Our Newest (little) Addition
I love Spring. It begins for me as soon as the dreary winter months of January and February are over. March is my favorite month not just because things feel new and fresh but because it was the month when my daughter was born. March was also the time when Sadie came into our lives and now three years later it is again the month that marks yet another big change in our household: Jasmine.
During the years that my husband and I lived in New York City we were foster parents to over forty dogs and cats that came to stay with us while they were waiting to find their forever homes. We had countless dogs – from pitbulls to beagles – and numerous cats from kittens to adults, and each time we had to say goodbye to them it was a bittersweet moment. Their new families would be brimming with excitement as we handed our beloved fosters to them and we would be heartbroken at our loss, but happy that we had successfully pulled these animals out of the municipal shelters and placed them into loving homes. We took video footage of every foster and now and again watch the videos we made of the funny characters that stayed in our tiny Manhattan apartment. Shortly after 9/11 we pulled a very sick Maine Coon cat from Animal Control with the intention of nursing her back to health and then putting her up for adoption. The first day she came to us, she jumped onto our bed, rolled on her back, stuck her paws up in the air and went to sleep. She never left. Angelica was with us for eight years. She came with us everywhere we went and was the first to welcome our baby daughter home. She gave us such love that when she died we felt that our hearts would break. My daughter sleeps with a picture of Angelica next to her bed so that she can still see her beloved kitty every day and occasionally lights a memorial candle in her honor.
Sadie (our Chocolate Lab) and Angelica had tolerated each other’s company, but Sadie kept her distance as she had been on the receiving end of many a well-timed and grumpy swipe from Angelica. Queen kitty ruled the roost and everyone knew it, so when she died Sadie went about life as if nothing had happened and all was perfectly normal. For a year she was an only dog until last month when we decided to foster again and on a visit to the local shelter spied a small black and brown Chihuahua mix curled up asleep wearing a pink sweater with the words, ‘Miss January’ on it. ‘Sasha’ was a cautious but friendly little girl who had been dumped at the shelter in a cardboard box. It was obvious that she was uncomfortable in the shelter environment so after much conversation we decided to foster her and bring her home. For weeks we would talk about what kind of home Jasmine would do well in and even though we tried to keep ourselves from getting too attached, we were failing. We decided to give our foster a new name, Jasmine, and it seemed to fit. Named after Aladdin’s brave princess, Jasmine strutted around our home like she had lived there all her life. She was playful and funny while also being serious and thoughtful and had us wrapped around her tiny paw within days. Even though my husband took a little longer to bond (see my last blog post) he, too, started to melt and succumb to Jasmine’s charms.
So I am pleased to finally announce that my family and I are once again ‘foster failures.’ Jasmine is now a permanent member of our family and we are the luckiest people in the world. Jasmine loves my daughter and likes nothing better than to wake her up in the morning, run around with her during the day and fall asleep in her arms at night. She steals anything she can find, which has made all of us really good at picking up after ourselves, barks at people coming through the door like a Rottweiler, (we’re working on that one) and zooms around the house as if she were a Greyhound. She retrieves toys like a Retriever, scents like a Bloodhound, poops more than I’ve ever seen a dog poop in my life, eats it occasionally – (we’re working on that one too) and likes to lick Sadie’s bottom (Sadie doesn’t seem to mind.) At the end of the day, Jasmine likes to either snuggle up with us or sleep next to her new best furry friend, cuddled close into her for comfort and protection. Sadie enjoys the attention and licks her as she goes to sleep.
We’ve all fallen in love with little Jasmine and the best thing of all is that finally, instead of parting with a foster again, we are the ones that are lucky enough to give this beautiful dog her forever home.
Advocating for Animals – Victoria and Holly are joined by actor and animal activist, Peter Egan to discuss dogs, moon bears and...
Victoria is joined by dog behaviour expert and a driving force behind the UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter Andrew Hale to...
The rescue of 180 Chihuahuas sparks a larger conversation on how to transition dogs from crisis situations into homes.
Articles from Victoria Stilwell
- 2021 Dog Behavior Conference Announced
- Why I’m Not a Purely Positive Dog Trainer
- Becoming a Dog Trainer
- Social Bullying
- Does Your Dog Respect You?