How we came to meet Gandolf…I mean Pochoco… oh wait, Sherman.

So our last foster we had him for only four days. He was a great dog, well trained, loved attention and still had a lot of puppy in him.  It was GREAT meeting his new Dad and his doggy brother (I think his name was Caesar).  When he showed up at the rescue I thought his dog was an identical twin of Raj.  At first they didn’t pay much attention to one another, there were SO many other dogs running wild around in the yard but then… THEN I saw the tail wagging, the bowing position that says “I want to play!!” and then the two of them pranced off behind the bushes together.  I knew it was meant to be.  Especially after chatting with the wonderful gentleman adopting him becuase as we discussed some of Raj’s quirky little behaviors, apparently his current GSP does the same things.  Two peas in a pod. It truly was meant to be.  I can’t wait for an update!!

To be honest, we were left in a fog when Raj left.  The kids had been warned that he was going to a new home already (I told them it was because they had done SUCH a great job with him…they seemed proud of themselves more than they were sad…heck they had JUST begun being able to pronounce the name “Raj” correctly lol)  but to come home and continue on with our lives with only our Hanna and Bailey… I couldn’t help but feel like we were missing something.

Last Thursday we were scheduled to work the CA GSP Booth at the Del Mar Fair (yes I am a native, I refuse to call it by any other name)… but there was one problem, we didn’t have a foster with us anymore.  We planned to go up Wednesday to the rescue and pick up Shaddow (http://gsp-rescue.org/tag/shadow/) seeing as he is a well deserving, sweet, playful senior GSP that is looking for a home and deserves to be showcased at events like this.  There was talk of him being our foster so he wouldn’t have to sit at the rescue and be able to relax in a home/family environment rather than a kennel setting… BUT it was not meant to be.  He was to go home with another wonderful volunteer foster family and then we got the news that we also were not needed at the GSP booth at the fair… another senior dog with another local foster family was getting dropped off instead….

We sat around and continued feeling like something was missing.  It occurred to me… I wonder if we are the only foster family taking in GSP’s left and right, loving the breed with an undying passion and yet… we don’t have one of our own. Maybe one day… maybe one day soon.  But for now, we will settle for fostering.

Friday night we got a text that soon the rescue was getting a very young male from the SPCA in San Diego that had a lot of anxiety issues, but they were still working on transportation arrangements so he would probably not be available for us to pick up and foster until Wednesday.  Two thoughts occurred to me when I read this message : 1.  we would have to wait THAT much longer with this empty feeling in our home… I know it’s only a few more days, but at the time it felt like it was going to be forever until Wednesday came around….2. This poor pup, already having issues with anxiety needed to be in a HOME, not a kennel surrounded by barking dogs, cement floors and loneliness.  I couldn’t rationalize not offering to help when we would have otherwise been sitting at home wishing we could be spending time as a family playing with the pups at the rescue and bringing home a new foster to love.  SO, we offered to participate in transporting a dog for the first time.  (I’ve got to admit, after having a few fosters with names that were questionably unique, the idea of being allowed to pick a name for this one was very appealing)

We got to the SPCA and after a bit of a wait, observing a few sad looking pups behind bars we were led out to what they called a “play yard”.  Then we heard him… a noise I can’t even begin to describe properly.  The SPCA worker walked around the corner with a roan colored GSP dragging him the entire way.  The dog was choking and grunting, squealing and snorting all at the same time.  He burst through the fence and practically lept into eric’s arms.  “Sit” and “Down” did nothing to deter this boy’s excitement.  Poor peytne was off to the side and still managed to get trampled by his spastic happiness (she survived and giggled it off).

We tossed a tennis ball with him for a few minutes but knew that we had to get up to the rescue by 1130 so we packed up and got ready to leave.  He road in the car nice enough… A few unreachable crevices of my backseat are now a little bit less pakced with crumbs…Peytne enjoyed playing with him, loving him and feeding him popcorn despite my urgings to NOT give him food.

In the car we read a little about him.

He was born with the name Gandolph. He had a brother named Diesel. (Ive got to admit this makes me feel a bit like I know the previous owners…just a little…)  They bought a pure bred GSP male from a breeder and then were fostering a pure bred Female GSP and thought she was spayed, but with the birth of these two bouncing baby boys… she apparently was not.  The family kept the boys and supposedly began to train them for hunting.  It was noted that the parents were avid hunting GSP’s… At some point in his puppyhood the landlords found out about the new additions to the pet collection and tol dthe family two of them needed to go.  The family gave up the pups to the SPCA.

The brother’s were separated and Diesel was adopted out then shortly after Gandolph, renamed by the new family as “Pochoco” was adopted as well.  He went to a family with no other dogs who despite the adults working separate shifts and the family never being away all at once for more than 4 hours he quickly began to exhibit signs of separation anxiety.  He paced the yard, chewed his toys a part and became increasingly hyper and “unmanageable”.  The family tried a few methods and techniques to treat these negative behaviors but ended up bringing him back to the SPCA unable to keep the dog.

He was placed in the adoption wing of the SPCA kennel.  Have you ever been to the SPCA?? cement slab floors, glass panels with hundreds of peeping eyes every day, pesky children banging on the walls, dogs barking all day and night… Go figure this poor boy began to decline dramatically.  At one point he was having diahreaha and after being checked out by their vetrenarian, it was decided to be stress induced.  The SPCA pulled him from he public wing and put him in a separate building hoping to ease him back into being “adoptable”…but he continued to decline.

That’s when the California GSP was contacted and the rest is “history”…

Apparently I am going to have to Continue this post with another one about that first night with this silly boy and his first full day with our family and how we have come to call him Sherman… BUT first, I want to get something off my chest…

I am unbelievably angered by the fact that people trade, return and toss away living breathing LOVING companions as if they are an article of clothing.  You don’t purchase one, try it on for a few days and if it doesn’t fit right, or maybe you don’t like the way that ruffle makes your muffin top look, maybe there’s a skip in a stitch you didn’t see in the store… maybe it shrank in the wash because you didn’t read the care instructions???  YOU DON”T DO THAT WITH YOUR PETS!!!!!  A dog is a living thing. It can not defend itself (in a manner of speaking), it relies on you to be it’s friend and companion.  Educate yourself before making that commitment.  I couldn’t imagine someone taking the time and money to adopt a child then a month or two later returning it because it cries too much, it barfed on their favorite sweater or heck… it’s not pretty enough for their liking…. How can people do that to dogs?? To ANYTHING?!?!?! 

to be continued…

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