Saving Pets, One Paw at a Time 

Waggin'Tails Pet Rescue
A no kill shelter for pet dogs & cats
My Foster Dog  by Unknown Author

My foster dog stinks to high heaven.  I don't know for sure what breed he 
is.  His eyes are blank and hard.   He won't let me pet him and growls 
when I reach for him.  He has ragged scars and crusty sores on his skin. 
His nails are long and his teeth, which he showed me, are stained.  I  sigh.

I drove two hours for this ???  I carefully maneuver him so that I can 
stuff him in the crate.  Then I heft the crate and put it in the car.  I 
am going home with my new foster dog.

At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs are in the yard. 
I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants "outside."   As I lead 
him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and shows me his stained 
teeth again.

When we come in, he goes to the crate because that's the only safe place 
he sees.  I offer him food but he won't eat it if I look at him, so I turn 
my back.  When I come back, the food is gone.  I ask again about 
"outside."  When we come back, I pat him before I let him in the crate, 
he jerks away and runs into the crate to show me his teeth.

The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer.  I lead him into 
the bath with cheese in my hands.  His fear of me is not quite overcome by 
his longing for the cheese.   And well he should fear me, for I will give 
him a bath.   After an attempt or two to bail out he is defeated and 
stands there.   I have bathed four legged bath squirters for more years 
than he has been alive.   His only defense was a show of his stained 
teeth,   that did not hold up to a face full of water.

As I wash him, it is almost as if I wash not only the stink and dirt away 
but also some of the hardness.  His eyes look full of sadness now.  And he 
looks completely pitiful as only a soap covered dog can.  I tell him that 
he will feel better when he is cleaned.  After the soap, the towels are 
not too bad, so he lets me rub him dry.  I take him outside.

He runs for joy.  The joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being 
clean.  I, the bath giver, am allowed to share the joy.  He comes to me 
and lets me pet him.

One week later I have a vet bill.  His skin is healing. He likes for me to 
pet him. I think.  I know what color he will be when his hair grows in.

I have found out he is terrified of other dogs.  So I carefully introduce 
him to my mildest four legged brat.   It doesn't go well.

Two weeks later a new vet bill for an infection, that was missed on the 
first visit.   He plays with the other dogs.

Three weeks later his coat shines, he has gained weight.  He shows his 
clean teeth when his tongue lolls out  after he plays chase in the yard 
with the gang.  His eyes are soft and filled with life.  He loves hugs and 
likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.

Someone called today and asked about him,  they saw the picture I took the 
first week.  They asked about his personality, his history, his breed. 
They asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of questions.   I checked 
up on them.  I prayed.  I said yes.

When they saw him the first time they said  he was the most beautiful dog 
they had ever seen.

Six months later, I got a call from his new family.  He is wonderful, 
smart, well behaved, and very loving.  How could someone not want him?  I 
told them I didn't know.  He is beautiful.  They all are.