Often when you first bring home a new foster dog (or two), the dog is still stunned by its new situation, maybe feeling queasy from the recent dewormings and vaccinations, so they are not themselves. It’s a mistake to assume that the compliant, easy-to-deal-with dogs you first bring home will still be that way a week or two into their stay with you.
I’ve fostered over 200 dogs now, and am wary of that honeymoon period. So, I’ve been holding my breath, wondering if Abby and Bonnie (A&B) who had been so quiet and easy their first week with me, would continue to be once they got comfortable with their surroundings…..
Happy to say, if anything, they are easier!
They still walk nicely on a leash, eat what is put in front of them, are happy to see me (or anyone), and don’t bark or whine when left alone for long mornings. Despite the long hours in their crates, even Bonnie is now racing into her crate for a treat. Abby continues to prove that she is either a super smart dog or was housebroken by someone, and Bonnie is getting much better, having fewer accidents, and asking to go out when she needs to by sitting at the door.
We’ve set them up a little outside paddock around the covered dog pen at our new place. It’s basically, a puppy pen fence staked in a few inches they could easily knock over, but so far, neither of the girls has challenged it, even when I am out of sight working in the house. It lets them enjoy the sunshine, and we’ve finally heard their barks (when they spot the neighbor’s dog).
I took Abby for a walk in a local park on Sunday because she loves riding in the car and going on outings. There was a frisbee golf tournament going on, but she strolled along with me, watching the golfers, smiling her big inviting grin and wagging her tail. Sadly, either they were leery of the big smiling pit bull or too focused on their tournament, but only one person in the entire park stopped to meet her on our 30-minute walk (in which discs flew over, beside, and in front of us!).
When Ian and I walked Abby and Bonnie around downtown during the Yard Crawl (annual event with 43 miles of yard sales along Route 11) last weekend, They both did great considering they come from the sticks. A few people gave Abby a wide berth like they did at the park, reaching for Bonnie and her puppiness, but others walked right up and greeted her which she lapped up. While Bonnie was a bit hesitant, Abby didn’t flinch at the kid who approached on a skateboard or the toddler pushing a popper (those insanity-inducing toys that make a loud popping sound as you push them).
Bonnie was a little worried about the commotion in town, but to be fair, it was her first time seeing traffic and crowds. She stuck close to Abby and eventually relaxed and did even better when we went inside a few stores (Woodstock is pretty dog-friendly). I didn’t take Abby inside the stores, because I worried her nonstop wagging tail would break things. She sat outside with Ian enjoyed greeting the crowds.
So, two weeks in, they are the easiest fosters they could be. But that said, they deserve forever homes, so if you know anyone looking for a super loving, already housebroken/crate-trained/leash walking companion, please tell them about Abby. Abby is working on not jumping up, but otherwise needs very little beyond someone ready for one big, loveable, friend.
And if you know someone in the market for a very trainable and sweet puppy, tell them about Bonnie. I think both dogs would be great family dogs. Bonnie is young, so she needs someone who is willing to put in the time to train her.
Both dogs are available for adoption through the Humane Society of Shenandoah County. You can find more information about them on Petfinder (Abby is here and Bonnie is here – note their bios need to be updated to say they are up to date on shots and the are good with kids – those facts weren’t known when they first arrived).
Until Each One Has a Home,
For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com.
If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
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 and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.
If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.
I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.