Maggie was our first foster. As with anything new, fostering a dog was exciting and nerve wracking all rolled up. I’m sure Maggie felt the same way. We got an email from the director of Triangle Pets Alive! that a Bluetick Coonhound needed rescuing and would we be interested in fostering. With some anxiety, mostly on my end I’m sure, we decided to take a chance and foster Maggie. Nate drove out to Durham to meet the transport to take our new foster home.
We don’t know a whole lot about her past history – just that she was abandoned somewhere in Catawba county and was taken to a high kill shelter. She obviously had had puppies, was under nourished, and heartworm positive. The agency named her Maggie, and that suited her just fine. When Nate walked through the front door with Maggie, my heart just ached for this poor dog. To me, she was just skin and bones, and smelled to high heaven.
We have our own dog that we rescued about a year prior, named Deacon. He was also skinny, but not like Maggie. He was relatively healthy in comparison, just had kennel cough for the first couple weeks we had him. I had never before experienced what it was like to have a truly underweight dog with heartworms. She didn’t feel very good – that was obvious from the beginning. She slept a lot and didn’t have really any energy. We took her in a couple weeks after we started fostering to get the heartworm treatment. It’s pretty rough stuff and the dog can’t run around or get too excited or even go for walks because that can seriously damage or even kill the dog. Since Maggie didn’t feel well anyway, she was a good patient and rested a lot. Eventually, though, she started feeling better and would let us know by howling. She wanted to walk! We started slowly, only going for 10 min at a time to make sure she was OK. We had to give her prednisone when she started coughing, a symptom of possible complications. This lasted a couple of months – we fostered her beginning in November, then she had the treatment for about a month, so by the end of the holidays she was feeling better and could go on long walks with us.
I started calling her “Little Miss” and “Maggie Moo,” mostly the second name. She was the sweetest hound. Her eyes made her look sad all the time even if she was happy and wagging her tail. Maggie Moo was the most laid back dog I have ever met. She would snuggle on the couch and just give you the eye if you wanted her to move. When she was able to start going for walks, though, all bets were off! She LOVED walks. They were her favorite thing in the entire world. We have leashes and collars hanging up by the front door, so when one of us would go to get the easy walk harness Maggie Moo would come right up and put both of her front paws on your chest. Easy access to place the harness around her! Compared to Deacon, Maggie was a great walker. She is a hound so she loves to sniff and smell everything. Having a retractable leash helped with that so she could walk ahead of us, smell, and as we were passing by could start trotting up again to the next blade or bush that required sniffing.
Maggie also enjoyed sleeping in. When 6AM hit, Deacon was ready to go. And he let you know by jumping up on the bed and waiting for you to get up. Maggie Moo, on the other hand, would sleep in as long as she possibly could. I could definitely relate – sleeping in is SO nice. But, once we were up and heading out the bedroom door, she would streeeetch and come with us to go outside. Her tail would start doing the helicopter wag, which is where her tail would wag in circles going around and around. She would sleep anywhere, as long as she had her bed. It used to be Deacon’s bed, but since he never used it (and I really do mean never!), the bed became Maggie’s.
Maggie has an old soul and you could definitely see that she had experienced a lot in her life. She had obviously had several litters of puppies and was a skittish around loud noises. We knew she needed a laid back family, who would take her for walks but also enjoy her snuggling and cuddling on the couch. She would even snuggle with Nate while he was reading or studying!
Adoption events were difficult for her because she would get very anxious and stressed out. In the beginning we would only stay for a little while until she would get too anxious and needed to leave. Maggie would seem off-putting to anyone who didn’t know her. She really was the sweetest dog, you just had to get to know her! As she got healthier and more comfortable with us, she also became more OK with events. She would even greet new dogs and humans as they came in through the door!
When we met Laurie and her husband, Matthew, we knew they were a great fit for Maggie Moo and she for them. They are a quiet couple, very nice and laid back. They wanted a dog that they could take for walks and hikes (check for Maggie!) but wouldn’t require a ton of exercise (check again!). The only caveat, they have a cat. I’ve never known Maggie to get upset over another animal so we did a meet and greet with Laila and she showed some interest in meeting, but didn’t seem upset in the slightest. Laurie and Matthew decided to go forward with the trial adoption and the rest is history! Laila and Maggie are snuggle buddies and Miss Maggie Moo gets to go on walks to her heart’s content.
I would say that we couldn’t have asked for a better first foster and I am so happy that Maggie loves her new family. It’s amazing how well she is doing and how great it feels to place her in her forever home. I am excited to get another foster and experience the whole thing again with a new dog, with new adventures, and new beginnings.