My regular readers will know that I volunteer as a foster parent for homeless dogs rescued from East St. Louis by Gateway Pet Guardians.
A couple of weeks ago, I took over fostering adorable Romper from another volunteer.
Romper has been with Gateway for awhile. He was rescued at the end of January from a really tough life on the streets of East St. Louis.
He probably wasn’t born on the streets…there just aren’t a lot of little dogs having babies on the streets there. Our best guess is that he did have a home at some point. Whether he was mistreated or loved, we don’t know. Maybe he ran away, maybe he just got lost. Or maybe he was abandoned. It’s not uncommon for East St. Louis residents to decide to move away and just leave dogs to fend for themselves. Other dogs are wanted, but are allowed to run free, and some wander away and just don’t go home.
Regardless of how he ended up wandering the streets, he clearly had a tough time surviving the streets.
When he was rescued, he was in bad shape physically and mentally. He was underweight at 6.7 lbs. His teeth looked so bad the vet office initially labeled him as 8 years old! He was terrified of everything and didn’t want anything to do with people.
The vet’s office fixed him up physically. His teeth got cleaned (they look great now!). He got neutered and microchipped and all of his vaccinations. He got put on a regular diet and started gaining weight. He is now a healthy 8.5 lbs and looks great!
His first foster home helped him learn that people are there for hugs and kisses, and living with them means you will always be warm and have enough food to eat.
Romper and Milo using my leg as a pillow while I worked on the computer
Life has changed for Romper. While he started out terrified of people, he is now happiest when he is cuddling with his special people. If he isn’t being held, he sticks as close as possible to them. If I’m on the couch, he is too. If I get up and walk anywhere, he is at my feet.
After taking another look at him, the vet’s office thinks he is about 3 years old and is thrilled with his progress. He is both physically and emotionally a completely different dog.
Now he just needs a forever home where he can bond with one person or a couple and count on them to be there every single day.
We believe Romper is a Jack Russell and Chihuahua mix. Amazingly, he doesn’t have any of the annoying habits of either breed. He isn’t a yapper. In fact, he is completely silent ALL of the time except when he is crated and he realizes I just got home. Then he screeches at the top of his lungs like someone is strangling him until he is taken out of the crate. It’s actually quite charming.
He also doesn’t have the high energy that can often be hard to manage of a typical Jack Russell.
Romper is unbelievably mellow. He has a submissive personality and will roll over onto his back and lay there as long as you will pet him or even just talk to him. He loves to cuddle in bed at night, but if you want to move him to another corner of the bed, he’ll let you put him wherever you want. He stays quiet until he figures out you are awake, and even then, doesn’t demand to be let out right away.
Romper loves to chase small tennis balls and play with squeeker toys. He is house trained as long as he is taken out on a regular schedule. He doesn’t need to be crated, but tolerates it well when he is put in the crate. He gets along with most dogs and has lived with cats before.
He is perfect for apartment or condo living and doesn’t need a lot of exercise. He knows the command sit and is very food motivated, which will make it very easy for him to learn additional commands.
Romper and Milo waiting for ice chips from my cup at bedtime
Romper loves going to the park and does just fine at a dog park with bigger dogs. He does great on a leash but can go off leash in protected areas because he’ll never wander more than a few feet away. He even went on a canoe float trip last summer with his first foster family and was a great boy!
Honestly, Romper is a really amazing dog and will be perfect for anyone looking for a loving, mellow little guy.
Of all of the dogs I’ve fostered, he is definitely the first one that I could really keep for myself…though I’m just not prepared to adopt a second dog at this point in my life. So…that means I have to find him a really amazing family.
Is it you?
See Gateway’s other adoptable pets
Consider becoming a foster parent…see the Gateway Pet Guardians dogs still waiting for a foster home!