Moments with Misu, home report day 1:
Did you catch that? No more ‘foster.’ It's official: I’ve charmed her and I’m staying right where I am. I landed my forever home! Mom and I thought we’d share the whole story (what we know of it anyway), and the start of our happily ever after.
I was born on August 28, 2017, living and working hard on a hunting preserve in North Carolina. Luckily, the hunting preserve gave me medicine to keep the fleas and ticks and heartworms away, and in 2020, I had a mass removed from my chest. By 2023, the mass was back, and I didn’t want to hunt anymore. I was going to be taken to the shelter, but the shelter was full, so Southeast German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue called upon its volunteers for help.
The thing is, mom’s heart was really, really hurting because her GSP, Charlie, had just crossed the rainbow bridge three weeks earlier. Mom’s other GSPs, Hannah and Sophie, had gone to heaven too, and she hadn’t had a quiet house in more than 13 years. She was struggling but decided that because we were both in tough spots, we’d help each other get through it together.
On Feb 19 (hint: mom’s birthday is Sept 19, so the number 19 has always been significant to her), mom drove more than two hours to meet the man from the preserve and transport me back to her place, my foster home. When the man took me out of my kennel, she was shocked to see that I was much thinner than the photo she had been sent. The man said, “You need a bath!” and the woman said to mom, “Are you transport or foster?” The man took his leash off when mom put hers on, the woman told mom my records would be sent to rescue and they left. No goodbye, no thank you, no kiss or pat on the head. Mom drove me home, promising that I was safe and that she’d take care of me. I got a bath and a new collar, some comfy bedding and a nice meal, and I went to sleep.
Three days later, I split myself open and all that nasty infection dripped out. The vet fixed me up and scheduled me for surgery, but for those two weeks in between, let’s just say that things were pretty gross. I served as a pretty good distraction for mom, and she was reminded that she’s not nearly as squeamish and can function on a lot less sleep than she thinks.
You can go back and read my past ‘Moments,’ but we are focusing on nothing but the future.
Mom says I’m a completely different dog now than the one she hoisted into the car seven weeks ago. She said it’s been blood, sweat, and tears but that my eyes looked right into hers in those first days, melting her, even though she vowed to just be a perpetual foster for a long, long time.
Mom says I taught her about resilience and making space in her heart to love another dog, but never replacing the ones she’s lost. She says I remind her of her angels, but I’m different from them too. She wonders if they brought me to her.
Mom warns not to be fooled by my cuteness. I’ve never lived in a house before. Everything is new. I’m a counter surfer. I forget I’m not supposed to pull on the leash. I’m nosy and want to meet everyone I see. I love to eat, including the crunchy birds I find at the beach. Sometimes mom calls me a bull in a china shop.
Did you know I have a cat sister? Mom says Harriet hated her for two years after she was adopted and then last year had a change of heart. I sometimes give her a little chase, but she’s kind of nifty, and she ‘shares’ her yummy food with me. At night, we all sit on the couch and watch tv together. Mom said if ever-discerning Harriet likes me, that’s got to be a good sign.
Mom is worried that I was just too sick at the preserve to hunt and now that I’m better, I may want to go back to that life. Instead, we’re going to work really hard on obedience because she wants to be able to take me everywhere and let people see how handsome and smart I am. I have big paws and am so strong I might try agility if I ever decide to listen!
Seven weeks later, the edges of my ears are soft again. The spots worn bare from laying on a kennel floor are growing fur. I’ve gained eight pounds. My hip bones don’t stick out. I like to stretch out on the couch. I am learning to play with toys. Our friends and neighbors can’t believe I’m the same Meesh.
Mom says she’s learned so much about how rescue works and how important it is to support the work they do. She fostered another dog last year and she was sad when Daisy got adopted, but because she was so perfect for her family and her family was so perfect for her, she was happy to bring them together. When it was coming time for me to get adopted, the coordinator said I’d certainly need an active family. Mom said she couldn’t imagine who the heck else would be willing to walk me 8-10 miles a day, sometimes at 3am. Mom says I’m sweet enough that one day I’m going to be a foster brother and we are going to help other GSPs.
It’s taken mom seven weeks to say yes to the GSP (that should be a show, btw!), but she said she felt very guilty for maybe not grieving her other dogs properly and giving me so much attention so quickly. Sometimes her eyes get leaky when we’re out walking and I know she still hurts. I know she always will, but she said someone reminded her that it’s an honor to have the trust of and be loved by a dog, especially one whose life you flat out know you saved. She said she wanted to do some traveling and exploring her new state, but she told me she doesn’t think she’ll ever look back at her life and regret helping a dog in need. She says I’m the reason she can’t have nice things, the reason the floor is always dirty, the reason there’s always slobber on her hands, and the reason she’s going to be broke forever. She’s been dragging her feet, fighting it, keeping the secret that she fell hard for me. There have been an awful lot of packages arriving with my name on them, not to mention three more weeks of school. Her Amazon cart is full of dog stuff, and she got rid of the plants I tried to eat. That didn’t just happen peeps - she’s known all along I was a keeper!
I don’t think there’s a single person who thought we could part ways. Someone famous said, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” and I think that’s darn true. So friends, thank you for your ongoing support and all your kind words. Mom said she enjoys sharing my story - this is just the beginning - and she wants everyone to know that sometimes rescue is really hard, but rescue is always worth it. She also says everyone who talked her into keeping me better get their calendars out, send their contact info, and be ready to dog sit!