Jamie and I foster for a local shelter and it’s been an interesting experience.
Our first foster-dog was a little 10 year old black pomeranian, who just happened to be the same little black pomeranian we helped catch a few months before. We had gone to our training class (dog training) and lured this poor little pom, who was half-bald from mange, into the parking area and called the police because, strangely enough, this is the only way we can get someone to pick up an animal or even respond to “there is a dog loose, pick it up.” He was taken and treated then landed on the RCACP’s website. I emailed about him, and we fostered him for two weeks. He was adopted 3 days after we took him back. He was a good dog.
Next, we had Dottie. A spazzy little Jack Russell/Beagle mix who, as it was explained to us, was adopted then returned because she “didn’t have enough beagle in her.” What the hell, really? We were going to foster a different dog, but he started showing symptoms of kennel cough and we had Firefly with us; Firefly and Dottie just really hit it off. She was a great little dog, she did drive us crazy from time to time but she is a dog and that’s what they do. She was happily adopted by someone 3 or 4 days after we took her back to the shelter.
Then we got Izzy. Little Miss Webby-toes. She was the youngest dog we had had (4 or 5 months), we’re still working on housebreaking her. She’s sweet, she drives us nuts, and, obviously we ended up being the ones to adopt her. We were asked to foster her since she had just been cleared from any possible health issues and to help train her a little since there was someone interested in adopting her. Only thing with the potential adopter was that they could not come down to meet her until the Saturday after we brought her back (4 days after her time with us).
The potential adopter did not adopt Izzy, so we went and adopted her. Firefly is attached to her and even though she drives us crazy she’s still our Webby-toes.
Next we had Ranger, a cute blue-pit who was returned because the people who adopted him were…well, stupid to put it lightly. They somehow believed that this little boy would never get bigger than, I’m guessing, 12 to 15 lbs (hahahahahaha). The other dog decided that Ranger was his…playtoy and Ranger finally stopped dealing with it, retailiated, freaked the adoptive parents out who immediately took him back. He stayed at the shelter and was under observation and we were asked to foster him.
Basically: He’s a pit. A wiggly, happy, excitable pit puppy. We fostered him, spent time doing stuff with him and found he is reactive to dogs. If this is worked with he can function great at places where other dogs can be, he’s got an amazing knack for paying attention to you if you say his name, and he was adopted by an awesome guy whose son loves him. The gentleman who adopted him requested to adopt Ranger 7 times and was denied 7 times, they had to fight to make sure Ranger got a home and he met the basic requirements Jamie and I set and Ranger loves the guy.
Now, we’re working with Leanna, a young pit girl from Planned Pethood. Anita got in touch with us asking if we could foster her since her foster mom broke her arm and was unable to continue with her work. Leanna’s a great little girl, she’s almost at that Itty Bittie Pocket Pittie height (Izzy’s pretty much our Pocket Pit). Sure, she’s got issues, but most dogs do and we’re really hoping that her being Dog Selective won’t hurt her chances of getting adopted (Firefly’s pretty much dog selective, Hobbes is excitable-reactive, Bug is always weary of new things, and Izzy is…well…Izzy).
The main thing that we have learned is that as soon as she’s in the car and that engine turns on, she will bark non-stop until you are parked and the engine is off. We’ll have to work with it and it’ll take a while. She also has gotten into the habit of howling when the others are barking. This symphony of barks, howls, moans, and groans is really cute for a few minutes after you’ve been awake for a good hour or two, but it’s not fun when they start up at 4 am (I blame all of them)
From what we understand she’ll be our foster-pup for as long as they need us to or until she gets adopted out. She’s a great dog, just really sensitive to things. We’re trying to keep up with what her other foster-mom did (completely positive, no harsh words, etc) but I admit, I’m terrible and yelled at Izzy and Leanna heard it (I am loud when I need to be).
We’ve come to the conclusion that we’re insane. Four dogs are ours and we’ll still foster, but I think it’s awesome we’re able to foster for Planned Pethood and it’s really awesome that we’ve been approved to foster pits by two separate rescue organizations. We’ll probably continue to work with the foster program as needed and hope that we’ll be able to get as much needed information to potential adopters as we can.
Like with Leanna: she perfers soft treats and was thoroughly confused by harder treats (like milkbone cookies) for days. She whacks herself in the face when she horseshoes around and wags her tail.
Or with Ranger: he really likes baths and tug toys, perferrably if they have squeakers with them.
Or Izzy-butt: She can’t “hold it” for ten minutes after eating. It’s still something we’re working on.
In a bizarre sense, fostering is kind of like that whole “try before you buy” to see if this pet is perfect for you. It’s also a great thing to do to help get an animal out and about, even if it is as little as two weeks or over a year (A-Rod was fostered by one guy well over a year by a gentleman who worked non-stop with him).
We like to help and it is really awesome. We’re getting dogs used to other dogs, seeing what they can and cannot do, getting them used to cats and other weird things like The Lone Gunmen sine some people have caged animals.
Sure, sometimes it does seem overwhelming (usually at about 5 am when the dogs have decided to go off because they have to pee and I’m in the middle of getting Jamie’s lunch together or working on giving the cats their food). But you also get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you’re helping. And we’re also getting an opportunity to help a great mutt-breed of a dog (pits).
I’m pretty sure there was a reason and I may have wandered off a bit, but y’know that’s fine; it’s all good. Overall, the main point is: foster! It’s fun! You get to play with a dog and teach them and help make their adoptableness even greater