Tag Archives: Tucker

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope that everyone out there has a safe, happy Thanksgiving today, filled with lots of yummy treats and tummy rubs. Here at Foster House, we’ll be giving thanks for these wonderful folks…

…and of course, there’s these two:

Happy Thanksgiving from Dave, Laura, Oscar & Cooper!

~

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Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

How do you measure a year in the life of fostering?

In tongue licks? In vet trips? In good-byes and happy endings?

In lake swims? In bath times? In laughter and tears…

Pop a cork, today is our one-year blogiversary!  We can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since we started this journey, but at the same time we can’t believe it’s been a year already…it seems like just yesterday I was typing “how to start a blog” into the Google-machine (yes, I really did that).

I started this blog primarily as a way to chronicle our misadventures as we navigated this world that was new to us, this world of animal rescue and dog fostering.  It seemed so foreign, and like such a huge undertaking.  We were wicked intimidated, but somehow the idea of writing it all down made it less scary. 

The other main reason I wanted to blog about our foster dogs was to help potential adopters get to know them. I remembered that when we were searching for Oscar, I scanned through hundreds of online dog profiles.  While I skipped right over the ones that had bad photos little-to-no information beyond age, sex & breed, and I found myself drawn to the ones who had detailed profiles that told a story about the dogs’ personalities, good quality photos and sometimes even videos.  So I wanted to write a blog that would make our dogs irresistable to me as a potential adopter, if I came across a link on a dog’s online profile.

Instead of summarizing the last year (which would probably take me another year to do), and after yesterday’s post that apparently left some of you in tears (sorry about that), let’s have some fun!  

I want to start with one of my favorite things to do when checking our blog stats – search term results.  WordPress keeps track of what people type into the Google-machine to get to our blog.  I’m pretty sure that even if our blog comes up in the search results, they have to actually click on the link and visit the blog for the search term to count.  So, even if these folks were looking for something completely different than a blog about foster dogs, perhaps they got a little chuckle out of a funny dog story before they continued on their way. Here are some of my favorite search terms that have led people to our blog over the past year:

himym dog pie (Not sure where the “dog pie” part comes in, but I’m pretty sure “himym” is from this post. Love that show! )

dogs running all over the world (Oh, if only the world was full of responsible dog owners, this wouldn’t happen!)

river of pee (Um, gross…but yep, I can see how that might have happened.)

why are dogs better than people (How much time have you got?)

i took all the dogs  (If you’re a Hyperbole and a Half fan, then this image is already in your head…)

can you take a dog who isn’t well behaved to the dog park (I hope that after reading this post, they learned that the answer to that question is NO!!!)

anal infection swag (I don’t know what they were searching for, but I hope this post helped answer their questions)

the importance of support from your friends (ain’t it the truth)

fostering through agape (Maybe one of you out there is considering joining the Agape family? Just maybe?)

dipping dogs for tricks in a hole (Huh??)

happy birthday donkey (Double huh???)

And my favorite search term result of all time….

why is fostering dogs important (We must be doing something right!)

OK, so now I have to know…have any of you stumbled on our blog “by accident,” and if so, what were you originally searching for?  Feel free to fess up down in the comments, and thanks for sticking around!

In looking through our search results, I deduced that the Google-machine must take comments into account as well as the text in our posts.  On that note, I thought it was interesting (thought not really at all surprising) that our top commenters all also happen to have blogs of their own (check them out over in our Blogroll).  Unfortunately WordPress only keeps track of comment statistics for the last six months instead of the whole year, but you get the idea…

Thanks to everyone who joined in the conversation by leaving comments.  I’ve learned a lot from your advice, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know some of you (and your fur-babies) quite well by reading what you have to say.  Also, you guys have absolutely cracked me up!   

And now for some “fun by numbers”!

Number of dogs fostered: six

Number of foster dogs we’ve wanted to keep furever: six

Number of happy endings (so far): five (Barney, Tucker, Kaylee, Roxie, & Molly Tamale)

Number of adoption/returns: one

Quickest adoption: two weeks

Longest tenant: eight months (…and counting)

Number of trips to the vet with a foster dog: six (never a dull moment at Foster House!)

Number of posts: 188

Total number of blog views: 33,199 (wow!)

Highest number of views on one post: 302 (The Return of the Tamale)

Least viewed post: Our second post ever, Officially Applied, and our first holiday post, Thankful, were tied at 27, followed by Tucker Sees a Ghost at 33 (Wait, seriously, only 33 of you saw Tucker Sees a Ghost?  Go check it out right now, that dog was hilarious!)

Most views in one day: 341 (A New Record – fitting, huh?)

Blog subscribers: 61

HBAMF Facebook followers: 390 (can we make it to 400 by Monday??)

Number of chewed-up pieces of furniture: three

Large-scale rescue efforts in our area: two (Operation Sweethearts and Operation Freedom)

Number of foster dog escapes: three (Tucker’s Big Adventure…never really mentioned the other two, have I?)

Number of successful recoveries: three (whew!)

Surprise fosters: one

Number of collars: nine

Training classes: three (Dogs & Kat, we are eternally grateful!)

Times I’ve doubted myself: more than I care to admit.

Times I’ve regretted becoming a foster mom: zero.

Would I do it all again?  In a heartbeat. 

Thanks for sticking with us during the first year of our foster adventure! 
Whaddaya say, shall we go another year?
Let’s do this…

~

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Friday Fun: Caption This!

You guys were so creative and I had so much fun reading you comments on last week’s “Caption This” post, I just had to do it again!

I was looking through old pictures for another fun one, and I found this gem that we took last fall.  This is Oscar playing in our friend’s backyard with our first Agape foster pup, Tucker.

I had almost forgotten how much fun these two used to have together.  So now it’s your turn: what do you think they’re saying?  Leave your comments below, and we’ll share our favorite(s) Monday on our Facebook page

Happy Weekend!

Tucker has found his furever, but Cooper is still looking for his!  If you’ve got enough love for the Coop, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Crate Expectations

We are huge fans of crate training at Foster House.  Crates act as a dog’s “den” and become a safe place for them to go to sleep, hide, or just chill. They’re also extremely handy when potty training a puppy, or introducing a new foster dog into the house.  And we’ve had pretty good success at it so far.

Oscar slept in “his room” without complaint beginning the day we got him and never looked back.

I love my room.

Tucker took to the crate instantly and loved it as his little hide out.  Sometimes when we’d be watching TV or cooking dinner, we’d look at each other and say, “Where’s Tucker?” only to find him curled up in his crate taking a snooze. 

Don't mind me, I'm just chillin'.

Kaylee on the other hand has been a bit more challenging.  After starting her life on a backyard chain, then spending time in an outdoor kennel before coming to us, she hadn’t really had a lot of experience in a crate.  The first couple nights we had her, she cried for about 5 minutes before settling down to go to sleep.  Unfortunately it went downhill from there, to the point where at its worst, she was crying for upwards of an hour every night when we’d put her in the crate, and then off-and-on all night long, then again starting around 6:00 AM.  She would rather have slept anywhere but the crate, like here:

Here:

…or here:

It was rough.  Finally, we got a suggestion to move Kaylee’s crate from the kitchen into our bedroom, with the idea that maybe one reason she’s so distressed at night is because she’s separated from her “pack.”  So we did just that, and you would not believe the difference it made.  We thought for sure she’d still cry a bit, at least at first…but the very first night we moved her crate into our bedroom, she didn’t make a sound. Not. One. Peep.  All night long!

Then, last night, we had a major breakthrough.  As we were starting to power down for the night, Kaylee walked back to the bedroom and went into her crate on her own.  And laid down.  All by herself.  Without us even asking her to!

Let me say that again, because I’m not quite sure you really get how amazing that is: this is the same dog who would dig in her heels when we said “time for bed.” Who we had to literally drag into the crate at night, who could not be coaxed or bribed by treats or toys or anything.  When it was getting late, if we so much as said her name and took a step towards the kitchen, she would pancake herself against the couch, as if to say, “No way, no how, my friends, I am stayin right here.”

I'm good right, here thanks. No crate for me, no thank you.

It’s now been four nights since we moved the crate, that’s four nights of quiet bed times, and sleeping through the night without a sound.  We may eventually work on gradually moving the crate back into its normal spot in the kitchen, but for now we’re just enjoying the peace and quiet. Bliss.

For information on adopting our Sleeping Beauty, please contact Agape Animal Rescue.

~ 

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Tucker Wrap-Up & Looking Forward

As we say good-bye to Tucker and reflect on our first foster experience, we realized that we learned a ton in those seven short weeks.  We learned that while, yes, it IS hard to let go, it is – like they say – also extremely rewarding.  We learned how fast is “too fast” to trust a new dog loose in the house unattended. We learned new ways to keep dogs entertained on rainy days.  We learned to stay on our toes.  We learned that no matter how much you think you have a dog figured out, it will always do something to surprise you.  I even learned that I was able to hold back my tears until after we left Tucker with his fabulous Furevers (but not before we made it out of the driveway). 

There are, however, some things we need to revisit to tie up some loose ends, and some “half posts” that never quite blossomed to maturity.  Might as well share those with you now!

Tucker Does Dog Park….sort of

During the first few weeks we had Tucker, I mentioned that due to his nervousness around other dogs, that he may never be a “dog park dog.”  Well of course I just had to give it a shot anyway.  This was shortly after Tucker’s first family who had shown interest in him decided Tuck wasn’t for them, so I was bound and determined to get him some new leads.  So I dressed him up in his “Adopt Me” vest, loaded him in the car and off we went to the dog park.

Tucker did…..sort of….OK.  We brought Oscar with us of course, and Oscar is a dog park pro – it is his second most favoritest place in the whole world, next to The River.  So when we got there I let Oscar go right away, bounding around to say hello to his friends.  I kept Tucker on his leash and did a few laps around the perimeter, letting him get used to smells, and used to dogs coming up to him just a few at a time to sniff and say hello. 

After awhile I let Tuck off the leash.  As you can see in the above picture, there are no other dogs in the frame.  That’s because once Tucker was left to his own devices, he spent the majority of the time in a corner of the park as far away from canine companionship as possible.   Barking at Oscar.  And…other stuff…on Oscar…

Hey, it was only the first attempt.  Maybe Tucker’s new parents will have better luck!

The Training that Wasn’t

A few weeks ago, we had it all set up for Tucker to go through a mini doggie boot camp, a week of intensive training with an Agape volunteer, Cathy.  The timing was perfect – we were going to introduce Tucker to her pack right before foster dad and I were set to go out-of-town to my parent’s house for a long weekend.  Oscar was coming with us, but due to Tucker’s youth and “enthusiasm” we thought it best he didn’t come along, 1) so he didn’t drive my parents’ dog bat-crap crazy and 2) to give Oscar a little break.

You might wonder why I never wrote a follow-up to the training to talk about how Tucker did that week.  Well that’s because it never ended up happening.  The day we were to deliver Tucker came around and it was raining – badly.  Cathy’s process starts with a good long walk with the new dog and her current pack, and needs a lot of time at the beginning outdoors.  This process sets the dog up for the best chance of success with the training in the long run.  Unfortunately, the weather that day didn’t allow us to start Tucker’s training that day.  So, Tucker went into boarding for the weekend instead, and that next week we just couldn’t get schedules coordinated to get Tucker back to Cathy to try again. 

This turned out to work out for the best for two reasons:  First of all, Tucker got an experience in a boarding facility, and the staff reports did wonderfully.  Secondly, since Tucker wasn’t sequestered in boot camp, he was available to attend the adoption event the following weekend where he ended up meeting his People.  Serendipity! 

Unfortunately, however, my blog-rookie-ness had struck again, as I had already posted that Tucker would be attending boot camp before the week got canceled.   Lesson learned: nothing is certain dog rescue – best to keep posts in “draft” form until the subject matter is confirmed!

 I thought Pits were the point?

It is true, we started fostering dogs with the goal to focus on pit bull type dogs, and that is still our intent.  But, as first timers, our foster rep thought it might be a good idea to get our feet wet with a dog that might have a quicker “turn around time” – that is, a dog with an easer time getting adopted, than a pit bull.  It’s no secret that the pit bull breeds carry a stigma around with them simply by being born with certain physical characteristics – a blocky head, muscular build, and a big goofy grin.  Type “pit bull” into Google you’ll find links to anything from rescue groups to media reports of “vicious dogs” to articles about a certain NFL player. 

Whatever the reason and however it started, pit bulls drew a short straw in the public eye, and have an extremely low adoption rate.  Here in the South, where “spay and neuter” can be a foreign concept to a lot of dog owner, shelters are over run with pit bulls.   Our local Humane Association refuses to take them in, and our County Animal Control will euthanize them if they pick them up. Those lucky enough to get pulled by rescue groups often spend months, if not years in rescue before they are adopted. 

We have a soft spot in our hearts for pit bull type dogs and we knew we had to do our part to help them out any way we could.  But, we started with non-pittie Tucker for two reasons: a) the idea that he might not be with us very long made us think we wouldn’t get as attached and it would be easer to say good-bye (yeah, right) and b) TWINS! 

We knew that as soon as Tucker got adopted we would continue our quest to do our part to help save pit bull type dogs.  By taking them out of the shelter environment, they’ll get the chance to blossom into the dog they were meant to be, and have a better chance at being placed in loving, furever homes where they can fulfill their roles as cherished family pets. 

So who’s the first lucky pittie houseguest going to be……?

.

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Thankful.

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How Tucker’s People Found Him

Tucker and his new People seem so very meant-to-be, that I just had to ask them what the process was like from there end, and how exactly they found Tucker, and decided that he was the one for them.  I was so excited to get this note from Tucker’s mom, written the day he joined their family forever.  Enjoy!

I had wanted a dog since Daniel and I were married last October. However, I was still in grad school and barely had time for myself much less a new addition to our family. I promised Daniel we wouldn’t start looking for a dog until I finished school. During that time I researched breeds and decided a Boston Terrier dog would work best for us. I also didn’t think we’d be ready for the responsibility of a puppy, so I decided that we should try to adopt a young dog who had already been house trained. Now all I had to do was finish school…

We started looking at dogs on petfinder.com in October. I put in our search criteria and Tucker showed up on the first page. We read his profile and decided he was too high energy for us – I specifically remember Daniel saying “Nope!” after he read his profile.  We moved on, but I couldn’t help thinking how adorable Tucker was.

We kept looking for suitable Boston Terriers but there were few in Nashville. We decided that our best option would be to just go to some shelters to see what was in our area. We were getting ready to go to a shelter on a Saturday when Daniel found out about the zoo adoption event happening that day. We felt like it was meant to be that the first day we decided to go out there was this huge adoption fair just waiting for us!

The second we walked into the event, I spotted this adorable little Boston Terrier mix who was just chilling out on his leash. When I heard his name was Tucker, I knew immediately who he was.  But he wasn’t this crazy excited doggie I’d envisioned in my mind. He was perfect. We started asking his foster parents tons of questions to see if he was right for us. We took Tucker on a walk and I knew it was over…we wanted Tucker!

A week later and here we are… Tucker is coming home tonight! I can’t help but feel that it must have been fate in how everything fell together for us to find Tucker. We feel so lucky to have him become part of our family. Thank you guys so much!

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