The first pictures I saw of him showed a fat, happy dog. Big smile. Shar-Pei triangle ears.
The dog I met on Sunday did not mirror those photos. This dog was 10-12 lbs underweight. His ribs stuck out. He walked with a painful limp. Upon closer inspection, all four of his paws were infected, yeast, secondary bacteria, I don't know.
Some dogs shut down in shelters. Toby is only alive because someone wants to adopt him. I would not have met him otherwise. I was asked to foster Toby for the weekend, but when I saw him, I knew it would be until I handed his leash over to his new guardian, not a moment sooner. No way could I, in good conscience, send him back to a place that could destroy a dog's soul with such little effort.
Toby is going to the vet tomorrow. He will heal from the physical wounds, as he already heals from the emotional ones. He has a gentle spirit with the Shar-Pei talent for not listening to a word you say. Unless you have good food, and he defines that very narrowly, he will take little notice of you. But he snuggles, oh how he snuggles. On the sofa, he wedges me in from the south, Mina from the north. We make quite the trio.
I am hoping (but really scared to ask) the adopter will still want him. He is sensitive. He will be prone to yeast infections throughout his life. I do not know how long these infections will take to heal. He is a picky eater. He needs to be catered to, or he will slowly starve as he did at the shelter. I really like him (Mina tolerates him, Celeste is on vacation with my parents, lucky duck).
For now, Toby is my foster-adopt-to-another-person foster dog.
He also meets my new gold standard for fostering - adorbs ears.