Fostering Gizmo

I received an email on November 11 from the foster coordinator of Lab Rescue LRCP about Gizmo, a 5 year old black lab male who was freaking out in the Vet in Towson. Laura and I were slated to watch Doogie and Marley (see their post below) from December 5-15, so we were apprehensive, but my conscience got the best of me, and I told Laura that if we had to have three dogs, darn it, we have to have three dogs.

The report from the temporary foster said that he was amazing. Here’s some pictures.

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We showed up at the Towson Vet on Friday, November 13, 2015 (ooo Friday the 13th, 2spooky), and after petting a deaf / blind dog of some kind (which, if you know me, dogs that are infirm, senior, or disabled basically are my kryptonite) the Vet came out to talk to us. Now, I appreciate the curt, forward nature of an older, grizzled vet, but this guy took it a bit far. He calls out the window “What fool takes Gizmo?” And Laura and I look at each other and say “Us?”

He goes on to tell us about how Gizmo won’t let anyone touch him, and any time that they have to do anything to him, they have to sedate him. That when they approached him, he’d growl, and basically was mean as hell. Now we’re scared. He’d been neutered just 4 days prior, and because they had to sedate him to give him ear medicine, they had been giving him weekly medicine to cure up his ear infections. They told us to make an appointment to bring him back in, in a week, to have the medication put in his ears.

So we say, alright, whatever. We can handle this, mostly because the the Lab Rescue folks said he was awesome in his temporary foster’s care, and that the vet was stressing him out. He bounces out of the vet’s back room, cone on and everything. Usually this is a pretty tense moment, and this was no different… Waiting room with 2 other dogs, and a wild man coming out.

Once in the car, we began to question if they gave us the wrong dog. It because clear very quickly that this dog wanted to be in your lap. The first 24 hours were ridiculous because this dog had no idea that he had a cone on, which he proceeded to knock on everything in the house. I told Laura that he had it on for a reason, and that first night, he kept the cone on. It was pathetic, for sure. We decided, collectively (ok, it was mostly Laura), that the cone had to go, and that surely, the reason the cone was on was because the vet couldn’t handle Gizmo. Turns out, she was spot on, and he barely paid attention to his incision. He had a lot of swelling “down there” from what he could reach, but it got better.

He putzed around with me all day while I worked. It was very interesting, because he peed a lot, and I speculate that he’ll be diabetic… But we’ll see. If he wanted to play, and perceived that he was being ignored, he’d sing you the song of his people. Check the video.

I took him to Westminster Mall with me, and he was great. What a smart little guy. If he was singing and you told him to go get a toy, he would go upstairs and find one for you. Neat stuff.

A couple came to see him on Tuesday (November 24, 2 days before Thanksgiving), and asked an awful lot of questions. I could tell that they were very unsure of adopting Gizmo, which was weird. He is really super cool. They left without him that night, and even asked me if they could come back to get him on Saturday. I guess they didn’t want him for the holiday or something like that. I told them that as soon as they left, the dog was technically “Available”. I always tell folks that we advocate for the dogs, and that their chance is when they come to see the dog. Its one of the necessary evils of rescue. Another couple called me on Wednesday (November 25) and arranged a meeting on Friday (November 27). They came, with their golden retriever, and took him home that night.

Laura had to deliver Gizmo’s ear medicine to the adopter’s house (since we forgot it at the in-laws during turkey day), and she stayed to help put the ear medicine in one last time. She said he fit right in, and was doing great with the resident golden. I guess this one has a happy ending! I sure will miss him.

There is something to be said about emotional attachment and fostering. The first dogs we fostered (Doogie and Marley) were easy to let go, since there were obviously two of them (and we want one), and we had our guard up. Doogie and Marley were also crate trained, so they didn’t sleep near us at night. Gizmo was literally in our bed. I feel like the “guard up” thing hit us most of all, simply because after they left, and we got our next pup, we basically thought we were seasoned pros, and that is just not the case!

December 18, 2015 edit: Here are some more pictures (after the jump). I probably should have kept this dude. He was really great, except the whining. Sometime around, oh, I don’t know, “Gizmo’s arrival” we decided that all sorts of rules were dumb and let him on the couch, in the bed, it was crazy. More pics from jump.

The chest hair is 100% real, and a jessewolcott.com exclusive, enjoy.

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