One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie

Author Archives: Emily

Introducing Marigold

April 27th, 2015 | Posted by Emily in Elderbulls | Fostering. | Marigold - (6 Comments)


My name is Marigold and I’m new around here. I lived with my Mom my whole life – from puppy-dom until I was 10 years old. But she had some personal issues and ended up having to move very suddenly. She cried so much when she said goodbye to me but she took me to a place where I’d be safe – Great Plains SPCA. I was confused at the shelter because I haven’t been in a place like that before but after a week I was doing alright. I got to go on walks with volunteers and the people who brought my food were always very nice to me. I was sad though. I missed hanging out with my Mom and living in a home.


But then one Sunday afternoon this nice lady came to the shelter and told me that I was going to stay with her until someone new adopts me. She said that she is my Foster Mom and I love her so much already. She calls me Goldie Gal when I snuggle with her and give her my slobberiest kisses. She takes me to work with her almost every day and is teaching me about how she helps save other dogs like me. I work very hard alongside her practicing my manners – she said they were a bit rusty so in between her real job, we work on my sits, stays, waits, shakes, lay downs, and she even is working on teaching me how to catch food she tosses to me!


Oh, did I doze off, Foster Mom? Sorrrrrry!

We’re still learning about each other and I’m teaching Foster Mom something new every day – like how good I am at defending her against that awful vacuum! We were just hanging out minding our own business and it tried to hurt her so I grabbed it and picked it up and told it to stop hurting my Foster Mom. Then it turned off! I showed that vacuum who was boss! I’m also showing Foster Mom how nice it is to have a dog who always wants to keep her company. The Turkey Man prefers his alone time but I want to be with Foster Mom at ALL times… like when she’s doing her chef thing in the kitchen, I’m Sous Chef-ing.

Are you sure you're going to need all that bacon? I'd be happy to take a slice off your hands, Foster Mom!

Are you sure you’re going to need all that bacon? I’d be happy to take a slice off your hands, Foster Mom!

She says that I am such a good girl that she doesn’t see me needing to spend that much time in Foster House. She says that if I keep my hopes up and keep practicing my manners, the best family ever will scoop me up in no time. So in between naps, I keep checking to see if my Furrever family has arrived. They still haven’t shown up but I’m hoping maybe tomorrow….

Furrever Family, is that you?

Furrever Family, is that you?

We haven’t really fostered since Moby. There was that brief stint with Twiggy (Turk’s miniature doppelgänger) that you may have seen on our Facebook page, but it was five days total and she didn’t really need me that much. I held off on fostering after Moby because Rufus was starting to have some health issues and we wanted to spend some time focusing on him and Turk. I’m thankful for that time I had to put all of  my focus onto Rufus before he passed, but the idea of fostering again has never really gone to the back burner in my mind.

Twiggy's perpetual "unimpressed" face.

Twiggy’s perpetual “unimpressed” face.

Then this weekend I met Chuck…. and proceeded to lose my mind.


I mean, with a face like that, who wouldn’t go just a bit crazy? I met his awesome foster mom and set up and meet & greet. Daniel rolled his eyes and took deep, calming breaths as I explained all the reasons why adopting a four month old puppy was an amazing idea. Probably the best idea I’ve ever had. WHY DIDN’T HE LIKE MY IDEA? WHY WAS HE CRUSHING MY DREAMS?! Somehow he managed to get me to take a deep breath and reminded me that if we adopted another dog, we could never foster again. Two dogs is his limit. He also reminded me that my heart has always been with the throw away dogs, the ones that nobody wants… why was I losing my mind over a dog that could be adopted by anyone and do perfectly fine?

Chuck left and went to another meet and greet where he was adopted (of course) and I proceeded to ugly cry and finally just admit to myself (and Daniel) that I’ve been really sad since Rufus passed. It’s been too quiet in our house and as much as Turk loves me, he is Daniel’s dog. If we were both on a burning bridge and Turk could only save one of us, he’d choose Daniel in a heartbeat. They are soul brothers. I’m just the one who fixes his food (and he’ll settle for a snuggle with me but I know he’s pretending I’m Daniel). So I told Daniel that I’m ready to foster again. I need to feel like I am helping a dog that needs me. One who may not have a chance without me. One who is an amazing furever dog just waiting to be discovered. And lo and behold, a dog just like that came to the shelter where I work just recently. And now she is the newest foster at Casa Hawkins. Meet Marigold. I’ll be sharing more about her as she reveals her personality to me! Stay tuned!


Photo Credit: Alyssa Severn


Dear Rufus

February 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Loss for words | Rufus | Smiling through tears - (15 Comments)

Dear Rufus,

1 month ago we said goodbye to you, and I still am having a hard time believing that you are gone. I constantly check the floor as I’m walking to make sure I don’t bump into you because you always loved to be underfoot. Whenever someone knocks on the door I wait to hear you bark and am sad when the house is silent. This weekend when we were cleaning the bathroom, a toilet paper roll fell onto the floor and I scrambled to pick it up because I know how much you loved to chew on tissues. It’s just weird because you are still so present to me, so when something happens and I remember you are gone, the pain of that day comes rushing back and it takes my breath away.

Rufus and Mom

Can I tell you something, Ru? I hate that I had to make the call to end your life. I wouldn’t wish that decision on my worst enemy… deciding the day I would say goodbye to my best friend was absolutely devastating. But seeing you decline was devastating too – seeing you panicked when you were awake and only finding solace when you were snuggled up next to me asleep. I don’t want to talk anymore about how sick you were though – I don’t want to remember you like that. Instead, I want to remember my favorite things… the stories I tell people about you with a huge smile on my face…for instance:

  • The day I brought you home to my apartment and you wouldn’t sleep and kept peeing everywhere, so in exasperation I took my blanket outside to the front lawn and attached a leash to your collar and wrapped the handle around my wrist and fell asleep while you pranced happily around me (of course, still peeing everywhere). I was 21 and clearly not ready for motherhood.
  • The time you walked right into a pond because the algae floating on top looked like grass. You were so startled and seemed genuinely offended that Daniel and I couldn’t stop laughing at you.
  • How you confused “down” with “roll over” so you just combined the two… but you rolled over with such fervor!
  • How you didn’t like very many people, but the people who you did let into your circle, you loved them with force.

I miss you, buddy. I miss your velvet-y soft ears. I miss having you curled up next to me in bed. I miss your soft kisses. I miss you.  I will never know another dog like you. You are one of a kind. I love you.

Your Mama

We’re Baaaack!

August 8th, 2014 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Fostering. | Polly Pocket - (36 Comments)

I know, I know… I haven’t blogged in forever. I contemplated just shutting down the blog permanently when I realized that I’d gone months without blogging. We’re taking a long-term hiatus from fostering, and I’ve thought a lot about whether you all would want to read about what’s going on in our neck of the woods if fostering isn’t a part of it. But I’m hoping that you guys will come back despite the lack of new furry faces around the blog. So, now that that’s out of the way, let me catch you up on a few things that have been going on around here….

The bungie…


It went under contract within a few days of us putting it on the market. The housing market in Kansas City is insane right now, and it was purchased by an investor who has several properties in our area. While I’d rather it went to a cute family who would love it the way we did, I’m just thrilled it sold for what we’d hoped. Our buyer wanted to close within the month, but every house we made an offer on (or even looked at, for that matter) immediately went under contract. There were a few major heartbreaks, including a mid-century modern house that went under contract after one day on the market while we were out of town. I’m not going to lie, I stalked that house for weeks hoping it would miraculously come back as “active.” Alas, it did not. We were getting pretty stressed about the time crunch to find a new place until the investor agreed to let us rent back our house from him month-to-month until we found our next home. Whew!

Luckily, just a few weeks ago we found this…

It is definitely not a bungie… and it’s not in Waldo either, but we are in lurve! From the start of our house search, we said we wanted a house with good bones that is just dated on the inside. This house is that and more. It is in an older neighborhood full of ranches and wide, tree-lined streets. It is a foreclosure, so even though we put an offer on it the first weekend it was on the market, we had to wait an excruciating nine days before we heard if our offer had been accepted. The morning we found out, I did a happy dance around the office and my co-workers were kind enough to join in the celebration. Daniel and I are in the thick of inspections and the back and forth with HUD right now, but once everything is done and we are moved in, I’ll be sure to start sharing the “before” photos. Needless to say, Daniel and I have our work cut out for us (subtext: it is the crappiest looking house on the block)!

That’s the main thing that’s been occupying my time as of late… oh, but since my last post (back in MAY!) was about Polly being returned to the shelter, I should probably report….


After just a few days at the shelter, Polly was adopted by the sweetest couple who came to the shelter looking for “a dog they could help!” We spent a couple of hours going over everything they could possibly want to know about Polly and they were in love (I mean, duh, right?)! They are both finishing up school to be therapists, and are hoping to make Polly a therapy dog! They are working on Polly’s anxiety and are taking extra care to put Polly in situations where she will succeed. To say I’m thrilled they found her is an understatement.

So that’s what’s going on in our neck of the woods. Did ya miss us?


Polly is back…

May 9th, 2014 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Fostering. | Polly Pocket | Smiling through tears - (15 Comments)

As I shared yesterday on Facebook, Polly’s “adopted” status has been changed back to “available.”

Polly Pocket | Our Waldo Bungie
Over the past few months, I had been talking with Polly’s adopter about some challenges she had been facing after moving from a house to an apartment with Polly. Polly was having anxiety while she was away at work, and she finally decided that her home was not the best for Polly. I am bummed that it didn’t work out, frustrated that a lot of my advice didn’t seem to be followed, and heartbroken that Polly is now at a shelter instead of back in foster with me due to our current circumstances (trying to move, just coming off a long foster situation, etc). But there is good news…

photo 3 (1)

Because Polly’s adopter had been in contact with me, I was able to arrange for Polly to be returned to Great Plains SPCA, the No-Kill shelter where I work, instead of the underfunded, open-admission shelter she had come from (where Polly most likely would have been put to sleep due to the lack of resources they have for dealing with pets with anxiety). She was nice enough to wait for several days to return her until there was room at the intake center. Once Polly arrived, the amazing staff at the intake center sat with Polly while she adjusted to the smells and sounds of the shelter, and once she was ready, helped her work out some of her energy in playgroups (which Polly loved).

photo (10)
The whole time I was kept up to speed on what was going on with her, and yesterday I was able to go over and see her. She instantly recognized me and laid against me with the full weight of her body while I pet her and promised her that I would do everything in my power to find her the perfect home again. I promised her that once she was moved over to the adoption floor in my building, I would bring her over to my desk to hang out when the adoption center was closed. I promised her that she won’t be sad forever. I told her that the last year and a half was just a stepping stone to her forever. That her adopted mom had loved her very much but just didn’t have the ability to care for her the way she needed, but loved her enough to make sure that she didn’t end up in a place where she would be left to languish. That I was sorry she couldn’t come home with me, that I felt like I had failed her in a million ways. And she just looked at me with her giant smile and licked my tears and put her paws onto my lap as if to say “I know.”


This is a first for me. Not my first returned foster (Ginger was returned twice before we found her forever family) but my first returned foster that I couldn’t take back into my home. And let me tell you, that is one sucky feeling. But I am choosing to look at the bright side of all of this… Polly is in amazing hands with the animal care team at Great Plains SPCA. I can see her every day if I want to. Polly is a fantastic dog with so much love to give – and her forever family is out there, just waiting for her to come into their lives. So I am going to focus on that. Being mad doesn’t help anything. It certainly won’t help her find a home.

Polly Pocket | Our Waldo Bungie

So there it is. Polly is back. So expect to see lots of adorable photos of her in the coming days. And if you think about it, won’t you share her story? Who knows? You could be the one who finds her forever family!

Thank you for your support, too. I was hesitant to share this because I want to focus on Polly’s future, not her past, but I also feel like so often as foster parents we want to believe that we have found THE ONE for our foster dogs, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. That is a hard feeling to wrestle with – the feeling that you failed them in some way. So, if any of my fellow foster parents have felt this, just know, I’m right there with you.