The following is a courtesy listing on behalf of foster mum extraordinaire, Liz. Who really wants a forever home for her favourite new canine, Boss.
I knew I wanted to foster Boss from the first time I saw his photo on Pit Stop Montreal’s Facebook page. I am a Pit Bull fan. I love the breed and in that photo I saw a gorgeous dog who needed somewhere to live. However, I was fostering already and didn’t want to bring in another dog. As luck would have it – our foster, Stevie (from Eleven Eleven Animal Rescue) found the perfect home right about the same time that the Pit Stop posts for Boss were getting more desperate. Stevie moved out on Saturday and Boss moved in on Sunday.
Like many of my fosters I took Boss sight unseen. I had never met him – but from the minute I set eyes on him in Parc Jean Mance he was my dog, and I told him that first night that despite his desire to eat my cat he would only have to move one more time. We would find him the perfect forever home and until then he would live with me. We would work on the cat issues.
A lot of my foster pups come with little or no background history. Boss was different in that I knew where he had come from. Boss was taken to a boarding facility when he was just a few months old. His owners never came back. Ever. And after having lived there for 2 and half years the boarding facility could no longer keep him.
Boss came to my house in great shape. He is an athletic boy who had clearly been well fed and exercised and he understood the basic commands. However, Boss was not used to city living and while obedient, he was not good. The first five days after he moved in he tested my resolve to never send a dog back. He jumped and pulled and would race from one end of my condo to the other and it felt like there was nothing that I could do to stop him. He repeatedly tried to put his feline foster sister Tinkerbell in his mouth and jumped up on my kitchen counters to say hi to her as she hid on top of the cupboards.
Patience, routine and a lot of exercise proved to be Boss’ magic recipe. Luckily I am a high energy person. I would get up early with him and go out for a run. When I got home from work we would go for another long walk or a bike ride. Before bed we would walk for over an hour. We have been averaging 10km of ground covered a day for the past four months. We bike together, we jog, and we find new paths on Mount Royal to explore. Within a week of a regimented exercise schedule both Boss and I were feeling much better about our living arrangement. Tink also accepted her new foster brother and came down from the kitchen cupboards.
Boss is now not only an obedient dog, he is a very good dog. He can be trusted out of his crate, though it is still his favourite place in the house. When I get home from work he is curled up on his cuddle cube inside it even though the door is wide open. He still has an awesome grasp of his commands and has added roll over, give kisses and high five to his repertoire. Drop it is still very much a work in progress (he actually drops it about 50%) but we have come a long way from him snarling at me when I tried to take things from him. Boss loves to be allowed to come in to work with me at the vet clinic and is an excited but accommodating patient. He is fully vaccinated, has been sterilized, is heart worm negative and has been given heartworm and flea prevention all summer.
Boss has been welcoming of the other dogs that come over to our house. In the time he has been with me we have also had weekend visits from my neighbours elderly lab, had a sleepover with Kuma, a husky rescued by Eleven Eleven Animal Rescue and for a week we hosted Penny, an SPCA e-shelter pup. Boss’ best friends are Stella, a Great Dane and Chichi, a 6lb Chihuahua. He loves going to Power Paws Dog Club for scooterjooring lessons.
Boss has become my right hand man over the past four months and I really love him. He has done an awesome job of winning the hearts and minds of pit bull sceptics. He loves to lie down on the sidewalk to get cuddles from small children. He has also calmed down a lot over four months and these days he spends the majority of his time hanging out and napping. Which is not to say that he doesn’t still love his morning jog.
After many years as a foster mum I truly believe that there is the perfect home out there for each of my dogs. I have placed difficult dogs in ideal homes and Boss is not a difficult dog. He is wonderful with small children, loves to watch movies on the couch (ideally with popcorn) and is active and affectionate. The difficulty for me is that I am heading home to Southern Africa at the end of November to visit my family. I have been planning this trip for a long time and I just didn’t think when I promised Boss in July that he would only have to move one more time that he would still be with me now.