And you might ask, why is fostering something to be resisted, and not joyously embraced? Well, because I know myself, and I know I get these foster urges, and then I end up with not one not two but three difficult, energetic, high-maintenance, leash-reactive dogs who wrestle and play and play-fight and harass one another constantly, and I end up wondering where I went wrong and why I had to turn out this way.
So recently, I decided to just once make a rational decision with respect to dogs, and find a way to help them that doesn't involve massive upheaval to my life. So I stopped by the shelter and checked out a dog for the afternoon. This is Troy.
Troy is friendly, outgoing, joyful, calm in the car, and has a soft mouth. He's been in the shelter for a long time--so long that his adoption fee is waived! I can't figure out why he hasn't been adopted yet.
I think people just don't give a dog a chance when the first impression is so overwhelming.
Ha! I wish I could show them what Fozzie was like when I first got him out. Troy's a piece of cake.
So much so that the following week, when Florian was with me, I decided to go back and check him out again. We went for another nice walk through downtown, bought him a burger, and had some amazing cuddles.
Then Florian had to go to work, but I didn't feel like I'd had enough.
So I went back to the shelter and checked out another dog.
Phoenix is more mellow and shy than Troy.
She has a really gentle, precious manner about her where she keeps looking at her human during a walk, and wants to be as close as possible to your legs.
When you stop, she loves to put her paws up on you just to be close. Not in an obnoxious jumping up kind of way, but in a sweet, wanting reassurance kind of way.
I think she must have come in to the shelter recently as she is still really skinny, and she had a bit of dandruff.
So after walking around with her downtown and meeting lots of fans, I decided to take her home so I could give her a bath.
I had a feeling she would do well with Dahlia because of her sweet personality, so I decided to introduce them.
Not surprisingly, she was sweet and deferential. And surprisingly, Dahlia was pleasant and calm!
Since it went so well on leash I decided to let them play a bit in the back yard, and I was so proud of everyone.
Dahlia was very interested in Phoenix, and Phoenix really liked Fozzie.
Fozzie wasn't thrilled with the whole thing but he was tolerant, and he got some really good treats.
What a revelation! Dahlia humped some of the time but she also spent time calmly sniffing, and just doing her own thing.
She didn't obsess with Phoenix the way I was afraid she would. So yes, I am rethinking the self-imposed foster ban. And I'm not gonna lie, it feels good.
I was so in love with Phoenix by this point that I would have kept her right then, but I had to let the right people at the shelter know first. So I brought Phoenix back nice and tired and a bit cleaner.
I had seen another dog, Snoop, when I was picking up the others and I just had to spend some time with that sweet little face.
Snoop is a precious little baby, energetic and exuberant but not bad on the leash. When we saw another dog, she went wild with the most ridiculous loud squeaky barks but when I got treats out in time, she sat nicely for them and just watched the other dog walk by.
Her face and her kisses are completely to die for and I think she'll get adopted soon!
Could it be by you? Why not check out these pups and others at the Washington Humane Society today!
Sure wish we could bring all those shelter doggies homeReplyDelete
Lily & Edward
We fink you had better go back and get those kids.Delete
I have to say your story had me sitting on the edge of my seat. It sounds like "visiting" some dogs and taking them out and about was a good, rational process for thinking about fostering.ReplyDelete
If we hadn't moved out when we did, I probably would have had to take a break from fostering. I was seeing signs from Honey that she was tired of sharing her space.
She was still tolerant and gentle. But I got the sense it was a relief when our last puppy left. Perhaps adult dogs would have been easier for her.
I think the ideal would be or many more people to foster so that everyone could take breaks according to their life situations.
Phoenix looks like a really sweet girl. I look forward to hearing more about her.
I think Pamela's ideal sounds pretty darned good! After all, maybe more people would see the impact they can have on dogs who just haven't had enough care and then we would all be better with dogs so there'd be less shelter dogs... Anyway...ReplyDelete
What a story indeed, Kirsten! Looking forward to finding out what happens next.
You always make me want another!! Zilla has become way less tolerable of most other dogs in the last couple of months, loving only a couple of the ones in the neighborhood that she's known from the start. She SO could use a friend, but she's super hit and miss. Maybe one of these days (when Jack and I are off together) we can take a dog from WHS and take them hiking with the 3 of us; get her a bit more used to strange dogs. Love seeing you all doing so well!!!!ReplyDelete