Saturday, November 20, 2010

ADOPTED: Wookiee Went Home

A text message of three simple words was enough to bring me to tears today: He went home.

When Jonathan and I brought Wookiee to adoption day this morning, there was already a family there waiting for him. They had driven quite a distance to meet the little Wookster and to see how he would interact with their Tibetan Terrier mix. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay for long because of an appointment with our wedding caterer. We spoke with the potential adopters, then left Wookiee in the care of the rescue's volunteers, telling them we would be back after our appointment. 

It didn't really occur to us that Wookiee would be adopted out—right then and there—and that we wouldn't get to say goodbye. But he was. So in the middle of our meeting, as the wedding caterer droned on about napkin colors, Jonathan's phone vibrated with the text, "He went home." Maybe the caterer thought I was overly emotional about burgundy table linens. But the truth is that my heart was somewhere else in that moment. It was in the back of a family's car where Wookiee was on the brink of starting a new life that he deserves so badly—a great family who will pamper him, a big yard to chase squirrels, another dog to play with, and to love and be loved in return.

You wouldn't think it would be so hard to say goodbye to a dog you only knew for one week. But it was, and it is. Even for just a short time, welcoming these creatures into your home takes 110% of your heart and soul. We were warned that the first one would be the hardest; what makes it harder is that Wookiee is a really great dog. Just seeing the progress he made in a short amount of time is enough to make us very proud foster parents. 

So tonight, after we cleaned out his crate and washed out his bowl, we went out to dinner and toasted to Wookiee going home.  May the force be with you, Wookiee! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dog Meets World

A number of things have become abundantly clear to us in first few days of fostering Wookiee. 

First, this dog is damn cute. No matter which way he looks at you or how stubborn he's being, his little, furry face just melts your heart.

Second, this dog is not feeling at his best. (Luckily, Wookiee seems to be his one-year-old self now that he has had some medicine.) 

Third, this dog has not yet met the world. On walks, he's very cautious with curbs and grates and "For Sale" signs and people walking by holding umbrellas. Which leads me to the story of Wookiee v. the Purple Umbrella. A few nights ago, I grabbed my purple umbrella as I prepared to take Wookiee out for a walk. I figured that, like some dogs, Wookiee might not be a fan of the rain so I thought we could both fit under the umbrella. Not so. He wanted NOTHING to do with the umbrella. He scampered and crouched down. Once we finally got moving,  he dashed out far ahead of me and stayed there for the entire walk. But when he looked back at me and the purple umbrella, he freaked out.

Once we got inside, I tried to introduce Wookiee to the purple umbrella. He was fine with it closed. He sniffed it, then moved on. But with the umbrella opened up, he dashed to the other side of the house—even without seeing the pop! If you think about it, umbrellas are pretty funny inventions anyway—the way they transform from one thing to another in less than a second. I don't blame Wookiee; he probably thought it was some crazy magic trick. But we'll work on his little umbrella fear.

Another thing we're working on is learning how to play. Perhaps it was because Wookiee wasn't feeling well, but it appeared as though the pooch knew nothing about the world of play. For days, Jonathan and I channeled our inner canines and modeled how to chase after a ball and play tug of war. But Wookiee has just watched—unamused. Then, last night, Wookiee took it upon himself to go into a basket of toys and take out a white teddy bear. He threw it up in the air, caught it, then chewed at it.

So while the video below may simply look like an adorable dog with a fear of purple umbrellas chewing his toy, it's actually great progress in the education of Wookiee meets world. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"We Have a Wookiee!"

At 9pm last night, we received a call from a volunteer telling us, "We have a Wookiee!" 

Wookiee was rescued from a shelter in Virginia. He made the trek yesterday from VA to NJ with the help of some dedicated volunteers. The volunteers have organized an underground-railroad type transport system. Each volunteer drives a stretch of the trip, then hands the dogs off to the next volunteer. When Wookiee reached us last night, we gave him a good meal to fill his belly and a good scrub-a-dub-dub bath to get rid of that shelter-dog smell. Shelter dog, no more! We're putting Wookiee on his way to his forever home.

We're told that Wookiee is a terrier mix and is about one year old. He was recently neutered and is heartworm negative. He's cute as a button and sweet as sugar. He'll be up for adoption on Saturday, November 20.

If you look at the photo below, you will see that we do indeed have a Wookiee. We're just having a hard time resisting the urge to call him Chewy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Know What You're Thinking

I know exactly what you're thinking. "But isn't it going to break your heart to give up the dogs?" My fiancĂ© and I have heard this from friends, family members, and colleagues alike when we tell them of our intentions to foster dogs.

The answer is yes. It will break our hearts. Into a million pieces. We'll cry. We'll miss the pitter patter of paws running through the house. We'll long for the warm body curling up next to us. But the reality is that another warm, furry body with pitter-patter paws will be saved from an untimely death and will find its way into our open home and open hearts.

And the truth is that the pain of doing nothing to help these dogs is a hundred times worse than the pain of giving up a dog to a good home could ever be.