I wondered what I would write about this week since nothing exciting had happened and our foster dog situation hadn’t changed, but then….as is always the case in dog rescue, things changed.
To be specific, Bowflex, the most amazing foster dog we’ve had in quite some time, the dog I said would get adopted quickly and did (in eight days!), the dog we all loved, most especially Fanny, the only foster dog we’ve had in years who was actually housetrained. That dog. That perfect dog.
I’d heard from his adopters a week or so ago that there were some issues with separation anxiety and the crate, but I figured Bo would figure it out soon enough. He did whine and bark here in his crate his first few days, but at night he always settled down in ten minutes or so and was quiet all night.
During the day, it took a little longer, but he eventually gave up his whining and accepted his fate in the crate.
I encouraged them to be sure not to let him out while he was still complaining and that they might have to simply let him ‘cry it out’ like a baby. I suggested they leave their other dog in the same room as Bo for comfort.
The next email said that Bo was ‘food aggressive’ and had gotten into a ‘tussle’ with their dog, which was a surprise to me because we saw none of that here. In fact, I could feed him and Fanny in the same room, give them treats and work on obedience training simultaneously, and even when food was left out on the counter, Bo never stole a morsel, even though he was certainly tall enough to.
I encouraged the adopters to contact OPH training. Our rescue likes to remain a resource for our adopters and I felt certain that training would have some ideas.
Then we left for a long weekend at the cabin with Rockee and Fanny. Rockee loved the cabin and spent one happy afternoon baying and barking at whatever he saw (or imagined) in the woods, his gorgeous throaty sound filling the hollow. He was a first-rate hiking buddy – slow and steady with no yanking for miles and miles up hill and down.
He and Fanny had many happy hours wrestling and chasing and got along great the entire weekend.
On Saturday I awoke to a message from OPH that Bo was being returned. Could we foster again even though we had Rockee and two of the Pep Boys still with us?
Of course, we could. Bo, as previously mentioned, was one of our easiest and most enjoyable fosters ever.
So a few hours later, he was returned to our house where Ian was taking care of the Pep Boys and Gracie. Ian enjoyed his company all weekend and reported that while there was a little complaining about being in his crate, no issues.
Shew. I wondered if maybe we had let Bo get adopted too quickly and once at his new home, he revealed his real self. Thankfully, even now that we have had him four days, he is exactly as he was before his adoption.
No food aggression issues here – we tested him by treating him and Fanny side by side and then really pushed the limits by eating a meal on the coffee table while he, Fanny, and Gracie were in the room with us—no problems at all. I’ve kept him in the kitchen with Fanny and Gracie while cooking and again nothing. He is very hungry, that’s for sure and we’ve doubled his rations to try to put some weight back on him. He returned thinner than he left, likely due to the anxiety he experienced.
Every dog is different in every home. That’s the bottom line.
Did the adopters do anything wrong? No. I’m certain they will find the right dog for them and hopefully OPH will be able to help them on that quest. But if not, I’m just grateful they are choosing to adopt a rescue dog. There are plenty to go round.
Bo was a bad fit for heaven knows what reasons. We aren’t privileged to what dogs are saying to each other and while Bo seems like an easy guy and didn’t have issues with dogs he’s met here or the dog park, he did have issues with the adopter’s dog, who is older and not quite as energetic as Bo. I don’t get along with every person I meet either, and while I might humor them for an hour while they are visiting (as Bo did his adopter’s dog here at our house), living with them is an entirely other story.
So, Bo is back. Which to my everything-for-a-reason mind means that his real family is still out there somewhere. And now he’s ready to find them. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy his company.
If you’d like to meet him in person, he, along with Jack will be charming the children at theK9&Kds event in Norrisville this Thursday. And then you can find both of them at the adoption event in York on Saturday from 5-8pm at the Pet Valu on Springwood Road, unless they get adopted first.
Rockee is a bit loud for indoor events (he has a tendency to greet other dogs loudly and longly), but if I have enough help and the weather cooperates, he might also join us at the Adoption Event on Saturday.
Never a dull moment…
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like regular updates of all my foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips from OPH training, be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
For information on me, my writing, and my upcoming book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, visit CaraWrites.com.
And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org. You can follow along on our next trip (we leave Feb 28) on the blog and on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Our family fosters through the all-breed rescue, Operation Paws for Homes, a network of foster homes in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and south-central PA.
If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs . It’s available anywhere books are sold.
I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at email@example.com.
Many of the pictures on my blog are taken by photographer Nancy Slattery. If you’d like to connect with Nancy to take gorgeous pictures of your pup (or your family), contact: firstname.lastname@example.org