Monday, March 26, 2012

Our #13 April Fool's birthday wish: Send some love to your dog's foster home

BADRAP is turning Lucky 13 this coming Sunday, April Fool's Day. The foolishness continues. To celebrate, we're having an Open House during Pit Ed classes from 11-1pm in Berkeley.

There will dogs available for adoption from our group as well as from Berkeley Animal Care Services, and we'll be showing the newest pups for the very first time. (Left: Hugo) Please join us - these events are always a blast. Info over at our facebook page - with advance apologies to you strident non-facebookers!

OPEN HOUSE Event Info.

What do we want for our birthday?

Well, how nice of you to ask. In the past, we've asked you to take your local pit bull rescuers out for a margarita to celebrate their good deeds (here) and many of you followed through and sent great photos of relaxed and happy faces. Thank you!

This year, we're asking for something a little different to bring a smile to your local pit bull fools. We're asking that you use the occasion to contact the group, shelter or foster parent who helped your dog before you found him and give them an update and a recent photo. You will make their day!

Foster parents put so much of themselves into their projects. It's likely that the people who cared for your dog earned some gray hairs during the process of waiting for you to arrive. They probably lost some sleep those first few nights while your dog complained from her crate, and no doubt they spent some time on their knees cleaning up those beginning messes. We're sure that they shuffled their schedule around the job of building your dog's strength back with exercise, designing socializing opps with other dogs, vet appointments and trips to training class. Your dog likely did some damage at their house, too (oh the stories!) and they probably had to turn down fun invitations from workmates so they could get home in time to let him outside. With all this effort and TLC, we're fairly certain your dog will always own a big chunk of their heart(s).

Many fosters sort through medical problems as well as tricky behavior issues in their project pups. My dog's foster mom had a mess of a puppy on her hands. Beaten and kicked for peeing in his first home, puppy Elliot would scream with fear whenever he piddled on foster mom Karen's floor, which made interrupting and picking him up to go outside more than a little tricky. By the time he came to live with us, all of that was completely gone and he was more than proud to show us how he could pee-pee outside. We joked that he thought his name was "Potty!" since Karen and her family had done such an outstanding job helping him re-associate what was once a terrifying event. (Thank you Karen!)

After all the worry as well as the bond that forms from being a homeless dog's important anchor, it's almost certain that your dog's foster parents felt a slight pang of regret when you waved good-bye and drove off with your new companion. They gave you such a gift. Your updates are your gift back to your dog's foster home or shelter worker for those weeks or months of TLC. I'm guessing most of our blog readers have a regular relationship with your dog's first helpers, but you'd be surprised how many foster parents we talk with who don't hear much, if anything, from their adopters. They insist that "it's okay" - they know their former dog is safe, but you hear the longing in their voice for just a bit of news.

So please - for BR's 13th birthday - contact your dog's first helpers with a note, news and photos. Share them with us too and we'll try to post them here and/or on our facebook page.

To all the foster parents out there, "CHEERS!" We heart you.

Above: Becky and Rob fostered the timid Dobby and worked hard to give him enough confidence to go to a new home. It worked - Dobby has blossomed into a great dog - And they're thrilled that his new dad sends regular updates!


Leila said...

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all your hard work with the our wiggly, smiling, happy, fabulous pit bulls. Keep us the wonderful work!

amyrh said...

Thank you for your wonderful work>>> wish you were here in Minnesota...


Anonymous said...

As always, you made me cry first thing in the morning! BADRAP you are a blessing as well as so many other foster persons! And to read Elliots' backstory and see his pup picture! Awwwwwww! God Bless you ALL! Thanks for what you all do for these amazing companion animals!!!

Lagomorphmom said...

What a wonderful post, thank you so much for a puppy Elliot picture!

I've been wondering about this very topic for awhile. I know everyone's 'spare' time is precious - do you suppose we could get an update on Pinkie Deluxe? She was my very first doggie bloggie after you guys. I fell in love with her smile and her ears. Her pics cheered up many a gray day (my own fabulous pups notwithstanding) and started me off on a wonderful road to other similar blogs - who knew blogs weren't all about self-analysis? ;-)
Thanks much for all you do,

Mrs.Moos said...

First of all, the idea of someone being cruel to any dog makes me sick BUT ELLIOT??? The kindest of the kind? I just can't imagine being so sick that you could hurt an animal. Ugghhh
Now, for the birthday thing: What if you are a Foster Failure? What if the dog(s) you planned only to foster became part of your family? How do we "failures" celebrate BR's birthday? What's #2 on the birthday list?

Donna said...

Thanks for the well wishes. I guess the org has officially become a teenager. Watch out, world - Three more years and we can drive!

Mrs. Moos - it still blows me away that a dog like Elliot was in so much danger as a tiny pup. We don't always know the dogs' history, but in his case, a family member begged his rescuer to take him so he wasn't killed by the abuser (who went to jail, btw) so we have the sordid details. The best part of this sad story is his recovery as you can probably see. We thought he might always have a damaged mouth from where he took a beating, but it's fully healed and so is his heart. Maybe that's why he's so tender with the dogs he helps us care for - he really does have a soft side for the fearful dogs that come this way.

Since you're a foster failure, you're just going to have to buy yourself a margarita on Fool's Day to celebrate your fool hardy ways. We'll raise our glass to you!

Lagomorphmom - Thanks for asking about Pinky. Her adopters are busy raising Pinky's human boy and their blogging duties have fallen away, but she's quite happy and spoiled as she should be. We miss her too!

Bama Griz said...

As a foster family in Alabama we say kudos to this idea. Fosters feed off the good news from those they've helped along the path. Thanks BadRap for all the great ideas and informational articles and videos you post. They help educate us all.

Dianne said...

I had not heard Elliot's back story. I am so glad he's turned into such a gentle giant. This is a great idea. One of the things the shelter has started doing recently is a weekly volunteer newsletter, which includes updates and photos on our pups and kits. It's great to see how they are doing. Sunday I helped a guy pick out a pup. He immediately fell for this 5 mo old mutt. Last night I was in the pet store and I heard familiar voices -- this guy with one of the happiest looking pups around! Big smiles all around.

Brooke said...

I sent seven babies out into the world. I get to see one of them regularly and get occasional reports from two others. I long for news of the other four.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

thanks for the words of encouragement, as I am starting the second month fostering a dog that has presented the biggest challenge I have ever met. With a super intelligent poodle mix, this dog was tragically treated, and has become the most distrusting dog I have ever met. Not destructive or messy but unable to accept human compassion and love, his fear turns to anger. Giving him enough time to let go of anger seems to take forever. I needed to hear what you wrote. Thank you!!