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.
|Bop, bop, bop!!!|
To be continued...
|"Mom, I AM playing nice. She likes it when I put her whole head in my mouth."|