One year ago today, Brent and I came home early from work to check on Angel (Momma Dog) who had started labor the night before. At lunchtime, there were no puppies, but upon our early afternoon return there were puppies!!! Three beautiful puppies.

DSC03495It was SO exciting and SO amazing. A whole new ball game for Brent and me, as we had never had a foster animal give birth in our home before. These three blind mice grew quickly over the next few weeks. Before I knew it they were old enough to be spayed and neutered. Almost immediately after that two of the three found their forever homes. Gus (now Bentley) and Eva moved on and left Momma Dog and Eli. Eventually Momma Dog found a forever home and left Eli, who continued to learn and grow…

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And grow….

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Eli

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Until he was as big as he was going to get….

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Along the way, Eli had many, many, many adoption inquiries, but none of them came to fruition (we still don’t understand it). While waiting for his forever home, he caused mischief (with partner in crime Dexter)…

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But all the while, he was fitting in with the pack (Note: Tulle and Mo would like to protest this assertion)…

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And burrowing deep into our hearts…

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Until Brent and I decided that maybe Eli was actually the very first one of the bunch to be adopted afterall! Happy Birthday Eli! Welcome to the family!

Early Sunday morning, the boys were in the backyard playing. At one point, Dexter was running around with something in his mouth that Brent could not identify so he went out to check on the suspicious activity. Low and behold, this little guy had found himself an unfortunate participant in Dexter’s frolicing antics:

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Brent quickly ordered Dex to “drop it” and ushered them both into the house, while I got on the phone with our neighbor and the local wildlife rescue. Fortunately, our visitor experienced no damage at the paws (or jaws in this case) of Dexter. He sat up in the yard collecting himself for well over an hour before he quickly scooted off into the safety of our large wood pile. Hopefully our visitor will be more in tune with when the boys are in the yard and choose not to be around when they come out to play!

The crew wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. They absolutely INSISTED on wearing the festive hat and posing for photos. Crazy bunch! In order of Santa Hat appearance: Rosie, Eli, Mona “Mo,” Dexter and Piggy, and Tulle bringing it home.
Momma and Santa Hat

Eli and Santa Hat

Fitty and Santa Hat

P&D Santa Hat

Tulle and Santa Hat

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013!

Both Rosie (AKA: Liz in kennel 441 at the shelter) and Eli (in foster with my family) are still looking for their forever homes. If you are considering opening your heart and home to a four-legged companion this holiday season, remember that pets aren’t just for the holidays. They are forever, and the care and love they need and deserve goes on after the presents are unwrapped, the Christmas goose is eaten, and the thank you notes are written!
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It was a lazy Sunday in the Gilbertson house.

Pig did a lot of this…

While Dex followed me around the yard and did a lot of this…

My free spirit Eli did a lot of this…

Dex and Eli also did a lot of this…

While Mo did a lot of this…

Tulle was nowhere to be found, which means he was doing a lot of what Mo was doing but in the front yard.

All in a days work for the Gilbertson clan!

I was at the shelter yesterday for a Mutt Match adoption event with Eli (yep…we’ve still got this little guy). It’s a fun event where the dogs in foster homes are on site available for adoption. Yesterday was particularly festive with orange and black balloons and dogs dressed in costumes. There was a bee, super dog, a couple of pumpkins, and even a hot dog (the chihuahua and the dachshund). All in all a fun event with lots of activity as the shelter volunteers also brought some available shelter dogs out for exposure and walks. One of the dogs beings walked by a volunteer was this beauty…

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I was shocked when I realized that it was our former foster Rosie. Sadly, Rosie and her doggy house mate were returned to the shelter in late August because the original adopter was “moving out of the country.” To say that I was upset about this “reason” is an understatement. Unfortunately, we have a full house at the moment with our last foster Eli, and I was not able to load my girl up and take her home with me, but Brent and I decided that we would visit her immediately (this morning) and see what we can do to advocate for her. Rosie (who was renamed and is currently known at the shelter as Liz) was in her kennel when we arrived this morning shortly after the shelter opened.

We immediately loved on her…

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And leashed her up for a walk…

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We took her over to the large play area and threw tennis balls for her…

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and spent about 1/2 an hour with her in the play area…

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I got to talk to a wonderful volunteer and member of the Hard Luck Hounds group about Rosie (aka Liz) and told her that we would do everything that we can for her. She was such a pleasure to foster. We brought her home last fall with two of her six puppies. One of the puppies was adopted out of our home. Rosie appeared on KVUE one Saturday morning as the pet of the week and then went to the shelter with her other puppy. Both were adopted that day. It is always a little stressful for me to drop my guys off because I relinquish my involvement in the scrutiny of possible adopters. Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes (like in the case of my other mother dog Emmy Lou and Rosie) it does not. It is one of the double-edged swords of fostering, and one that I have not resolved for myself.

So now, we move forward doing what we can for this wonderful girl. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about her. It was an honor to foster her and her two puppies, and she would honor you by being a loving member of your family!

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Behold the beautiful Momma Dog….

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Eli and I continued our search for his “people” yesterday. We got up early, took showers (yes…Eli needed one too), and headed to Whole Foods for Austin Animal Center’s September Critter Cafe event. I always love Critter Cafe. What could be better than hanging out at Whole Foods on a sunny and breezy Saturday morning? As usual, Eli was a hit. And I heard over and over “Oh, he’ll get adopted fast.” I guess “fast” is a relative term. Eli’s two litter mates were adopted out of our home into their forever families three months ago. Considering how many hits this blog has received, I am surprised that my phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook for this sweet little boy.

In the meantime, Eli continues to burn up all kinds of energy in the backyard with Momma Dog and Uncle Dexter. He is learning to walk on a leash and is starting to understand potty training by having less and less “accidents.” He loves to help his foster mom with the laundry and recycling by following her as she goes to and fro with house chores. He’s an excellent yard-watering companion as well. He’s not much of a tennis ball puppy, but he loves to romp around in the baby swimming pool and chew on sticks. If you think you might be Eli’s “people,” come meet this fabulous boy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eli and I were at the Brodie/290 Petsmart today for an Austin Animal Center (AAC) adoption event. As always, I had many nice conversations with fellow animal lovers. Eli was a perfect gentleman and gave out as many kisses as he received. Check out the adorable “mug shot” that a fellow AAC volunteer took of him.

To be honest, Brent and I never refer to Angel by her shelter-given name. Instead, in our house, she goes by Momma, Mah, or Mah Dog. Not the most creative, but it fits and she answers to it. I’ve tried to figure out all kinds of other names for her (Angel doesn’t really fit), but I keep coming up short. I considered Petunia because she has this cute, little potbelly pig body. And I’ve considered something that highlights her funny ears. I definitely don’t want anything that calls attention to her “full-figured-ness.” Maybe there’s something that matches her nature-girl quality? Alas and alack, we circle back around to Mah Dog. Never really landing on the perfect name. If you have the perfect name for this great girl and a perfect home to offer her too, come meet her! I guarantee this laid back gal would love to hang out with you, frolicking in the backyard chasing crickets and butterflies.

Mah Dog working on her nyla bone.

Mah Dog on cat patrol. Definitely NOT a candidate for a family with kitties!

Mah Dog keeping her eye on Eli and Dexter while they romp in the backyard.

Dexter disturbing Mah Dog’s peace. Pesky Dexter!