As the Transportation Coordinator for ODR, inc. I see most of the surrender requests come thru the rescue. As you know, the sanctuary has limited space and unfortunately cannot take in every request immediately. When the surrender request came in for Tucker, there was no space for him. The family was dealing with a medical situation and had a specific deadline he needed to be out of the home. We jumped into action, as we always do, to help the family find a safe place for Tucker by networking with over 100 rescues and resources, Facebook postings and a courtesy adoption listing on our website.
After a couple of weeks the deadline was quickly approaching. The family became more urgent in their plea to have him removed from the home. So, even though I never thought I would be an appropriate person to foster, I volunteered to take him in for a few days while Jenell worked to make room for him at the sanctuary. Of course, I had to clear it with my husband and he said “It’s only for a few days and we are not keeping him!” I filled out the Foster applications, got my training and the next day picked him up.
I figured I could just keep him separated from my two little rescue dogs for a couple days, right? We shuffled back and forth for feeding, play time and cuddles. However, they all became more interested in each other and after only a few days we started properly introducing them. Then within a week, and after a few snarls, sniffs and barks they all became friends.
Even though I work full time, my employer was very supportive of bringing Tucker to the office. Eventually, it became routine every morning for Tucker to buckle up in the back seat and off to work we go. He became my sidekick! I’m sure you can see where this story is going…. Even though Jenell found room for him at the sanctuary, we decided he should just stay with us until he found his new home. People were telling me I was crazy, you will have him forever; no one wants to adopt a senior dog.
Tucker was clearly loved at one time. He was well behaved, potty trained and started showing us all his tricks. There was a little skin issue, however, with a change in diet, some antibiotics and getting him off the drugs, he became one happy little (or should I say big) guy. He was with me every minute of every day except for sleeping in the crate at night so we naturally bonded quite quickly. Yes, taking care of Tucker was extra work and disrupted our lives. Schlepping him up and down the stairs, all 24 lbs!, and caring for his medical issues initially. However, by the time he left he required no special care. And, of course walking, playing fetch, practicing tricks, playing hide and seek, and lots of cuddles. I hesitated at first to show him too much affection, but soon realized he deserved it as much as any other dog. And, who could resist that sweet face and wrinkly legs!
About 30 days later we got the call from Ginny, an application came in requesting Tucker. She asked if I would call the applicants to answer any questions they may have. I must have done a good job, because he had a meet and greet scheduled for that Saturday at the Bowser Boutique. That day was tough. It was hard seeing Tucker look for me as he was getting to know the prospective new mom and dad. Even though I was sad, I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing. Because of our sacrifices, Tucker was able to live in a loving home rather than locked up in a concrete cell, or even worse, while awaiting his new forever home.
In the end we all fell in love with Tucker including Kevin, Hank and Hazel. Tucker taught us to see the beauty in a senior dog. They may have a frosty face, but they have so much to give. They want to love and deserve to be loved. I now feel the need to advocate for these frosty face dachshunds. It is not their fault they are slowing down and perhaps having a few health issues. No different than humans!
Although, I am not the ideal candidate to Foster most of the dachshunds who come to the rescue, I would challenge anyone who has time, patience, and love of doxies to consider opening your home to a dog in need. An ideal home would have a work from home or retired person with no young children or other dogs. These guidelines can occasionally have exceptions depending on the disposition of the rescued dog. Keep in mind many of these dogs come from abuse, neglect and many have bite and or behavioral issues. Oregon Dachshund Rescue will provide the vet care, food, crates, toys, and training. All you need to do is provide the willingness to help rehabilitate a troubled or possibly disabled little dachshund. Fostering saves lives!