Dogs

My wife and I are dog people.  Freaks, kinda.  We got our first pooch, Oscar, back in January of 2006 while we were living in NYC.

Oscar as a puppy - 2006

Oscar as a puppy – 2006

The little Ewok quickly took over our lives, motivating each of us to quit our jobs, and then to eventually buy him a house in the country and flee NYC.

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In short order, we started fostering dogs for the National Brussels Griffon Rescue.   Oscar got along great with out first foster, Mr. Griffey, so we kept G.

Mr. Griffey

Mr. Griffey

We then fostered Benny, and Mr. Griffey was hell bent on insisting that we didn’t keep any more fosters: he was a dick to all of them.

Benny

Benny

After almost a year, Benny found a great home less than an hour away from us, and we still see him and his new family about twice a year.

Nikko was our next foster – the cutest little Yoda-esque monkey, who liked to take naps in the laundry basket.

Nikko

Nikko

A family from Brooklyn came up to check him out and couldn’t leave without him.

The calmness of life fostering Nikko was replaced with the chaos of fostering a puppy – Verdell.

 

Verdell

Verdell

Verdell was a puppy – he was cute as hell, but he was also evil: instead a cute froggy/gravelly Griffon bark, he had a hound-like scream, and he’d yell his pretty little head off whenever he didn’t get his way.  He got adopted very quickly by a family we knew from our NYC days: they had a dog who was in Oscar’s daily walk pack.   The interesting thing about Verdell is that, being a puppy, he was super submissive to Mr. Griffey, so the two of them actually got along!  With the other fosters, when Griffey was a douche to them, they’d fight back after a few days.  Vern let G be the boss.  Still, he was too crazy for us, and we were happy to see him go to his new home (more on that in a minute).

After Verdell we had the challenge of twin brothers:  Max & Gizmo!  Four dogs was exponentially harder than three, but these guys were, like all the others, awesome, and eventually found a great home within spitting distance of our old apartment in NYC.

Max & Gizmo

Max & Gizmo

We visited Nikko and Max & Gizmo this past January when we went to NYC for a friend’s wedding.

Our most recent foster was a repeat: Verdell came back!

Vern - take 2

Vern – take 2

The family that adopted him had another (human) baby, and couldn’t handle Verdell’s craziness.   They’d changed his name to Vern, and they’d also done an amazing job training him.    We had him for almost 10 months this time, and were in no hurry to place him as he fit in great with Oscar and Griffey, as he still knew that Griffey was the boss (although this time around they definitely scuffled more seriously when Vern got sick of G’s bullying).    We eventually found Vern a home less than half an hour from us, and are eagerly awaiting our first reunion with him.

People often ask us if it’s hard to let the foster dogs go, as we get so attached to them.   While it’s certainly not easy, I’ve found it easier than I thought it would be because we put so much effort into screening the prospective adopters to make sure they’re a good fit.   By the time we let the dog go, we have no doubt he’s going to a great home where he’ll be the center of attention – spoiled almost as much as we spoil them in our somewhat unusual (home all the time, etc) lifestyle.

Today, National Dog Day, is a day where people are encouraged to think about adopting a dog.    We are, of course, a Brussels Griffon family, and I can’t recommend the breed highly enough.   There are some catches of course: this is not the kind of breed you get if you want a dog to leave home alone all day: these dogs want to be by your side all the time: they thrive on human companionship.

Oscar was our Brussels Griffon Trailblazer, and despite not having the breed-standard Griff looks, we don’t think there’s a finer pooch on the planet.

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-KD