Sunday, September 27, 2009

Foster Brooks Failure

Remember that guy Foster Brooks? No not the sunglass guy that is Foster Grant. Foster Brooks was an actor who used to show up on the Dean Martin Roast. He acted like he was falling down drunk and was hilarious. I mean who doesn’t like to laugh at an obnoxious drunk. Ok, well he was popular BEFORE we all became politically correct. Well while my story has nothing to do with being falling down drunk it does have to do with feeling like a bum.

Hi my name is Gladys I would like to volunteer as a foster home. I would prefer a small dog” I said to the woman who answered the phone. She waited a few minutes and then replied “well we need foster homes that is for sure. Let me get some information from you.” This is how my conversation started. It sounded positive enough. I mean here I was doing something good for poor little orphaned puppies. I didn’t even mind if the dog was a senior citizen. I just wanted to foster a dog that had lost his or her home and family.
The lady on the other end of the telephone line asked “now do you have any other animals?” I told her that I indeed had two dogs. She then asked what breeds and if they were socialized.

See how socialized she is?
I assured her that they were and while they were big dogs they really didn’t mind small dogs at all. She wanted to know their ages and sex and how often they were walked.
Hey Mom, are we getting a playmate?
Then she asked me the question that did me in. She wanted to know about our home. “Well, we live in a barn so animals in the house are no problem.” There was silence on the other end of the line. Is it still called a telephone line? I mean since it is wireless. Shouldn’t I say on the other end of the wireless? That sounds so World War II British doesn’t it? I digress. (Imagine that)
“What do you mean you live in a barn” she asked. “Well our house is a barn turned into a house. Oh but we never used it as a barn it was just the structure was an actual barn structure that was made to be a house” I bumbled and stumbled on “so you see it’s durable and stuff.” There was an uncomfortable silence on the phone. I did the only thing I know to do when there is an uncomfortable silence I began rambling and making no sense with “you see about 30 years ago my husband found this piece of property. It is 10 acres did I tell you that? Anyway he and his brother drew up the plans for two houses that looked like barns but they made them houses.” Finally the lady on the on the other end of the wireless said “is it fenced?” I didn’t understand the question, was what fenced? The house? The ten acres? The barn? “Um no it’s wood” I answered. “NO the yard. The ten acres, is it fenced?”

It was my turn to create an uncomfortable silence. I wondered what difference did it make if it is fenced or not since I was looking for a small house dog. “No, it’s not fenced and that is why I wanted to foster a small dog” I explained. “I’m sorry your not foster material” Ms. Dog Nazi announced. “I don’t understand. I have a kennel, you know one of those big dog run type kennels and I wouldn’t let it out by itself. Goodness graces no. I mean we do live on ten acres and we have coyotes. That is what happened to my last dog. The coyotes got him. Heck I can’t even keep a cat up here because they carry them off too.” Then I realized I had said too much. Dang it! Why can’t I learn to keep my mouth shut?

“Well we just can’t accept you for a foster family. You have no fenced yard” Ms. Dog Nazi said again. I was scrambling by this time because on Pet-finders this rescue facility had a picture of a dog that spoke to me. She needed me. I saw it in her eyes and my heart broke for her.

There are eyes in there somewhere

I wanted to foster her and if not foster her well maybe… “Well then can I adopt a specific dog?” Again silence on the other end of the wireless. I could practically hear her eyes rolling into the top of her head. I am sure she was banging her head on her desk. She was making a gun from her thumb and forefinger pantomiming shooting herself in the temple. Then she cleared her throat and said “ma’am I can’t help you. You are simply unfit as a foster or even for adoption. I suggest you fence your yard then we might consider you.” Then she hung up. I sat there holding my phone in my hand feeling like a total failure.

I guess I’m going to have to go to the hardware store and buy some chicken wire. Hey she didn’t say WHAT type of fence.

I may not be able to be a foster for a animal right now but you can, well if you have a fenced yard. Think about it. There are lots of pets who have lost their homes when their owners lost theirs.


LisaPie said...


It's just like adopting a human child; you can birth kids and take them home to a falling down shack and no one blinks an eye, but you try and adopt one and do that and you are in for some trouble then!

Shame on them for being so rigid that they wouldn't even come see what a good dog-mom you are. And who suffers the most for this? That cute little furball, that's who. I am sorry.

Caution Flag said...

We had a hassle when we adopted our last dog (and paid as much as if we had "purchased" her.) Our first dog was very nervous and aggressive. No matter what we did to help socialize her, she wasn't a good fit for a house full of young kids. With our vet's blessing, we rehomed her. The second dog was wonderful but jumped up one day to grab his toy that a visitor was holding next to her face (!). The dog was still a puppy and yes, there was a bite. When the lawsuit papers arrived, the insurance company encouraged us to rehome the dog. We cried for days, but the dog got a good home. We finally (again with our vet's encouragement)wanted to adopt another dog. We were turned down repeatedly because we gave dogs away rather than work with them.

Okay, this comment is too long, but I feel better for complaining :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

What a bunch of idots. Contact Cesar Milan. He could drop a death stare on them and get you that cute little furry pup too!

Gladys said...

Lisa - I've often thought maybe you should have to go through the same process if you wish to become a parent. I mean without the fenced yard rule.

CF - I understand their point. Many of these dogs come from puppy mills and they feel it would further traumatize the dogs if they are kenneled. Also rules are rules if they change it for one...

Katherine - I love CEASAR... I want him to come train me.

Kelly said...

My sister tried to adopt a cat from a shelter and was told that because she would allow the cat to go into her *gasp* fenced backyard, she wasn't a responsible person and her request was DENIED.

"We won't allow you to adopt this animal. It'll be euthanized instead because we can't find a home for it."

Jaime said...

i'd love to adopt a pet...but it'd just be mean. i barely have enough time to take care of myself most days

Anonymous said...

Wow. We went to get our one dog, Frank, who was a rescue, a playmate and were turned down because the adoption agency said he was too agressive (he humped everything in sight) and would make the other dog aggressive.

1. Um, that's not your problem.
2. Do we know that for a fact?
3. Would you rather keep a dog in a cage in the adoption agency than give it to a loving family that has a proven track record with a dog that, well, doesn't realize he's been fixed?

Apparently we weren't dog material and were turned down. We ended up going elsewhere and now have 3 great dogs, including the first one, Frank, who all get along great.

I give you lots of creidt, Gladys. I don't think I could foster a dog without wanting to keep it.

I came pretty close to bringing home an owner surrendered dog last week. He had been adopted and then surrendered to the vet where I had taken my dogs for nail trims because the owner turned out to be allergic to him. He was the definition of "scrappy." It was the first time I actually considered taking in another dog. However, I would end up losing a husband, so it just wasn't worth the trade.