On Roo's collar is an engraved tag with her name and our address. The word "foster" does not precede her name on the tag, but for some reason, I still catch myself referring to her as our foster dog.
"You did that with Sully, too," Geoff was quick to point out. "You called him the 'neighborhood cat' for a couple years before admitting he was ours."
To give myself credit, I did make an honest attempt to find new homes for both Sully and Roo, even arranging for their prospective new owners to take them home for test runs. Neither trial took. (And Sully's trial resulted in considerable blood loss to the human half of the test.)
Neither Sully nor Roo were to blame for the personality quirks that limited placement possibilities to just those fascinated with all things broken or warped. People made them that way. It seemed only fair that a person try to repair it.
It took a few years to undo Sully's damage, but he's become a truly great cat. He's still a bit more opinionated than I'd like, especially considering we're at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but he's coming around.
Roo might take a bit longer.
The first three years of her life were spent without any exposure to men, so she's terrified of males. Apparently, those first three years were also spent without car horns, sirens, loud coughs, whistles, vacuum cleaners, ice makers, lawn mowers, leaf blowers or clumsy people who occasionally bump into walls. The pooch has some issues.
Fortunately, though, we're seeing enough good qualities that we have little doubt the effort will be worthwhile. Roo trusts my daughter and me completely, and Geoff when he's horizontal. Standing, he's scary. Flat on his back, he's adored.
She fits in well with our two other dogs, and I love to watch the three of them play. The cats, however, are another matter completely.
Rumor has it Sully's circulating a petition to have Roo removed.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@cnpapers.com.