Simone is a dog of unknown breed but I think she looks like a big boned Whippet. She is about three years old, forty pounds and is black with brindle in colouring. Her recent history is that she is from Hamilton Animal Control, transferred to Toronto Animal Services where she was diagnosed with heartworm. I've been fostering her while she underwent the heartworm treatment (a little pain initially after the intramuscular injections but no complications otherwise). She has no other known health issues...


I'd written up this long description for Simone for her adoption listing but at this point it's like who's kidding who. She's not going anywhere. She's best buds with Smitten; she dances for us when we get home; she has a favorite spot on the couch; she's thoroughly settled into our routine.

She is a dear and darling dog, a little timid at first but eager to make friends. Once she feels accepted, her bright and funny personality shines through. She dances for her meals. She stands on her hind legs and reaches up for a hug - but she'll promptly drop back down if told to do so. She will want to be in the same room as her bonded person. I've only ever heard her bark once and that after my other dog barked at someone coming in the door. She walks well on a leash, a little ahead but with little pulling. She knows how to sit and will train easily though I haven't bothered to do much training with her because she's such an easy dog ...

There was a point, when I first started fostering her, when I was willing to let her go to any good home. Then, a few weeks in, good homes be damned. She was only going to a most excellent home, preferably the home of someone I knew so I'd be able to see her whenever and often. Two people I knew had already offered to take her but you know how these things go. Don't count yer eggs, etc. So now, three months in, while I suppose there is still an infinitesimally small chance someone perfect, and I mean perfect, may step forward to ask for her, in all likelihood, she's staying put.

I mean no one's that perfect, certainly not me, but I got her so there you go.


Simone is a people dog and will also get along with any other friendly household dogs. At the off-leash park, she'd usually rather hang around her person than play with the other dogs. She's shown some curiosity in other smaller animals but only with a glance. I've never seen her attempt to chase anything, not even a squirrel. She's also good with children but maybe not young children as she can get anxious around loud noises or sudden movements ...

It's funny how a little creature grows in one's heart. I had no intention of keeping her. Really, none at all, and when I sensed that feeling spark within me, I resisted. Simone's not my type. Simone is a little punk, a little too afraid of her own shadow, a little too fragile in body and soul. I like bigger dogs, slobberers, with weight, with oomph. But still ...

She likes going out but doesn't seem to require a lot of exercise. She's just as happy curling up beside you on the couch or at your feet as she is with going for a walk. She's not a dog who will eat just anything but she does love her meals once you find the right food. A high quality kibble is a good start and of course she's always grateful for any freshly cooked meat like chicken or beef ...

My intention was to continue fostering dogs, not adopt a dog. Of course in theory I could still continue to foster but with three dogs in the house, it'll be difficult. Some people say having two dogs is only a bit more work than having one dog. My experience has been that having two dogs is more like having three times as much work. First, the house is way noisier and messier. The two of them are constantly wrestling, pulling hair out, mouthing each other, rolling around on the floor, crashing from furniture into furniture.

And this rough and tumble behavior and attitude carries on outside the house as well. Outside, walking Smitten alone is not bad. She can sometimes be a bit of a jerk with other dogs but it's manageable, certainly not over the top. Simone alone is totally fine. Walk the two of them together and it's like they suddenly think they're in an invincible pack and have free reign to be assholes to dogs they wouldn't normally even look at. It's embarrassing.

So, fostering now, adding a third dog into the mix, it's going to be too much and probably isn't going to happen if I keep Simone. But still ...

Simone is a wonderful dog who can go just about anywhere with just about anyone but because she can be a little timid, I'd like to see her live in a house with a somewhat outgoing, but not too exuberant, dog. This is not precondition to adoption but it would be nice for Simone to have a canine companion.

Simone sits beside me on the couch, leaning against me. She sits like a person, upright on her butt, back vertical, legs out front and feet dangling, belly rotund and exposed. She looks ridiculous. She looks at me looking at her and since I'm not scratching her ears or rubbing her belly, she punches me in the face. She's such a twerp.

The last time I utterly failed at something was in university on a thermodynamics midterm. That 54% (60 for a pass) caught me totally off guard. I thought I had the situation under control. And now it seems it's happened again.

Welcome home, Simone.



20 Comments to “Foster failure”

  1. Lynn says:

    Such a nice story. Thanks! Rest assured you're not alone. I bet the statistics for foster failure are higher than for thermodynamics failure. I have three dogs and I always say the third one was unplanned. I had every intention of finding a home for him, but then....well, you know. Congrats on Simone. Love her sofa style.

  2. Congratulations!!! So happy for all four of you! :) That picture of Simone is priceless. I'm so glad she snuck into your heart and set up camp there too, legs out front and dangling!

  3. rika says:

    This is absolutely wonderful. I'm so happy for you and Simone!

  4. Boy, do we know *that* song! Every animal here came as a foster/rescue that was on the way to a (much better) forever home. Somehow, that better home never came along, and now we've got five special needs dogs and cats.

    And we would not give them up for anything this side of the grave. Or the other side, come to that: you can keep the harps, the gardens, the choirs: nothing lifts the heart so much as a mixed chorus of yaps and yowls saying "Thank G-d your home! Now FEED me!"

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dearest Fred: I'm a little old retired lady now, so you are safe. Ha Ha

    Gawd above, I LOVE who you are.

    Please know that ALL your efforts for these damn loveable dogs is never in vain.

    My heart swells with so much love for them, and you too!

  6. SA MVH says:

    Awwwwww Fred, I awwwed all the way through this. So happy for Simone and you guys too. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!

  7. Kaylen says:

    That's a lovely failure. Congratulations on adding Simone to your family permanently!

  8. a says:

    What a beautiful post! Simone and you are very lucky to have found each other. Best wishes for your new family. I'm glad she and Smitten get along so well!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm grinning from ear to ear. Congratulations, Fred!

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful story! And so well told. Congratulations to both of you!

  11. Alex says:

    I must admit I'm not surprised by this in the slightest. Every mention of Simone on this blog has had the subtext of how much she was getting to you.

  12. Kit Lang says:

    Lucky Simone!

    (And boy, do I know this story! Our last two "fosters" [brother and sister] are still with us two years later. But we knew about six weeks in they weren't going anywhere. They were completely traumatized when we got them, and they're way too neurotic to live with anyone but us. They're cuckoo-for-cocoa puffs, but we love them.)

  13. Anonymous says:

    I knew it! So great that Simone has adopted you. Do I detect a gloat in that last lascivious portrait? What a girl. Heartening in a cruel world that I've put on hold 'til the morning. Wonderful, Fred.

  14. Well what took you so long to figure out what was pretty clear after the dancing video. She's beautiful sitting there in lewd abandon, something a girl only does when she knows she's home!!! I think you all are perfect together.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Aww, this post warms my heart. Congrats to you all. Love the photo of her sitting on the sofa.

  16. Congratulations, all of you! What a happy story.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Congrats! You passed Failed Fostering 101! *LOL* Simone sounds lovely, Smitten keeps her buddy, you love both of them, all is well :-).

  18. Wengue says:

    BWAHAHAHA, Fred, been there, done that! Your story put a big smile on my face and Simone for sure is glad that you failed at this foster endeavor so miserably...

    Another time I had a foster which I had to let go after 6 months to go to a family living in another country, it was so heart wrenching that I decided not to do it again. She is in a perfect family with a perfect home, but it still hurts.

    It was the same when our fox terrier had a litter of puppies, I still think about the ones that we could not keep (all but one). Point being, they all worm themselves into our hearts.

  19. Anonymous says:

    If I didn't live in an apartment, I would love to foster, but my one beagle is enough for the neighbours. I know me and my dog would fall in love with any dog we fostered and we'd be a multi dog family too. Simone is a very, very lucky girl (and I bet Smitten is happy her best bud is staying!)

  20. Melinda says:

    Welcome home, Simone! Looking forward to hearing more about your twerpish ways.

    Similar story with my foster failure. We are a herding/working dog family. Ended up with a black labbish spazz (aka a "labfergawdsakes"). Jet looks and sits suspiciously like a larger version of Simone. Not a working bone in his body. Clown, yes. Work, no. Love him to pieces.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.
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