That’s the name of our foster dog. We picked him up yesterday for a 6-week visit. As I understand it, fostering provides the following benefits for the dog:
1. Teaches the dog how to live in a house. Many of the dogs have never seen stairs, lived inside, learned the kitchen is the best place to be, or slept on a dog bed.
2. Gives the dog a break from living at a rescue organization. The rescue charity we deal with has 30 – 40 dogs at any one time. They also have 8 dogs of their own (that I know of). Living among many dogs is a good situation but it’s fairly stressful too.
3. Lets the dog’s personality shine through. Living as they do in a large group, discovering a dog’s personality is impossible in that setting. So it’s our job as the foster family to help the dog socialize with various humans (i.e. kids), other animal species (i.e. cats, although we don’t have any of those because we have allergies) and see if that dog can live with 1 or 2 other dogs in a home. The more adaptable the foster dog, the easier to place in a permanent home.
4. Lets the dog learn domestic dog behaviors, i.e. walk on a leash, come when called, pee and poop outside, and bark only when warranted.
Now, it’s unfortunate that I’m at work this week, but we have fostered before without any problems during the day while the house is empty. I’m lucky that my parents are currently visiting; they are able to be around to let the dog outside if needed. This dog, although only 9 lbs, is quite nimble. Last night I put the dog on the main floor of the house with our big gentle dog, hoping they would curl up on the big dog bed together. I’m not sure why I bothered with a barricade; he easily jumped over it and walked upstairs. This morning he hopped up onto the bench by the dining table and nearly onto the tabletop. Girl midget stopped him before he got that far but I wouldn’t ever be surprised to see him there when I get home from work. Therefore, I’m getting him a crate asap, and that’s where he’ll live when we are sleeping and when we are away at work. There’s nothing more damaging to a peaceful city life than a roaming disoriented dog.
This morning I took all 3 dogs to the beach, along with my Mom. It’s a bit of a learning curve, handling 3 leashes and 3 speeds and 3 personalities. I’m hopeful the pack mentality will soon take over and we will have an easier time when leashes are involved.