When I got home from work and met Nellie, I learned the animal hospital had called earlier that day to see if we would want to foster a puppy returned that day or stick with Nellie.
Since we had already discussed taking Nellie, I often don’t check my phone at work, and this didn’t sound like a dog that Gambit would handle too well, my husband made the call that we would foster Nellie.
The returned puppy was one of the last adopted out from a somewhat large litter. A couple of puppies from his litter were left when we started fostering Moca, and he may have been one of them. One of his brothers, Rocky, was probably the last adopted from the litter. The summer we had Moca, we were rooting for cute little Rocky to get a home and were happy when his listing was finally removed from Petfinder.
The animal hospital had taken this little boy to the humane society to get better exposure since there’s more traffic there, and he was adopted out through the humane society at 5 months old. He lived with a family for 3 months, but they returned him when he suddenly became afraid of the man of the house. From there, he went back to the animal hospital.
As soon as my husband told me about this returned puppy, my head started spinning. This was a young dog afraid of people like Daisy had been when my family adopted her. But younger, and he’d been in a bad situation for less time, so maybe he could go back to being a happy dog within a few months.
Could we take him in so the other foster homes would still have space? Employees at the animal hospital, the veterinarian herself, and other families foster litters, injured dogs and strays who are in the adoption program. We didn’t have the space for a litter and Gambit couldn’t handle an injured dog, so our role as a foster home was essentially just teaching dogs how to live in a home, basic obedience and housebreaking.
If this dog didn’t end up with a foster home, he might be placed in the puppy yard. I like the puppy yard and undoubtedly Gambit would be thrilled to stay somewhere like that, but I felt that learning to trust people again would be easier while he was still a puppy and in a home, he’d have more human interaction. But we had just brought home Nellie and did want to work with her, too.
Since Nellie was an adorable 4-month-old, we figured she would get adopted fairly quickly like Beau and Sierra. My husband agreed we could have three dogs for a bit, so we called the animal hospital to see about meeting the returned puppy the next day.
The front desk is set up in a way that it forms an enclosed area and nearly always has a dog, cat or rabbit present. The wall behind the front desk is lined with bookshelves filled with file folders. There was an 8-month-old fluffy short-legged black and brindled tan puppy backed up as far as possible into the file folders, just sitting there shaking. That was him. He wasn’t just afraid of the man of the house- he was scared to death of all people.
I had to take him home with me. The only name on record for this terrified little guy was his name from his first time in the adoption program, Porky.