Saturday, February 26, 2011

Koko-Puff

    I got my lil' foster pup today. He's even cuter than I imagined... or he was, after he had his very first bath. The St. Louis Humane Society had fed all 5 puppies before Cassandra picked them up this morning, and all 5 of them relieved themselves in her BMW SUV on her long drive in the sleet. That SUCKS. I feel so bad for her, yet so grateful that she was willing to make the trip. But you can understand why I gave him a bath as soon as I got him home. He was dingy and his undercoat was matted. He FREAKED OUT when the water hit him and he kept leaping out of the tub. I literally had to grab him in mid-air and pull him back in. Post-bath, he was bright and fluffy and happy!
Koko was wearing a cone when I met him, and we're not sure why...
but I love his dorky, happy smile!
   We met at Crest Animal Hospital, so I got to see Koko's 3 little sisters (the 4th was dropped off in Central MO at a foster home). The girls were extremely tiny and shy, and the little black and tan was especially cute! Oh man... if only I had room for one more dog...
   These pups had a tough start in life. They came from a commercial breeder (puppy mill) who divested all their dogs at the Humane Society due to the new breeder regulations in Missouri. (Which are about to be overturned, but that's another post altogether...) As far as I can tell from observing Koko, he had never walked on grass or concrete. Never been inside a home. Never had a bath. Never had a treat. Never had a toy. Never had a bed. He didn't even know how to play with another dog, although she is very friendly toward them. He likes attention from people, presumably because he's used to them bringing food to him. Despite all that, he is extremely easy for an 8-month-old: already housebroken and crate-trained. Calm. Submissive and respectful of my dogs. Oblivious to my cats. He mostly just wants to curl up in Aki or Taylor's bed and stretch out on his back and snooze in comfort. And he is the biggest cuddle-bug I have ever seen: a lap dog in the true sense of the words. He is, in short, a dream.
   My dogs love having visitors, and they are great puppy-raisers. Koko has been watching their every move and copying them: going in and out when they do, eating when they do, coming to me when they do. In a day in a half, he finally began to PLAY with them. I was delighted: Monday morning I went outside to bring them in so I could go to work, and the three were racing around the yard like idiots, tackling each other, snarling, barking and play-bowing. I laughed out loud and got tears in my eyes at the same time! Here's Aki giving him a lesson in who's the boss:
   I'm sure he will find a home as quickly as he is learning to be a dog. And I will always remember his sweet, happy spirit. Dogs are so resilient. His hard life was a distant memory the second he got loaded into Cassandra's BMW, and it fades more every minute that passes. He's looking forward to his bright future, and that's something we can all learn from him.