Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Tale of Two Pups - Be the Change for Animals

You would think that writing a novel, living with three Miniature Schnauzers, one 70lb. boxer/pitbull mix who thinks she’s a Miniature Schnauzer, two Siamese cats, another Miniature Schnauzer I’m currently fostering, and taking care of an elderly person 24 hours a day would be more than enough to keep me busy.  Believe me, it is.  But my busy schedule didn’t even enter my mind when the phone call from a man named Chuck came in on Wednesday, March 30.

Chuck is a truck driver who also works with rescue organizations to catch feral and homeless dogs and get them into no kill shelters and foster homes.  He got my name from Valley Dogs, and told me he had been contacted by a business in the Phoenix area about seven black lab mix puppies that were roaming around.  He asked me if I would be able to hold them for 24-48 hours.  Knowing I had the space and crates to house all seven if needed, I agreed.

The next day, Thursday, he brought in a terribly frightened and aggressive Rocky.  He was so handsome, and even at just 3 months of age, his paws were gigantic.  I placed his crate into the quiet guest bedroom where he proceeded to howl like a coyote all night long.  I knew he was scared and lonely, and I wanted to pet him and hold him, but he was still far too aggressive for me to get anywhere near him.   

On Friday his sister Lindsey came, and I was amazed at her behavior compared to Rocky’s.  She was nervous, for sure, but she wasn’t the least bit aggressive.  Once we got her transferred from the crate Chuck had her in to the crate I had ready for her, I put her in the same room with Rocky.  Rocky perked up when he saw his sister, but he didn’t like all the hub-bub going on just outside the bedroom door, and continued to growl.

Lindsey was picked up by Eddie Nichols from the Foothills Animal Rescue (FAR) in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday.  Rocky was going to have to wait, as they wanted to bring in another person who had the skills needed to make the transition from foster care back into a moving vehicle easier on little Rocky.  

Lindsey all settled in at FAR

Rocky had settled down quite a bit and was no longer growling at me when I came near or when I reached into his cage to give him fresh food and water.  He even ate some canned food off of my fingers.  I still couldn’t pat or touch him, but he was definitely improving.  I moved his crate into the family room, hoping to socialize him a little more and ease his loneliness.  All of my dogs greeted him politely, sniffing at him as they normally do when a new foster is brought in.  

He seemed most intrigued by Smoker, my black Miniature Schnauzer.   Sally, the boxer/pitbull mix was nice to him, but Rocky seemed to be intimidated by her size.  I had the television on for a few moments until Rocky made it very clear that did not like the TV at all.

Eddie Nichols came back on Sunday, this time with another FAR helper, Jeff Tye.  He gave Rocky what I call the “dog whisperer” treatment.  He sat with his back against Rocky’s crate, allowing Rocky to come up to him and sniff without feeling threatened.  Soon Jeff had him ready for transport, and off they went to the rescue.  I swear he grew 2 inches in the time he was at my home.

The very next day, I received an email from Jeff with an update on how the 2 pups were doing, including pictures.  They said that even Rocky had been given a bath, and in one photo, someone had their hand on his tummy.  He was looking straight at the camera, obviously unfazed by the fact that someone was touching him!  It did my heart good to see that.

Rocky, freshly bathed and letting someone touch him!

Even though Rocky and Lindsey only visited us briefly, I missed them when they left.  Whenever new fosters come in, I have a hard time watching them leave. I was so glad to see them being so well taken care of by the people at FAR.  I really appreciated the care and love that everyone involved in the rescue of Rocky and Lindsey gave them – Chuck, Eddie Nichols, Jeff Tye and everyone at Foothills Animal Rescue.  Thank you so much for all the work you do!

Both Rocky and Lindsey are available for adoption that the Foothills Animal Rescue! Click below to see their pages on the FAR website:


  1. Bless your heart for fostering those dogs and giving them a chance at a new life. It's people like you, Chuck, Eddie, Jeff, and everyone at Foothills Animal Rescue who renew my faith in the basic goodness of humanity!

  2. There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes from fostering, is there?! Or missing them afterward, too. You're their angel - thanks for sharing!

  3. There is no greater position in the word of animal rescue than being foster family. A facility just can't provide the same level of one-on-one contact. Even those brief moments like yours mean the word to frightened dogs like Rocky.

    Thanks for Blogging the Change!
    Kim from

  4. Oh, wow, what an incredible story. Thank YOU for giving up so much of your time, so much of your space, so much of your energy, to helping these dogs. It's a rare person that gives so freely. Thanks for caring so much and doing all you can. It's because of you these dogs will have a happy ending.

  5. Awesome story! Fostering is so wonderful and so difficult all at the same time. :) Keep up the great work.

    Laurie Buchele

  6. Thank you to everyone for your wonderful and encouraging comments. I truly enjoy fostering and "being the change" for animals.

    Thank you to the administrators of BtC4Animals for running this blog hop!

  7. What a terrific story! Thanks for sharing.

  8. That is such a beautiful story. Since we had a short experience, we can really relate to the idea that so much love happens in such a little bit of time.

  9. What a wonderful gift to those dogs to foster them. I know it can't be easy to have to take them in and give them up again. Thanks for sharing!
    Peggy from

  10. I am so amazed by the work that fosters do, I don't think my heart could take it. Glad to see that Rocky's making progress already!

  11. Wonderful story... it's so great that there are fantastic people like you out there willing to foster. Bravo!

  12. Thanks to all of you for stopping by and reading about my adventure. I have really enjoyed reading all of your posts, too. It's encouraging to see that there are so many other people and organizations out there doing what they can.