Natalie’s family fosters for Last Hope and she wrote this great piece for her home school group. Great job, Natalie!
My Life with Rescued Dogs
By Natalie Martin 4th grade
My story begins on February 8, 2014 when my family and I met a sick, emaciated, German Shorthaired Pointer named Beanie. Our German Shorthaired Pointer, Major, had passed away in January and our veterinarian, Dr. Hankner, had asked us if we could foster Beanie. He was at the Cedar Rapids Animal Control Center.
We picked up Beanie and brought him home. My mom set up a schedule to take him outside every two hours and feed him 1/2 cup of food for the first two days. Then she increased his food to 3/4 cup every two hours for the third and fourth days. When he finally got to a good weight, he was eating three times per day. We changed his name to Bennie because it was a nicer name. He was such a good dog that we decided to adopt him.
My mom decided that Bennie needed a playmate so we looked at another rescue dog named Violet. She was a Treeing Walker Coonhound. We set up a time for Bennie to meet her. They got along well, so we adopted Violet in June and changed her name to Maggie. Bennie and Maggie had a lot of fun running and playing in the backyard.
In July we decided to foster a Foxhound named Hailey. She was so scared she would growl at Bennie from inside her kennel. My mom had to give Hailey special attention and a lot of love so she would stop being afraid. Bennie and Hailey became buddies chasing each other around the backyard.
In December, Hailey went to a retired couple’s home for a trial visit to see if she would fit into their family. The first two weeks were great but during the third week she started to get depressed. She missed sleeping by people and playing with Bennie. Hailey was returned to us and we adopted her because no one else knew exactly how to care for her.
While Hailey was on her trial visit, we got two other foster dogs. Their names were Bingo, a Bluetick Coonhound and Spencer, a American Staffordshire mix. Before Bingo went to his first adoption fair, my dad decided to adopt him.
When Spencer went to his first adoption fair, he was so stressed that my mom decided not to take him to any more adoption fairs. Mom put Spencer’s information and picture on the Last Hope Animal Rescue’s website and she received several emails from people who were interested in him. A man named Bill, who is a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitor, adopted Spencer and changed his name to Titan. Titan goes everywhere with Bill and he’s the mascot for the gym where Bill coaches.
In March, 2015, we began fostering a Husky mix dog named Fuzz. Fuzz had surgery on his left front leg which was deformed at birth. He had to stay confined to his kennel for two months except for a five minute walk three times per day. His leg healed, and in December Fuzz was adopted by a family who had a six year old female Husky named Emma.
We fostered a smaller Great Dane mix dog named Aubrey for 5 weeks. She was adopted by a family that had a 1 1/2 year old Great Dane boy named Beau. On the day that Aubrey went to her forever home, we got another foster named Brownie. Brownie had Stage 4 heartworms which means she had heartworms in her pulmonary artery. She had three shots in two months to kill the adult heartworms. She had to stay completely confined to her kennel for three months. Now she can go on one mile walks three times each day. Brownie will get a checkup in June to see if all the adult heartworms were killed. When Brownie is ready to be adopted, her forever family will have to be willing to take care of a special needs dog.
Our newest foster is Abe, a little American Eskimo mix dog. He has a genetic disorder that affects every joint in his body. Abe’s hips and knees pop in and out of place. He had surgery on his left hip and knee to stop them from popping in and out. Abe has to have water therapy by walking on a treadmill in the water. In three months when his left leg is healed, he will have surgery on his right hip and knee. He will be ready for adoption by the end of the year.
My life with rescued dogs can be hard but it is also interesting, exciting and it makes me happy.