Our next installment begins with our Director of Puppies, Chrissy, who explains why one special puppy stayed put.
I foster failed because of this face. I fostered Pebbles and BamBam when they were 10 weeks old. They were adopted together, both returned, adopted out separately, and Pebbles was returned again. Everything I love about her; her shyness, the fact that she's scared to death of trash cans, bicycles, cars, & her own shadow, her weird hairless skin is why everyone else returned her. After her coming back to us a 2nd time, I just couldn't let her go again. (Chrissy Trivette)
We'd been talking about keeping Rosey because she was amazing with our kids and the ultimate "nanny dog" (super protective and always needed to have eyes on them) then we took her to her first adoption event a few days later and she panicked when we left her to run to Publix and I knew we couldn't let her go unless that perfect family found her, a few days shy of Halloween 2013 we decided that was us and she's been howling and wiggling at home ever since. Clover (right) was born in our house, he's the son of Honey and when he was born she didn't clean him enough (he was 9 of 10, so she was very occupied) and he wasn't breathing so I saved him thanks Roger from 101 Dalmatians and we fell in love with that cute face and wanted to keep a pup from the first litter that was born in our home. Both of these dogs are my "tester" dogs because they are absolutely amazing and I could not imagine our family without them. I cannot thank POPB enough, without them I wouldn't have either!
To be honest, my first dog Chance was the one that adopted Cricket. She was with us for a total of 7 months with minimal interest from the public (SHOCKING, she's friggin' adorable!). Chance is extremely selective about other dogs, and with Cricket it was almost instantaneous adoration. It was not both ways, she tried to bite him twice in the first week. Eventually, he broke her down and they've been inseparable since. They've never fought. They share toys. Every morning Chance walks over to her bed and licks her in the face until she wakes up (and then nibbles her legs until she gets up and wrestles with him ). They've become so attached to each other that when they board at work (I'm a vet), they have to be kenneled together or they destroy their runs! The instant love wasn't the same with me. To be honest, I wished every single day that the perfect person would come along and snatch Cricket up and OUT of my apartment, but week after week passed and no one came along. She was obnoxious, needy, disobedient, refused to pee outside some days, and absolutely DESTROYED some very sentimental items of mine. Then, the day came that I had been waiting for right after Thanksgiving of 2013. Someone was really interested in meeting Cricket and wanted to set up a time to meet. I was in the middle of typing out my schedule into an email, and became suddenly very sad. I looked at her, looked at Chance, and just couldn't bring myself to finish the email. Not only could I not bear the thought of separating the gruesome twosome, but I couldn't imagine my life without my naughty little blue devil. Instead of sending Anna my schedule, I sent her my official notice of failure. She's been a permanent fixture since. (And she's still a little blue devil) (Rachel Norris)
I was fostering every other 2 weeks for ACHS. Then I walked little Buster Brown to the park and stumbled upon a POPB training session. Anna called to ask if I could help the pup coming from Green Cove Springs. Sure bring him to me. HE NEVER LEFT. Apollo, with in minutes of meeting my dad displayed therapy behavior. When dad said "I think he's a keeper" then it had to be & we needed him. Everyday he shows his love and loyalty to the safety of my dad. Then along came the Christmas pups and yep little diva Sophia. Oh how she needs us. Oh how she makes us laugh everyday, and we need that. One happy family over here. (Teri Aguiar)
Where to start? One of the greatest decisions of my life was an utter failure. I failed at fostering Teddy (aka Sir Theodore, Tedman) when I realized he provided perfect balance to my chaotic life. Since Teddy became a permanent member of my small family he has brought nothing but joy, comfort and love to not only my life but all those that are lucky enough to come in contact with him. His abusive and neglected past does not cloud his beautiful attitude toward life. Aside from being my personal therapist after a long day, Teddy happily volunteers to help me practice acupuncture so I can aid animals who are in need of this specialized therapy (including a fellow POPB foster who has a seizure disorder). Teddy also is a blood donor where he happy donates blood every two months to save lives. However, Teddy's most pivotal role is unconditionally loving each and every person and animal he meets. Teddy is in training to earn his therapy dog certification so he can continue to instill joy, hope, and self-confidence in the hearts of many. (Jen Kunisch)
When Matt and I moved to Gainesville, we were enthusiastic about volunteering with Plenty of Pit Bulls. However, having previously fostered in Tallahassee for several years and having already fostered failed once, we had decided it was probably unwise to continue fostering. That well-reasoned decision all but vanished when we were shown a picture of Marlowe, an emaciated cruelty confiscation who was in need of a foster while he underwent medical care. Over the next six months-- with significant contributions from POPB and the UF Shelter Med Program--Marlowe was transformed from a limping, malnourished, heart worm positive pup to a healthy, rambunctious dog. When Marlowe become available for adoption, it was already pretty evident that he had become an established member of our family. We're so grateful that POPB, the ACAS, and the UF vet school rallied around this goofball and provided him with a much-deserved opportunity to have a quality life. (Erin Carr)
We moved to Gainesville in 2013 and wanted to start fostering to help socialize our first dog Arya and to become a part of our new ommunity. Wifi was our first foster dog, and he completely stole our hearts from day one. I knew I had to keep him. He's such a playful, handsome, and funny dog who never fails to bring a smile to everyone's faces. He's become a part of our family. It's like he knows when we need a laugh or a hug, or when we need a snuggle because it's been a rough day. He's such a lovebug and we couldn't imagine life any other way now! (Iris Strzyzewski)
"I don't even like puppies, they are too much work."! I said on a Friday evening to POPB board member Erin Carr. Then that night, a plea for puppies that were at risk of being put down broke my heart. I showed JT the pic and he said yes. "Such a cute puppy, he'll get adopted quick", I thought. The next afternoon Caroline put him in my arms and it felt different than any of my other fosters. The minute I handed him to JT I knew he was in love. Still I vowed to be strong. The timing is awful, finances are tight, etc. It was how sad we felt when he had real interest that told us we could not let our Charlie go. He was meant to be part of our family. (Kim Taylor)
I have always rescued small dogs. But the Vet's office I work at had several people fostering (and failing) for POPB. All the time Pit Bull this, Pit Bull that. Somehow, I was on my way to pick up a dog from the #367 fight bust. Her name was Anita, but I changed it to Athena before I ever saw her. Saying she was terrified of everything except other dogs doesn't begin to describe her. But she was so gentle and sweet. I had to teach her how to play and act goofy. We went to class just for her to be around other people. I'll never forget the day Anna Peterson told me she was ready to go to an adoption event. Of course, I agreed with her while crying my eyes out. Made the she lives here phone call that night. I love all my dogs, all the ones I've ever had or ever will have. But this brave girl has a special place in my soul. (Dorothy Hague)
This picture speaks for itself. Mutual admiration. Sterling never left my Mom's side after she got home following a 5 hr neurosurgery and 4 day ICU visit in Dec. 2012. She told him he wasn't going anywhere and she told me thanks for her Christmas present. Case closed. (Tina Bassi)
When I picked up Ronny from the shelter as my foster, I had no idea how much of an impact that big pit bull would have on me. Due to his history of neglect, he was very fearful and timid around people. After fostering him for 2 months, he finally came out of his shell and I saw his true, sweet personality. I put so much time and love into behaviorally rehabilitating Ronny that when the time came for him to go to adoption events, I just couldn't let him go. I believe that we were meant to find each other and that we are both the luckiest pair smile emoticon He has sparked a passion for veterinary behavior in me and I love to talk about how a dog who comes from a terrible background can overcome so much. He helps teach our foster puppies how to be normal dogs and they all love him! I thank POPB every day for bringing us together! (Hagar Hauser)