Josephine: Notes on a foster failure

Josephine first came to our attention when the Humane Society of Jefferson County posted an urgent plea for rescue or foster of a female beagle mix who was so terrified by the “shelter” environment that she was at risk. My wife, Marie, decided we needed to help this poor thing. After some communication through Facebook, we drove out to pick her up for fostering.

Age: Approximately 9 months (as of May 2017).

History: Picked up as a stray by Animal Control in April. She was terrified of everything. The shelter environment only made that worse. She was placed into foster care to give her a peaceful environment and to work on her fear issues.

Health: Initially, her health was quite poor: the vet wasn’t sure she would survive. By the time she came here her health was much improved except for a fungal skin condition brought on by anxiety, which is being treated. She has been spayed, wormed, and is current on vaccinations.

Personality: Once she calmed down she has become a playful, spunky, silly, lovable girl. She craves attention (loves a gentle belly rub) and seeks it from people she trusts. Josie is friendly and playful with all of our dogs, even those 3 times her size! She is fearless and open with all of them.

Julian Notes On a Rescue Dog

When I first met Julian, he was sitting in an outside pen at the Humane Society where I work. He was a mess.

Julian had been picked up by animal control because a resident called to report a dog fight. I don’t have details about exactly what happened or what became of the other dog, but Julian got chewed up pretty badly, especially his head. We were giving him antibiotics to fight infection and help his wounds heal.

He was sitting, with his feet all bunched up, on a yellow toilet seat cover. Someone gave us a bunch of them to use as comfies — we use them mostly for cats in their wall crates. But here was this brown, 60 pound boxer bunched up on this woolly toilet seat cover like it was the best thing in the world: an oasis of comfort in an otherwise miserable existence. It was funny and heart breaking at the same time.

Over the weeks, Julian began to mend and he proved to be gentle and friendly when we worked with him.

Then we tested him for heartworm … and the test came up positive. Our boss wasn’t surprised: Julian had obviously been neglected and allowed to run loose. It was no shock to find he was not on a preventative. She said the best thing to do was to put him down. With his scars and the HW+ there was no way he was going to get adopted, and we don’t have the facilities to treat his HW anyway.

I could not let this precious boy be killed: and at this point, he was, literally, just minutes away from going under The Needle.