom and socialize the pups. I have to think about this.

The boys are skeptical. They know what it’s like to take care of 5 3-week-old kittens. The first week is mostly cleanup. But then they remember the fun and quickly get on board.

My husband remains skeptical. He’s so practical, thinking about the time it will take just as the boys go back to school and sports schedules ramp up.

I waffle. I know I really want this opportunity. I like cats, but I’m absolutely a dog person. And I can’t stop thinking about Kiko. She was my first dog. I found her roaming the streets near work. As Animal Control loaded her into the truck, her eyes met mine and I was hooked. I visited her in the shelter, waiting to see if her family would claim her. It was clear that she’d recently weaned some pups. The day after she was found, 3 pups looking just like her were found by the side of the freeway. I think they were adopted within an hour of arriving at the shelter! But Kiko retreated farther and farther into the back corner of her kennel. When I’d bring her into the play yard for our visits, she’d lay her head on my lap while I stroked her velvety ears. Finally the 5 day waiting period was over and we could start our life together. It didn’t take her long to forget that she’d probably been a back-yard dog, dumped with her puppies when they weren’t useful anymore. We spent 14 years together, hiking, camping, reading by the fire. She helped us raise our 2nd dog. She patiently waited for her walks when our 2 kids were small. She was a great friend.

I’m going to do this! Why not. A new year, new life, new opportunities, new friends.

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