Wouldja look at that face?? Oh, those eyes — !! Can you believe someone probably dumped this dog?

Teddy is a gorgeous soft-coated German Shepherd Dog currently in the care of Waggin’ Tails Dog Rescue. I got to see (and pet, and hug!) Teddy at a showing today. (That’s where the rescue group brings some of the adoptable dogs to a local venue — usually a pet supply store — so that the public can meet the dogs.)

Waggin’ Tails is a foster-based rescue. There is no shelter or facility; the dogs live in our homes so we assist them with learning good house manners, and we can evaluate how they behave in many different situations. This is critical to our mission of placing dogs in forever homes, as the primary reason that dogs are returned to shelters is that they prove not to fit into the adopter’s lifestyle.

We fostered Teddy for 3 months this summer, until our schedule with moving preparations became too hectic to manage another active dog in the household.

We had a tough time fostering Teddy, primarily because of his medical issues. It took several different doctors, some expensive tests, and a great deal of time removing some underlying issues to get to the root of his problem: inflammatory bowel disease, commonly referred to as IBD.

Without going into a lot of detail, a diagnosis of IBD basically means that Teddy has a very touchy stomach. If he gets into foods which trigger an attack — let’s just say it’s very unpleasant for all involved for a week at a time. So he has to be on an extremely regulated diet to make sure nothing triggers an episode, and take a maintenance dose of oral steroids – at least for now.

The other reason we had a tough time fostering is that he’s such a great dog! I know, I know, that makes no sense. What I mean is that he really pulled at our heartstrings. We agonized regularly on whether or not to make him a part of our family. Ten years ago we would have adopted him in a heartbeat. But now that we are getting ready to live in a 300-square-foot home on wheels with no fenced yard, the responsibility was just too great.

Teddy is SUCH a good dog, with just a few small foibles. As long as his digestive system is in balance, he is perfectly housetrained. He is not destructive, and is social enough to go to daycare for half days. He’s one of the calmest dogs I’ve ever met, except when he sees those dastardly squirrels! He takes treats nicely, knows sit and shake, and runs well next to a bicycle.

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If you’re interested in Teddy, or know someone who might be, check out the Waggin’ Tails website. Teddy is not currently listed as the group wants to make 100% sure that his medical condition is stable. But the group always has a dozen or more nice dogs of all description needing homes.

If you’re not sure about bringing a dog into your life permanently, consider fostering. We have fostered 12-16 dogs over the years, and it’s really rewarding. I’m friends on Facebook with at least half a dozen of our adopters; it’s fabulous to see photos of our “graduates” as they bond with their new families and explore the world.