January, 2011. Rufus was our next foster, a big five year old Akita mix. He had been at the shelter for several months and was just coming off heartworm treatment. I had walked him many times volunteering at the shelter and he had become one of my favorites. Dogs getting heartworm treatment were “walk only” because of the fear that over excitement might be dangerous to them. It turned out I was the first one to let him run around off leash after his treatment was over. He was one happy dog.
Rufus was very low maintenance, since he came fully housetrained, never chewed anything he wasn't suppose to, and was generally a laidback dog. The one thing he didn’t like was getting his picture taken, so we don’t have as many pictures of him as some of our other dogs. We jokingly called him “Sad Bear” because of the expression he would sometimes get.
As an aside, there was a break-in a few houses down while we had Rufus. The day before someone matching the burglars description came to our door asking to shovel our driveway. I didn’t get a good look at the man because I was making sure my rather fierce looking Akita mix didn’t run out of the door. Its just possible Rufus helped to keep our house from being broken into. (The other dog we almost fostered was a puppy with a broken leg -- a less intimidating doggie no doubt.)
In the last few days we had Rufus we learned all about Akitas shedding. I spent many minutes brushing his fur outside... lots and lots of fur.
Rufus was adopted about two weeks after he went back to the shelter. He was one of the dogs that we had to tell ourselves: “We are only fostering this dog. We are not adopting this dog, no matter how much we love him.”