The Reward and Challenges of Fostering

The rewards of fostering are pretty obvious. You’re giving a dog the chance to live and the time to grow into the good boy you know in your gut he is. You’re given an opportunity to prepare him for his forever home through training that he might never had before or you’re reinforcing what he has already learned. I won’t have this opportunity again for many years. I have two boxers of my own and two small grand kids that demand a lot of my attention which leads me to my challenges.

My grand kids stay with me while mom and dad are working which means I am monitoring my grandson online schooling, making sure he does his homework and trying to keep my three year old busy. Then there’s the coordinating of outside time since I have to keep my dogs and grandchildren separate from Spencer and my neighbors dogs. I have some what of a schedule but it varies depending on life happening. I’m trying to spend time with my dogs and they are having to adjust to Spencer time by staying in my room. I feel a bit guilty and they might be getting fatter with the extra treats I give them as I shut the door to my room. I could hang out in my basement with Spencer but then my husband gets neglected (I’m neglecting my hubby right now hahah). He’s on vacation right now but when he goes back I will be able to do more basement time and my dogs won’t have to be put in my room. My days of sleeping in are over. Maybe by the end of the day I’ll be so exhausted that insomnia will not strike and I can actually get a good nights sleep. I drop my grand kids off at their home after school and run any errands I might have, then head back to their house for an hour til mom gets home. It’s a lot of work but I would do it over and over for my boy Spencer cause he deserves to live a full and happy life.

I’ve been watching as this sweet boy is learning to love with hugs and kisses more often. Sometimes he just wants to shower me with kisses and I have to gently push him down and still show him love and affection. He has become such an affectionate little boy and even towards my husband now. He likes to climb in your lap with his front legs and just be a big baby. I have to remember sometimes that he is a puppy still in a big dog body. Just today as I was trying to write this blog, he must have climbed in my lap 6 times. I finally had to be firm and tell him off. I think I hurt his feelings but even so he went over to the floor rug, dragged it over to me and laid down next to my chair. This boy just loves to be with his human.

I moved him out of my doggie den into the basement. It’s pretty big so he has a lot of room to roam and play. I noticed that he really doesn’t play much when he’s alone. It seems that he’s only interested in play when we are together, Even though he can entertain himself, he prefers human contact or presence. I tried leaving his kennel open to see where he would sleep and he automatically go to the kennel which is great. Only problem with that is that he pooped on the carpet I have laid out on the floor. So tonight going to have to lock his kennel door as we work on that. He knows it’s bad from the way he reacts when I say, “Spencer this is bad.” I’ll keep his door shut for a few days then try again.

Every day he is getting better at sharing his toys with me. Sometimes he will drop his toy in my lap and I don’t realize it until I look up and he is sitting patiently waiting for me to pick it up and throw it. He has learned that I will not play with him until he releases his toys. I play tug with him once a day and today I finally won. That is a rarity. Instead of him taking his victory lap, I got to take mine. Tonight before bed time we are going to try no toys before bed as he gets the zoomies in the evening. I am giving a bone to chew on though to keep him occupied and maybe mellow him out a little at night.

When he doesn’t have toys he likes to cuddle but sometimes he gets too affectionate with kisses and I have to push him down. We are going to work on being invited to sit in laps, so as he grows away from his shyness, he won’t be jumping all over everyone. My husband is way better then me at that.

Spencer is growing so much. He’s very smart. We are working on shake and down. It’s kind of funny cause he looks at me like, “ummmm you know you look silly right and I don’t want my tummy to touch the floor. I want to play!” I tried to coax him into the tub today for a bath but he wasn’t having it. I even put a cherished ball in there. I may have to give him a bath outside.

I mentioned before that he isn’t reactive with my neighbors dogs. He just ignores them but the last two days he has lunged toward the fence when I’m outside. He can’t get there because the yard leash won’t reach but I had to walk over to him and tell him it was ok. It’s really not his fault as the other dog is constantly baiting him but I don’t want him to do that. I don’t know if he was protecting me or showing me he was a big bad dog. My Jewels does the same thing.

My hope was to blog every day but since I’m doing school and fostering it seems my days are pretty full and I have to try and do it in pieces. So this has encompassed the last 5 days.

I’ve had three people inquire about him but no follow thru yet. I pray every day that the perfect adopter will come his way and that they will bond as quickly as he and I have.

One of the greatest rewards of fostering is sending your dog off to his fur ever life. The challenge is finding that perfect person. I get my hopes up every time someone inquires about him and then my heart breaks when I don’t hear back. I haven’t had the opportunity to even show him off yet. Hoping that changes soon. My biggest fear is having to send him back to the shelter life when my temporary fostering is up.

Spencer is 2 years old and has been at the Shelter since June 2020. He came in as a stray. He needs to have multiple meet and greets with potential adopters, in a home with no children and if adopters have other dogs there must be a meet and greet between dogs. He is well worth the investment. You can read more of his details and see his amazing video at https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

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