Not the News We Planned to Share
It's an interesting thing to head into a new year thinking that goals and plans and purposes are all set. As hard as some things seem, we forge ahead and do the work and take steps toward the original plan. Then, a bunch of stuff happens and fate keeps bonking you in the nose, until you get the hint. This is the story of something like that -- at least part of it. Yes, it involves dogs. Don't miss this news. It's good. I promise. It's about Mr Stix.
Breaking News! We Adopted Foster Puppy Mr. Stix
Please don't call it a "foster failure." Please don't say "It's about time!" or "I told you so!" This isn't a decision we made lightly. Taking on a special needs dog is a big deal. Mr. Stix is a 1 in a million dog, and we feel thankful and lucky to give him the life he deserves after such a rough start.
This absolutely was NOT our original intent when Mr. Stix first came to stay with us in January 2019. We truly felt like our role was to give him a place to stay while he recovered from his significant injuries and all the medical interventions and surgeries required to get him ready to be adopted.
This video is from March after his first major surgery. We do have video of when he was first found. Trust me. He looks good here compared to how he looked when we first met him.
Here is a link, if you'd like to make a donation toward all the care the shelter gave him.
The Hand of Fate
Had a great family come forward early on when he was originally released for adoption over the summer, we would have let him go. We would have cried a lot and missed him a ton, but we would have sent him off to his own life without us. We would have always remembered and shared stories of our first-ever foster puppy, Mr. Stix.
But as the weeks and months wore on and everyone who expressed interest in adopting him either turned out not to be a good match (long stories) or backed out after learning his medical history and his likely future medical needs, it got harder and harder to go into every day wondering if it would be our last with him, if he would be adopted. The emotional toll was great.
So, in September 2019, we started talking at home about the idea of Mr. Stix staying. First, we thought, "Well, if we get to the 1 year mark in January, if there aren't any adopters, we'll keep him." Then, we slid that deadline to Christmas and then to Thanksgiving. And, then we decided that rather than have the shelter staff burn time and resources trying to find a family, we'd just decide now.
Among the reasons to have this amazing dog as a permanent part of our family?
- At this point, we are ALL he knows. He does not seem to remember his life before he ended up alone and injured.
- We'd never want him to feel like we ditched him.
- We know better than anyone what he needs and can / cannot do.
- He loves us and the girls, and we love him. Have loved him with our whole hearts since day one.
This photo below is literally one of the first I ever took of him. LOOK how tiny!!!!
If you follow us on Facebook, you've seen lots of photos of the adventures we had while he was healing from surgeries. The camping in the backyard ones slay me still.
Points We Considered
Before making the final decision, I checked with his other foster mom -- who kept him while I recovered from surgery in April and also trekked with him across the state to many appointments with the surgeon. When we first met last spring, we learned that each of us secretly hoped the other would adopt him. So, she supports the decision and even joked that he comes with a built-in pet sitter if we ever need one.
We also checked with the team at the animal shelter since the official rule book for foster families strongly discourages fosters from adopting, especially in our case where the legal limit for adult dogs is 3 -- even though we live in a rural area. Mr. Stix puts us at that limit. So, we will be able to continue fostering, but we'll only be allowed to foster puppies 6 months and under.
I waited a LONG time to have social dogs who would allow foster dogs in the house, so I had to think about letting go of at least part of my initial ideas about what our fostering life would be like.
But, it simply came down to this. We believe having Mr. Stix as part of our family permanently is absolutely the best thing for him. After all he has been through -- the starvation, 15 broken bones, likely 6 weeks alone in the wilderness, etc. -- he deserves to have the best life possible.
The delay between the decision in September and his official adoption today, November 20, 2019, is because just before we were set to sign the papers, there was a glitch with one of his orthopedic repairs. He developed a hole in his skin and 2 infections around the metal plate used to surgically fix one of his legs. He needed yet another surgery. That surgery was done on Halloween. He got his stitches out today.
The official photos and video from the shelter will be released later, but for now, here are a few more photos from our new life as a family of 5.
I'm proud to introduce: