Some fosters take a bigger piece of your heart with them. And Fili is one of those that will surely be missed here. But he's left this home where he was loved and is going to another where I'm sure he'll be loved even more.
Fili and his mom were rushed to us to foster in December from Houston, TX where they were part of a seizure by the Houston SPCA. They were the worst health condition fosters we've had. Suudella had conjunctivitis, ear infections, ears scarred/floppy from old hematomas, missing most of her hair, and weighing a pathetic 9.8#. She had raw, bleeding areas where she was itching constantly. I don't know how she was able to make milk, but somehow she was still able to feed her little boy enough to keep him alive. Fili at 25 days old weighed 12.5 ounces - a weight that some of the latest Col. Potter puppies born attained at about 3 days old. He was covered with what I deemed "cradle cap" and was nothing but a little skeleton covered with fur. When we picked them up from the driver that had helped with their transport before us, we gave mom a dish of food. Mom sat and waited as her tiny puppy made his way to the front of the crate and ate before she gobbled down what was left.
We encouraged Suudella to eat often so she'd have the milk to keep feeding. They both began to have some energy and a spark of life came into their eyes. I spent evenings after the pack went to bed cuddling my little peanut under my chin.
Nine days after their arrival we took them to the vet as their skin conditions weren't improving and found they had sarcoptic mange, even though the shelter had done two scraping that had been negative. Suudella was given prednisone to help with her itching and both got antibiotics to ward off secondary infections. We taxed their bodies with seven weekly doses of meds to kill the mites. And we treated the whole pack here for the last three weeks as I just couldn't keep them separated any longer - they needed to socialize. We gave the two weekly bathes to help rid their skin of the sticky, flaky, smelliness the mange caused. I'm sure I have a few more grey hairs from worrying about these two as we nursed them to being healthy. They have blossomed and changed before our eyes. Della's bare, shiny tail is covered with hair, as is the rest of her body. She has gained almost TEN POUNDS, weighing 19.3# now. Fili has grown incredibly, weighing 9.3# when we took him for his rabies shot last week at 4.5 months old. He will be a big boy like his mother when full grown :-) He's a lovely cream color.
Fili has been an amazing foster. I was worried since he was an only child. While quarantined away those first weeks, he delighted in us coming to visit their room, us donning different clothes so as not to carry the mites to our pack. When he was ready between 5 and 6 weeks old, he weaned himself and never looked back to his baby days of nursing. He was inventive in his play - he loves to put his Y Nylabone in his water dish, then dig it out, making it clamor and splashing the water about. He chased his tail with delight. And every toy came alive in his eyes and was prey to pounce upon. We'd change his toys out to encourage him to play. And Suudella was a wonderful momma, playing with her boy, letting him chew all over her even though you know those little puppy teeth on her bare skin had to have really hurt! Once we decided they needed to be with our pack, Fili was immediately taken in by our two Norwich boys that just turned a year old - he now had brothers to play with and show him the fun of being a terrier! This little guy was the easiest to crate train - when in the ex pen in the family room and ready for a nap, he'd turn his bed upside down to block out the tv and noise from the other furkids! So adjusting to sleeping in his own dark, quiet spot was a breeze, and we honestly never ever had a wet/dirty crate. And housetraining? This poor little guy had the worst weather so didn't get much time outside other than playing in the dog run set up on the carport. We'd put him out after a meal, and he'd quickly potty and was ready to come back inside. I use the hospital bed pads for pee pads, and we had those down in the far end of his ex pen. He learned that in between trips outside he'd get big praise if caught squatting on those, so it was almost a game to him to potty and look to us for praise :-) We put down pads in various places in the house when we started to let him run with the pack once he was big enough to understand which adults wanted no part of puppy play, and we'd leave his ex pen door open. I don't think we had more than a handful of accidents off a pad - he'd be playing and go trotting into his ex pen, get a drink, pee/poo, then hop right out and continue his playing. Being an only, he really developed into an explorer, having no fear of going to the far end of the house to find something new and interesting. We lovingly kicknamed him our little Fili Monster when he didn't want to come or be picked up and made a game of running and hiding from us, ducking under furniture or around the back side of things where he knew we couldn't reach him easily. His little tail always wagging in delight.
Last night he left with his new dads to start his adventure with his own family. I'm thrilled they were able to adopt him as they helped get Fili and Della to us that long day back in December. They've kept in contact with me, applied to adopt, and MM Liz, with Fate & Destiny's help, was able to make it happen. Almon and David are second time adopters to Col. Potter and second time adopters from us! They adopted one of Stinger's boys a little over a year ago - little Fizz, now known as Tucker, named after one of Almon's favorite Jazz singers. Fili will become Bailey, after another :-) Here's a montage of pics I put together of this dear boy. None were ever able to capture how beautiful his eyes are - I always told him I loved his little doe eyes.