They say that when you need something done, you should ask a busy person. Their full schedule is evidence that they are good at getting things done and are terrible at saying no.
Maybe that saying can be adapted for foster/rescue groups to say “when you need a foster for a pup, ask someone with a lot of dogs.
Ellen Oberkotter grew up with dogs and began working with shepherds during her married life. She downsized recently to Chihuahuas, some purchased as puppies and some rescued as adults. Having a heart for dogs, she was obviously vulnerable when her daughter suggested to her that she try fostering. And of course, she didn’t take on A foster. She took on Brownie and her NINE pups.
There was poop. There was pee. There was (and still is) chewing. There was more poop. One pup needed special attention and feeding, and then another of the pups was found to have a liver shunt. This means that a ventral malformation prevents blood from following its normal path from the digestive system, through the liver for cleaning and extraction of nutrients, and on to the circulatory system. Instead, the blood bypasses the liver and those essential functions don’t get done.
Looks like this Honey has found a perfect pot.
The first solution for this problem was to euthanize. There was a question of the quality of life that this dog would have. But Ellen persisted. She found research to show that homemade food and the elimination of some harmful medications could help her condition. So, if you need homemade dog food, I guess, ask a busy foster mom! Ellen did what she had to do and Honey is now thriving. Her siblings are bouncy, energetic, and fun. While Honey will need a little extra time, the rest are ready for adoption into loving new homes. And while Ellen has loved being buried in plump, fuzzy puppy love, she is also ready to transition these sweet little things into their forever homes. She’ll miss the snuggles, but not so much the poop.
Mama Brownie has also come out of her shell from a quiet, shy new mom, to an attentive and affectionate friend. She is learning that the absence of her foster mom is NOT a license to chew on her things. She is going to make some family a great furry friend.
As for Ellen, she knows that this isn’t short-term commitment with all of the needs that this doggie family has presented her with. She continues to add to her list of involvements (because, when you need something done…), and will plan to take a foster-break when Brownie and her babies have all moved on to their furever families. But chances are, she won’t be foster-free for long before another one catches her eye and steals her heart.
If Ellen’s story, or the story of any of her pups has inspired you to open your home for a few weeks and keep another rescue pup from being euthanized, contact Cas-Cad-Nac Animal Rescue. If you are interested but still have questions, message them on Facebook. They’re friendly, responsive, and enthusiastic. You may be sad when it is time to say good-bye, but there's no way that you'll be sorry.