Friday, July 8, 2011
Always Plan for Surprises- Chella's Story
In rescue, we like to pretend that we have some control over what we're doing. We very specifically pick out animals from shelters and vet clinics to fill open spots we have in our foster care program. If one of our foster homes needs a dog that is good with kids and cats, then we do our best to find them a dog that will fit into their home. We are frequently reminded, however, that animals don't often play by our rules. A dog that is good with other dogs in a shelter may not be able to live with them, for example. We build our rescue by making contingency plan after contingency plan, making plans like, "If this dog can do this, then we'll put him here, and if he can't, then he'll go here instead..." Although, as you can imagine, all of our contingency plans frequently go out the window and we're left scrabbling for a foster home at the last minute... Welcome to animal rescue, because no matter how hard you try, you WILL be surprised, and you will have to run around like a chicken with it's head cut off on a fairly regular basis to make sure that all the animals are happy and housed all the time.
Chella is a dog that exemplifies the "you will never be able to plan for everything" law of rescue. Chella actually was turned over to another rescue group that we work closely with a few weeks ago. At the time that she was turned in, her surrendering owner reported her as being a spayed female dog, a few years old, housetrained, sweet, etc. She immediately went into a foster home where she was doing really well.
Surprise, surprise, a week ago Chella had puppies! Since the owner had reported her as being spayed, our rescue friends had not bothered to check. Imagine their surprise when they opened up Chella's crate one morning to find puppies in it! Sadly, because they had not known she was pregnant, no one was there when she had her puppies, and one of them was dead when they found them. The other two, however, were beautiful, healthy babies.
Chella's rescue group had not been counting on taking care of a mama with puppies, and they didn't have a good option for her that could care for the three of them. So they asked us if we might be game to take her on, and lucky for Chella, we had a foster home opening up that was more than excited to take on the pups! Chella went to her new foster home this week, where she is set up in a room of her own with her little ones. She's taking great care of them and is warming up to her new foster mom and dad. In a few weeks, we'll have all three of them up online for adoption, but for now, Chella's only job is to take care of her pups!