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Ria Meets Her Potential Adopter!

Just when I thought Ria might stay with me forever, I got an inquiry on Petfinder from someone who sounded great. She has three cats and always has several foster cats around, which would be good since Ria likes cats. We set up a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, since it was a public holiday.

Ria doesn’t trust anyone except me and will bark non-stop at anyone who comes into the house, so we went to the little park on the corner. Ria had a great time running around while we were waiting, but when the adopter (Della) came, she was not too happy. She barked and backed away. Then when she saw Della had treats, she happily snatched those, then went back to a safe distance by a bush.

If I moved closer to Della, Ria would move a little closer, but she still did not want to be touched. After getting to know Della more, I was even more convinced she’d give Ria a good home. She’s from Virgina like I am, always had dogs growing up and wanted to adopt a senior or disabled dog to give them a chance. She said she usually doesn’t even look at younger dogs on Petfinder, but she fell in love with Ria’s smile! She said she’ll visit as many times as it takes for Ria to get comfortable.

So she came back today (Saturday) and things went much better. At first, Ria had the same attitude. Della said she looked like a princess while I was carrying her and asked Ria if she could pet her. Ria shoved her with her paw.

At the park, Ria sniffed Della’s hand, then backed away and barked like, “What? No treats? Go away!” But after several treats, she started to warm up, sitting closer than before. Della pet her back and Ria was okay because she thought it was me touching her. When she realized it wasn’t she backed off again, but then came back.

Finally, she let Della pet her. No one other than me has ever been able to pet her like that. She even gave some kisses! I asked Ria if she wants a new mommy and she didn’t seem so sure about that. It would be hard to let her go. The next plan is to go visit Della’s place and see how that goes. Just a visit; then we’ll plan further!

Ria Is All Grown Up!

Ria is over a year old now, and I just had her spayed a few weeks ago. I had put it off for awhile because one of her ears had a notch in it, which could indicate she was spayed by trap-neuter-release (TNR), when she was young. The vet said it was unlikely, but impossible to know for sure. Not wanting to put her through unnecessary surgery, I decided to wait and see. She went into heat, so that confirmed it!

smiling dog
The notch in her ear must have been from a past injury.

She got to come home from the vet the same day and recovered quickly. I was surprised that she’s now 13kg (28 pounds)! This will be her full size, although I’d thought she wouldn’t get much bigger than she was a few months ago.

She’s outgrown her harness, so I had to use one of my other dog’s harnesses to take her to the park. It fits her well. She’s so thrilled to get a chance to run! She prefers grass rather than road, so I have to go at a time when there aren’t many people there.

Ria gets excited about running through the grass at top speed! She stops before running into a puddle.

No more adoption drives for Ria recently because I’ve been trying to get three puppies adopted first (not staying with me!). They were abandoned in a cage at my friend’s house; I put them in a boarding house since no one would foster them and it’s too expensive to do that for long. I don’t want them to end up in a shelter; any dog that goes to a shelter is almost certain to stay there for life. The shelters are all far away, no one can visit, and no one brings dogs out for adoption drives if they’re over 6 months old.

Shiloh, Zahara, and Maddox are waiting for their forever homes.

That was why I decided not to let Ria go to the home for dogs with special needs. They never try to get those dogs adopted, and while their basic needs are met, it’s not like having a home. She’s much better off with me, and if there’s no one else out there for her, she can stay here.

I actually got one inquiry for her on Petfinder, someone who sounded nice and responsible and had brought her dog and cat from China. While I was excited about the chance, I did feel a bit sad at the thought of letting Ria go. She said she’d ask her boyfriend about setting up a visit, then didn’t get back to me and never replied after I followed up. Maybe it’s for the best!

Ria Having Fun Every Day

No more adoption drives for Ria lately, although I still haven’t decided I’m going to adopt her myself! There have just been other dogs that more urgently needed help.

Ria is so full of joy and life; her big grin and wagging tail would make anyone’s day. I took her out to the park a couple weeks ago even though it has a “no dogs” sign. There was no one there and she had an amazing time.

She doesn’t mind baths; afterwards, she gets zoomies and rolls around on everything. Here she is, happy after drying herself on the couch!

The coffee table is one of her favorite places, either to sleep by herself or with Patches or Penny. Then she’ll sit up and take a flying leap on top of me!

She’s still a bit shy with strangers. Whenever anyone comes to the house, she’ll bark like crazy, but now she does it with a smile, and she will pause if she gets a treat. Anyone who gives her treats will eventually become a friend.

I’m happy to have her here with me until she finds a perfect home, and if she never does, maybe she’ll just stay with me. Malaysia is such a depressing place for dogs in general. Sometimes I think I should just take my four dogs (yes, I’m counting Ria as mine!) and three cats and go to the US. But I still have one foster dog and three foster cats that I need to find homes for, so I probably won’t do that anytime soon.

Ria’s Chinese New Year

Ria is still with me and hasn’t been out to any adoption drives recently. There was a two-day one last weekend, and I was planning on bringing her Saturday, but I had to help with organizing the vendors, so it didn’t work out. Sunday was my other foster dog David’s turn since he hasn’t had a chance to go out in a long time. I’m not in a big rush for Ria anyway; she’s so attached to me, though I’m not giving up on finding her perfect home.

This weekend is Chinese New Year, so no adoption drives and lots of people traveling while I happily stay home with my pets. The Chinese who aren’t traveling are having family over and setting off fireworks like crazy. Friday night sounded like a war zone with non-stop firecrackers for about four hours. My poor Penny was terrified, running around, hiding in the bathroom trembling, then squeezing all the way under the couch and not coming out until it was over. I noticed Ria had disappeared and was worried about her. Then I found her smiling on my bed! She was in her safe place and not too bothered by the noise. She followed me out and hasn’t been scared.

It’s traditional to give red packets to children on Chinese New Year, and since my pets are my children, of course they got some filled with treats. Ria was thrilled to get hers!

Dog getting red packet

Ria continues to become more confident. She loves her friends, Patches and Penny, and gives the two bigger dogs their space. She’s still not happy about any strangers coming into the house, very loudly letting them know they’re not welcome. But she’s more chill about people walking past outside than Penny is. As long as they’re outside and far away, she doesn’t mind.

Ria’s Sixth Adoption Drive

Ria went to another adoption drive last Saturday and had a great time. She’s starting to be more comfortable around people and walking with her harness. And she proudly wore her Tripawds Ambassador bandana!

dog wearing a tripawds bandana
Ria happily wearing her bandana

There were several groups and independent rescuers at this drive, with about 15 dogs and 20 cats. Ria stayed with me on the leash the whole time because there wasn’t a playpen high enough that she couldn’t climb out of! She’s always happy to be right by my side anyway.

happy tripawd dog
Always smiling

At other drives, I’ve had to carry her because she’ll just sit still and refuse to walk or try to pull me to something she can hide under. Some people ask if it’s because she can’t walk well! This time, she walked around and was happy to see her friends, Ellie and Chapati.

Poor Chapati is at risk of being sent to a shelter for the rest of her life, and she’s only seven months old. She’s been to almost all the same drives Ria has been to. Her six siblings were all adopted, and she’s the only one left. Ellie’s fosterer works on a cruise ship for eight months of the year and volunteers when she’s around, but she just had to go back to work. So Ellie’s fate is up in the air too. She had two potential adopters interested recently that backed out at the last minute.

At least Ria is safe with me. She got so many treats; she’s the greediest of the three of them, climbing up on a chair to beg for my fries at lunchtime. Chapati, so quiet and gentle, just lay under the table. When it was the dogs’ meal time, Ria devoured her own food and then finished up what everyone else left.

Mmm…are there any more fries?

She’s friendlier with dogs than she is with people, but she’ll happily take a treat from anyone who offers it. It wasn’t a great day for adoptions but one small puppy and a couple of cats got adopted. I’m mainly focused on getting Ria socialized for now.

She’s also been wanting to go out of the house more, and I took her for her first short walk outside the gate today. She wanted to run! Good thing I’m a runner! She did get scared and want to go home pretty soon, but at least it’s progress.

I’ve been hesitant to take her out because I’m afraid of people seeing how many dogs I have. People often give me dirty looks when I’m walking my dogs. It’s not common for people to walk dogs here. Most people just leave them inside their gates if they have dogs at all. The few that do walk their dogs usually have purebreds. Still, my dogs are well-behaved, so hopefully no one will actually complain.

Little Ria the Survivor is brought to you by Tripawds.