Some of you have seen pictures of my darling Asher, soon to be 9 years old.
I’m ecstatic to be reunited with Asher here in da ‘ville, though he doesn’t live with me at my new apartment.
Here is the reason why.
You see, Asher is quite the ladies’ man and Foosie, well she fell in love the moment she saw him. They are literally inseparable.
I adopted Asher four years ago, right around this time of year. He was five. His breeders, Madge and Don Cogswell, were putting him into retirement because he’d sired 106 puppies with 13 different lady mini-schnauzers. While I was visiting them to see puppies, they asked me to consider Asher.
He hopped up on the couch and looked deeply into my eyes. Boy, was I was a gonner! Later I learned that Asher hops on the couch and stares everyone deeply in the eyes. He’s just that sensitive of a boy – after he jumps up on your knees and leaves scratch marks out of the sheer excitement of meeting you when you come in the door. <grin>
My friend Peggy, with whom I was sharing a flat, rescued Foosie from an animal shelter about six weeks after Asher came home. She saw Foosie’s picture on “PetFinders”.
Yup. She was a gonner.
Within 24 hours the two dogs were an old married couple.
Cue “Belle Notte.”
So when I went to San Miguel de Allende for my adventure/experiment,
I was fine with leaving Asher in Foosie and Peggy’s care.
But now I’m back. After staying with Pegs, Foosie, and Ash for seven months I miss Asher (and Foosie) wildly every day!
I just can’t take him from him away from his girl.
Which brings me to fostering!
I’m allowed to have one small-breed dog. I do believe that when I get settled I’ll find me a terrorist, um terrier, to care for while we find her/his forever home.
Which brings me to the dogs I fostered in Mexico.
Coyo was first.
Julie and I found Coyo dodging traffic on a rainy night in San Miguel’s busy jardin.
Hearts in our throat, we watched him cross the street four times, so tiny and grey it was improbable a driver would see him, and so skittery that he ran away when I clucked for him to come. We almost gave up but I pulled out my coo-voice-darling-child-don’t-run-away and he stopped. I slithered across the street talking softly non-stop and he actually came towards me – and I scooped him up!
Julie was my landlady. I lived in a small apartment in a compound with her large house, another big house, another apartment upstairs from mine, and an adorable cottage with a teeny fenced-in front yard that I envied immediately. (Fenced in front yard = dog.) Julie already had two dogs: Cappucinno, a 9 lb. male Maltese mix, and Esmeralda, a nine year old shepherd mix with large soulful eyes. My 6-month lease didn’t include a pet, but Julie was as taken with our rain-soaked rescue as I was so she said, “Why don’t you keep him for a few days and we’ll try to find him a home.” Into my house came Coyo.
And promptly chewed the fringe off of Julie’s rug, peed on the floor, and jumped wildly into my arms to lick me when I told him he was a bad boy.
A ha …..
To make a long story shorter, ten days later Julie, who came to see Coyo everyday and oooh and ah over how adorable he was, adopted Coyo. “Be sure,” I said to her, “he’s a little bit of a devil. He’s going to knock Cappucinno off of his perch as top dog, and annoy Esmeralda because all he wants to do is play when he’s not chewing pillows.” And so he did. But Julie was a gonner.
I volunteered with a rescue group in San Miguel named “Amigos de Animales.” These intrepid souls (mostly women) pulled dogs out of the pound who had five days to live.
Who was owner-surrendered to the pound by a woman who requested that he be put down because he peed in her kitchen.
An Amigos volunteer asked me if I could foster him while they searched for his home. I said I’d have to ask Julie first and at 4:00 another couple took him away from our adoption table in the jardin to see if things would work out -with my phone number as the back-up call. I went home and briefed Julie. I don’t think she was happy about the request, but she didn’t say no.
At 11:00 the next morning I got the call. “Bobby” was humping the couple’s female and would-not-relent. So, I walked to the couple’s home, put “Bobby” on a leash and began a relationship with one of the sweetest, goofiest dogs I’ve ever known. God! How I loved that dog!
I had “Bobby” for about three months. As you can see, he’s a looker. He’s the kind of dog who gets adopted, despite the fact that I was a gonner. I don’t remember how Kelly Karger with Save A Mexican Mutt got involved, but happily she did. Save A Mexican Mutt has a rigorous adoption procedure, and transports dogs from San Miguel to the U.S. and Canada. Kelly put “Bobby” on “PetFinders”. Bobby found his happy home.
Bella emailed me recently to send pix of Lincoln. The woman is besotted and her picture comments are priceless so I’ve typed them verbatim. Here we go:
And one more,
Oh my god, ya think Bella is a gonner?
I had only said good-bye to “Bobby”/Lincoln for a little less than a week when an Amigos volunteer asked me if I could foster another dog.
What a gorgeous redhead! Half-wild, and scared out of her wits in San Miguel’s streets, the pound picked Mia up pregnant. She was allowed to deliver her puppies – who were all adopted – but Mia was left behind. I remain convinced that the reason Mia wasn’t taken, and the reason that I loved her for nine long months, was because she was half-Chow. People are afraid of that black tongue.
It was a slow burn for me and Mia. Over a few weeks, as she gained her confidence, I began to see an astounding need in her for a person to call her own. Eventually her devotion made me burst into tears.
And I was a gonner.
Prospective adopters came to meet Mia. She was always skittish, but in a playful way. Some would bring their dogs. Good lord that girl loves to play! But months went by.
I wrote about Mia on this blog. When I knew I’d be returning to the states I called Save A Mexican Mutt. For her own reasons, Kelly didn’t want to take Mia on. So I played the “Bobby”/Lincoln card.
Hadn’t I been a great foster mom for Save A Mexican Mutt? I had to return to the states in two months. There was no one for Mia. Couldn’t she help me this one time? She did. She put Mia on “PetFinders”.
And nothing happened.
Meanwhile, Lynn in Calgary, Canada was reading about Mia on my blog. One day she remarked again on what a beautiful dog Mia is and how my descriptions of her broke her heart. She simply could not understand why no one would adopt her.
And then I asked, “What about you?”
Lynn took a tremendous leap of faith. Mary fostered Mia when I had to leave, while Lynn made the arrangements to transport Mia to Calgary. Mia reminded Mary of a chow she’d grown up with, so there was a love affair going on there too. After I left Mary told Lynn about Mia’s affectionate nature, her habits, her diet, all the one hundred and one things a person who’s going to adopt a dog they’ve never met want to know. Save a Mexican Mutt got involved with Mia’s transport. Over weeks it came together, with me listening in via e-mail.
Not for one instant did I have a single doubt that Lynn would love Mia.She was everything I said she was. And something more that I couldn’t even put into words.
Lynn stays in touch. We talk about how Mia’s confidence has grown. How she loves the snow. How they have a nature preserve behind their house. Mia walks proudly on a leash now. Lynn sends me .waves of Mia walking. Complete computer idiot that I am, I don’t know how to insert them so you can see how transformed Mia is by having her person. I’ll show you a still:
Tail is up, up, UP!
I wish I could include those .waves. Calgary got a freak snow storm about 10 days ago. You can hear Lynn calling Mia to come in the house. Mia continues romping in the snow. It must feel so good to her with that thick ruff and heavy fur. In that little movie she’s happy and mischievous and home.
I saw an acquaintance for the first time since I returned from San Miguel the other day. “So,” he asked, “how was Mexico?” I talked about Coyo and Lincoln and Mia. I certainly didn’t save them on my own. I worked with wonderful people who pulled together to find their home.
The only thing I did was love them when I had them.
“Truthfully,” I said, “it’s the finest thing I did in my 14 months in Mexico.”
Once I get settled in my new place I’ll be able to see Asher more often.