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


May 29 2010

Nala is a Foster Dog Looking for Her Forever Loving Home


Hi, I’m Nala, and I’m a young, energetic, loving and absolutely gorgeous Doberman Pinscher mix that is holding my breath – hoping that at any minute someone will come for me and make me their forever dog!  I came into Wayside when my time was running out at another local shelter, and after all the time at that shelter, and then coming here, well, I was experiencing what they call “shelter stress”. 

So Foster Mom (FM) to my rescue!  FM describes me as clever, curious, and very smart. She says I’m her ‘busy’ little girl, and, she thinks I’m a real sweetheart too!  Check out my video to see me with FM.  When I first got to her home, FM said that I was very unsure of myself, and I needed to be with her – everywhere she went!  But I got over that need pretty quickly, and once I settled in, I calmed down and started to enjoy the good life. 

I currently am residing with one cat, and two dogs (one male, one female).  MS. CAT swatted me once on the nose when I first arrived (wow, what a nice, loving welcome that was!), so my thought now is if I just leave her alone – life is good.  I love both of FM’s dogs – we play and wrestle whenever the mood strikes us.  

I stay nicely in a 5 foot fenced back yard, but I’ve been known to jump a 4 foot fence.   I like to play ‘tag’ through the fence too with neighbor dogs.  I have been crated before – overnight, and also when FM has to leave me alone.  She says I can be a bit of a chewer (I get anxious sometimes when I’m alone), and I love to shred  those silly stuffed toys, but give me nylabones, rawhides and biscuits, and I’m happy as a clam.  

I do best with dogs that either establish the fact that they are in charge right up front and I defer, or I love dogs that just are all about play and nothing else – and then, I’m in love.  I also love car rides.  I can either be sitting there, looking at everything in the world and getting excited, or, I could lie down and snooze…you just never know with me. 

FM has been working with me both at the off leash park and at learning basic commands.  I know sit and come, and I’m pretty good at look, down and off.  I know the Zen game too – ask FM about it.  At the off leash park, I love to tear out right away and run and run; but after a bit, I want to find FM and relax next to her, too.  

FM says that I absolutely love a good belly rub, a lot of ear scratching and snuggling too.   FM says that sometimes I will be walking, and all of a sudden I just stop in my tracks, and she knows now that I just want a belly rub.  Yep, right then, right there!   I would love that every single day, ok?  That would make me one very happy girl.  

FM says that the best things about me are my sweet nature and also how energetic I am.  I love to take long walks, and I would be a great dog to jog or run with – believe me, I can go and go!  FM says that I like to show off sometimes because I have lots of acrobatic moves that make people smile and clap!  I’ve been caught doing occasional back flips or flying leaps over a birdbath.   I think I’m pretty cool! 

I really have a heart of gold, and I need a family that has one too.  Do I sound like the perfect dog for you?  I really need my own place because FM can’t keep me forever.  The longer I stay, the longer I will try to make her home my forever home, and it can’t be.  So    please contact Wayside about me as soon as you can, ok?   I can’t wait to meet you!   

Love from Nala


Apr 30 2010

Meet Clint!

Clint is looking for his forever loving home!

Clint is looking for his forever loving home!

Do you know what it’s like to have a bad day?  I don’t, because I’ve never had one.  Do you ever get angry or mad at something that life throws your way?  No way, that’s not me.  Hi, I’m Clint, a super handsome, energetic, playful, crate trained, housebroken, and somewhat eccentric guy who wants very much to find his forever home. 

Yes, you must have noticed right off the bat that I’m a big, black dog, and some would consider that a strike against me.  Statistics show that big black dogs like me are usually the last to be adopted out from shelters.  In my case, I’ve been waiting in a shelter for my forever home for over a year now.  Yes, I said over a year now.  Sigh.  I’m not even two years old yet, so that means I’ve spent over half my life in a shelter.  Yep, I watch all my friends, one by one, go to happy, loving homes, families smiling as they leave the shelter and drive off with a new doggie friend to a new life.  I am left behind – waiting and watching for my forever family to come for me.  A normal dog would be stressed or even depressed by all the time that has passed – but not me, no way.  Patient, resilient – a survivor – yep, that’s a good way to describe me.

I do have one very special friend who takes good care of me at Wayside.  He spends time with me nearly every day teaching me proper dog etiquette – something that sadly no one else in my entire life has ever done for me.  I’m really a smart guy, I just need some positive reinforcement, training, encouragement and structure in my life, and someone to understand me and let me know the right way to do things.  I don’t instantly bond with people, and I’m sure that can be a big reason why I’m still at Wayside.  I certainly know that some adopters really want that immediate connection, love at first sight, well, that fireworks display when they meet their new dog in a play yard at the shelter.  Meet and greets usually last only a few minutes, and I’m probably not likely to instantly bond with you during one.  I take awhile to warm up and get to know you.  Would that make you not want me?  Would you give up on me at that moment?  I hope not.  Developing a special relationship is something that we can work on together – forging a friendship that will last a lifetime.  It can take a little time, that’s all.

My special friend has taught me to walk perfectly on a leash (check out my video to see me).  I used to be pretty barky too, but my friend has helped me figure out that barking can annoy you humans, so he just tells me to knock it off.  I also do great inside a home – my foster families have said that inside the house I’m so, so good….quiet, friendly, housebroken, and well, just perfect.  My friend has helped me to understand just how wonderful the touch of a human’s hand can be – rubbing my belly, stroking my head, scratching my ears.  I just didn’t have enough of that before I came to Wayside, and it is nice to learn all about love.

What do I need to be a forever dog for the right family?  I need a 6 foot fence, and I would be happiest if I had a doggie play buddy – someone young and exuberant about life like me.  Wrestling and playing is great exercise.  I would love some toys to play with, and if you like to go to the lake or you have a baby pool in your backyard, I’m a black lab for pete’s sake – we love water!  If I could have some belly rubs or ear scratches before bed, that would make my day.  My special friend thinks that I should ask for a home with just a single guy with another dog – but my human gal pals at Wayside think I’d love to have a woman in the picture too! 

Ok, I’m not a dog that just anybody would want to have in his or her life.  I’m very special – different and unique – and I need someone special to understand that and give me a chance at a life outside of a shelter environment.  My good friend knows all my quirks and my eccentricities, and he can tell you all about me – if you would just call him or email him.

I have been so patient here at Wayside, every day waiting and watching for my forever family to come.  I am so quiet in my kennel, and rarely does anyone stop to take a second look at me – or to share a hello.  For you humans, you would say it makes you feel invisible or insignificant in this world.  I’m just a big black dog from Clinton that has had to spend way too much time in a shelter.  What is so special about me you ask?  Why pick me to be your dog?  Because I don’t want to be invisible anymore – I don’t want to be passed over – I want to be like all the other dogs that have left Wayside and have never had to come back.  I just want a home of my own.   That’s all any of us want.

Can’t you see me here, patiently lying on the shelter floor, looking up at you?  Would you look into my eyes and think about whether or not your home could be my forever home?  I will be here at Wayside – hoping you will come for me soon.

Love from Clint


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