Canis Interruptis

Sometimes, dogs happen. After a little over a year with Tank (foster pitbull), his forever home was ready, and he rolled on to happily ever after. He was a remarkable dog, and healed my heart after i lost my canine life partner, Mr. Pickles.

i don’t do well without a dog.

Invariably, i mentioned this to my friend who runs a local rescue operation – between long trips, i might be able to handle a short-term foster. Just a few weeks.

So there was this street puppy, just a few months old. Owners had abandoned her, and she’d been found terrified, hanging out in an alley. A neighbor brought her in to get her out of the cold, and now the rescue was looking for someone to level her out and help find a forever home.

Gidget lap.jpg

Meet Gidget.

A puppy. In general, i like my dogs like i like my men – older, housebroken, and with low expectations. She is all puppy. Energy and few social skills. It became apparent within a couple of days that she was totally adorable, and completely deaf.

Not only had i taken in a puppy, but a deaf puppy. A few youtube videos later, and i’m not only trying to teach her to shit outside, but i’m teaching her sign language. She’s a pretty quick study, or this experiment might not have continued.

She seems to understand the sign for “toilet” – meaning “stop sniffing every blade of grass and do your damn business because it’s fucking cold out here”. She is learning “stop that, damn it”.ย  i’m pretty sure she understands “good girl”, because i’m now getting wags. Because she’s an adolescent, i have also had to teach her “look at me”, because if she doesn’t want to “hear” what i’m saying, she’ll avert her eyes.

Gidget teeth

“Stop biting me, damn it!” is another sign she has mostly mastered. Fortunately for both of us. Have i mentioned that i’m not fond of puppies. Landsharks. Puppies are, in fact, assholes.

Being deaf brings another issue – she has grown to trust me, and as such, i cannot be out of her line of sight for long. At night? She has to be absolutelyupinmybusiness, as close as possible. It makes sense – if she were in the wild, and under attack, she would have to rely on the reaction of other packmates. i am her only packmate, so when i have to get up to pee in the middle of the night, it’s a party.

(sigh)

But she’s adorable. And tomorrow i am taking her to meet her adoptive momma. A friend with a few other dogs which will make this pup feel far more confident. Fostering dogs may be my only responsible option for the next few years, as the long-term travel gigs are starting to mount up.

Gidget sleep

One more night with this sweet, needy gooberdog wrapped around my head. She’s a lucky pup, it’s been a good run, but i look forward to having my own space back as i prep for the next adventure.

Next up? i have no idea what i’m doing, but i’m fully committed. Gonna take a very, very long walk, with nothing but a 15 pound pack on my back…

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28 thoughts on “Canis Interruptis

  1. can’t get over how fabulous you rock that hair. I realize blogs will be spotty when there are adventures to be had, but keep them coming! Hope wee doggo enjoys her new family, she looks adorable, also makes me want to don a pair of sturdy boots to kick asses of those who abandon. Too many options out there that you could do other than that…grrrrrrr.

    • Thank you! i love the fact that i no longer have to do anything to my hair. Cheaper, too! It will get a teeny bit longer over the next few weeks, so i’ll have a chance to see how it looks a little longer, but for now the “zero maintenance hair” is good!

      Gidget is a sweet pup – was left outside her entire short life. The people who had her apparently didn’t realize she’s deaf. Probably thought she was just stupid. When she got out, a neighbor brought her home and they said “keep her. we don’t want her!” BASTARDS!

      She’s adapted well to being an indoor dog! Good on a leash, and a wigglebutt snuggler at night. i’ve had her hanging out with other dogs, and she’s happy, so i think getting her into a pack will be the right thing! As needy as she is, i am still going to miss those cuddles…

  2. She’s adorable! We are also dogless for the first time in years as Peter will hopefully be joining me in my travels this winter. Beach walking isn’t the same without a dog hurtling along side you spraying sandy water all over the place! Also I’ve had the local CATs move their latrine into the garden!! Maybe I should offer doggy play time at mine!!!

    • There’s something about living with a dog. i haven’t yet adapted to NOT having one, but that will need to change. By doing short term foster care, i may have found a reasonable solution – gives me a temporary pup, while helping a critter find a safe, permanent landing spot.

  3. First, I LOVE YOUR HAIR! Mine is growing out AGAIN and is just past shoulder length. *sigh* I think you’ve inspired me, to cut my hair, not hike! I love that pup, but I think I’ve passed that window of opportunity regarding dogs. But, who knows, right? xoxo

    • Thanks! you have a LOT more hair than i do – mine is so thin that the longer it gets the more bald i look. If i had a lot of hair, i’d definitely grow it a bit longer – would love to have your wild mane!

      Dogs are a tremendous commitment. You can’t just pack up and go for a weekend, or even an overnight. But that commitment has provided a pinning point for me through the years – i have to get out of bed to walk the dog, no matter how deep, and dark, the blue funk is. Dogs have helped keep me level… but for the moment, i’m going to find my level elsewhere. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  4. Oh! I didn’t realise she was deaf. By gum! You’ve done well to get her this far! And, yes, being with a dog-family will help her.But kudos you for setting the foundations. You’re a good bitch. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wanted to get the word out about her being adorable on social media, with her deafness being more of an ‘oh by the way’, than a main feature. Turns out, i found three different people who wanted her, and the friend who runs the rescue had one more. So far, i’m 2/2 in getting good permanent homes for the two foster doggies i’ve had. There’s some satisfaction in that… My best guess is that the people who dumped her just thought she was stupid. She’s very smart, and i think she’ll thrive.

      i’ll take that “good bitch” title – and wear it with pride! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. No dog now. It’s been many years since we had one. We do have grand dogs. I enjoy being around dogs but not the commitment that you mention in the above comment. I also learned from past training attempts that either I’m not a good trainer or I had low IQ dogs. A deaf dog – extra work in teaching that one. I have seen reports/documentaries that show dogs have the ability to read faces very well.

    • Only one day since li’l Gidget went on to her next stop, and i’m already feeling a bit of an empty nest. Scheduled a play date with my former foster dog Tank that will help ease the emptiness.

      One of the keys to training a deaf dog is apparently to make sure your facial expressions are consistent! She got to the point she would look at both my hands and my face for input. The woman who is adopting her is pretty devoted to her pups, and i am really looking forward to seeing how she does with the continuation of the training!

  6. Perhaps fostering is an end to itself. It’s a noble pursuit and just might scratch that need for canine companionship without the full-blown commitment. Did you stumble on an answer to your prayers without even intending to?

    All the same, cats rule.

    • After delivering this needy ball of fur and energy to her next foster, i found myself missing her – missing tripping over her, missing her company, missing the fact that i did not need to go outside at 10:30pm for one last pee (her, not me)… So i set up a play date (visitation?) with Tank, and spent an afternoon napping with him, and taking him on a 5k walk. It was awesome, and enough. So between visitation with Tank, and the occasional foster, i do think this is the answer – i provide a necessary service in the rescue chain, and avoid the long term commitment. Although it was hard to let this gooberdog go, she’s already enjoying being among a pack of pups at her new foster home.

      Dogs rule, cats drool. Thbtbtbt…..

  7. People who abandon animals are the complete shit!! I think what you’re doing by fostering is a great thing, keeps them out of a cage and gives them a place to roam until they find a new home, keep up the good work lady! That said, Exile’s right, cats rule, lol!!

    (and you know every time i go to the pet store to get my one cat his special urinary diet food i check out the cats up for adoption, it depresses the effing hell out of me and it sucks cuz they (the cats) know, they’re like, this dude digs us, maybe he’ll take us home… sad to say but one of them will get lucky soon as i don’t know how much my 18.5 yr old cat has in her tank, but she’s had a good run, i think i feel a cat post coming on…)

    • My guess is that the people who had this pup (had a litter) and left them outside all winter didn’t realized this girl is deaf, and probably thought she was stupid. When she jumped the fence and got out, they figured it was an omen, and just let her go. The woman who found her took her back to them – and they said “We don’t want her” and shut the door. Fuckers. There are other ways to rehome a dog! This is a good service for me – and Studley and i will still help out with transport every now and then to help the rescue network do their thing.

      The right cat will find you when it’s time. I understand why you’re waiting – on the one hand, it’s nice to have some overlap with an elderpet and a new one. At the same time, it’s as though the senior pet has earned his/her status, and should get the undivided attention of the household for the rest of their ride.

      i’ve thought that someday there will be a bonded pair of senior dogs that just needs a warm bed, love, and easy schedule to get ’em to the finish line. If that situation happens, i might just bite it and go all in…

  8. You never cease to amaze me with all your talents! Good for you for taking in Gidget and working with her deafness. Our local SPCA has had several dogs like her that have found their forever homes with loving families. One of them has become the “spokesdog” for the shelter and is the face of their Healing Hearts donation program that helps dogs with special needs.

    Love your hair!

    • With this dog i was already at the limits of my training skills with a puppy! i like grown dogs – they can be trained, but it’s a lot more fun than fundamental! This gal challenged me – but got me thinking that i should probably take the next one to an obedience class. Not only train the pup, but i can learn HOW to train a pup. Something to think about. I’m also an old dog, but could stand to learn this particular trick!

      The hair is just a hoot! Went to a steampunk event last night, threw on a hat and some odd steampunk hairpieces, and it was no muss, no fuss, and a whole lot easier than trying to do something with my own hair!

    • Thank you – but it is a little bit selfish! i should consider it being a grandma – all of the fun, not as much long-term responsibility as having one of my own! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love the foster animal program…but no not me, I had to jump in with both feet with 2 kittens. Been a while and I’d forgotten how to kitten. Finding cat toys in my bed, dirt from the house plant not near the house plant and looking for titanium furniture currently. We also have a long list of pet sitters when we want to travel.
    Love the hair and the pooch pics too!

    • There will come a day when i can find a way to have pets again, but for the next few years, i’m just going to be gone a lot. We will be out of the country for 6 weeks this time, and are already planning another month gone in the autumn, and a long trip to Asia in February. i just can’t have pets. it’ll have to be fosters for me…

      It’s been nice this weekend! i was able to “borrow” Tank for the weekend – visitation! It’s been awesome! He’s gone on a couple of hikes with us already, and it’s wonderful to have that big ol’ lump back for a few days. i can deal with being a “grandma”, too!

      Kittens are even bigger a-holes than dogs! But they’re sooo cute! Good that you got a pair…

  10. Your hair is fabulous! I am sure it is also a lot less work. Especially less work than a puppy… Probably she was dumped because she was deaf and her owner did not know it and could not figure out how to deal with her. So good for you! I am sure you are the best dog foster mom in Ohio…largely because you are so full of love and you truly care about the lost, abandoned and downtrodden.

    Hope your walk goes beautifully. Perhaps you don’t know what you are doing, but I think if you take it slow you will triumph. And there will be another “Going out to dinner” story there.

    • My life sure got easier when i shaved it all off! i’m not even taking a comb on the next trip! Wash and GO!

      i agree – suspect the people who had her didn’t realize she’s deaf, thought she was stupid, and booted her. It’s a shame. She’s a very happy pup right now – rolling with her temporary pack until her new home is ready for her. It truly takes a village of people who are committed to rescue these critters. i’m just one cog in the machine…

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