Thanks to foster mom Leslie for sharing the love story of forever mom Bryna and Liz Taylor, formerly Fifi:
Fifi came to me at the beginning of July 2013. Two weeks earlier, I had just lost my sweet Abigail who was my Muttville foster-failure. My other dog, Petey, and I were ready for a new foster. We went to Muttville to pick a new friend and someone said, “How about Fifi?”.
Fifi turned out to be a 10 lb purebred platinum french poodle who came to Muttville via the Oakland Animal Services. She had been picked up as a stray. Who ditches a sweet beautiful purebred pup? Well, I guess when you lose your hearing, and your vision is no longer so good and you have a little trouble holding your pee, the mean streets of Oakland are where you end up.
In the car on the way home, she bounced around in the car from the back to the front and to the back again. I spent the drive across the Bay Bridge trying to keep her off my lap and trying to recall where I had last seen Petey’s car harness!
She spent her first night or two with us checking out my house and the yard. Her vision wasn’t great. Neither was her hearing. She would bump into furniture, street poles, fences, and wouldn’t always hear me trying to get her attention. Oy!
And I guess checking things out while being supervised by myself wasn’t enough for her. She needed to check out the street…on her own! Imagine my surprise when just two days after bringing her home, I got a call in the middle of the day from the Muttville office telling me that a guy named John had found Fifi in the middle of the street. He called to return the dog.
I only live a ten minute drive from my work so I drove home quickly only to see that my front door had been kicked in and my house broken into. I guess she found the open door and wandered out. Petey was sitting on a chair in the living room and was elated that I was home. It turned out that John was a dog walker and had been driving through my neighborhood to pick up some clients for their afternoon walk. He found Fifi, called the number on her tags, then took her with him on the walk with his clients. When I met up with him later, he told me she wasn’t able to walk the entire 3.5 miles with the other dogs and that he had to carry her!
Thankfully, the rest of the summer was quiet for the three of us. There had not been any applications for Fifi so I asked Muttville if I could take her to get her eyes checked. I thought that maybe if her cataracts could be removed and her vision improved that it would increase her chances of being adopted. The eye vet assessed her and found a bigger problem than the cataracts. It turned out that her lenses were subluxed and could detach which would be very painful for her. Her lenses need to be removed. Muttville was notified but the project was put on hold as money needed to be raised as the surgery would cost close to $3000. Thankfully, two very generous women stepped forward and made contributions on Fifi’s behalf to go towards her surgery. Sherri gave us the green light and the surgery was scheduled for September 23rd.
Being the superstar that she is, Fifi came through the surgery well but was put on a few medications in addition to her incontinence meds. Some of the medications were steroid-based, and these made her incontinence worse despite the pill she was taking for this. Additionally, I felt that some of the meds were causing her to have anxiety. She would bark and bark, and I would come home to pee everywhere. I bought doggy diapers. She peed through those. And the barking! OMG! As the days grew shorter through the fall, all I could think was that I was going to get stuck with another difficult Muttville pup. (Abigail had been my first foster, and turned out to be at biter who was in kidney failure= foster failure). What the heck had I gotten myself into??
Well, around Thanksgiving, I took her to the regular vet who switched her incontinence meds. It took some time, but eventually the new meds helped. Also, her steroid-based eye drops were being tapered off and this probably helped out too. Gradually, her diapers were dryer when I got home from work and the nighttime barking seemed to be less.
Then, just before Christmas, there were three….THREE applications for her! I couldn’t believe it! After six months! Nothing came of the first two applicants, but the third seemed like she might be a good fit for Fifi. I took her to Muttville on Sunday Dec 22nd and we sat outside in the sunshine and waited for the applicant to meet us. Finally, a woman parked, got out of her car, and made a beeline to the happy girl sunning herself in my lap. I don’t even think Bryna looked at me once as she couldn’t take her eyes off Fifi.
And the rest is history! They are so happy together and the perfect match. And the best part is that I have a new friend and her name is Bryna! Fifi, now Liz Taylor, and Bryna have met up with Petey and me on a number of occasions. Its so cute to see the two of them reunite! Liz Taylor even came for a weekend when her new momma went out of town for a couple of days and it was just like old times.
Through all the ups and downs, I loved having Fifi here with Petey and me. It was amazing watching her transformation which has continued with Bryna. It still makes me sad and mad when I think about her previous owners putting her out on the street, but when I look at her now, I know that there is no place in the world that is more loving and perfect for her than being with Bryna.
My motto is that I won’t adopt out a foster to anyone unless I feel that they will love the dog as much if not more than me. I know in my heart that Bryna and Fifi will be happy together forever!!
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