About The Foster Zoo

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We have decided to blog our adventures again. So much has changed since we last blogged. Bella and Shiloh both went to their forever homes and they are in wonderful families. June Bug got adopted. We quit fostering dogs after those adoptions because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. We quit doing therapy dog work because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. Tanker passed away June 9th, 2013. We adopted a senior border collie named Shania Tankerbelle in his memory. We still have our two cats, Sweet Pea and Little Bit. Wes has started rescuing pitiful bettas from Wal-Mart and we currently have seven. We have a camper. We camp. We have focused on giving our animals the best lives possible. We are The Foster Zoo Crew and we like to have fun.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

St. Jude Novena

We are on day 7 of praying the St. Jude novena.  St. Jude is the patron saint of hope and impossible causes.

I don't feel like writing tonight, so I'm going to copy and paste from Facebook some of the answered prayers we've received through St. Jude's intercession.

1.    I am not one to air out dirty or clean laundry, but I have to write this because this happened while we're saying our St. Jude novena.

We sold a vehicle to a man a few years back and he never fully paid for it.  We had taken him and his wife to court and it was a drawn out process because he failed to show twice.  We got a judgement against him, but he bank hopped and we could never get any money out of him.  He had his own landscaping company, which turned out not to be a company at all and it wasn't licensed and insured like he had said.  He had claimed to be a disabled Veteran, so we and our neighbors were always nice to him.  Then he started stealing things.  He stole one neighbor's riding lawnmower the same way he purchased our vehicle and didn't pay on it.

We were out several thousands of dollars because of this man.  I got word that he passed away at the beginning of this year.  He had bad COPD, but didn't use his oxygen and he still smoked several packs a day.  We later found out he was on Social Security Disability, yet still worked under his own "company" and evaded taxes by only taking cash or checks, which he'd get cashed at the other person's bank.  The loss of our vehicle was a big financial loss to us.

We've been praying the St. Jude Novena and we've had something each day come to us in result of it.  Today, we received a letter from his wife saying she's being evicted from her house and the landlord wants the vehicle off the property because there's no tag on it and the inspection hasn't been done on it.  We are the lein holders, so the wife wrote us a letter and said we can come get the vehicle off the property.  Every time we had tried repossessing it, the vehicle had been hidden and the man stood in the window and wouldn't open the door.

Although the vehicle is trashed, this ends a long battle for us.  We will still be able to sell it, even if it's not for what is owed on it.  There is light at the end of the tunnel after years of loss and fear.  The man stalked me, vandalized our property, and we have had had to put a full security system in our house due to my fear of him.  I've had to involve the police over him stalking me. 

When praying a novena to St. Jude,  you're supposed to publicly acknowledge the good that happens from it.  We've also had an answered prayer to credit card debt.  Everyday since starting the novena, St. Jude has prayed for us and our prayers are being answered.

2.    We've had another answer to prayers while praying the St. Jude Novena.  We hired a repo service to go get our SUV.  This is the same repo company we used when the man was hiding the vehicle and we couldn't get it.  One of the mechanics at the shop we take our vehicles to is interested in buying the SUV.  As long as it is mechanically sound, which we think it probably is, he wants to purchase it.  This has been a huge answer to prayers for us.  It's something we had stopped praying for because we felt it was hopeless.  Since praying our 9 day novena to St. Jude, he has interceded and made it happen.

3.    We've had two more answered prayers today.  We're on Day 5 of the St. Jude Novena.  First, Wes passed his PT test and that was even testing an extra component he hasn't tested since his back injury several years ago when a door slide from an aircraft fell on him.  Second, the repo company picked up our SUV last night and it's surprisingly in decent condition.  The inspection was expired and there were no license plates on it, so we're guessing he put his other car's tags on it to drive it around Culpeper and hide it from us when we took him to court and were trying to repossess it in lieu of the payments he was not paying the court.  The wife said they couldn't afford tags.  The guy couldn't even legally drive it, yet he went two years of not paying us and hiding it from us.  The paint is still really good with exception of the front bumper.  The inside is a mess, but can be fixed.  The man left the key in the on position and let the battery die, so we can't get the key out of it, but it is fixable.  The missing hubcap was found.  It's going to need two new tires.  We now have two people interested in buying it when it is back in working condition.  So far it's in better condition than we thought.  That's due to the man's son who cared for it before he left VA to get away from his dad.

We haven't made the St. Jude Novena a priority these last two days.  Wes has been working nights and I have been really tired.  We have not had anything great happen.  We need to concentrate and make St. Jude more of a priority.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Starting over

I have not blogged in forever. The biggest reason is that I got overwhelmed with it. I got overwhelmed when Blogger started changing. I had a difficult time uploading photos. (All of you know that my life is told through photos.) I faced criticism from people. I got overwhelmed. I quit.

Quitting is not me. However, I have learned over the years that simplifying my life is the only way I will find time for what's important. I am not good at juggling multiple things. We were involved in dog rescue, therapy dogs, fostering dogs, I had five to six dogs here all at once, Tanker's epilepsy was challenging, Wes was working a lot, I have had numerous medical issues, and our marriage was feeling the stress.

I love to help others. It's in my blood. It's what I do. I volunteered at the animal shelter in elementary and middle school. I volunteered at the hospital all through high school. I was President of the Key Club my senior year of high school. I was President of Campus Crusade for Christ my freshman year of college. Wes and I both volunteered with Search and Rescue when we lived in Spokane, Washington. We have been involved in some sort of animal rescue our entire ten years of marriage. We trained Topher and Tanker to be therapy dogs and volunteered at least once a week for a long time. We volunteered with Delta Society to evaluate dogs testing to become therapy dogs. We've fostered dogs. We've fostered cats. We've helped a rabbit or two. We save pitiful bettas from Wal-Mart. We always put volunteer work first.

I became overwhelmed. Wes became overwhelmed. I faced criticism for standing up for what I believed in. I, essentially at that point, gave up. Tanker was attacked three times by foster dogs. I gave up fostering to keep him safe. We gave up our therapy dog commitments. We gave up doing fundraisers. I stopped standing up for what I believed in. I moved away from religion. I focused on my family. What's left when all volunteer commitments are gone? Wes, my dogs, cats, and fish.

All of a sudden my life became simple. I focused my love and life on the things that mattered most. Wes and I bought a camper. We started taking short trips here and there just to get away and de-stress. Our love grew. We turned our frowns around. We understood life. We focused on what mattered most. We then experienced peace, love, and joy like we never had before.

Wes on the day we bought our camper

Because my brother loved camping, we dedicated our camper to him.
Wes, the dogs, and I on Bald Knob in Canaan Valley, West Virginia

Hiking in the rain in Canaan Valley, West Virginia

A family photo in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania

A picture of the dogs in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania.  Tango is of course not paying attention.

Hiking in Pennsylvania

Prince William Park, Virginia

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Hiking the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Canaan Valley, West Virginia

Blackwater Falls, West Virginia

Blackwater Falls, West Virginia

Hiking Canaan Valley, West Virginia

Our campsite at Canaan Valley Resort, West Virginia

Wes trying to get cell phone reception in West Virginia

We saw plenty of bears in Shenandoah National Park.  The dogs always smelled them long before we saw them.  

Endless Caverns, Virginia

Hiking the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park

The Wiggles getting wiggly in Pennsylvania

We are thankful that last summer was focused on family. The dogs had a blast camping and hiking. We enjoyed making memories. We grew together as a family.

Last summer was our last summer together with Tanker. His epilepsy continued to get worse and worse until he went to the Rainbow Bridge on June 9th this year. Wes was at the NCO Academy in Florida. I was spending that time with my parents. Tanker was on six seizure meds and he continued having seizures daily. He could barely walk. He let me know it was time. Tanker passed away on a Sunday morning with his tennis ball. Tanker loved tennis balls.

Tanker with his tennis ball before he went to the Rainbow Bridge
He held his ball in his mouth for a few minutes before laying his head down.  He really loved his tennis ball.
Tanker's hair and paw print

The outpouring of love I received from people was astounding. I received cards, messages, pictures, and posts from others. It made me realize how loved Tanker was.

The morning after Tanker died, I received a sign from him that he was okay. A beautiful alarm sounded on my tablet at 9:30 when Tanker usually got a couple of his meds. His picture popped up as my wallpaper.

I had a strong urge to adopt another dog in Tanker's memory. I wanted a border collie like him. I wanted an older dog that was harder to find a home for, like Tanker. I found Shania. Shania had been trained to walk by her previous owner in a wheelchair and get into a car with a wheelchair lift. She reminded me of Tanker in so many way. Topher and Tango went and met her. It was an instant bond. It was like they always knew each other. I kept her name Shania because she knew it so well, but I added the name Tankerbelle in memory of Tanker.

Shania was in foster care for an entire year before I found her and adopted her.
The day I adopted Shania Tankerbelle
Even the cats warmed up to Shania quickly, but they were a bit curious before coming out from under the bed.
Our first walk together

We had Tanker cremated. The dogs came with me to pick up his remains. We planted a tree at my parents house in his and Blondie's memory.

Topher, Tango, Shania Tankerbelle, and I picking up Tanker's ashes at the emergency vet
The bag Tanker came in

Blondie and Tanker's memorial tree
I ordered pendants for us to always keep a Blondie and Tanker with us

Wes finally came home after almost seven weeks of being gone. He met Shania Tankerbelle for the first time and it was an instant hit. She loves him and he loves her. She will end up a daddy's girl.

Topher singing his love song to Wes

We are finally back home and life is getting settled. I want to start blogging again. Life is short and memories are easily forgotten. I love my family. My husband is my life. My animals are my passion. I want to remember it all. I don't know yet if I will stay with Blogger or move to something different. I may just open a new blog as we close this last chapter and open a new one. Until then we will continue smiling, choose to see the sunshine through the clouds, and planning our next camping adventures.

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