I think my message was too long with the threads prior, so I am re-posting only 
it.  

 

Of course I am still around!  Busy with work tho mostly :( I'm on Facebook with 
a lot of felv members and that's how I mostly keep up with them.  
 
I also violated all the rules and became a traitor- rescuing and keeping a 
monster dog I found abandoned near my work.  And horror of horrors...are you 
ready for this?  I don't think you are!  He's likely a pit, rott mix and 
started out as a clear predator.  And here I am with cats.  And he was like, 
yummy, mommy filled her house with prey!  I took him in in March and the first 
6 mths of my becoming a dog person was HELL ON EARTH!  I prayed to Monkee every 
night!  He sucked up all of my non-work time, so in no way did I feel it was 
right or fair to bring any fosters into the house until I had the beast more 
de-sensitized to cats and I already felt like I was neglecting my Yoda cat.  
And I had no time for fosters anyway b/c the 48 lbs of shear muscle required 
his daily runs, weekend trips to the park for trail running, taking him to 
obedience classes, tons of at home training and working to integrate him with 
my moms dogs and by "integrate"- I really mean, not kill my moms dogs, and time 
spooning his mommy on the couch.  All in all, it was the hardest thing I have 
ever done...become a real dog person.  Actually I pretty much became a dog 
trainer.  I had to!  I named him Normandee ("Normandy")- the double ee a 
tribute to The Monkee of course.  As horrible as that all sounds, he's never 
gotten a cat, the cats are fine with him, he's pretty de-sensitized to them but 
we have some more work to do as "new" cats to him-- it's like, oh I can't eat 
mommy's cat, but that one is for me! And it's not like me, Normandee and Yoda 
are all spooning together on the couch or anything. UGH.  Cats are so much 
easier-- and this is coming from someone who had four die in my arms...I mean 
really.  I have told Normandee not to ever make me "chose" b/c he will lose 
out!  He took that to heart and has done nothing but accept the structure and 
training with undying love.  It honestly surprises even me when I look back on 
how much I have accomplished with this dog and to realize that nothing is 
impossible.  Our dog trainer is always singing my praises because she admits 
that even she wouldn't have taken on a dog like him, but the turn-around I have 
worked so hard for is nothing short of amazing.          
 
Now that the beasty is under control, I have a brand spanking new foster cat 
(after not fostering for a year)...a white and black female tuxie-- similar 
markings to Monkee.  She's been living outside and had a tipped ear so I knew 
she'd been spayed by likely the fix-only and re-release group so I was on pins 
and needles when she went for vetting.  I think me, the vet and the tech were 
all scared of the results since she had been outside and only fixed...the 
chances of a positive test are so much higher.  And for me, gosh, I was having 
flash backs to Monkee's first vet visit b/c her markings are so like his...and 
the vet's face when she came back in the room and I just started crying, I was 
like, I can't go through this again with a cat that looks like him!  
Thankfully, all her tests are negative!!!!!!!  Now I just have to work on the 
slow introduction to my two monsters- Yoda and his adopted brother Smokey that 
I took in in August when my best friend found two kittens in her garage, she 
kept one, despite being allergic to cats and I agreed to foster Smokey to 
adoption but I don't believe neither Yoda or I can part with him now.  They are 
my Yin and Yang.  And I felt bad for Yoda living the life of the cat that 
fosters other cats and becoming best friends with fosters, only to have them 
either die or be adopted!  I felt bad for his revolving door life.  Smokey is 
still a kitten so I have not yet neutered him and he is an alpha male like no 
other.  The dogs are afraid of him (ironically, that includes the beast dog)!  
 
So I will end 2009 with NO losses-- be it due to felv, fip or beast dog-- and 
knowing I saved 4 lives this year (3 cats, and 1 dog from hell), and got one 
kitten adopted without even lifting a finger other than to type a few emails 
(one of my foster's parent's saw a kitten on the rescue site and wanted my help 
connecting her with the powers that be to adopt her)...and I have to say it 
feels really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Monkee works in the most mysterious ways.  I 
have learned to just go with it and not question it too much.  How else would I 
end up with a pit/rott, gargoyle-looking, mommy's-baby dog!?   
 
I hope everyone is doing well.  Find me on facebook if you are on there!  
 
caroline kaufmann 

                                          
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