In celebration of today’s sweetheart holiday, I would like to talk about two of my favorite things: Unlikely Duos and Fostering Animals. My giant goof of a dog, Ubie, and I foster animals through the Humane Rescue Alliance in DC. We’ve taken in sick puppies and kittens, dogs in need of behavioral treatment, and kittens who are too young to be adopted. We live in a pretty small apartment, so I try to stick to taking in singleton kittens who are either sick, feral, or neonatal! Ubie is a fantastic foster mom to these sweet babies, and does such a good job teaching them how to play (gently) and explore the world. They share water bowls, toys, and nap times (its pretty adorable). Usually the kittens get pretty bored with her after about a week, and start doing their own thing… BUT most recently, we took in a 1 month old kitten who bonded to her from day 1, and stuck by her side like glue until he got adopted!
Introducing… Gooby! I found this tiny punkin’ at the shelter anemic, lethargic, covered in fleas, and emaciated. He should have weighed about a pound, but he only weighed about 8 ounces. I had not realized the extent of his lethargy until I started giving him a bath (he got about 5 baths on day 1). A normal kitten would scream and scratch and wiggle when put in a sink filled with water! This poor guy just lay in my arms, with his head lolling from side to side. I thought we were going to lose him right then and there, but he stuck with me. We gave him flea medication, caro syrup, dewormer, and got him all warmed up and hopped in the car for home.
Normally, when I bring kittens home, I keep them in a separate room for a couple of days so they can get acclimated, and we can be sure they don’t have any contagious diseases in the works. This little guy though – I couldn’t bear putting him in a big kennel by himself, so I put him on Ubie’s bed while I got his dinner ready. Again, most kittens see a giant horse-dog and freak the heck out! They’ll arch or hiss or spit, and they almost never march right up to her face to say hello. Well, you guessed it, that is exactly what little Goober did! Half delirious, starving, and shivering, he wobbled right up to Ubie, booped her nose with his nose, curled up under her ear, and promptly fell asleep, purring like a chainsaw! My heart just about melted right then and there.
Ever since that first boop, these two goofballs were inseparable! Gooby got stronger every day, and he was a wild-man before we knew it. He wanted to do EVERYTHING Ubie did, from playing with dog toys, to eating out of big-kid bowls, to going outside (he rode along in my pockets on walks). They learned so much from each other – he kept her playful and energetic, and she taught him to nap and be gentle.
Gooby went to his forever home a couple of weeks ago, and was renamed Gus. While we miss him dearly, it was so worth it to see him go into a loving home with an older cat brother. He has such an incredible loving heart and zeal for life, and we love seeing the updates that his new parents send! So, the two lessons I would like to pass along today:
♡Love comes in all shapes and sizes
♡Fostering is amazing! Saying goodbye to an animal because they find a forever home is the most bittersweet feeling, but it opens up your home to save even more animals!
If you’re interested in learning more about fostering, contact your local shelter!