Sometimes it’s really easy to foster. Sometimes it’s not.
Willow has been one of our easiest foster dogs to date. Absolutely housebroken, wonderfully crate-trained, not overly-chewy (except stuffed animals). She loves our visitors, tolerates visiting puppies, and listens in an I-will-do-anything-you-ask-especially-if-you-have-a-treat kind of way.
Little Zander is also one of the easiest foster puppies we’ve ever had. A house-broken, mild-mannered, relatively calm puppy who’s worst habit is his penchant for shoes.
So, I didn’t hesitate to leave my 15-year-old in charge of the foster dogs, plus Gracie and Frankie overnight last Friday. Nick and I headed to New Jersey to see our daughter perform in a benefit showcase. We would stay over and pack her up the next day and bring her home from college.
I left Ian a list of instructions and even measured out the dogs’ meals and labeled them so he wouldn’t be confused.
No worries, right?
Except Willow was spayed on Thursday. And by Friday night was having an intestinal reaction to her meds. All over her crate.
I was informed of this via cellphone during the intermission by my tired and angry child who had just gotten home from an Invitational track meet where he didn’t throw very well.
It was late. The last thing he wanted to deal with was a s%#t storm in a dog crate. He assured me that Willow was acting normal otherwise, begging for her dinner and jumping all over him in her excitement to see him.
I gave him the most long-distance sympathy I could muster and then said, “Just put the crate on the porch and let her sleep in the kitchen.”
I figured I could clean it up when we got home the next morning. I understood his anger, but I also worried about my best girl who I was certain was not only uncomfortable physically, but felt awful about the mess she had made. Willow is the type of dog who cowers whenever anyone raises a voice or even speaks in an angry tone. I was certain Ian had a few choice words for her when he arrived home to the mess.
At breakfast the next morning, I worried when we still hadn’t heard from Ian. The dogs were used to getting up at six. It was after eight when he called. Willow was still having intestinal issues. Only now they weren’t confined to the crate. They were all over the kitchen. I gave him a quick this-is-how-you-mop-the-floor lesson and reminded him of how deep he was in debt to us since we forked over serious funds for his latest computer.
Tough weekend for Willow and Ian.
On the plus side, Zander had no accidents.
And we got Addie all moved home.
On Sunday, Zander and Frankie and Edith(!) charmed a troop of girl scouts as we held our first K9&Kids program and helped them earn their pet care badge.
I love this program because it not only educates kids on how to safely care for and interact with dogs (the number one reason a dog is returned is because it bit a child. And 90% of those bites could have been prevented.), but it also shines a light on dog rescue and the good dogs that we have saved.
The PA program is up and running, and a northern MD group is getting ready to launch, so if you know a group of kids (library, church, scout troop, school) who might benefit from a K9&Kds program, let us know. Or if you’d like to volunteer with either of these groups, shoot me an email and I’ll get you connected.
Last night Frankie started his “Canine Good Citizenship” class (he graduated from manners top of his class!) in the hopes of passing the exam at the end of the month.
I’m not holding out too much hope. Nine out of ten of the requirements he’s more or less already mastered, but there’s one that is seriously tripping him up. It’s the don’t-jump-in-people’s-faces-and-lick-them requirement. (It’s called something else, but that’s the gist of it.) We’ve got three more weeks to master it. My mantra is, “Four feet on the floor at the door!” I’m looking for visitors to practice on, so feel free to stop by and test his progress.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more regular updates of foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.
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