Sunday, February 05, 2012
Finding a home for Chiquito, the Dachsund mix I took in last summer when he had Valley Fever, looked pretty hopeless. He had oozing sores on his body, he couldn't use his left front leg because the shoulder bone had deteriorated from the disease, and he needed daily medication and baths every three days. I doubted anyone else would want to take a three-year-old dog with health problems.
On the other hand, getting someone to adopt Choco, the miniature Dachsund the Capt rescued in early January, looked to be a piece of cake. He's only a year old, and so cute it's hard to imagine anyone turning him down. And yet three different people who indicated an interest in taking Choco changed their minds before ever meeting him.
By the time Choco arrived, Chiquito's wounds had healed, he was using his front leg normally, and he was a happy, healthy little dog no longer on medication. They quickly became best amigos. But I was feeling some pressure from my neighbors and the Capt to make a decisive effort to find them new homes.
I finally called Alexandra, friend of mine who's involved in a Mexican organization, COAT, that helps find homes in the Hermosillo area for pets through their Facebook page. The results were beyond my expectations: within 24 hours four families were vying to adopt Choco, and a day later a good home turned up for Chiquito. These families live in Hermosillo, about an hour from here. Ale, who was going to visit her Hermosillo family for the weekend, volunteered to deliver them. She met me last Thursday, we quickly rounded up a second crate for Choco so both dogs could ride in comfort and security, and I bid goodbye to my little Doxie friends.
My next-door-neighbor, when told the boys were gone, said, "Well, I won't miss the barking." (Frankly, I won't either. My own Maltese, Chica, barks very seldom.) But the house is awfully quiet without them.
Will I foster again, knowing how easily a foster situation can become permanent? A friend of mine is now up to seven dogs (six of them large adults) and only a couple of them were intentional adoptions. Recently she took in a four-week-old puppy, even though her house and patio aren't much larger than mine. It's so easy to make room for just one more, and so hard to let them go when they have been with the family for a while. You start thinking nobody will love them as you do.
How can we be sure a foster dog is going to get acceptable care? We want to know he'll have a yard to play freely in (as opposed to being tied up for the rest of his life). We want a guarantee he'll get his shots, will get adequate exercise. Some agencies in the US have become so stringent in their requirements they are discouraging people from adopting rescue dogs. Emily Yoffe of Slate Magazine recently published an article, "No Pet for You" on the subject.
I have to draw the line at taking big dogs since my place is so small. But if another little one comes along that needs a place to stay, I know I won't refuse.