Foster Dogs


Tessa Pictures

January, 2014.  This one has a sad ending so if you are reading this for fun you might want to skip this story.

After our three happy puppies we starting fostering Tessa, a very not-happy pup.  At four months old Tessa was found as a stray at another shelter and was afraid of everyone.  She would simple freeze up if you tried to pet or hold her.  She fear peed all over my coat and leg when I carried her from the car to our house.

Because of her age I decided to keep her in the same puppy enclosure as our last pups, but used the larger cage.  The temperature the first week we had her got down to around 0 degrees every day, so housetraining needed to be put off for a bit.  

She had been spayed the morning I got her, so she was pretty out of it the first day or so, with very bad diarrhea and no appetite.  Starting on day two I began sitting by her cage and hand feeding her hotdogs and hotdog smeared kibbles to start to form a bond.  She was a beautiful pit bull, the kind that, if we were to adopt a second dog, would be exactly that type I'd want to get.  My confidence was high that I could fully gain her trust and within a few weeks or maybe a month get her to an adoptable state.

Since she didn't perk up at first, Boomer gave her space, as he seems to be very attentive to the emotional state of these types of dogs.  On their first meeting at the shelter the day before Tessa had wagged her tail when she saw Boomer, which was a good sign.

I had Boomer come into the cage and would hand feed them both side by side, which made Tessa more comfortable and got her tail wagging.  But her appetite was not good the first few days, and her diarrhea continued.

On the third day she didn't eat anything, but started up again on the forth.  It seemed like a relief and I was hopeful it wasn't something more serious.

Sadly, when I took her to the shelter to do a parvo test it came up positive. Even though she was only in our home for four days, I had become very fond of this beautiful pit bull girl and it was extremely painful to see her go.

Dealing with rescue animals can be a rollercoaster ride for your emotions, but having to deal with puppies and parvo after you've bonded with them is about as bad as it gets.

In the sad aftermath everything had to be thoroughly cleaned with bleach: car, cages, carpet, shoes... though fortunately she had only been in her newspaper covered playpen.  The blue bed we had acquired from Zorro's first adopters along with the Tessa's toys were drenched in bleach and thrown out, since I would never trust them with another dog.