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I can’t even think how to title this post

Friends of mine have been fostering a dog, Rosie — the usual sad case of a pup whose owner “loved” her while leaving her on a chain in deplorable conditions.

I haven’t fostered dogs in several years because of Ava’s habit of starting fights she can’t win. But my friends foster often and have occasionally called on me to be a backup because they travel a lot. As things have developed, I never had to serve.

On Sunday they left on the first stage of a long trip to South America. They placed Rosie in an ideal backup foster home. The temp fosterer, Mary, has five or six dogs of her own, a huge securely fenced lot, and the confident attitude of an experienced dog rescuer.

I met Mary because I’m the backup to the backup in this case. But after spending five minutes with her, I could see she was never going to need a helping hand to care for any dog. By God, she was a person who was going to manage

That was a relief because although Ava and Rosie weren’t likely to leave blood on the walls, it was clear that they were going to annoy the bloody hell out of each other. If I took Rosie in, it would mean three weeks of switching them in and out of crates or otherwise giving them timeouts from each other. After meeting Mary, I figured I was off the hook.

I woke up this morning to a flurry of frantic messages from the rescue group’s foster coordinator and my friends who are already on their trip (though still in the U.S.). Yesterday, the day after she took Rosie in, Mary’s car was t-boned by a truck. Mary was life-flighted to a distant hospital. Several dogs, including Rosie, were in the car with her when the truck slammed her.

Rosie’s at a vet’s now. Not Furrydoc’s. It’s unknown whether she’s injured or where Mary’s other dogs are or what their condition is. I’ll be dealing with this as soon as the vet’s office opens.

Fate is a bitch. She certainly was a bitch to Mary and a carful of innocent pups.


  1. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay September 11, 2018 7:22 am

    All our best from my household, we foster hospice kitties when the owners can’t care for them anymore. I hope your friend Mary is going to recover very quickly.
    See if you can volunteer to help out at her house, until she returns, I’m sure she will need help there.
    Much love!

  2. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 11, 2018 7:39 am

    Vaya con Dios.

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 11, 2018 9:48 am

    Really bad news. Terrible.

    PM me if there is anything I can do.

  4. Joel
    Joel September 11, 2018 10:03 am

    Holy shit, life does intervene without an invitation.

    Hope all turns out well for nice people and dogs, though I have personal experience in how that’s not only not guaranteed it’s not even likely.

    Best wishes to them.

  5. Mike
    Mike September 11, 2018 10:44 am

    When life throws a curve ball, it is a doozie. Good luck Claire, I hope your friend makes it OK and the dog situation turns out all right.

  6. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2018 11:05 am

    UPDATE: Good news and not-so-good news, but no terrible news.

    I picked Rosie up at 8:00 a.m. She’s uninjured and home safe with me now. I don’t know about any of Mary’s other dogs.

    I also just heard that Mary is going to be okay. Her car was significantly mangled and she’s hurt, but she’s out of danger. She also has family around to help.

    The only not-so-good news (and it’s really not that bad, all things considered) is that the dog is a hyper-crazy loony tune who can’t be left alone even for a minute. The moment I even turn my back on her, she starts a horrible hound-like bark-bay that simply never lets up.

    Ten minutes after I got her home and put her temporarily in the outdoor yard, the first neighbor texted to ask if everything was okay (which certainly says good things about my neighbors).

    Rosie is also the typical case of a dog for whom “love” didn’t include any training. She’s headstrong, pushy, and knows absolutely nothing.

    I’ve spent the entire morning trying to track down a prescription of sedatives for her that were with Mary. Don’t have it yet, but a new scrip has now been called in to the nearest pharmacy. Furrydoc and especially her wonderful office manager T. have been real life savers in making that happen.

    In more good news, Ava’s being remarkably patient with Rosie and I think I might be able to allow them to share space sooner than I’d imagined.

    Can you spell R-E-L-I-E-F?

  7. Patrick Fowler
    Patrick Fowler September 11, 2018 12:51 pm

    Hi Claire my dog, a pure english springer was drowning in the creek behind the house I was living in…it wasn’t because she wasn’t a good swimmer, she was just exhausted trying to get out of the water…seawall on one side deep mud on the other.I I put my skiff in the water and pulled her into it , rowed up to the waterfront bar and tried to find the owner…some nice folks gave me a towel and some food for her. She was terrified and in bad shape, fleas, worms, and scared of everything …never did find her owner/abuser. She howled like Rosie for a few days chewed up some furniture but after a week or two was buddies with the neighbors and the local bulldog, even the cats . We have been together for 11 years. Patrick

  8. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2018 1:01 pm

    Patrick — What an amazing story. Just think if you hadn’t been there.

    I know dog’s behavior can change a lot once they begin to feel secure. Meanwhile, I’m now waiting for the first dose of her anti-anxiety meds to kick in.

  9. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 11, 2018 1:33 pm

    Also, I doubt just starting to get used to a new home and getting hit with a car wreck and the aftermath calmed Rosie down any. Critters do PTSD, too, particularly if they’re fragile to begin with. And in this case, lack of training and probably no proper role model are likely compounding the problem.

  10. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2018 2:42 pm

    Yep, I think you got that just right, larryarnold. During my fostering days, I recall it sometimes took up to a month for a dog’s behavior to become “normal” (that is, whatever was normal for that dog). Longer for the ferals and some with serious trust issues.

  11. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit September 11, 2018 4:59 pm

    In spite of your doubts, Claire, Rosie couldn’t be in better hands for now. But I can well imagine the nightmare potential since I’m the emergency contact for a friend’s 3 Mastiff service dogs. Fortunately, the 3 of them laugh at my 13 pound chiweenie who’s been known to growl and snap at them.

  12. Patrick Fowler
    Patrick Fowler September 11, 2018 5:01 pm

    The 1st couple days I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen but with the help of neighbors and a high dollar flea pill and some worm meds she came right around. Also I would stop at a fast food place and get a 99 cent burg or chicken sandwich as a ” I’m back treat ” whenever I had to leave her alone for awhile. I remember a friend and I sat for a couple hours trying different dog names on her every 10 seconds or so, when she said coco their was a definite reaction…maybe she is poco or lobo but coco is her name…Patrick

  13. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay September 11, 2018 11:25 pm

    I’m glad your friend Mary is out of the danger zone! That is so great to hear!

    Now I’m looking forward to a few tales of Claire’s Misadventures Through a Rosie-Colored Looking Glass.

    I hope you get some sleep, but I am to familiar with the old saying… No good deed goes unpunished.

    All our best to your expanded home!

  14. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 12, 2018 8:16 am

    I’s hoping Ava might be a good influence on Rosie and make Rosie a better dog!

  15. Georgene Lockwood
    Georgene Lockwood September 12, 2018 8:04 pm

    Took a year for one of my rescue dogs, Posey, to fully live outside my closet. Lots of patience and another great rescue adopted to be her buddy and she’s been a balanced dog for over 10 years! Yay Rosie! She’ll get there.

  16. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 8:11 am

    Yay, Georgene. I love to hear success stories like that, especially ones that call on so much human and canine patience.

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