Before I even had my foster puppies Jojo and Sylvie adopted, I knew that I would foster again.

I had a few out of town trips scheduled after they left, so I decided to wait to foster another dog until all of the trips were over…which would mean not fostering again until the end of July.

A couple of weeks ago, I offered to give one of the shelter dogs a vacation from the shelter. The plan was to bring Padme home for about 5 days, and then take her back to the shelter. It only took a couple of days to know that wasn’t going to happen. There was no way I could let this loving girl spend her days alone in a kennel surrounded by barking dogs.

Padme 1

Instead, I found another foster volunteer who took her last weekend while I went floating the Meramec River, and she’ll go back to that volunteer again later this month if she hasn’t been adopted yet because I’m attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago.

After I told Gateway that I was going to be Padme’s permanent foster until I could find her a forever home, I found out her full story…and I became even more committed that this sweetie would never spend another night in the shelter.

Padme’s Story:

As I’ve mentioned before, PJ Hightower drives the streets of East St. Louis every morning just after dawn looking for stray dogs who are hungry and need to be rescued.

Rescue - attic Rescue - attic closeup

One morning in late December, PJ spotted some puppies in the broken out attic window of a foreclosed home in East St. Louis. She made plans to come back to rescue them once there was a foster volunteer lined up to take them, and went back once to check on them. The next time she tried to go, the front door which had been hanging off its hinges was boarded up. The house had been sold and the new owner had just sealed up the house, not knowing that there were dogs in the attic.

Gateway managed to track down the new owner who was more than happy to open up the house so the dogs could be rescued.

Rescue - Padme in attic

Before rescue - in attic

Rescue - Padme's first meal

Rescue - Luke Rescue - Leia Rescue - house bathroom

One of the volunteers caught the rescue on video. I can’t explain how heartbreaking it is to discover dogs living in these conditions. You simply have to watch the videos to get the full impact.

Rescue - Padme at shelterPadme at the shelter right after being rescued

See all of the pictures of Padme, Luke & Leia’s rescue…

After their rescue, Padme and her puppies, now named Luke and Leia, we placed in foster homes. Padme was heartworm positive and she had a growth that had to be removed. A foster family took good care of her while she recuperated, and when she was healthy, she was adopted by a family.

After about 4 months with that family, they contacted Gateway and said they couldn’t keep her anymore. I can’t get into particulars here about why it didn’t work out for them, but I’m sure it was a hard decision for them to give her up.

Padme spent about a week in the shelter waiting for a foster family. When I decided that I wanted to give one of the shelter dogs a mini-vacation, I brought my dog Milo up to the shelter to make sure he would get along with the dog I picked out. I took one look at Padme and knew I wanted her. Milo didn’t have the same reaction…but I figured that them ignoring each other was good enough to bring her home.

Milo spent a week growling at her whenever she came to me for affection, but he’s finally gotten over that and now looks forward to their walks together. He even lets her sleep in his favorite chair.

Padme, who I call Paddy, is such a wonderful dog. We don’t really know how old she is, but we’re guessing she’s a little over 2 years old. She is completely healthy now, though she had gained a little too much weight in her last home. She is now about 50 lbs, but it shouldn’t take much for about 5 lbs to come off since she goes on 3-4 short walks a day. In just over a week, she’s stopped panting on longer walks and is bounding up the stairs instead of waddling up them like she did on the first day.

Padme in chair

She is one of the most affectionate and mellow dogs I’ve ever been around. She is content finding a comfy chair or some cool tile to lay on when she is indoors. All it takes to make her smile is petting her, brushing her or giving her a big hug.

She gets along with dogs of all sizes and loves everyone she meets. She will alert you to every little noise and will be in heaven if your neighborhood has rabbits she can chase. Padme would be great in a home with another dog, frisky or mellow, or would be fine as an only dog. I haven’t seen her around cats (other than the one she barked at on one of our walks), but her first foster family had a cat and said she was fine with them.

While every dog would love a fenced yard, Padme could also do well in an apartment or condo. Either way, she needs daily walks because she is likely to plop down in the shade after sniffing around a bit, and that just isn’t enough exercise for her.

Padme at the dog park last week

2013-07-07 10.55.22 2013-07-07 10.55.40 2013-07-07 10.57.31 2013-07-07 11.03.06 2013-07-07 11.03.28She also rides well in cars, walks great on the leash as long as she is wearing an Easy Walk Harness, and knows some basic commands. She is completely house trained and while she will go into a crate without a fuss, you don’t need to crate her since she doesn’t misbehave when she is at home alone or at night.

If you are interested in adopting Padme, the first step is to fill out an application for her. There’s no obligation at this point, but it gives us the information we need to start the process which involves a phone interview, vet and reference checks and meeting her in person. The cost to adopt Padme is $150. She has been spayed, is now negative for heartworms, has completely recovered from her earlier medical issues, is up to date on shots and is on heartworm and flea preventative.

After all she’s been through, she deserves only the best. Please help us find the perfect forever family for her by sharing this with anyone you know who might be interested.

Disclosure: This blog post contains advertising. If you click the link for the easy walk harness and end up buying something (the harness or something else), I will get paid a tiny amount of money which will help me support Gateway Pet Guardians by providing food and supplies for my foster dogs.