What to Expect from PL&F

It should be no surprise this time around that I’m going to take a little break from fostering. Little, I promise. If you want any additional explanation for my reasoning, check out my post after Baxter got adopted or my post about fostering at my age. I’m going up to an internship at Animal Farm Foundation (!!) the second week of September, so I told myself I will wait until after that to even consider looking at potential fosters.  Granted, I’ve had some close calls in the few short weeks I’ve been without a dog so far, but it really doesn’t make sense for me to bring a dog home and then leave for a week. Therefore I’m waiting.

So, what can you expect on this blog between now and my next foster? I’m hoping to start a bit of a schedule, similar to our favorite Chix-a-lot Friday – except that mine will be in the form of Shelter Dog Wednesday! I get to spend time with an entire shelter full of wonderful, adoptable dogs just waiting for their time in the spotlight, so one will be here every Wednesday. Past that, I hope to talk about lots of other things dog, including fun events, a little bit of photography, Jasmine’s House adoptables – whatever I think you all will want to hear about.

Which brings me to my next point. Who’s got questions? Who wants to hear about something specific? Who wants me to tell them about what? I’d love to hear your input on what you want to read about. I’ll do my best to answer with a post if I can.

Thanks for sticking with me during this brief doggy hiatus!

Puppy Temptation

One of the best and worst things about working at an animal shelter? PUPPIES.

Sure, they’re cute and adorable and can spend time at your desk with you. . .

. . .BUT then you’re tempted to go against all of your better judgement and take them home with you as a foster. Everyone knows though that puppies are fun to play with and snuggle until you bring them home and they destroy your house and keep you up all night. Which is why I have to avoid this face at all costs:

No puppies this time around, even though I was this close l——–l to leaving work that day with her in tow. Luckily MooMoo, as we fondly named her, was scooped up by local rescue Bully Paws and will probably find a home in no time!

Happy Friday!

Adoption Event Success!

The Montgomery County Humane Society qualified for the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge back in February through a voting competition (thanks for those who voted!). For this next round, we are trying to adopt out at least 300 more cats and dogs from August to October this year than we did during the same months last year. Even if we don’t adopt out the most animals of all fifty competitors, it’s a total win-win because hundreds of animals will find forever homes! We kicked off the Challenge with a big event this weekend.

Our theme is “HOME RUN” – every adoption is a home run, our animals are our all stars, and adopters are our VIPs. So fun, right? We had a total blast with it, including singing our own version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Check out our brief music video for Take Me Home from the Shelter!:

We had amazing success this weekend at our kick-off event, with lots of lucky animals finding forever homes. I, of course, was behind the camera all weekend and snapped pictures of some dogs and cats awaiting forever homes (many of which got adopted!).

Events like this are totally exhausting, but so rewarding. Knowing how many animals are spending their first nights in a loving home makes me squeal and burst into spontaneous happy dances. We are all looking forward to keeping this momentum and saving many more lives from here on out. If you’re interested in learning more, you should check out the shelters competing to see if one in your area is on the list – many of the shelters are doing very exciting things!

Community Events Extraordinaire

There are a few nice things about having a shy, introverted foster dog to bring to work events with me as a shelter ambassa-dog. For one, he is not jumping all over unsuspecting guests, trying to get their attention. He sits calmly by my side in the comfort of my shadow earning many, “Oh, he’s so well behaved!” comments. But also, he sets you up for many opportunities to be pleasantly surprised.

Otis started out at our tabling event nervous and withdrawn. He’d had somewhat of a stressful day at the office with me (thanks to a frisky kitten), and he didn’t seem to be in the mood for something new. Too bad for him he was stuck there. I figured I’d just assume the role of explaining to people that he’s a little shy and don’t take it personally if he doesn’t want to say hello. Sometimes, for the sake of your dog’s comfort, you just have to give them a free pass for the day and let them have their alone time. I’m totally fine with that.

About fifteen minutes into the event though, Otis visibly relaxed. It was outdoors and he was able to find a nice patch of shady grass to first sit, then sprawl out on. His nervous, shifty eyes turned into a happy squint that joined his big jowly smile. He did a few body rolls in the grass. He drank some water. He finally started accepting treats. He was greeting strangers with a wagging tail, not a tucked one. He even allowed extensive petting from two young girls without ducking and hiding behind me (which is what he usually does when he sees kids). He made friends.

He transformed from an anti-social, uncomfortable dog to just a shy, well-behaved one. I didn’t have to worry about him and his poor fearful little brain the whole time. I would get caught up chatting with someone, and turn around to find him sprawled out in the grass right where I left him. It was wonderful. He was just the kind of dog I like to bring to these community events.

Every dog has their days, and even though Otis started his day a little shaky, he ended as a superstar. Sure, he’s bound to have more off days, but maybe he’ll also start having more on ones. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog you have – outgoing, shy, fearful, excitable, whatever – it’s important to be in tune with how they are feeling, and to adjust accordingly. Thanks to Otis and how brave he was yesterday, we were both able to enjoy the afternoon. If he wasn’t feeling it, that would have been okay too. I’m here to look out for him and to set him up for success. It’s just such a pleasant surprise when I don’t have to do much!

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page to learn more about him and how to get in touch.

Sleepy, Sunburnt, & a Total Success

I’m so tired from this weekend I’m not sure how many coherent words I can type. So I’ll make this quick and easy.

1.  Paws in the Park was amazingly successful.

2.  I can’t take much credit for the good turnout – the weather was absolutely perfect: 70’s and sunny. That brought a ton of people out.

3.  I am sunburnt to a crisp, in all the best ways: sleeve lines, red neck, and watch tan.

4. My parents & boyfriend were nice enough to bring Otis for a little bit, even though I was too busy to see them a whole lot.

5.  It was a very exciting reunion when I was finally able to stop a chat for a minute. You can tell I haven’t seen Otis in weeks (or so it may seem to him).

6.  Otis made a new friend, sort of.

7. No adoption leads this time around, but it was still great exposure!

8.  It was so great seeing all my favorite people from Jasmine’s House, as well as some blog followers I’d never met before. Thank you for saying hi!

8. Highlight of the day? There was a dog there that looked a lot like Baxter. When my coworker walked past the dog she asked his owner, “Is that Baxter?” and he replied with, “Why does everyone keep asking me that!?” :-)

9. Not sure who is more tired from this event: myself or Otis, who is currently snoring and out like a light next to me on the couch. Ah, to be a dog.

10. No brain power left to think of a #10.

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.

Fostermama’s Big Day: Paws in the Park

To my serious dismay I have been kept home a LOT the past week. No going to work with mama because she says she has mee-tings all day. It’s just me and fostergrandpa hangin out in the house for the looooong day that fostermama is at work. Then she comes home all sleepy and curls up on the couch with me and a glass of wine so we can blog. That part I of course do not mind.

Fostermama says all this time she is spending at work is because of my blog entry about paws yesterday some event called Paws in the Park. She says its a doggie walk and festivul, and that I get to go because I’m an MCHS adoptable! Yippee! Apparently I’ll be sticking with fosterdad that day though because fostermama will be too busy running around like a crazy person making sure everything goes smoothly.

She seems a little bit nervous about this event if ya ask me. Not necessarily scared nervous, but excited nervous – kinda like I get when I think we’re heading to my favorite spot in the creek but I’m still not sure yet. She talks a lot about how she’s never done this before so she’s worried she’s forgetting something, but I told her if I’m there that’s all she’ll need! Okay, maybe not all she’ll need… but still.  For how much time she has been working on this, she HAS to be ready! Besides, it sounds like they’ve got everything lined up as best as it’s gonna get: the vendors, the rescue groups, the activities, the demos – what more can you be forgetting, mama? I told her to just point me in the direction of the hot dogs and she won’t have to worry about me, I’ll be good to go.

I’m excited to strut my stuff wearing my Adopt Me vest and bandana in front of hundreds of people – maybe I will even find my forever family?? At the very least it will be a fun afternoon hanging out with fosterdad, and after this I will get fostermama back a whole lot more. Hooray!

Plus, I hear my friends over at Jasmine’s House will be there as one of the rescue groups! If any of you DC area folks are coming to the event, be sure to make your way over to their booth to say hi and buy some of awesome Jasmine’s House merch! Then of course look for me, as I put my paws in the park.

For more information about adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.

Weekend Adopt-A-Thon!

Animal shelters across the country were holding ASPCA-sponsored Mega Matchathon Adoption Events this weekend. The DC area held ours at the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL), and seven area shelters participated – including the Montgomery County Humane Society. We all packed up a bunch of animals and brought them to WARL in hopes of finding them forever homes on the spot. It was so much fun!

Over both days we brought eleven dogs total, and all but three got adopted! A few of the lucky ones included:

While three pups didn’t find their forever homes, they still had an awesome weekend soaking up attention and getting great exposure and socialization.

It was an amazingly successful event, with 19 animals in total being adopted to great families. Two full days of woo-ing the crowds sure wore out the dogs!

I’m tuckered out too after such a long weekend, but it was beyond worth it. I wish everyone could experience the feeling of a shelter animal finally finding the perfect home. I think there were a few dogs I actually did a dance for when I saw the adoption interviewer return from speaking with the families with a smile on her face saying, “Woofer’s going home!” There is just nothing like it.

So congrats to Tory, Callie, Woofer, Chauncy, Holton, Roscoe, Brooks, Annie, Spike, Nike, Rio, Tijuana, Kangaroo, Dallas, Chess, Bowling, Juno, Peach, and Goose for getting a new chance at love!