Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Story of Mia

One of my first posts this year,  I mentioned I wanted to workout more and foster at least one dog.  I can now say, I've done those things. I recently started teaching boot camp style class with my awesome co-workers. But this post is about Mia. This little yellow foster dog I took in for one week, and with whom I fell madly in love.

When the rescue group DogsXL Rescue asked me to take in Mia, a 40 pound lab mix, they hadn't yet picked her up. When I arrived at the "home-base" (an actual home in Baltimore, MD) with my friend Katie I was overwhelmed. As far as I'm concerned, the woman who runs this rescue is a saint.  All the dogs coming into the rescue start at her house, and fosters come and pick them up to care for them in a safe home environment, rather than a cold, loud shelter until they find their forever homes.

Katie and I entered the home at the designated time to pick up foster dogs, and were greeted with organized chaos. People doing paper work, giving injections, and so many large dogs. I told them I was there to foster Mia. "Ooooh, mini-Mia," the volunteer joyfully stated.

I nervously looked at Katie. "Um...who?" We both had actually thought she said, "meanie-Mia," but caught on when presented with a tiny pawed dog, with her tail between her legs and shaking.  I was terrified. They had picked her up in West Virginia just that day and were as shocked by her size as I was. Her ribs were showing, she had recently had pups, been spayed and was no more than 30 pounds. I reminded them my dog was 95 pounds and I couldn't possibly take her home to him, while they simultaneously handed her leash to me. I suggested that maybe there was another dog I could take. They motioned towards and giant yellow beast who looked out at me from her crate and said, "WOOF," just as I was kneeling down. Mia jumped before putting her two front paws on my knees, and looking me right in the eyes and sniffing my cheek. The volunteer said they would switch the paper work and I could take the bigger dog. "NO," I said, wrapping my arms around the little one. "I'll take her," I said firmly, though I was shaking myself and held back tears. Apparently, Katie was by this point practically cowering in a corner herself, saying to herself, "Don't do it," in regard to taking the larger dog.

Tiny as she was, Mia would be better off with my one big, quiet dog, rather than a house full until another foster could be assigned. Worst case scenario, I would have to keep her separated from Bru, but I knew I had to get this dog to a calm atmosphere and get her healthy. Katie sat in the backseat with Mia to comfort her on the drive home and I immediately burst into tears, overcome with emotion.

We drove through torrential rain, with my windshield wipers on as fast as they could go and I asked Katie how we were possibly going to introduce them. Little did I know, I had nothing to worry about.

The initial meeting was rather uneventful as Katie held onto Mia's leash and I tried to embrace my inner Ceasar Milans calm energy. Within moments they were walking and sniffing side by side. We let them off leash in my back yard first. No problems.
My tear stained face. Miss Mia sneaking her way onto the couch and into my heart.

The meek and frail Mia stuck by my side, while I held Bru at a safe distance as he kind of wanted to play already. We fed them dinner separately and let them sniff a little more. She was getting a little braver. He put his head down submissively, and let out his playful woof. Her hair stood on end and she showed her teeth. Were they nice teeth, or playful teeth?

Suddenly, she ran across the living room and jumped onto the couch. Bru chased her and she repeatedly bopped him on the nose with her front paws. Katie and I froze in shock. Bru LOVED it. Mia lunged halfway back across the room and circled around, Bru right behind here. She bounced off the seat of the couch, landed on the back of it, hit the window and came flying back landing half on the couch and half on Bru. She rolled head first on the the floor, spun around kicking her back feet off the bottom of the couch and sliding across the carpet on her back. My mouth was hanging open, Katie was still frozen and the dogs were officially friends. 
Bop, bop, bop!!!
Bruby could fit her whole head in his mouth and she didn't mind one bit. When she needed a break she would come to my side, but mostly, she kept going back for more. I was a little nervous Nat was going to be upset about my bringing such a small dog into the house, but was relieved by how tough and sassy she was. "This little dog bamboozled her way right into DogsXL and right back out," I told Katie. She fooled everyone with her size and then pitifulness.

To be continued...

"Mom, I AM playing nice. She likes it when I put her whole head in my mouth."

1 comment:

Jeremy Strain said...

I can't believe you didn't keep her. I would have put money on it happening.