Once Gambit’s kitten found a home, we were back to looking into fostering. After doing some research, my husband found a nearby animal hospital that ran an adoption program for cats, dogs and even rabbits. This animal hospital does a lot of great work.
In addition to maintaining a puppy yard of adoption dogs who were found as strays and litters pulled from the shelter before they become susceptible to Parvo, the vet who runs the hospital puts a good bit of time and resources into medical treatment for dogs who are sick or injured. During the time we’ve fostered, she’s treated several dogs who were hit by cars and were in need of surgery with a lengthy recovery period.
When we contacted the animal hospital, we weren’t ready to handle a litter or an injured dog. But we could still foster through them, and there were four dogs that were ready for foster homes. The first was a hound mix who had recently weaned a litter. The second, a beagle who had wandered off. His owners hadn’t been located but came to the puppy yard looking to adopt a new dog and got to take home their own beloved dog. The others were Moca and her sister. For reasons I don’t remember or perhaps on a whim, we decided that Moca would be our first foster dog.
Moca and her sister were six months old and were pulled from a shelter the day of they were scheduled for euthanasia. They both had demodectic mange, which is non-contagious and very treatable. Unfortunately, as we later learned during Gambit’s battle with demodex, treatment takes time and a decent chunk of change – meaning shelters don’t always have the option to treat. The animal hospital had treated the mange, and both Moca and her sister had recovered with full coats of hair by the time we came along.
When we made our first visit to the animal hospital, the puppies had been given a kiddie wading pool that has since been taken away. Moca, a light brown and white dog, was 100% mud colored. I declined an offer to bathe her since I was giving Gambit a bath that day anyway and we already had a towel on the back seat of the car.
We got a bag of dog food, coaxed her into the car, and headed home to our intact couches that had survived with only minor fading and an outdated pattern as evidence of its nearly two decades, two dogs, three cats, two kids, and plenty of friends at my parents’ house.
After being washed several times, Moca was ready to make her début. This consisted of her cowering in a corner next to one of the couches making faces indicating that she did not want to play with Gambit.
Gambit’s logical response was to continue to attempt to play, and the next day, they did.