Meet Our First Foster, Riley.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Meet Riley. He is our short-term foster pup for a few days.


We've only had him for 24 hours but it has been a whirlwind. I never thought fostering would be easy, but I feel like a complete idiot for being as overwhelmed as I am.

Within the first five minutes that  I had him in my car he took a hot deuce in my backseat. Luckily, I pulled into a White Castle parking lot real fast and got out of the car while Riley finished his... brown castle.
I had to, I'm sorry.

Thankfully it was on a towel, which is now in a White Castle dumpster. We walked around the block before getting back in the car and I'm so glad we did. I'll spare you the details, but the doggy pills Riley was given didn't react well with his poor stomach. It was my karma, I suppose. Once a mad pooper, always a mad pooper.

The only backstory I know about Riley is that he just arrived in Chicago yesterday morning from a high kill shelter in Kentucky. If not for Felines and Canines taking him in, he was set to be euthanized today. F&C wanted to save these Kentucky dogs (like they always do because they're wonderful) but their shelter was at max so they put out a call on Facebook asking for people to take in dogs just for 5-6 days while they made room.

I said yes.

And after having this dog, who is very very sweet and didn't deserve to die, I've been ridiculously stressed, cried a few times, had poop on my jeans, pee on my hands, and felt terribly bad for not being better at this.

He is a good dog, he really is. And he's super loving and sweet. So sweet it hurts my heart to watch him cower when we pass any man on the sidewalk. Whenever Chris comes in the room he hides under a table. I tried to light a candle last night and the sight of the lighter had him shaking uncontrollably.

What have you been through, little guy, I keep wondering when I look at his forgiving eyes. 

He has the face and demeanor of a puppy, but the dry painful patches of an old dog. If I had to guess, it seems he was left on concrete, perhaps a driveway or a garage floor, for long long stretches of time. Because someone obviously didn't want him, and yet they refused to get rid of him either... Just chain him up, why not? He's only a dog!

But there's a few things that tell me he has been in a home before, like for example when I let him on the couch he was pretty damn excited.

"You serious? I get up here?" He said with his big brown eyes and I melted.

"HELL NO YOU DON'T!" Har barked back and I stopped melting.

But Har's doing a lot better than I thought. He's anxious as hell, of course, but when isn't he? Riley follows his every move and thinks he's God, which Harlow loves and plays into big time.

"Watch me sing, Riley! Can you sing? I sing the best!"  And then Harlow starts howling and screaming, which in turn, makes Riley howl and scream, and he looks at me excitedly like, "can we really do this? Can we make all this noise?"

"Oh yeah, I do whatever I want. I run this show," Har arrogantly responds and then he lights a cigarette inside just to prove his point.

It's all fun and games until Riley tries to get Sloth and then Har gets pissy and lays on all of his toys "making them disappear."

Sloth is Har's first sidekick, no one gets to boss Sloth around but Har.

So why the stress you're probably wondering. A couple of reasons. (Small reasons, things I should be better at dealing with, yet I'm not.)

1. Riley marks. A lot.
He's still "intact" as the professionals say. Got some big old balls, as I say.
And so I've been watching him like a hawk, I haven't let him out of my sight once, which is kind of exhausting and takes away from work time.

Which leads to stress... must. sell. tshirts. CLICK HERE TO REDUCE MY STRESS.

I bought him pup pull-ups and they have been very helpful! Although they're in the wash now, so it's back to watching him like a hawk. And we go out every 30 minutes, but not having a backyard whilst also living on the fourth floor is a little more difficult than I knew it would be...




"Do these shorts make me look European? Be honest!" 

2. He doens't love his crate as much as the shelter said he did.
The poor boy just cries and cries. And I refuse to leave him in there because so much of his life has been in there.

Last night was rough. But between the brown castles and pee probs, I didn't want to risk it. So he slept in his crate and I slept right by it.

3. Har is good, but not good.
If I so much as look at Riley, or pet, talk to, think about, or show any slight bit of attention to him, Harlow tries to sit on my lap or jump on my back. Yesterday Harlow was doing backhand springs on the bed, whilst wearing tap shoes, trying to make sure I looked at him more than Riley.

So that is a challenge in itself.

Long story short, it's been an adjustment. But I keep telling myself, no one said this would be easy.

And it's only for a few days to SAVE A DOG, so lighten up you selfish bitch.
(That's me, yelling at me, I've had a lot fights in my head these past 24 hours.)

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

As I'm writing this (sitting on the floor naturally) he just army crawled over (his favorite method of getting around) and put his head in my lap, stretched his paws in the air, and let out a large doggy sigh.


I can tell by the way he acts and looks at me, that he so badly wants to do everything I want him to do, but he just doesn't know how to do that yet.

He's a pile of love. And he was going to be put down today.

It's been a challenging day, but know that I've done my very best to spoil him the Harlow way. He's ran free at the park several times, ears blowing, drool flying. I spoon fed him dinner (he was pretending not to eat, but I think he just wanted to be babied, because he loved the food by spoon.) And his dinner consisted of organic kibble, with a scoop chicken and rice meat log on top, and a little pumpkin puree on the side to soothe his tummy (the chef is known for this dish.) Goes great with a merlot!

He's made himself at home on every single cozy rug, he goes back and forth between his two favorites all day long.

We've been to the dog spa twice now (going back in one hour, hoping to finally get rid of the peculiar scent...) and when Harlow walks away I make sure to look Riley in the eyes and tell him how special and smart and wonderful he is. By the way he wags his tail, I'm pretty sure he knows exactly what I'm saying.

To those of you that foster regularly, you amaze me. You selfless beings you, I had no idea how hard this was. You. Are. Incredible.

Now if you'll excuse me, Riley's pull-ups are ready in the dryer.

24 comments:

  1. You are doing such a great job! It's so hard, so so hard. But oh so rewarding. They're so grateful for just the smallest things- it always makes my mind wander into what they must've known life to be like before. And I can't handle that. Riley boy is a stunner and probably the happiest he's ever been with you now! You rock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DIVORCE AND MARITAL BREAKTHROUGH

      It all started when my husband cheated on me with another woman unknowing to him that the woman is a wizard, the woman castes a spell on my husband which made my husband change his feelings towards me and the kids and broke our 6 years marriage. i was confused and stressed because of the pains of being a single mother, when i called a friend and explained my marital challenges to her, she instructed and directed me to contact a great powerful spell caster called Dr. Ugo Wonders living in Florida. i contacted Dr. Ugo and explained my problems, he assured me his help and it was 100% guaranteed. i provided the materials for the spell and in 48 hours, after Dr Ugo Wonders of generalspelltemple@gmail.com finished casting the spell, my husband was free from the evil woman spell and he came back home to us a day after begging us to forgive him. i was so shocked and short of words and here i am today happily testifying so the world can know how this great man helped me with his real powerful spell.
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      DIVORCE AND MARITAL BREAKTHROUGH

      It all started when my husband cheated on me with another woman unknowing to him that the woman is a wizard, the woman castes a spell on my husband which made my husband change his feelings towards me and the kids and broke our 6 years marriage. i was confused and stressed because of the pains of being a single mother, when i called a friend and explained my marital challenges to her, she instructed and directed me to contact a great powerful spell caster called Dr. Ugo Wonders living in Florida. i contacted Dr. Ugo and explained my problems, he assured me his help and it was 100% guaranteed. i provided the materials for the spell and in 48 hours, after Dr Ugo Wonders of generalspelltemple@gmail.com finished casting the spell, my husband was free from the evil woman spell and he came back home to us a day after begging us to forgive him. i was so shocked and short of words and here i am today happily testifying so the world can know how this great man helped me with his real powerful spell.
      To every one with marital problem, divorce issues, lost lover or any relationship related issues, you can contact Dr. Ugo wonders the ultimate spell caster via his email address generalspelltemple@gmail.com or call his mobile number directly on +13863369876

      http://generalspelltempleblog.wordpress.com

      Delete
  2. I've been waiting for Riley updates! :) You're doing a great job! He is an adorable boy - I can't believe someone didn't want him and mistreated him. Idiots. He looks so happy to be with you :)

    I remember my first foster dog.. Who also shit in the backseat on the way home.. And by shit, I really mean explosive diarrhea. And not on a towel because I was naïve enough to think I didn't need to bring one.. And it didn't stop for the length of his short term foster. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fostering gets easy! The first one is always the hardest. We had a foster that was terrified of my husband so we made sure he was responsible for holding her leash and feeding her. Within a day she was able to trust him and she quickly stole his heart. Fingers crossed that Riley gets snipped soon and finds his furever. Good luck!

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  4. THAT SWEET FACE. Gah. He looks like a lab mix, and girl, I am a sucker for those faces .... i'm so glad you saved him! :)

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  5. I have so many emotions. You wrote this so well!!!! You are doing this SOOOO WELLLL!!!!! you are so good. Thank you for saving him!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are doing a great job! I hope Riley finds his forever loving home soon. He's just adorable and I can't believe he was going to be killed. I HATE HATE HATE high kill shelters. I don't understand why any shelter has to kill animals.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I almost ugly cried reading this post. You're the best!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, Taylor, how does your heart even fit in your body? What a selfless gesture to be a foster. I live in Louisville, KY and unfortunately our animal laws are outdated and pathetic. Rural KY is the worst for having lax as shit punishments for animal cruelty. For years I would volunteer to drive a leg for animal transports. We would move doggies from our high kill shelters to better, safer shelters up north (where the laws are a million times better). Each driver would make an hour or so trip to hand off one or several dogs to the next driver till they made their way to a better home. I feel like I'm getting a glimpse at what happens after I pick up a sweet baby then hand them off to continue their journey. I stopped volunteering after picking up a hound mix that had been doused with battery acid, yet still wagged his tail. The horror of what some of these animals have to endure is enough for a month of sleepless nights. You do, however, inspire me to get back on the volunteer list. All the best to you, Har, and the lucky to find love, Riley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. battery acid?

      I just don't get it. I couldn't do that leg of the trip because I would probably turn my sadness to anger and want to hunt down some people and things would get ugly fast.

      on the bright side, from what I see in Chicago, the shelter I go to moves pups fast. So once they get here they have their cozy new home in about 7-10 days :)

      Delete
  9. You are AWESOME and love that you are doing this. Hang in there and lots of love to Riley and YOU, his savior!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes! You are doing a great job!! I love that your fostering Riley and giving him all the love!!
    "I can tell by the way he acts and looks at me, that he so badly wants to do everything I want him to do, but he just doesn't know how to do that yet." <-- Every new dog parents/pup-adopter needs to LIVE by that thought. SO good!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love seeing the update and the insta stories! He looks sooo much like my lab when he was a pup ( he is 7 now). I would foster fail, lol, like I did with my 2 rabbits (kept them!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah, welcome to the world of fostering! We went through something similar - Sprout would flip shit anytime I looked at our first foster dog or she looked at me, even causing a fight once (he is 25 lbs, she was 60 lbs... spoiler: she won the spot next to me). It breaks my heart what these animals go through, and so YAY for people like you and me who see a sweet face and think "I can do this!" until shit hits the fan... literally. Just keep focusing on the fact that you're saving a life! xo

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  14. Fostering is not easy AT ALL, especially when you don't have any information about the dog or know anything about their background. I've enjoyed the Insta-story updates & it looks like you're doing an awesome job with Riley! I feel you on the pooping thing, haha. I think every foster dog we've had has pooped in the house as soon as we got home. I think they are so nervous & can't hold it! It's so sad what some of these dogs have been through and it breaks my heart that he is terrified of men. :( If you're only fostering him for five days, will be be going to a forever home or back to the shelter? He looks like such a sweet dog, I don't know if I could give him up!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That’s awesome! This poor guy has been through a lot and he deserves a fresh start. I know you only have him for a few days, but I promise it really will get better. He’ll learn fast, even from watching Harlow. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. you've done an amazing thing girl! he's so precious! and lucky!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. You're awesome and this is awesome and you rile insta stories are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is awesome and you're doing a great job! I live in Houston and have been dying to foster one of the many pups who are in need of a home but my own black lab doesn't play nicely if other dogs try to come inside our house. I will have to live vicariously through you :) I'm happy Riley was saved and is enjoying a nice little vacation before finding his forever home.

    ReplyDelete
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  20. DIVORCE AND MARITAL BREAKTHROUGH

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    To every one with marital problem, divorce issues, lost lover or any relationship related issues, you can contact Dr. Ugo wonders the ultimate spell caster via his email address generalspelltemple@gmail.com or call his mobile number directly on +13863369876

    http://generalspelltempleblog.wordpress.com

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