Sep 26 2016

Meet Memphis!

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Meet Memphis! This sweet, goofy guy is a 75-pound Mastiff mix who’s looking for a home. He was transferred to Wayside Waifs when his last shelter ran out of space for him. Now that he’s settled in, he’s more than ready to find his peeps and get to his new fur-ever home!

Are you looking for a laid-back companion who will enjoy relaxing around the house with you? Memphis is your guy! He would be a great friend to children and other canine companions, too. Memphis is super smart and eager to learn all the exciting things you have to teach him. With some positive encouragement and some extra treats for motivation, he’ll be able to learn the ropes in no time.

He loves to stay active by taking long walks. He’s an explorer who enjoys the exciting sights and smells that the great outdoors has to offer. He has great leash manners, too so staying healthy will be something fun you can enjoy together!

Memphis is an independent guy who won’t ask for much. He’ll let you know how much he loves you by curling up by your side to enjoy some belly rubs. As you can see in his picture, he also likes to stick out his tongue for fun! If you’re looking for a silly, fun, loving companion, come by Wayside Waifs soon to see Memphis! Tail wags!


Mar 6 2014

How to Transition Your Dog’s Food

dog foodUnlike their human counterparts, dogs do not need to eat a rainbow (yes, keep those skittles to yourself on family movie night). Although eating food with a balanced spectrum of nutrients is important, owners should aim to consistently provide a healthy meal for their canine companions. However, as dogs mature or develop food allergies or sensitivities, you may come to a point when you need to switch dog food. Don’t panic; follow these simple steps to avoid post-breakfast or dinnertime discomfort.

Know Your Addition

In just five days, you can seamlessly transition your dog’s food. It’s simple: All you have to do is know some basic calculations for you and Fido to be on your way to a healthy new start. Begin by adding 20% of the new food in with 80% of the old. From here, you will up the new food in 20% increments each day, while simultaneously lowering the old mix by 20%. Easy, right?

See the chart below for details.

  • Day 1 – 80% Original food + 20% New
  • Day 2 – 60% Original food + 40% New
  • Day 3 – 40% Original food + 60% New
  • Day 4 – 20% Original food + 80% New
  • Day 5 – 100% New

While these proportions help most dogs make an easy transition to their new food, it is not a foolproof plan. Because of this, there are some telltale signs of irritation you’ll want to watch for throughout this process.

Red Flags:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs, stop administering new food and visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

When it comes time to change your dog’s food, be sure to employ the following steps. And remember, there is no universal solution for all dogs. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to observe your dog for any unusual diet-related behavior as you make this transition.

Adopt Today

If you are looking to adopt a dog you can call your own, Wayside Waifs of Kansas City has a number of animals in need of permanent, loving homes.

 Adoption Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm

 

Proudly serving the Greater Kansas City community. 


Jan 26 2014

Help Us Find Lewis His Forever Home

Lewis At Wayside Waifs, we have over 300 animals in our care that need a home, and this week we would like to spotlight one. What makes this Waif so sweet? Well, just look at that smile. Lewis is a two-year-old Pit Bull-Terrier mix and he is about as amiable as they come. You can just see the hope in Lewis’ eyes. You see, Lewis was brought in from the streets with his sister, who was later picked up by their former owner. Lewis, however, was left behind and remains waiting for his forever home. So, ready to learn what makes Lewis so special?

Why We Love Lewis:

Hopeful

Despite Lewis’ devastating abandonment, he remains one of the most hopeful foster dogs in the shelter. Since Lewis knows what it was like to have a home, he has been eagerly waiting to find a new, permanent one with a loving family who will never leave him behind. His hopeful attitude is one of the many things that makes Lewis such a heartbreaker.

Good-natured

Lewis is one affable pup. He is also obedient, house-trained, and eager-to-please. The result is one happy-go-lucky pooch. And did we mention Lewis loves to go walking. His leash-side manner is excellent, so he looks forward to going on lots of walks with his future owners.

Family-friendly

Since Lewis came from a home, he knows what it is like to be part of the family and he just can’t wait to settle back in with a new, permanent one. Growing up with a sister, Lewis plays well with other dogs and would really enjoy having another live-in canine companion. Children are great, too; however, he prefers big kids who are over the age of five. Sometimes Lewis gets anxious around unexpected movement, so he needs a family who speaks softly to him and is conscientious of his occasional anxiety.

Visit Lewis Today

If this fun-loving dog seems like he would be a good fit for your family, pay him a visit. Lewis is hopeful he will be united for his forever owner soon, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to bring him home.


Shelter Hours: 

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm 

 

 


Jan 8 2014

Help Our Foster Dogs in Need

 Although the holiday season has come and gone, the season of giving does not have to end. At Wayside Waifs, we have foster dogs that are in need of finding a “forever home.” If you have room in your heart and home this New Year, our adoptable foster dogs would love nothing more than to become a permanent resident in a stable, loving home. Think this sounds like a good fit? Meet a couple of our sweetest Waifs that are currently in foster care.

Harley

Harley

Meet Harley, our three-year-old, Shepard mix, currently in foster care. Sometimes pictures really do say it all. And, in this instance, that could not ring more true. Harley’s gentle eyes, genuine smile, and shiny fur coat are only a few of his many redeeming qualities. They always say, “dog is man’s best friend,” and in Harley’s case, the feeling is mutual.

Harley loves his people, car rides, and playing outside. Simply put: He is a lover. Because of his sunny disposition, he would love nothing more than to find a family he could forever call his own.  However, before adopting this sweet-natured pooch, it is important you know one thing about Harley. Left alone, Harley sometimes cries for human interaction, something that results from his separation anxiety condition. Because of this, Harley needs an adoption family who is loving and patient.

 

If you would like to learn more about Harley, please call (816) 986-4426.

HarrietHarriet

Our adoption dog Harriet has a personality that matches her adorable name. This nine-month-old American Bulldog is 100 percent sweet. Her angelic eyes really do say it all. Harriet loves to cuddle, play, and sometimes do a little unwanted chewing. Not to worry, though. Because of Harriet’s young age and desire to please her people, she is highly trainable. The secret to success in a permanent home? Patience.

Want to meet Harriet? For more information, call (816) 986-4426.

Adopt Now

These two Waifs are some of the sweetest pups you will ever meet. In fact, if either of them seem like a good match, they would love for nothing more than to make your home their “forever home.”

To learn more about our adoptable foster puppies, call (816) 986-4426.


May 12 2011

Meet Doc!

Hi!  I'm Doc

Meet Doc

One look into my chocolate-y brown eyes and try to tell me you aren’t already in love with my sweet face.   Hi, I’m Doc, and I’m a 10-month old, housetrained, crate trained, total love bug of a dog, searching for my new forever family.  Oh boy, I just can’t wait for you to find me.  I was transferred to Wayside from another shelter where I hadn’t been able to find a new home.  When I first arrived, I was very unsure of myself, and my new friends here noticed that I would flinch when their hands moved quickly – as though perhaps someone in my past overcorrected me.  Ah, thankfully all of that was a long time ago.  Now, well now I’m in a super duper foster home, with the best foster family on the planet.  They like to volunteer at Wayside Waifs, and being with volunteers means I’m with people who will love me and want the best for me.   Let me just put a plug in here for the foster families, too.  Do you realize just how great it is that fosters take us in, teach us how to be a great dog in a home, and then, well then after loving us and caring for us and bonding with us, they have to let us go to our forever home?  It is bittersweet for all of us, but especially for the family.  I can’t thank them enough for all the love and training they have so willingly given me. 

They have so much good stuff to say about me, because I’m just the perfect dog.  Oh, ok, I know I need to be completely honest here, so there might be a few minor little things that they will want to mention that I might still need to work on.  Let’s start with the good stuff.   First of all, I’m housebroken!  Yep, that was a snap.  I’m very smart, too.  I know ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘up’ (that’s for kennel up), ‘out’ for outside, and I’m working on ‘come’.   I’m clever, too.  My foster mom says that I’ve been living with her two dogs (a border collie and an older beagle), and the border collie initially decided to hoard all the toys in the house – just so I wouldn’t have anything to play with.  Hey, I call F-O-U-L!  Well, in order to regain control of the situation, I decided that I could outwit, outsmart and outplay her, and I could beat her at her own game.  My foster mom has a vegetable garden in her back yard with a little 3 foot fence around it.  I had noticed that my pal wouldn’t jump that little fence, so I decided that I WOULD, and I’d take each toy, one at a time, into the garden and leave them there.  Ha!  It worked, so now I have all the toys for myself, and she has nothing!  Ok, ok, it is all in the name of fun.  If she wants one, I’ll share, I promise! 

She also has a 6 foot privacy fence in her back yard, and I get to spend a lot of time out there during the day.  There was one time, yes just one time that I decided I had to see what was on the other side of that privacy fence.  Well, in order to do that, I had to do a wee bit of digging.  It wasn’t a lot, and I haven’t done it since, but, I was able to get myself into the neighbor’s yard.  Heck, their yard was just like my yard, so there really isn’t a need to go over there any more.   My doggie pal and I get to play so much during the day, and whew, she really wears me out – she’s a border collie, they can wear any dog out :)  My foster mom also takes us on a mile walk every day.  All three of us go together, and I do great on leash.  The only thing that happens sometimes is that if I get a little overheated, well, I like to just stop and lie down and relax for a bit.  There is nothing wrong with doing that, is there?  

I’ve got two human sisters (15 and 17 years old), and believe me, they are the light of my life right now.  When they get home from school every day, the thing we love to do is sit around and cuddle.  That’s right, I love to cuddle, and they do too!  My foster mom says that if you decide to adopt me, you need to know that my ‘sisters’ might want to come with me.  Just think how all of us could rock your world.  Nah, they wouldn’t come, but they would miss me more than anything.   I would love it if you had some kids around.  Don’t forget that I’m still a puppy.  I’ve got more growing and more learning to do.  I can be a bit nippy and jumpy when I play, but that has been changing over time as I’ve settled in.   Sometimes it is just that initial morning burst of energy that brings out the ‘puppiness’ in me.  Once I get past that, I’m a good boy, I really am. 

I love toys and treats!  What self-respecting retriever mix doesn’t?  I chew on nylabones (and an occasional stick or two), and rawhides are absolutely delicious!  I mentioned all the toys before – we’ve got balls, Frisbees, tug toys, you name it!  I like them all.  You will need to remember to watch me about chewing.  It is our natural instinct, so giving me the proper toys to chew on keeps me away from your fancy heels and house slippers.  

My foster mom says that one of her favorite things about me is that I have a smile on my face all the time.  Well, who wouldn’t?  I’m a happy boy, with a bunch of people who love me, something I’d never felt before coming to Wayside and getting hooked up with this wonderful family.   It is hard to start life being mistreated by humans.  Sometimes people just don’t understand how to train a dog to fit into their lifestyle.  But the greatest thing about dogs is that we have the capacity to forgive and forget all kinds of bad treatment.  We focus on the moment we are in, and if that moment is filled with love and kindness, we smile, just like I do, and we just enjoy it.  I have shown my devotion to family over and over again.   It is important that dogs that go to foster get new homes quickly.  It becomes harder and harder for our family to let go – and for us to let go.  I know when you come for me, I’ll be more ready than ever to bond and be the best forever dog in the world for you.  I’m waiting patiently! 

Love from Doc


Dec 2 2010

Bonded Pairs

 

Huan Huan & Happy want to be together forever! Watch their video on Youtube.

At Wayside Waifs we see our fair share of sad situations. A puppy mill dog that we receive that has never been shown love, a puppy abandoned in a parking lot, or even a puppy who has never been shown love AND was abandoned in a parking lot. Some of the more heartbreaking cases are when two dogs, or two cats, get brought in together, have to go home together, and sit waiting in the shelter for weeks or months because people are afraid to take on two animals. And in most cases, it’s two older animals, which makes people uneasy as well. What most people don’t know is that bringing home two bonded pets is not half as much work as it is imagined to be! The pro’s of adopting a pair outweighs the cons by far.

When two animals bond to one another they tend to adjust to new situations better. For a puppy or kitten that has just been separated from their siblings, moving in to a new environment can be extremely scary and lonely. For an adult dog or cat, moving in to a new environment can be just as stressful- especially if they have been in a shelter environment for a long period of time, or if they are naturally on the shy/skittish side. When you bring home a bonded pair they have one another to cling to if they get scared. They have someone to sleep with, someone to explore with and someone to go through the change with. It can be less intimidating and they tend to adjust to the environment quicker.

Owners of bonded pairs also find that a duo is usually less demanding. Since bonded pairs have each other, they don’t rely as much on their owners for constant play and attention. Don’t read that wrong, bonded pairs want just as much love and affection from their owners as a single pet- but when it comes to boredom, they have one another to supply the activity. Also, since the pair can play and interact with one another, the probability of destruction in the house drops too.

Most bonded pairs tend to be older, and have lived together for years so they usually have some training under their belt already! You won’t have to go through the dos and don’ts of puppy hood and you won’t have to go through the scratched up furniture of kitten play. Studies also show that bonded pairs who stick together actually live longer and healthier lives. Love makes the heart younger and bonded duos are the perfect example of that. Some people don’t understand why duo’s can’t be separated, but the fact of the matter is that animals will become physically and emotionally ill if they are separated from their long term partner in crime.

When you adopt a bonded pair you are doing two wonderful things: you are giving two (typically older) homeless pets a loving home, and you are also saving them from being separated. They say rescued pets know they’ve been rescued; can you imagine having two pets who know you saved them?! Imagine all that love; double time!

So if you see an animal and think “Oh goodness, they would just be perfect!” and then find yourself changing your tune when you realize they have to go home with the other animal in their kennel, rethink. You obviously want to make sure you have the environment and space for two animals but it’s not as difficult as you may think. Don’t cast duos aside just because it’s double the animal. Realize the wonderful relationship those two animals have and honor it. You’ll receive double sloppy kisses, double sleeping buddies, and double the love; how can you go wrong?

Written by Alyssa Willet
Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs


Oct 15 2010

Heart to Heart with Squeakers


If you Squeakers ask what he wants in life, he would say, “I just want to be a kitten.” Squeakers came to Wayside as a stray in September all by himself and was instantly a favorite.  With his sweet demeanor and funny personality the employees and volunteers here at Wayside knew he would get adopted quickly.

Finally, the day came when someone was interested in adopting him so; we thought he would have the home he deserved. But, something got in the way of this. It was a heart defect that gave him a life expectancy of six months to two years to live. This was not only heart breaking to the potential adopters but, also to all that fell in love with him at Wayside. 

This sad diagnosis was a lot to ask of someone who would surely fall in love him, since he would eventually pass away at young age. Plus, the medical bills, not just monitor his heart but, to diagnose the severity was beyond most peoples capabilities. The potential adopters realized that they couldn’t take the heart ache therefore the adoption fell through. 

So, there was a decision to make. What could be done for this little guy? Therefore, the Wayside staff decided a foster home would be a good start. He was sent into Wayside Waifs Foster Program with the thought that either we could find someone to give him a loving home or he can live out a normal life during the time he had left.

In his new foster home, he plays with the other cats in the household and loves to cuddle with the dogs. He gets to sleep on his foster mom’s pillow at night, purring her to sleep. Squeakers can now live a normal life and be loved as he truly deserves. So, knowing his wonderful personality, we now would like to give him a step up in the world. 

Adopting him out we all know is going to be difficult so, the doctors would like to send him to a specialist to find out how severe the heart issues is so that we can give a new adopter as much information as possible to care for him. This procedure is called an echo cardiogram. It would be the best way to find out what regimen he needs to be on to prolong his life as much as possible.  

To do this we need to find a way to pay for this procedure. So, the employees and volunteers teamed up and are having a bake sale to raise the funds. This will be at Wayside on October 23rd. Please help Squeakers get the life he deserves by coming up a purchasing some yummy goodies for your family. All proceeds will go to helping him through this process and finding him a loving forever home.  

Written by Kristin Sampson
Foster Care Coordinator at Wayside Waifs


Oct 13 2010

No “Tricks” This Halloween- Keeping Your Pets Safe


Thinking about what costume you don this Halloween?  Perhaps a member of the Dancing With The Stars  show or maybe just keep it simple and go with the hottest Hollywood couple ?  Halloween is always fun for the little goblins and witches in your house, but it can be a dangerous time of year for our furry friends.  While some things may seem like common sense, others are things we might not even think about! 

Here are some tips to keeping your furry family members safe!

1.  No treats!  Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous to dogs and cats.  Symptoms of ingesting significant amounts of chocolate may include: vomiting, hyperactivity, drinking excessive amounts of water, increased or frequent urination, and heart rate.  Your pet may also have seizures. 

Candies that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs.  This sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.  Significant low blood sugar can also cause liver failure.

Watch those wrappers!  Ingesting the foil or cellophane wrappers can be a choking hazard or intestinal blockage.

2. Pumpkins and decorative corn can cause gastrointestinal upset and can even cause intestinal blockage.  Also watch carved pumpkins with lit candles inside!  Pets can easily knock over pumpkins and cause a fire.  Curious cats are especially at risk or getting burned by lit candles.  My curious calico actually burnt her whiskers when she got too curious about a lit candle.  Needless to say she now steers clear and we have taken to using reed diffusers instead of candles.   

3.  Keep all wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach from your pets.  If your pet chews the cords, they could have damage in the mouth or electrical shock.

4. Everyone loves to dress up for Halloween and it can be fun to get your pet a costume too.  Please don’t put your pet in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.  My poodle loves to wear clothes, but some pets find it extremely stressful.  Be mindful of how your pet is feeling.

If you do dress your pet in a costume, make sure it isn’t constricting their movements, hearing or ability to breathe, bark or meow.  I would also recommend trying on costumes prior to the big night, that way if  your pet is stressed, uncomfortable or allergic you know before the big night. 

Also check the costume for buttons, dangling accessories/accents or pieces that could be chewed off easily.  These all pose not only choking hazards but could also cause intestinal blockages. 

5. Not all dogs and cats are social and excessive knocks on the door, or doorbell can be stressful.  It is recommended that you put your pet in another room, away from trick or treating during peak hours.  The first year we had our toy poodle I thought it would be good to let her run around the house and see the kids when they came to the door.  I mean, she LOVES kids.  Unfortunately every time she heard the doorbell she went into a barking/attack mode.  To this day every time she hears a doorbell, even if it’s on the television, she goes berserk!  It was a big mistake to let her be around this commotion before she was ready.

Also be careful of opening the door- this is a prime opportunity for your pet to dart off or scare small children who are unaware you have a pet. 

6.  As always, make sure your pet has identification and is micro-chipped.  If your pet should escape or become lost this will increase the chances that you will be able to find them.

7.  Consider keeping your pet indoors.  Halloween is a prime time for pranksters who might taunt, injure or even take your pet. 

Halloween can be a fun time for the entire family, just be extra mindful of your furry family members and what tricks or treats they are enjoying!

Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs


Aug 5 2010

When It Comes To Love, Age Is Just A Number

Boo and Tabasco

Boo and Tabasco

Who doesn’t love a snuggly little puppy or kitten?  They’re sweet and cuddly and just SO dog-gone cute!  But, when it comes to adopting, is a puppy or kitten really the right choice for YOU?  Often-times, the answer to that question is “no”, it is not.  So, what are some of the questions you should be asking, in regard to an animal’s age, once you’ve decided to adopt?  Here are some very important questions you need to consider:

  • How long will my puppy be alone and in a crate during the day?  If the answer is more than 4 hours, then a puppy is not a good choice for you.  A general rule of thumb for a young puppy is that it will need to go outside to eliminate every 30 minutes to one hour initially.  You can then gradually work up to longer periods of time.
  • Do I have the time and temperament to train a puppy?  If the time you can spend training a puppy is very limited, then it’s best to consider adopting an adult dog that most likely will already have had some training.  Although watching a puppy grow to adulthood can be a very rewarding experience, the time requirements will be quite extensive.  Young puppies will need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day, taken out several times a day to eliminate and when loose, must be watched constantly.  Young puppies in a new home may also whine through the night as they are adjusting to their new surroundings and life without mom.
  • Do you have young children in the home?  Kittens and puppies can be overly rambunctious and unintentionally nip or scratch young children, especially those who have not yet learned how to interact with animals.
  • Are my “things” so important to me that I would be distraught if any of them became the “object of desire” for my teething puppy?  Although a puppy should always be supervised when out of its crate, accidents do happen.  So, if you know that you could not live with a few teeth marks on the legs of you dining table, you probably should steer clear of adopting a puppy.  Teething generally lasts for the first 6 to 8 months, although some dogs will continue to be “chewers” for much longer than that. 

So, you may be wondering; if adopting an older animal is so much better, then why are there so many of them in shelters?  Are they second rate, or in some way defective?  The majority of older pets are surrendered through no fault of their own.  Many are surrendered because their owners have developed allergies, or have other health issues and are no longer able to care for their pets, or possibly, the pet has just outlived the owner.  Often-times there is simply a change in the owner’s lifestyle, such a move to a new residence which does not allow pets, a change in work schedule, a new baby in the home…….  The reasons are varied, and far too many to list here, but simply said, shelters are full of healthy, energetic, lovable adult cats and dogs just longing for a new forever family.  Adopting an older pet can be tremendously rewarding too.  Not only will they bring joy into your life with their unconditional love and companionship, you will also be giving refuge to a lost and lonely soul who most likely came into the shelter extremely frightened and bewildered, without a clue as to what had just rocked their world.  All of them, regardless of their age, deserve a second chance.

In addition to receiving unconditional love, there are many other advantages to adopting an older pet.  With an older pet you will immediately know exactly what you are getting in terms of size, physical appearance, activity level, sociability, health and temperament.  An older dog may be easier to train than a puppy, and yes, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!  Older dogs tend to be calmer and quieter than a puppy, they will usually comprehend the word “no” and will probably have already come to understand what kinds of behaviors are acceptable and what are not.  And, an older pet will be less demanding of your time than a kitten or puppy.  Mature cats will usually know how to avoid danger, but that is not always true with kittens, and they will need to be constantly supervised.  Thus, the saying about cats having 9 lives!  Older cats may need some time to adjust to their new surroundings though.  If the new adoptee chooses to spend the first few days hiding under the couch, just make sure it knows where its food, water and litter box are and leave it be.  It may only come out in the dark of night for the first few days, but once it is comfortable with its new surroundings it will venture out on its own and want to begin getting to know you.

One concern expressed by potential adopters when choosing an older animal is that their pet won’t have many years of life left.  But, one need not be overly concerned because, due to advances in veterinary care and nutrition that will most likely not be the case.  Indoor cats will typically live well into their teens, and many into their early twenties.  Depending on the size of the dog (smaller dogs live longer), many dogs can be expected to live well into their teens too.  

As for me personally, I have adopted two older (sibling) cats, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Boo and Tabasco were both 8 years old when I adopted them in 2000.  Unfortunately, 4 years later Boo developed cancer and had to be put down, but Tabasco has been with me for 10 years and is still going strong.  It saddens me deeply that I was only able to have Boo in my life for 4 years, but I wouldn’t trade those 4 years with him for anything in the world.  When you adopt a pet, no matter what their age, you are always taking a chance in regard to how long they will live.  There is no guarantee when adopting a puppy or kitten that it will live any longer than the adult cat or dog you see in the cage right next to it.  We just need to love them and care for them for whatever time we are blessed with them, and of course, mourn for them when they are gone.  As Queen Elizabeth II said – “Grief is the price we pay for love.”  And, what a wonderful love that is!!!

Written by Karen Brown


Aug 3 2010

Foster Feature: Meet Hot Pocket

Meet Hot Pocket

Meet Hot Pocket

“There’s a dog in the vet clinic that needs to be put in your area” she said. I work in a sectioned off area of the shelter where animals that have medical issues, behavior problems or are too young to be adopted usually reside. I headed down the hall to the vet clinic trying to think of what this dogs problem might be; a broken leg, a bad upper respiratory infection, maybe just a bad attitude. When I saw her I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was covered in scabs, pustules, pimples and had reddened dry splotchy skin. One look in her eyes and I knew I had to help her. I immediately put on the baby blue gown, sported some white surgical gloves and picked her up. She looked so sad,

“What’s her name?”
“Hot Pocket”

Someone had dropped her off in the Wayside parking lot; dismissing her and the medical attention she so desperately needed. The way she leaned in to me and looked in to my eyes told me that she knew I was helping her.

Since no one knew whether she was contagious or not, I couldn’t take her home right away. So, I spoiled her in every other way I knew how. She got plush dog beds, plenty of toys and a lot of love. I could never touch her with my bare hands, in case she was contagious- so every day for about an hour I would get in to my fashionable garb of medical scrubs and sit with her. She didn’t want to play much since she wasn’t in the best of health; most of the time was spent with her sleeping in my lap while I would try my best not to hurt her as I pet her scabby head, and held her dry irritated body. 

Once she was medically cleared as not being contagious I got all of the items she would need together and took her home. As we got into the car I put her in her crate and hoped for the best. She cried and potty’d almost immediately. “Oh no, what am I getting myself in to?” I work with puppies on a daily basis but I’ve never wanted to take one home because I know how much work they are. Plus, how were my room mate’s two dogs going to react to her? I found out once I got home; Cooper, the Springer Spaniel mix immediately warmed up to her. If she sneezed, he licked her face. If she coughed, he cuddled with her. She nipped, pawed, barked and walked all over him and he loved every minute of it. 

With a new boyfriend in tow, Hot Pocket made herself at home. She never potty’d in the house (or her crate), she always let me get a full 8 hours of sleep, and she started learning new commands instantly! As far as puppies go, Hot Pocket was as close to perfect as they come! She loves every dog she comes in to contact with and every person she meets falls in love with her gentle, playful puppy nature. 

Hot Pocket is now making a full recovery and is a beautiful, gorgeous eyed little girl. Had it not been for the fostering program offered at Wayside I would never have been able to get her back to full health and show her what it’s like to be loved. Fostering gives me a feeling of need and a sense of accomplishment. Since I work at Wayside I get to see first hand how much fostering makes a difference; it’s phenomenal. And Hot Pocket is one of the best examples I have to show that.

Written by Alyssa Willet
Puppy Nursery Caretaker at Wayside Waifs


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