Just a couple of weeks after we began volunteering at the animal shelter, Sophie ran across this tiny ball of fur. It looked to everyone like a cross between a Husky and a potato (because up until a certain age, all dogs look pretty much like potatoes). As Sophie sat with the puppy, named "Rufus," snuggling and comforting it, the Shelter Director walked up and nodded in their direction.
"That puppy's too young to stay here. It'll need a foster home." She punctuated the latter sentence with what novelists refer to as 'a significant look'.
After discussing it with Sophie, we agreed that - ready or not - someone would have to step up, and it might as well be us. Thus began two months' worth of attempted house-training, socializing, and looking for a good, stable owner to adopt him. The sleepless nights came as an added bonus. Four aborted adoption missions later (and five other foster animals come and gone), we finally threw in the towel and declared him a "foster failure," as the shelter employees teasingly refer to it. Since he had spent 75% of his life with us thus far, we figured he could stick around for the rest of it.
Rufus has his own Blogger page, "Raising the Rufus," where we basically natter on about some of the ups and downs of bringing up a puppy (now an adolescent dog) in our bizarre little world. Maybe we'll even discuss some things that we learn along the way about what to do - and what not to do - when forging a relationship with (hopefully) the furriest member of your family.