Paws and Think

Hello everyone! My name is Caroline Bulf, I am an avid animal lover working on an independent project that’s all about helping animals. I am currently a senior at Evanston Township High School I have a wonderful golden retriever named Harley who is like a best friend and I recently adopted my late uncle's cat named RC. My house is full of animal advocates and I can’t wait to start fostering dogs. I also love horses and I am volunteering at a therapeutic barn for kids with disabilities.

Clementine Found a Home

With a sad smile and a tear in my eye, I am here to report that Clementine found her forever home. During the week, my sponsor from Wagging Hearts contacted me to tell me that a family wanted to meet her on Sunday. I was excited for Clementine but also apprehensive because I was nervous that the family wasn’t going to be good enough for her.

When Sunday finally came, I loaded her up in the car and headed to Martha’s house. I got there to see a lovely looking young couple. When they saw her immediate “aww” and gasps came from their mouths. They kneeled down to pet her and she ran over to them. I didn’t really know what to do so I just let Clementine do what she wanted. I told them about her crating schedule and what she eats and how she is doing in her potty training. I even showed them how great she is at sitting when asked. They seemed to really like her so they brought out their 8 year old yellow lab to meet her. Of course, she did great because she is used to being around my old dog, Harley. They then took the two dogs for a walk by themselves and they came back and decided they wanted to keep her.

The emotions started to kick in but I kept my composure. This is my first time fostering a puppy and oI spent an entire month loving and taking care of her so naturally I developed a connection. The thing that comforted me was the fact that they were good people and they had had a dog before so they knew what they were getting into. They have a big fenced in yard so she will be able to play and she will have to other dog as a companion. As they were signing the papers, I took her in the other room to hold her and say goodbye. I gave her some kisses and hugged her tight, I knew it was time for me to go. I came back in and said to the couple, “Good luck, she’s going to be an amazing dog” and I left. The tears started flowing immediately but I knew this was a good thing for her. I will never forget her and the great experience I had fostering her. I learned so much and she gave me so much love and happiness to see her grow.

Beginning and End.

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My First Shelter Experience

I have started volunteering at Evanston Animal Shelter that is a safe place for dogs and cats. It is a very small shelter that works extremely hard to be a no kill shelter. I have started in a time of change and I am really excited to be a part of the community there. Currently, there are only five dogs at the shelter, but there is an anticipated increase in the spring.

When I first started, I was nervous and didn’t know what the dogs were going to be like. I know it is cliche, but the typical phrase “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” applies to the dogs at the shelter. They may be a little worn down, but they have such big hearts that want to be loved. There are three pit bulls there now that are all very sweet.

One of them came in the day before and she was so beautiful. She was found tied to the back door of he shelter, waiting to be found. She was most likely left there because the owner didn’t want to pay the $35 fee of giving away a pet. She was really scared and nervous of her surroundings. A few volunteers were sitting with her in a room and I came in to meet her. When I entered she started wagging her tail. My heart just wanted to reach out to her so badly, this dog obviously has been through a lot and she deserves so much. This is so typical of the shelter system. People just leave their dogs because they can’t handle them if they develop any problems. The dog most likely never got the attention or love she needed which is why she is so nervous around people. It is never the dogs fault which is why people need to do serious research and be ready to make a commitment to the dog for the rest of its life when they get them. I know that this dog will be able to recover with some tender love and care.

 

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Clementine Update

Clementine has grown with leaps and bounds. Every day it seems like her legs have grown an inch. She used to be able to fit under our armoire and now she can’t even make it under. Her charming personality and adorable tactics have stolen the hearts of my family and I am sure will do the same to the lucky family that adopts her.

On Tuesday, I brought her to the house where her two siblings were being fostered because someone was coming to adopt one of the. I was nervous because it was like going to an audition. I figured she would be chosen because of how cute and lovable she was, but it was a little more to it than that considering she had competition. She was at a disadvantage because the other puppies were used to the environment whereas Clementine was more interested in explore her surroundings. The other puppies were playing and paying attention to the guy there that wanted to adopt. He ended up picking one of Clementine’s sisters which is really great, but I was bummed at the same time.

It was a very polar emotional experience for me because on one hand, I really wanted her to get adopted so she could have a forever loving home, but on the other I’ve become really attached to her and wanted her to stay with me longer. I think it is safe to say everything happens for a reason and she will find her family at the right time.

 

Nap Time with Clementine

As much as I love playing with rambunctious Clementine, my favorite time with her is when she is sleeping. Her body becomes like a soggy noodle, and she snores softly. Sometimes, she starts dreaming and she lets out little yelps and her feet start twitching.

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She lays in the most hilarious positions even when they seem really uncomfortable. I can lay with her while I do my homework and she sprawls across my stomach or nooks herself into a crevice. One of her other favorite napping places is near the heat vents in my house especially in my kitchen.

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The family that will adopt her is going to be extremely lucky. She is such a sweet job that will soak up as much love as she can get. Whatever love you give her, she will give in return and she deserves a perfect home.

The Puppy has Arrived!

Getting to Know the puppy

Getting to Know the puppy

This saturday was the start of my journey as a foster parent (of puppies). I went to Martha’s house to pick up some supplies and I was on my way to pick up the puppy. I really didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t shown a picture before hand and I didn’t know the name. I got to the house and there were three adorable black puppies. They were all from the same litter and they were quite rambunctious. The women told me I could pick whichever one I pleased. I took a moment and squatted down to their level. Immediately, one of the little puppies ran up and licked my face. She had these sweet perky ears and a white spot on her chest. I knew she was going to be the one I took home.

I couldn’t believe this was actually happening when I loaded her into my car. She was in a small crate suitable for travel. She immediately starting whimpering and crying. I had a moment of panic and I felt guilty that she had to leave her litter. I reached my hand towards the back seat by the door of her crate and she stopped crying. I did this for the rest of the car ride and realized that this was going to be a challenge.

When I arrived home, I became nervous of how my dog Harley, and my cat RC, were going to react. The puppy was very excited when we got home and started exploring immediately. My dog Harley was panting heavily and wagging his tail 100 mph. He wasn’t aggressive or territorial, just very confused and excited. This was more than I could ask for and I have been so proud of him so far in this process. My cat on the other hand wants nothing to with her, but is tolerant so that’s the best we can hope for.

How cute is she!?

How cute is she!?

I set up a little pen for her with blankets and towels on one side and potty pads on the other. She really did not like to be in the pen because she always wants to be in action and around everybody. We had a lot of fun playing with her in the living room, she had bountiful energy and then all of a sudden she was asleep. She is the cutest little sleeping puppy and a great to cuddle with. When she woke up, she had her first accident. I realized that in order to keep the accidents form happening, I had to take her out basically every 20 minutes.

It was finally time for bed at around 10:30. I knew she was not going to be happy sleeping by herself, but as a good owner I had to have some tough love. I put her in the pen and turned the lights

off.The crying was almost immediate, but I had to push through as much as I wanted to make it stop. It stopped within 10 minutes gratefully. I then realized how tired I was after being with her all day. I closed my eyes and drifted into sleep, but in what felt like a minute, it was 6 o’clock and the puppy was awake! Time to start another day.

Sleeping with Harley!

Sleeping with Harley!

Let the Fostering Begin!

The time has finally come! I am going to start fostering a puppy this week and I am beyond excited! I wanted to give a little background on where the puppy is coming from and how I found out about the organization.

My mother and I have always wanted to foster a puppy/dog but it never seemed to happen, so I saw my senior studies independent project as the perfect opportunity to make it happen. My Mom’s family friend Martha King has been fostering dogs for years through The Wagging Hearts foundation.

Wagging Hearts is a non-profit rescue organization that saves dogs and cats from getting euthanized at a shelter in Kentucky. There mission is to “Rescue abandoned, neglected, and stray companion animals.” The organization consists of volunteers only and they believe that every animal is adoptable and deserves a forever home. There is so much passion and care in all the people that are a part of it and I can’t wait to join.

Please visit there website if you are interested in adopting or fostering a dog or cat, or if you are interested in donating to their cause.

http://wagginghearts.org

First post!

I’ve had a special place in my heart for animals since I can remember. The journey of my
second semester of my senior year has begun and I am embarking on my independent project.
I have always wanted to find a way to help animals and I was never sure how I could do that. I
now have the opportunity to dedicate my time to volunteering at the Almost Home Foundation
and to work with Waggin Hearts to foster dogs. This blog will consist of my research about the
issues I feel so passionate about changing such as puppy mills and animal euthanasia. I want
to become more knowledgeable about what is going on with theses issues and raise awareness
for my readers. I also will blog about my experiences volunteering and my experiences while
fostering. I welcome my readers to leave comments, questions, and feedback about what they
want to hear about and how they feel about the issues.