Saturday, May 21, 2011

Suudella is Dearly Loved by Foster and Furever Homes

While I've loved all my fosters, there have been a couple of very special ones along the way. And Suudella was one of those. She was in such sad shape when she arrived - weighed 9.8# at the shelter in Houston - had about 1/2 of her hair from untreated sarcoptic mange, her ears scarred and floppy instead of standing from years of untreated infections. And towing a 25 day old puppy that only weighed 12.5 ounces along beside her. There was a dark cloud in her eyes where the sparkle should have been - a look of despair at what the future would hold. If there ever was a dog deserving to find "the good life", she is definitely one.

We nursed her and her son Fili back to good health. She put on weight, and her hair started to come back in. She was a great mother to Fili - nursed until he decided to make the switch to big boy food a little earlier than I would have liked, and she played gently with him, teaching him how to be an independent and happy boy.

She started to trust, and her tail started to wag - and what a great wag she has - a side to side slow movement of contentment. You could cup her head in your hands and rub her muzzle and her cheeks, and she would close her eyes as if she thought she'd died and gone to Heaven. She was an easy foster as she liked to take up a quiet spot in a bed behind the chairs or under a table where she was out of the way of the rowdier ones in the pack. She got along with all the other kids here, and the only time I ever heard a negative sound out of her was when she was sleeping and another furkid would come wake her up to try taking her spot. She'd give them a sharp chirp of a warning to say LET SLEEPING DOG'S LIE! 

Not often did she bark, but when she did, it started with a funny baying like a hound dog - something she must have imitated from a dog in the mill. She's walked great on a leash, sauntering along beside you, enjoying the trip out to see new things, taking it all in stride.

Last week, Deb e-mailed me that a home in NC was interested in her, and I was anxious to talk to this home, but I was also dreading the thought of this girl leaving. This home had it's challenges as she's a senior and didn't know how to use a computer, but she's got a great neighbor/friend that coached her along, and we did a LOT of talking on the phone to help make this adoption possible. There were a couple of snafu's getting the adoption completed, but today Della flew to NC to be with her new mom Rita and dad Lenny. And I couldn't be more pleased.

Rita is originally from Great Britain, and she's been an absolute joy to work with. They lost their Toto about a month ago from heart disease at the young age of seven. They have a Cairn girl they adopted from a shelter that they've nursed thru having sarcoptic mange, and Rita wanted to help another older dog. Rita's neighbor had suggested she look online for a Cairn rescue, and that's how they found Col. Potter. When she saw Della's picture, she said that's the one. And when she read her story, she knew. Fate and Destiny surely had something to do with this. Rita put in her application, worried that someone would beat her to Della, and she's been like "someone having a new baby" ever since (that's what she told me tonight when she called).

She's checked on Della every day, looking at the website and watching my videos on youtube, with the help of her neighbor. She had her contract faxed in within hours of receiving it. She's bought a couple new dog beds, more toys, and new collars and leashes to have on hand. We've talked almost every day since the match a week ago. A couple of nights ago she called with a concerned sound to her voice. Even though we had discussed it, the horror of the thought of what type of a life Della had come from had hit her, and she asked with a shaky voice - "yours is the first home she's ever been in, isn't it?" And then we talked again about what these kids go thru in a mill, and how they are truly deserving of a life of retirement and love.

I've been in tears all week with two leaving within 24 hours, but Inky is young and I love that she went to a second time adoptive family. I hadn't realized until it was finalized that I was so attached to Della. But she showed me this week that she was ready to move on and be in a family with fewer dogs. When we went to the vet to get her health certificate, we belted her leash in the seat and let her ride where she could look out the window. And she was like a kid in a candy store, watching and absorbing everything new. At the vet's office, her tail wagging side to side never quit. She stepped right up on the scale(weighing in at NINETEEN pounds), she wagged and smiled and would have liked to have checked out every dog that came thru the lobby, but she stayed right by my side as I quietly gave her that command to stay here. I swear she smiled at everyone. And she closed her eyes and enjoyed Dr. Bouse examining her and talking to her and telling her she was a lucky dog. She didn't want to leave the exam room and put on the breaks, and I had to give her a tug and tell her it was time to go home.

When we arrived home, I put her out in the back yard to potty, and I talked across the fence to my neighbor. Della watched me as I talked, her tail wagging side to side, and then she started rolling in the grass on her back, and pulling herself across the yard on her belly, giving herself belly rubs. What a happy, silly girl.

Today, we let her ride to the airport out of her crate since she'd be in it so long, and she rode part of the time on my lap - I could feel her muscles getting shaky standing on me so finally sat her down in the van floor, and she sat the whole way on a quilt that was there between Barney's and my seat. At the airport, she never flinched once while out for her final walk before getting in her crate, and there were lots of planes taking off and delivery trucks bouncing thru the parking lot. I called Rita when we had her checked in, and she had given Chico a bath and was about to shower herself and they were going to the airport an hour before the flight was to arrive. That tickled me to hear of them prepping like they were expecting someone very important. She'd been up since 5 this morning, giddy with excitement about her new girl arriving. LOL

So when Rita called to let me know they were home and safe and how happy she is and how beautiful they think Suudella nka Molly is and how her tail is wagging side to side, I know she's where she was meant to be. Rita has fallen in love with her I think just as much as when a mother takes that first look at her newborn.

Jody the neighbor has promised that she'll take pics of Della with her new family and send them to me :-) I can't wait to put a face to Rita's voice. She told me that she wished we lived close because she'd love to come over and help with the dogs. And I believe she truly would. And I think we'd be the best of friends because she's truly a dog person.

And I'm at peace tonight, knowing my Suudella is dearly loved :-) This is what it's all about and why we foster.

Thank you to MM Deb C and to Kathy T for getting the contract done with such short notice -
Kathy H in MO

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