Missing Pups From Our Past

It seems that no matter how much time goes by, I still find myself missing my dog Sebastian. Sebastian, nicknamed Basti (Bashi), was the very first dog of my own. I can remember the day me & my best friend went to pick him up, like it was just yesterday. She had found a listing in the newspaper for bulldog puppies, and that is when Basti came into my life. He was naughty, and misbehaved a lot, but he was my baby, by my side through so much. He moved with me from Tallahassee, to Pennsylvania, back to Tallahassee, then to Jacksonville, and finally to Deltona. He was Jayden’s first experience of friendship, and knowing the love and loyalty of a dog.

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When I find myself thinking about him, I wonder if I’ll ever stop missing him. It’s not such a painful or sad ache, more like fondly remembering a friend that you haven’t seen or talked to in a few years. I wonder, and worry, if one day, he’ll slip from my mind for good. But then I remind myself that he was a part of my family. I cared for him, day in and day out, from the day I got him until the day he passed away. Dogs are such a huge commitment, and they make wonderfully big impacts on our lives. When you no longer have to think about getting home to feed them, or if they need to be let out, or who will watch them when you go out of town…that affects your life. Dogs are much like children in this case. Being a mom, I feel like I can make that comparison without being judged! And if I lost a family member after 10 years, like I did with Basti, I am certain I would spend the rest of my life missing them. So, it only makes sense that I still miss my Basti boy from time to time. Jayden also speaks of Basti often, which sometimes surprises me considering he was only 3 or 4 when Basti passed way. Jayden is a shy, worrisome, nervous kiddo sometimes, and he always says that when he gets nervous or scared, he likes to think of Basti being by his side, holding his hand, and it makes him feel better.

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When Sebastian first passed away, I would often swear that he was right next me, or that I’d hear him walking down the hallway. Whether it was his spirit, or ghost, or just my mind playing tricks on me, who knows. Who am I to say it was or wasn’t him?!

I’ve seen this poem before (see below), and it always makes me sad but happy…if that makes any sense! It makes me miss him, but gives me a little hope that maybe he is still hanging around, seeing that he is still on our minds and in our hearts. Maybe he is by our sides, watching and listening, getting a kick out of the naughty things Oscar does, and the silly antics of Lucy.

Missing

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning
and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me.

Author ~ Colleen Fitzsimmons
https://www.facebook.com/MissingYouPoemByColleenFitzsimmons

Do you love that as much as I do? Do you have a pup from your past that you still think about and miss from time to time? Please share with me! I would love to hear from you, friends! You can also share your stories and pictures with me on Facebook, (HERE)!

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xoxo

Tag Teamin’ It!

Hey dudezzzzz! It’s me Oscar…but my sis says I’ve gotten too much time on this blog thingy, so she’s here tooz!

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Hey ya’ll, it’s me Princess Lucy! Oscar & I wanted to tell you about some good news…our foster sister, Stella, has been adopted!! A nice young lady contacted Mom last week after seeing a video of Stella. They did the application stuffz and then Mom was going to take Stella out to meet the lady and her dog , and finalize the adoption if all went well. We said our goodbye’s this morning…

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Dudezzzz! My mom said Stella was scared in the car, she always shivers and stuff. They had to go about an hour away to get to the lady’s house. Well they were almost there, so Momz took a picture of Stella…and then she threw up ALL over the front seat….Stella that is, not my Mom! BOL! (Bark Out Loud!) Isn’t that funnyzzz?! My mom said she doesn’t think it was funny, but I sure was laughin’ when she told me!

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Ugh! Excuse my brother! Anyway, Mom said Stella has a new American Bulldog sister, named Izzy, and they were friends right away! So, we look forward to hearing an update soon. There’s isn’t much else going on here. Mom and human brother will be going out of town soon for a few days, so we won’t be getting a new foster until after they get back. Oscar and I are staying home with a pet sitter….how much trouble do you guys think Oscar will get in?!?

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Oh whatever Dudez! I am the bestest boy ever, and the peoplez love me, Lucy! Mom and I start a new training class tomorrow! This is the advanced class, and it’s geared towards therapy certification. My mom says, because I am a pibble and have a blocky head, I have to work extra hard to show peoplez how awesome I am. That’s cool though, because I get TONS of treats, and it’s special time with just me and my Mom! One thing I am not sure about though…Mom says she is determined to make me and Lola be friends by the end of this class. That Lola girl, man! My mom is obsessed with her…we’ll see if I decide to like her this time. She sure is pretty, but don’t tell anyonez that I said that!

"I'll never admit to thinkin she is prettyz!"
“I’ll never admit to thinkin she is prettyz!”

Well ya’ll, it’s time for us to get some zzz’s! You know I need my beauty sleep. Maybe when Oscar wakes up, he’ll be less bratty!

Oh sister, shhhz! Guys, me and the sis are in a photo contest! Can you pretty pretty please click on this link, and vote for us by clicking “like”? You can vote for me, or Lucy, or both of us, if ya want! If one of us wins, our mom gets a hand painted personal piece of art, which can be of our faces! You knowz my mom would love that, so vote for us!

Click here: Picture Your Pet Contest

Nite nite, friends! 

xoxo

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Foster Updates!

I haven’t written about my adopted fosters lately, so I thought I would give you guys an update on some of my past babies!

First I will start off with Petey, since I got to see him today! He is doing great, and is loved and adored by his family. Unfortunately Petey has been having some issues with allergies, and it turns out he is allergic to cats….which there are 7 of in his home! But, luckily his Mom & Dad are committed to him, and they’ve worked with their vet to get him on a medication that relieves his symptoms. He is happy and healthy, and loving life! It’s a wonderful thing when you meet new people, and you get to form new friendships. Petey’s family includes a little boy who is just about a year younger than my son, and now the boys have become friends! This is fantastic because we get to keep in touch with the family, and Jayden has a new friend. Here are the boys, with Petey!

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Next up is my sweet lil Sassy, now named Kali. This girl is just about as spoiled and loved as a dog can be! Her mama is a wonderfully sweet, giving lady and she truly loves Kali to pieces. Kali has lots of doggie siblings/cousins/friends, and thanks to social media, I get to keep up with all of their adventures! Here is a picture of a recent visit to their lake house.

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Hambone the Hound is next on the list! He is also doing very well, lovin’ life with his Mom, Dad, and many doggie siblings! Hammy gets to go to work with Mom every day, since she manages Mojo’s Backyard (a doggie daycare and boarding facility). What’s really awesome about that, is that Oscar still gets to see his foster brother from time to time, because he goes to Mojo’s too! This type of lifestyle is exactly what Hammy needed. He had been found as an abandoned hunting dog, and it was quickly clear to us that he’d never been an inside dog. He had no idea about toys, and comfy beds. He also didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to lift his leg and pee wherever he wanted! He learned though, and he’s even become CGC certified thanks to his dedicated mama! Here is a picture of Oscar & Hammy hanging out together at Mojo’s!

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Hmm, let’s see…Oh, how about Apollo?! Well, his name is actually Buster now. I can’t help but call them by the names they had when I was their mama though. That’s how I knew them, and remember them! Anyway, this adorable guy has gotten so big! His lovely family sent me a “Happy Valentine’s Day” email, with a picture attached of Apollo and his sister Lou. (I think my current foster, Stella, looks a lot like Lou!)

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Well, I could go on and on, but if I updated you on every one of my previous pups, this would be a loooooong post! I am beyond happy and blessed to keep in touch with the majority of the adopters. There really is a portion of my heart reserved just for these dogs. I think of each of them, on a regular basis, wondering how they are doing, missing their unique personalities, sending them love across the air waves. I love each and every one of my foster dogs, and I adore their families for loving them too.

From the cutest adoptables around, Lilly & Stella, say

“Good night friends!” 

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xoxo

Crazy Town.

My sweet Stella is STILL waiting around for her forever home! I am baffled and shocked. I have never had a puppy, that has had such little interest. I have only checked ONE application on her, and unfortunately they weren’t a right fit for Stella. This is pure craziness. We are living in Crazy Town. I am the Mayor. And Stella is the resident.

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Cray cray eyes!

 

Am I the only one that thinks she is beautiful? Adorable? Insanely cute? Seriously, with Apollo, I actually had to keep a list of the potential adopters, because we had so many people wanting him. I wanted him to go to a family with another dog as well as kids, so it took awhile to find that, and now he is in a wonderful home. I have no problem being patient. I mean, I was willing to keep ol’ man Petey until the end of his days, if that is what was needed. But I always feel bad for the puppies. I am sad that they are growing up in my home, with my kid, and my dogs, thinking we are their family.

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Maybe it’s the seesaw of life or whatever that crap is…my last few fosters, Bailey, Piper, and Cleo, all were adopted very quickly. Maybe it’s just time that I have one for awhile…but I hate that Stella is missing out on a family. She should be bonding with her people…so where are they??? Maybe THEY are in Crazy Town, and they can’t get out!

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“You bez Crazy, Foster Mom!”

 

Sweet Stella is a 5-6 month old mixed breed. Possibly Lab (because her sister looks like a yellow Lab), maybe Plott Hound (because that’s what I think she looks like). She is smart, and easy to train. She adores dogs, and loves humans. She is even good with cats! 1962646_545653688876065_1629542236_n

Stella is up to date on vaccines, and micro-chipped. Adoption fee is $125, and transport within Florida can be arranged. I prefer her to go to someone who has another dog, since she loves them so much. However, we’ll consider anyone that has an approved application, and can show us that Stella will have the loving forever home she deserves. Please consider sharing her on social media! You never know who might fall in love!

Nighty night, friends! 

xoxo

Wordless Wednesday (umm, sorta!)

Seriously…is she not the cutest thing ever?! I can’t understand why Stella has not been adopted yet, or why we haven’t at least gotten more inquiries on her. She has a gorgeous brindle coloring; she’s sweet, smart, and goofy. She is well behaved, and loves dogs, cats, and kids. What more could you want in a puppy?!

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Please share Stella with anyone you know who might be looking for a new furry friend! Contact Last Hope Rescue at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, to adopt!

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Be the Bridge.

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This gorgeous little brindle babe is Stella, and she is my 13th foster! I have had dogs that I thought would be adopted within days, but I had them for months. And dogs who I thought I’d have forever, but they’ve come and gone to perfectly wonderful homes. Throughout these fosters, I have been asked these questions over and over…”how can you say goodbye?” and “don’t you want to adopt him?”

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So I thought I would try to explain why I foster, how I can handle having multiple dogs at once, and why I can say goodbye without shedding a tear (ok, I’ve shed tears only twice…I’ll let you guess who those were over!).

-I treat each and every dog as an individual. Just because the dog is young, old, dog-friendly, kid-friendly, it doesn’t mean that he/she is not freaked the F out! I always have my dogs put up (Oscar in his crate, Lucy gated in the kitchen), and I let the foster dog come in to explore. I know my dogs very well, and that allows me to introduce them to the foster dog at the right time, to keep everyone happy. I love seeing the new dog become comfortable with my perma-dogs. Sometimes it takes just a couple of hours, sometimes it takes days. It doesn’t always mean that an instant friendship is formed, like Oscar and Apollo had. But there is an understanding between everyone. My dogs seem to know that this is a new dog, a dog who needs space, and lots of love. The new dog seems to understand that Oscar and Lucy are to be respected, and looked up to.

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Chelsea became a different dog around Oscar and Lucy!

-Having a young child around the house is another great reason to foster. If you are anything like me, you have looked for community volunteer opportunities for kids, and found pretty much nothing. My kiddo is 7, and the age for volunteering is usually much older. Fostering is a great way to teach Jayden about giving back, and helping those less fortunate. He learns what it takes to care for a pet, and that we have to be committed to them, no matter what issue they may have. Now when he sees a stray dog or cat, he immediately wants to rescue it. He is frequently heard saying things like “Why don’t people keep their cats inside where it’s warm?” and “Don’t people know that dogs can get hit by a car if they aren’t looked after?” He also loves to visit the shelter to give the homeless animals some attention. It truly warms my heart that he is this compassionate and kind!

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-Fostering is also a great learning experience for me. I have always had dogs, my whole life. But there was so much I never knew! The most interesting things I’ve learned are behavior related. How to introduce dogs correctly, how to read dogs, what can be stressful for even the most confident laid back dog. I’ve learned about health issues, and how to listen to what a dog is so clearly telling me. I’ve also learned some great lessons from these dogs. Things like the past is just that, the past. Get over it and move on. Don’t hold grudges. Love the ones you’re with. All of those things that make dogs so amazing, us humans could learn so much from them!

-Now for the part that makes it hard to say goodbye, yet it’s exactly why I can. The bond that forms between me and the dog. I love seeing the foster dog relax and open up. I love when they look to me for answers. When the people came to meet Toby for example, we were all sitting in my living room, talking. He kept walking over to me, standing in front of me, as if to ask me if I was sure it was safe. It made me feel so good that this dog, who had been uprooted from the only home he knew, was now trusting in me to keep him safe. When I drop a dog off at an adoption event, and I return to pick him/her up, they wiggle and smile with happiness. No matter what their past has held, they realize that I am a “good guy.” Depending on the strength of this bond, it can be really hard to say goodbye. But I go into the “relationship” knowing that there is an end in sight. I know from day one that there will be a break up. I know that I am just their bridge, helping them go from their past to their future. The fact that I can say goodbye doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. It means that I love them enough to give them up. Plus, I am not equipped to have more than the two dogs that I have. I don’t have the space, the money, or the time, to have more than two permanent dogs. My household is on a very strict routine, and my dogs fit perfectly into it. There’s no telling what a third perma-dog would do to that routine!  

-Speaking of my dogs, fostering is great for them! I have had foster dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. I’ve had a handful of puppies, young adults, as well as full grown adult male dogs, like Hambone & Petey. My dogs have had to learn to adjust their energy, and the way they play, depending on what the foster dog needed from them.  Oscar is my go to guy for first introductions. He is a total love bug, and he’s all about play! Lucy is confident, and a social butterfly. She is high energy though, so sometimes she has to be introduced slowly, as to not scare the new foster. Bringing foster dogs in also strengthens my bond with my dogs. Because there is a never ending stream of random dogs coming through my door, I make sure that both Lucy and Oscar get special alone time with me. I also make sure that they get individual time with the foster dog, as well as time together. I love how much their bond has grown since Oscar’s arrival. Now every single night, they can be found cuddling next to each other, snoring away. They play perfectly together, and understand when the other needs space.

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-Finally, the thing that makes it all worth it, are the adopters! They (usually) are wonderful. As the foster parent, you get to be a part of the process. You do meet and greets, sometimes several of them. And the most important thing I think all foster parents should know, is that it is ok to say no. Sometimes the dog is just not the right fit for the particular family. Sometimes the adopters are not fit to have any dog! But you love this dog, and you know and understand this dog, and therefore you get to be a part of their forever story. I truly love when I leave a meet and greet thinking “Those are good people.” I always try to keep my distance after an adoption, to allow the new family to bond and move on with life, but I cherish those that welcome me to stay in touch! Sometimes the adopters refer to me as the first mom, or foster mom, or the other mom (I’ve been called all three), and it really means something special to me. It makes me feel like they realize that I truly loved the dog that is now theirs.

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Visiting with Lola in her forever home

 

Well my friends, I hope that at least one of you will be inspired by something I’ve written. Even if you can’t permanently foster, many rescues and shelters need temporary fosters. People who can only commit to having a pet for a few days at a time. If you can’t foster at all, go visit a shelter on your next day off. When you see a stray animal, stop and see if you can help reunite him/her with an owner. Share my blog (#shamelessplug)! There is always something you can do. Always.

Jan2014 026Good night guys!

xoxo