My Pearl - The Sweetheart

If you've read Gidget's story, then you know I'm a foster failure. Well, here's foster failure story number two!

This time, it was Pearl - Gidget's mother. 

When I agreed to adopt Gidget, I was given all the details about their backstory.

Pearl was part of a large group of dogs that had been rescued from a case of animal hoarding in Tennessee. Apparently, the hoarder had 36 dogs living with her in a trailer. Most she kept in cages, but some were kept in Rubbermaid totes. Pearl spent the majority of her first 2 years of life in one of these.

She must have gotten out at some point, though, as she managed to get pregnant. A few weeks before the dogs were removed from the property, Pearl gave birth to nine pups, seven of which survived. Given her size, this was an impressive feat.

De skunk dog
As I had already fallen in love with Gidget and had decided to adopt her, the rescue organization asked if I would be interested in fostering Pearl. Determined to prove my worth as a foster parent, I said yes. 

Since I now had three dogs (more than enough), I knew I would not be keeping Pearl. She's a Chi/Doxie mix, very small, and very timid. She was not house trained, and she was afraid of the world - even the beeps on the microwave would send her into a trembling fit. Letting this dog go to her forever home would be easy.

A week had passed, and I got a call from the rescue people saying they had found a potential home for her.  Would I be willing to bring her to meet with them? "Gladly," I said.

I arranged to meet them at a dog park. I didn't know that they had two kids under seven years old. The young girl seemed fine and wanted nothing more than to hug Pearl, but the boy kept pulling her ears and tail.  Several times during the meeting, he attempted to hit her with a ball while the parents looked on and laughed. Poor Pearl left that meeting shaking like a leaf. "No families with kids for this dog," I said.

Raw Dog food
Three months passed, and nobody had expressed any interest in Pearl. I had taken her to a lot of meet and greets for adoptable dogs, but no one paid any attention to her. But I continued to work with her. I had the potty training sorted. She slept in bed with me, usually on my head. She even came to work with me every day. Her timidness seemed to be lessening each week.  I was really beginning to enjoy her company.

I don't know when I finally decided that she was staying forever, but when I got a call to say they had found her a home, my heart sank. Scared of the answer, I asked who had decided to take her. When I was told that it was an older couple (woman was 86, man was 82), I gladly said, "NO WAY!"

I'm not ageist in any way, but she was too young of a dog for that family. At only two years old, it was guaranteed that she would have to be re-homed again. I just couldn't do that to her.

But honestly, the very thought of giving her up made me miserable.  Unbeknownst to me, she had squiggled her way into my heart.
Foster Failure

She's here to stay.

Mother and daughter. 

But no more fostering for me.

Do you have a foster or adoption story to share?