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.

Josephine is still timid around people and is frightened by strange or sudden noises. This will continue to diminish as she learns to trust those around her and builds confidence in herself.

Below are some snippets of Josephine interacting with our family.

I’m cold, Blondie, may I snuggle with you?

This bed is just my size!
After her first bath

Special Care: Josie is getting treatment for her skin condition. Our veterinarian (Dr. Sandra O’Connor of Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital, Newport TN) examined her and set up this treatment. You or your veterinarian may contact her to confer or transfer medical records.

She gets 250 mg of Cephalaxin, twice daily. We only have 500 mg capsules on hand so I open the capsules and give half with each meal: just sprinkle the powder on her kibble, she will eat it.

Dr. O’Connor also prescribed a medicated bath regimen consisting of bathing with Hexadene shampoo (follow directions on bottle) followed by a light toweling and sponging on a Lyme/Sulfur dip. Leave the dip on. This will turn her white fur bright yellow, but don’t worry that fades quickly as it dries. This is done every 5 days for a month. We have seen dramatic improvement using this treatment after just two treatments.

NOTE: We bathe Josephine in our kitchen sink. She bathes well, she is not at all combative.

We also give her 1, 25 mg tab of Benadryl in a bit of hotdog when she has excessive itchiness.

Her treatment plan started April 23rd and will run for 30 days. Treating the fungus and eliminating the stress she suffered should allow her to lead a normal life afterward.

Hide me, Cochise, he’s coming with the itchy spray.
Hanging with The Chief

That’s nice. A little to the left please. Ooohhhh … that’s WONDERFUL!

Training: Josephine is house broken and crate trained. She knows “come”, “sit”, “go outside”, “go inside” and “in your room” (go in your crate – and gets a small treat for compliance). She sleeps in her crate at night and when we leave the house for a long time.

She is subtle about indicating that she wants to go out: she goes to the door leading outside. But she does not (yet) sit and wait to be let out, so we have to be vigilant. Right after she eats are her primary bowel movement times.


Josie Bean is coming along nicely. She is still timid and spooks at loud noises or sudden movement, but she is well on her way to becoming a normal dog.

She is dog friendly. She interacts well with all of our other dogs — even the grouchy one. She would be suitable for any family with children old enough to comprehend her timidity (which will go away with time and trust) and treat her kindly.

Feel free to address any other questions about her care in a comment below.

May 24, 2017

The treatments (medicated shampoo, lime/sulfur dip, & Cephalexin) have done their job. Josephine’s fur has grown back in and her skin is clear once again. She has a Beautiful Beagle Belly.

May 29, 2017

We get to close this page out with a happy ending. Josephine has been adopted! We took her to a meet-n-greet with Mikayla at the Humane Society of Jefferson County on Saturday the 27th. That went well and Mikayla filled out the adoption contract. She needed some time to get her house set up (she has no other pets) so we kept her for Sunday and I took Josie to work with me Monday morning to hand her over to Mikayla.

Mikayla says Josie will become her emotional support animal and will be attending college classes with her this fall — so our sweet lil Josie will be a college girl! Happy life sweet Josephine!

June 15, 2017

We’ve taken an abrupt change in direction! Something happened that left Josie running loose for about 5 days before shelter staffers could recapture her. Josie’s adoptive mom made comments that lead me to believe that she was not settling into her new home very well, so it was not a surprise when Mikayla said, “If you find the dog, I don’t want her back.”

When we did catch up to Josie Bean (mostly through the concerted efforts of shelter staffer Ashley Foster: (BIG hugs to Ashley) Marie and I adopted her. We were on the fence about this before she was adopted out, but we sometimes do get especially attached to a dog … but know we cannot adopt them all. Usually they end up in a great home and we miss them but are happy for them. This time that did not come to pass.

However, tragedy was avoided and Josie is back in the one place she really, really wanted to be. With us she is a happy, bouncy, affectionate, big-eyed beagle — not fearful and reclusive. She will stay with us and we will do our best to see that she stays happy and healthy.

End of story!

Want to help
save lives?

If you enjoy our updates, Doggy Tales, and educational articles consider subscribing for notices when new pieces are posted. It’s painless and you can unsubscribe any time you want. Your e-mail address is used ONLY to deliver these notices. [email-subscribers namefield=”YES” desc=”” group=”Public”]
Julian Notes On a Rescue Dog
Josephine Goes to Summer Camp