Sunday, August 16, 2015

Foster Swap

I did my best to find foster puppy Xena a home, but she wasn't doing very well here. She made a lot of progress mentally, adjusting well to city life and getting brave enough to walk with me near traffic. Physically though, she was slowly going downhill. She had always dragged her back toes a bit, but it became more and more noticeable. She seemed to be losing stability and muscle tone in her back end. To top it off, she was also constantly itchy and began to lose hair.
Photo by Erin Koski

I had a few potential adopters come to meet Xena, one family even took her home for a couple of days. They returned her though, and each adopter said she was too shy around new people, too slow to warm up, needed too much work. On top of this, her somewhat odd gait and toe dragging had some potential adopters concerned that she may have an underlying health problem. I didn't have the money to get her checked out on my own, and the rescue didn't want to pay for a vet's opinion.

I finally took Xena back to the friend who had been fostering her since she was a little baby puppy. Within a week or two her hair started to grow back and her movement got more steady and less worrisome. I'm not sure what exactly is wrong with Xena, so I can't assure a potential adopter that she won't have a shortened lifespan or expensive medical issues.

In her last week with me, Xena began running into very solid and easily visible obstacles, often without slowing down. I let her original foster know that I wasn't entirely comfortable trying to place her with so many unknowns, and that friend asked if I would take one of her remaining Australian Cattledog puppies instead.
Photo by Erin Koski

So now I have an 8-month-old red heeler puppy who is significantly happier at my house where there aren't a bunch of young dogs perpetually crashing around. Xena is significantly happier smashing around over there with her buddies, and so far this seems to be a much better fit for everyone.

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