Fostering dogs – by Dr. Amanda Glew
I love the fostering system. I think it is the best way to adopt a dog- the foster family can tell you about the dog, if they are good with cats, are they house trained, can they walk off leash, are they good with people. I think a good foster family should expose their foster dog to all kinds of situations, and then report back to the rescue what the dog is like. In other words, they have to tell the truth.
I believed this until I had Bruno from Rosie Adoption. I am now ready to lie.
Bruno is a 10 month old Golden husky mix, with a touch of border collie. In fact, quite a lot of border collie, I dare say. Handsome to look at, he is compact, athletic, and boy can he move. Fast. Most dogs stay with the “pack” and as I usually walk with a friend, this consists of anywhere from a minimum of 4-7 dogs. Bruno goes from each dog and asks them to play. Well, demand is more appropriate. Most of the older dogs want nothing to do with him, and tell him. Not having had some crucial socialization at critical points in his youth, he does not understand other dogs’ body language, so we often have to intervene. I am convinced he thinks his name is “Nobruno”, and happily comes to me when I yell it. Then he sits, and waits for a treat . After about fifteen minutes of this (Bruno stop. No Bruno. Leave him alone Bruno), Bruno starts to look for something else more interesting. If someone is on the path ahead, then he is gone.
After the first week, he was becoming more responsive, and I let my guard down and allowed him to run off leash. He dashed off in the distance to see someone who was walking ahead. No amount of yelling/screaming stopped him, so I ran. This is my daily sprint exercise. He did not come back, and after running our regular 2 km loop, I went back to the car, drove across the street to call and warn my husband, swearing to myself for not carrying my phone ( I still hate to carry cell phones). We always put collars with our telephone number, and the word “Boarder”. We often get calls “did you lose your dog called Boarder?” and it is just too confusing to correct them. Shortly after, Bruno shows up at someones house, and is so happy when they take him in. When my husband goes to pick him up, he asks them “Do you want a dog?” and for some reason, they think this is funny. We, however, are quite serious.
But it is not all bad – after the first night of crying every hour, he finally has accepted his crate – which is a good thing, as Bruno likes to counter surf. I felt like crying when my only remaining block of cheese that I had pressed from my cow was drying there – I was going to serve it at Christmas. Well, Bruno thought it was ripe enough. So he is now good in the crate – which is perfect when you want to sleep and not worry about the state of your kitchen in the morning. He is clean. He does not chew, but does hoard things. I now look under everything when missing a shoe.
We have had him 4 weeks now, after a failed adoption. I had a feeling it would not work, but was relieved to have 2 days “off” from our A.D.D. dog. I had to warn my walking friend “He’s back!” -kind of like Chucky. Our walks are not relaxing.
I see improvements, and glimmers of the potential dog he will become. He just needs routine, exercise, and preferably agility or some other outlet. He is so attached to me, and follows me while I am on horseback or while I drive the tractor…. So the person who adopts him, with some effort will have a very loyal, intelligent dog.
Someone asked me today if he was good. This is where we get to the lying part. I am not quite there yet, but answered – “Well, what is your definition of good?” It is all perspective, isn’t it?
For more about Bruno, or to meet other dogs for adoption, contact Rosie Animal Adoption.