Well, I wouldn’t have thought one could have breaking news on a blog, but that’s what’s happening here tonight.
The friend I wrote about yesterday has decided she’s ready to foster a dog! I’ve asked her to write as a guest on this blog, to show you both sides of how it went down this evening. In the meantime, I’ll write my side of it.
First, I’ve got to eat a sandwich. I didn’t want to leave the computer while everything was happening, so I didn’t eat. Back soon…
Early this evening, I sat down at the computer to catch up on things and to do some crossposting on Facebook of shelter dogs whose time was running out. Just before that, I’d been cooking the dogs’ dinner when Maureen had called to tell me when she’d be picking up Clarisse tomorrow (see, “Celebration”, and, “More About Maureen’s Clarisse”, here). At the end of the conversation, we talked about a dog we’d seen on Facebook yesterday, a dog who, once seen, wasn’t going to be forgotten. His name was Jerry Lewis, and here’s his picture:
Jerry’s picture had been haunting me, on and off all day. My usual policy (and it’s one I’m perfectly reconciled to) is to adopt dogs whose chances of being adopted elsewhere are slim, for various reasons. I looked at Jerry Lewis and couldn’t believe he’d fall into that category, and when I read his ‘bio’, I was even more sure. He was a prize, an absolute charmer of a dog, and he was a dog I’d pick for purely selfish reasons, if I weren’t in the rescue business. But last night, when I’d shared his picture, with a begging note to my friends to network him, his post had read, “To Be Destroyed Friday”, and Friday is today. So when Maureen asked me whether I knew what had happened to him, I told her that I’d been afraid to check. But Maureen said that she’d read he was still alive; that he’d been placed in the equivalent of ‘sick bay’, and someone had seen him there.
So after the dogs had eaten, I looked him up and saw confirmation of what Maureen had read, and began wondering again whether there was any chance I could take just one more dog. And then things started moving fast…
The little Facebook instant messaging window popped up, for the friend I wrote about yesterday. She asked whether Clarisse was here yet–she’s been following that story closely, which I’d thought might mean she was moving towards doing her own rescue–and I was happy to be able to tell her that I’d just spoken to Maureen and gotten the scoop. After that, there’s a gap in my memory (as I discovered when I got to this point in my writing), and I’m hoping that my friend, if she writes here, will be able to remind me exactly how we got to the next thing. Until I figure it out, all I can say is that something she wrote suddenly gave me to understand that she was trying to let me know she was ready to foster a dog.
I was so excited, I got shivery. I’m still shivery now, in fact. But I tried not to get too excited; or, at least, not in writing. I was afraid of burdening her with my intensity. I wanted to do this right, because, although I had no real basis for it, I’d had a sudden conviction that Jerry Lewis was exactly the kind of dog to appeal to her in a big way.
‘Well’, I wrote back, ‘there’s a dog on here who really needs to get out. He’s a Boston Terrier mix. I’ll send you his picture in a message.’ As I found him and prepared the message, she wrote back, ‘I have a weakness for Boston Terriers.’ I could swear she’s never told me that, yet I felt that it made perfect sense. Without knowing it consciously, I’d thought of her as a Boston Terrier person. On the other hand, she’s not exactly a little dog type. But Jerry Lewis’ other parent was a Pit Bull. And that combination, I felt, was absolutely perfect for her.
And sure enough, what she wrote next gave me so much confidence that I almost stopped shivering. Because a couple of seconds after I’d clicked on ‘send’ for Jerry’s picture, I saw on my screen, ‘AWW’. And my friend is not someone who writes things like ‘AWW’ all over the place.
We wrote back and forth, very fast, and she gave me permission to write and find out how Jerry was with cats. And here’s where the beauty of Facebook for pet rescue kicked in. I posted my query, and within minutes, a woman named Melissa answered me, giving the phone number of the shelter and telling me that it was open until 8:00, and telling me to ask someone to test Jerry for his cat compatibility.
I called immediately, and got a busy signal. While I hit redial every few seconds, I wrote to Deborah DiIorio, head of AmsterDog, the woman who ‘pulled’ Grace for me and Clarisse for Maureen. Deb answered immediately, saying that she could send a foster application to my friend and get things started. While we were still writing, Brooklyn Animal Control answered, and so Deb and I were the first to hear the wonderful news that Jerry Lewis had been adopted.
My first move was to post it on Jerry’s Facebook ‘thread’, in capital letters, so that people could breathe a collective sigh of relief–Jerry had many fans, as I’d expected. I was overjoyed that he’d been rescued, but I was half afraid that my friend would be so disappointed that she’d be ‘scared off’ of the whole business. And I really, really didn’t want that to be the case, because, in my heart, I knew that if she did feel that way, then she wasn’t quite ready to get a rescue dog.
And I was so happy when I saw, ‘Well, that’s great, then!”
Ahhh. Jerry Lewis will be going to his new home soon, and I trust his people will understand and appreciate their truly unique new family member. And my beloved friend has decided to go forward with this business, taking her next step into the land of dog nuts. I’ll let her tell you here what she feels about it, her hopes and fears, what she knows and what she wonders, how she got to this place, and how her dream about piles of cats might have been a factor.
Tonight I am very happy, and proud of my friends, all of them compassionate, smart, and brave. May we save many dogs and cats together, and leave the world better than we see it now.