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My Failed Experience As A Foster Mom To A Senior Maltese Dog

Mary's dogs are members of her family. She enjoys writing about her furbabies.


I was a foster Mom to a Maltese Dog

When I was a child, I brought home every stray dog or cat that would “follow me home”. I was not allowed to keep them all, of course, but I was always able to convince my parents that I was their only hope of survival. We lived in the country and had plenty of room for the animals to run and play. We had other animals: cows, pigs, goats, and some chickens. My rescued animals ran and played with those animals; they loved to chase the chickens most of all.

When I grew up I married a Veterinarian, and he would bring horses home that had been neglected and left to die. When they first came to us, they would be pitiful. Their ribs would show, and their hooves would be terribly in need of a farrier to trim them. He took great pride in returning these horses back to health by a good diet and lots of tender, loving care.

The desire to rescue animals has never left me. If I could, I would take them all. I would give them love, a good home, and the best life possible for them. Our local Animal Shelter and my Veterinarian know how I feel about animals, and when they need someone to take a stray or an injured dog that needs nursing they call me. My job is be a foster parent and nurse the dog back to health so it can be adopted. When a foster dog comes to me, I know that my job is exactly that. I understand it will be temporary. I tearfully give the dog up for adoption when the time comes. Then I am ready for another dog to foster.

I got a call one day from our local Animal Shelter to foster a senior maltese. I never know what to expect when I go there for an animal, or what condition the dog will be in. I was not prepared to see this little creature when they handed him to me. I know what a Maltese is supposed to look like, and this dog didn’t look like your regular Maltese. He was seriously underweight. When I picked him up, I could feel all of his little ribs. He was skin and bones. He was missing some teeth. He had a bad ear infection that was draining. He had abscesses in his remaining teeth. He was found with no tags, no microchip, and no identification of any kind. They guessed that someone just put him out on the street. I would like to think that he just accidentally got out of his house and got lost. I choose not to think that anyone could be so heartless that they would forsake this little guy. He was so frightened, but he seemed to know that I was his friend.

The Maltese I Fostered Sporting His New Halter

My Fostered Maltese Is Getting Better Now

I named my fostered dog Mister. The first week I had Mister he remained aloof. I cooked chicken for him which he would eat from my hand. I treated his ears with the ointment the Vet. gave me to use. I had him micro chipped. I took him to my Dog Groomer who bathed him and cut out all the mats in his hair. She gave him a nice haircut.

The Shelter Veterinarian had given him the shots they thought he needed. After a week or so, he began to show signs of feeling better. After three weeks, his ears got well after treatment with the ointment the Vet. had given me to use. The Shelter Vet. put him to sleep long enough to pull out his four abscessed teeth. He learned how to use the little doggie door, and he would run in and out, and play in the yard with my Miniature Schnauzer, Baby. Baby was never jealous of Mister which surprised me. She seemed to understand that he had never had the advantages she has had. She accepted him from the start.

My Fostered Maltese And My Miniature Schnauzer

Baby, My Miniature Schnauzer

My Fostered Maltese Begins To Play

Mister began to play. When he woke up in the mornings in my bed, he would wag his tag and be so happy to see me. He would play “peek-a-boo” with his paws. I didn’t teach him to do that: maybe someone did love him enough at one time to teach him this little trick.

Mister, My Fostered Maltese Playing Peek-A-Boo

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I Am A Failure At Being A Foster Parent

When Mister regained his health, and weighed five pounds, I returned him to the Shelter. I’ll never forget his expression when he realized I was going to leave him there. It was an expression of disbelief! I tearfully left him and came home. I didn’t even park the car. I drove straight back to the Shelter. I told them I wanted to adopt Mister. I couldn’t let him go. When they brought him back to me, he was overjoyed! I was, too!

My Handsome Adopted Maltese Is Glad To Be Home

Consider Adopting A Maltese

Please don’t ever try and tell me that animals don’t feel neglect, pain, disappointment, joy, devotion, gratitude, and other emotions that we think we as humans can only feel. I know better. You just have to look into their expressful eyes to know what they are feeling.

I encourage anyone who is thinking of getting a little dog to consider the Maltese. As a breed for a small dog: They are hypoallergenic, (shed very little), very loving, good for apartment living, love children and adults alike, but usually are devoted to one person.

There are a lot of Maltese rescues around the country. Rescue one of these wonderful dogs and you will have a friend for life!

Cute Video of Jack, A Maltese Who Talks Back

About How My Miniature Schnauzer Trains ME

Very Good Hub on the Maltese Breed

A beautiful Hub by Peggy W. about a rescued Pomeranian.

A sweet Hub by debbiepinkston about her Maltese