I've been with Crest-Care Chinese Crested rescue for over 5 years now, and have fostered, transported, and done placements for the foster dogs.  We network quite a bit to find and move dogs, and so I receive emails regularly from Crest-Care about dogs in shelters, and often will make arrangements to get the dogs out of the shelter, and transport them to foster homes.  There are very few Crested reps in California, and so I work very closely with the same two ladies for each of the dogs. Linus was a little different than previous transports. He was dropped at the Martinez shelter as an owner surrender. The husband who brought him in noted that he was aggressive and grumpy.  The shelter would not list him as adoptable because of this and a growling episode (Linus did not like the male kennel worker that brought him in).  He was slated to be put to sleep unless a rescue group would take him, and the others turned him down over being aggressive.  Our group, like many others, won't take in a known aggressive dog, and so they called for a temperment test prior to agreeing to bringing him into our group as a foster.  After a week of corrdinating and emailing and making arrangements, I went out to see him in person. I just didn't believe he was really aggressive. I checked in at the front desk of the shelter, and told the lady who I was, and she pulled his files. After reading to me all the notes on his chart (he growled at the male kennel worker, twice, but was successfully handled by the vet tech the next day and administered shots with no issues), the lady sent me back to his kennel to see him.  She gave me directions, and looked at me a little oddly.  I've never had to go look at a dog by myself, the shelter people normally walk visitors to the kennels. As I wandered back to E-5, I wondered if I was going to find Cujo in the kennel. When I found his kennel, I could tell which one he was immediately because of his goofy haircut.  He came up to the bars of the kennel, and while I was talking to him, he was all cute and fun, and licked my hand through the bars. I was perplexed.  I went back up front, and did all the paperwork to get him released to me.  Meanwhile, another lady at the counter heard which dog I was picking up, and she said, "no, he's not adoptable, he's aggressive, he is being put down." Luckily she wasn't the one doing the paperwork!  When we finally got everything wrapped up, the lady helping me called for the kennel worker to bring Linus up to the counter.  A few minutes later, her phone rang, and she looked up at me, and said that I needed to get him out myself. I could tell from the look on her face that this was not usual.  I went back to his kennel, but Linus wasn't in it. The male kennel worker came up to me, and told me he'd put Linus in the back side of the kennel, to seperate him from his kennel mate.  When I walked around, Linus was cowering in the back corner, shaking like a leaf, and hunched all the way over. Totally different than the first time I saw him. The male worker opened the door, and told me that he wouldn't go in. He wasn't afraid of the dog, I think he was trying to avoid making the situation worse, which I was grateful for.  He went down the hall a bit, out of sight, and I went into the kennel, closed the door behind me, and kneeled down small, talking in a soft voice to Linus. He was so terrified, not sure what I was going to do.  After a few minutes, I reached out to pet him, and thought if he was aggressive, then that would be when he would snap, but he didn't. He stood as still as a statue, completely tense, but he let me touch him.  I waited a bit, the gently started petting him. He decided I must be okay, and he started trying to work up the courage to come close to me. It took him two big circles before he came in and was practically sitting on my lap. I nearly cried tears of joy. I put the collar on him, and stood to go, but he started freaking out at the end of the leash, not wanting to leave the kennel.  I didn't know what to do, but knew the male worker wouldn't wait forever, so I bent down and picked Linus up, and he immediately calmed down.  He was still shaking like a leaf, but he wasn't fighting me.  I carried him back to the front counter, perched his to fluffy feet in front of the lady who wanted him put to sleep, and told her I think they made a mistake, this was not an aggressive dog.  He just sat looking all cute at her. I doubt we made our point, but at least I made the attempt.  

I drove Linus out to Stockton, to be fostered by the other Crest-Care rep.  She immediately had issues with him, he wouldn't crate at night, he was howling if he was out of sight of her, he wouldn't settle.  After spending the next day carrying him around to keep him quiet, she asked if I'd be willing to work with him.  I made arrangments with her to pick him up Saturday morning, and prayed I wasn't making a huge mistake.  I met the Crest-Care rep's mother at a parking lot to pick Linus up; we'd worked together on a previous transport, so it was fun seeing her again.  As soon as Linus saw me, he raced up to me, jumped up on me, and tried to put his fluffy arms around my neck. Nancy, the mother, nearly cried, and said she had never seen such a reaction before.  She said it was meant to be. After saying our goodbyes, Linus again got in my car, and we started the drive back.  We went shopping at a Cost Plus World Market on the way home, and he was a doll. He sat in the cart, and didn't once make a peep.  At home, he met Jesse and Shae, and while there was a little growling, there was none of the histrionics I was expecting.  We hung out for a bit, then I fed them all. Linus seemed like he was STARVING, he was incredibly thin, and was frantically trying to eat his food as if he hadn't eaten in weeks.   

After taking everyone outside, I came back in, and sat on my couch so I could spend some time with the little dogs. Linus immediately jumped up with me, and snuggled in, as if this was the moment he had waited his whole life for.  I nearly cried, then.  What a sweet little soul.  

He slept that first night in Stewart's bed, next to my bed.  He jumped right in, and slept the whole night through without making a single sound. 


The next morning, I spent a little cuddle time with him, and quickly discovered that he LOVES attention and will be ridiculously cute to get me to keep petting him. 

So for now, Linus is a foster, but we'll see what the future brings. ;)  I am just waiting to make sure he and Jesse won't have any issues, and that I'll be able to leave them home together successfully.  Then I'll sign the adoption contract. :)


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