Not So Quick Decision

Not So Quick Decision

I interrupt your horsey news for a post about foster dogs, because that’s where my head is right now. We have fostered for Springer Rescue for several years, although not recently since Tim is no longer working from home full time and my bratty spoiled spaniel, Eliot, doesn’t really play well with others. On Friday though, we were contacted again for a special case dog. An older female in really rough shape, that we were asked to foster since we had experience with rough cases in the past.


This is Lucy. She’s an older girl who was pulled out of a creek where she had been swimming for days. I’d like to say that she’s so happy to be rescued and is thriving with lots of love and good food, but the truth is I don’t fear she has long at all. She’s deaf and mostly blind, acts very neurological and detached from the world. We’ve been trying to make her comfortable all weekend, but can’t get her to connect with us at all. She eats and she walks in circles, but that’s about it.

The rescue is waiting to see if she makes a turn around before making a hard decision. I want to give her the best chance at a happy life too, but if she were my dog I’d be letting her go.

So that took up most of my thoughts and time this weekend, and I’m trying not to dwell but to do the best thing for her. In happier news, I’ll tell a quick story about our other rough foster – Scooter.


Scooter was taken from a house by animal control, because the other dog on the property was already dead. I didn’t see him when he first came in, but he spent about 3 weeks at the vet being treated for pneumonia. When we got him, he was still very skinny (and had gained a lot of weight) and was covered in hundreds of tiny scabs from tick and flea bites. You couldn’t run your hand over him without feeling scab after scab.

At first Scooter was very tentative with us, especially Tim, but he would kind of stare at you with this shy little tail wag. He was never aggressive, even with my bratty spaniel who picked on him at first (they later became great friends). We called him Snaggletooth, because he had a scar that cut part of his lip off and a tiny bit of his canine was always exposed.

Since he had heartworms and was in such rough shape, we had Scooter for about 6 months. I loved that dog – still miss him. He turned into the biggest, loving spirit and would wag his long tail and gleefully frolic through the yard with our dogs. He seemed so grateful.


He got adopted by a retired couple that adore him to pieces. Happy story all around, and I’m so thankful we got to help him. If you ever have a chance to foster a dog – seriously consider it. It will change both the dogs and yourself!

Update 5/7/2013 – Lucy met a peaceful end this morning.  She had Cushings Disease, which isn’t always fatal but 10% of Cushings dogs shows neurological symptoms.  It is essentially a tumor that pushes on their brain and causes blindness and other problems.  Was kindest to let her go.

19 thoughts on “Not So Quick Decision

  1. Scooter looks adorable. Glad he found a great home, I have a big soft spot for spaniels.

    Hope Lucy makes a miraculous turnaround. Even if she doesn’t, putting her down is still much kinder than her going on her own out in the bush.

    1. Me too, they are so goofy and loveable. Eliot is my first but definitely not my last springer. As for Lucy, at least she will meet the end with love instead of alone in the world. :/

  2. Bless you and Tim for taking in these dogs in need!! Reading about your new foster absolutely broke my heart. :*(

  3. I would love to foster but I worry that I would want to adopt the dogs that lived with me! Also ill be living in an apartment with limited time so I wouldn’t want to do that right now but maybe when the time is more appropriate. Fred also doesn’t play as well as I’d like with some so id be worried it might not be a good match and id cause him stress :/

    Sounds like you guys have been touched by some lovely dogs! 🙂

    1. All the fostering has definitely helped Eliot “play well with others”, but it is stressful. We choose to step out of the program (except for this one case) because it’s super time intensive and with both of us working full time the hours don’t make sense for the dogs.

  4. Ugh. That’s a tough place to be. I could understand the circling and the disassociation, what with being partially blind and in a new environment. I’m curious, though: what are her neuro symptoms?

    I told my husband that I wanted to foster some, now that we have more space. I think it’d have to be a special dog, though, since my older girl is a “yellow” dog. We got two of our cats via fostering: the plan was possibly adopting one, then fostered the four, then fell in love with the two. So no more fostering meows. 🙂

    1. She’s extremely wobbly among other things. Vet appointment tomorrow AM for an assessment. I definitely understand what it’s like to want to keep them!

  5. I have considered fostering for the local Rat Terrier rescue, but I am afraid that I would get attached and end up with a house full of Terriers!

  6. It’s so wonderful that you foster dogs! I hope Lucy finds her way. I adopted a feral cat that hid and wouldn’t look at me for months, and he’s my snuggle buddy now, so there’s hope. Best of luck.

  7. I’ve been thinking a lot about fostering a dog actually, or adopting one anyway. I just have to make sure that I have the time for a dog so that I’m not unfairly leaving one without much needed and deserved attention. Hopefully your current rescue will come around. That’s so hard.

  8. It’s so nice to have the happy stories to balance out the sad ones. My best friend, Sassy died just after Christmas and it is never easy losing them, even the ones that seem ready to go.

  9. Poor Lucy. I wonder what her story is. Regardless of the hard decision ahead, she is at least comfortable now. We have neighbors who foster dogs and it is a calling, I think. One of our dogs is a rescue — and she’s the best dog I’ve ever owned. So sweet, so happy, so grateful, and so full of love — even after eleven happy years with us and some arthritis.

  10. It’s wonderful that you foster! It makes such a difference in the lives of these animals especially when they find homes later on. Our “kitten” (he’s now 10 months old and a muscular 11 lbs!) was raised as a foster with his littermates in the house of a coworker who owns 8 other cats and 3 dogs. The little man LOVES people, cats and dogs because of his upbringing. He’s the first cat I’ve ever owned that plays fetch (he does a very doggy play bow, too!), has proper bite inhibition, and enjoys playing with people. Very different from adopting a cat straight from a shelter. One of our goals of owning a house some day is so we can foster, too!
    So sorry to hear about Lucy, but as you said-at least she was able to spend the last days of her life in a home, with people that loved her.

  11. Well done for fostering… I did a bit back in Ireland, but mostly for dogs who strayed into our yard. That’s how we ended up with Crazy Cookie!
    I’m glad you & the rescue org were able to give Lucy an easy end. So much kinder in many cases.

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