One of the joys of living in San Francisco has been discovering Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and its many volunteers and staff members. They are not only dog lovers but all are deeply dedicated towards the wellbeing of older dogs. The moments I have witnessed in the doggy loft are inspiring, always heartwarming.
Recently I read about the successful fostering and adoption of a Muttville mutt, Quigley. The story shared by MW Moses is told below, in his own words. It’s a wonderful example of the Grouchy Puppy motto, Give Fearlessly * Influence Positively. I hope you enjoy it and share your takeaways, or your own experiences dog fostering in the comments below...
I’ve been looking forward to posting this for the longest time. My adoption theory; “There is a pot for every lid” has been proven once again.
Huge thanks to Kristin Hoff (Adoptions Manager at Muttville) who has been a tireless advocate for my foster Quigley – he has found his forever home with a wonderful veterinarian in the South Bay!
Not all dogs are immediately loving or want to be held and cuddled. So was the case for a fearful little chihuahua mix I picked up from Sherri’s house (Founder/CEO of Muttville) last May. Quigley was not interested in even the most heart-felt attempts at showing him kindness and letting him know he was safe. He was quite the snapping turtle!
Despite the naysayers who didn’t believe Quigley was a viable candidate for adoption, Kristin and the Muttville vets got him the necessary surgeries to reduce painful conditions such as a diseased eye and infected teeth.
Eventually Quigley proved himself to be a good little walker, loved his car rides and had a very gentle mouth for feeding by hand, but his ability to communicate for many months with growls, unfriendly barking and choosing who and when he wanted to be touched by was off-putting to many potential adopters.
Finally, as late fall moved into winter, Quigs began to understand it was ok if a hand reached out towards him, that butt scratches were the best and it was ok to let people scratch his ears and backside. Neighborhood walks weren’t as terrifying; a single bark to say hi, interest in smelling a nearby dog and a new person offering a dog treat. Being picked up to get in the car was cool as was a blanket to cover him on chilly nights.
Patience and time paid off; Quigley has found his forever mom who is spoiling him with squeaky toys, a cat to entertain him and a sunny backyard for sunbathing. Fearful dogs deserve a chance. I understand it doesn’t always work out, but sometimes a dog needs more than a week, three weeks or even three months. Quigley was lucky to have landed with me. He was never aggressive, he just wanted folks to give him some space until he learned it was ok to accept attention. Quigs taught me a lot which is what fostering should be about.
I just love this story so much. It is so much more than a story about the value in fostering a dog. I appreciate how everyone involved allowed Quigley to be true to himself while they loved and supported him.
No one tried to put him in a personality box. Their expectations were focused on giving him the attention and space he needed to understand for himself that they were committed to making sure he found his right match. And they did.