Foster Day 28: Spencer Gets His First Meet and Greet

On Sunday, I got to take my sweet foster baby to the shelter for his first meet and greet with a potential adopter. I was so proud of Spencer. He didn’t shy away one time and kept coming right up to the PA (potential adopter). Because Spence is a shy boy and didn’t always like to be touched in the shelter, our training staff person just had him play a game of treat/retreat with him. Treat/retreat is a game that allows the dog establish trust in people and teaches a better way of handling his or her conflicts and fear. While playing this game he or she chooses how far or how close to approach. Everybody wins in this game. I think Spencer ate the whole bag of treats thoguh. He’s such a foodie!!

What I observed was him choosing to come right up to his PA which is a beautiful thing. He didn’t seem to carry any fear with him and was eager to interact. I knew he would welcome the interaction when he brought his toy over to him and tried to drop it in his lap. Spence didn’t use to like to give up his toys but he has been learning that when he drops his toys, his human will throw it and he gets to play chase. Watching him trying to engage the PA made my heart so happy.

How Spencer plays ball!

I think Spencer would have accepted pets. In my home he has encountered my husband, 3 adult sons, my son-in-law, my daughter, my two daughter-in-laws and my two grandchildren (limited contact with the kids). He seems to warm up very quickly to attention now. He greets everyone at the door and sniffs their hands. Once when my grandson came out of the office to ask me a question for his online schooling, Spence went right up to him and sniffed his hand. My grandson wanted to pet him so bad. He said, “Grandma, he wants me to pet him.” I have permission now to allow contact and Liam got to pet Spencer for the first time yesterday. Spence was so good. He just stood there and allowed the contact.

The other day the mailman came up to the porch and Spence did not like it one bit. I thought oh gee another mailman hater. My boxer pit wants to eat the mailman. I think he was just protecting his home. It was the first time he jumped on my couch.

Spenser has his next meet and greet in my home on Sunday. So excited to see how that goes but I think it will be great. After that it will be back up at the shelter for a dog to dog meet and greet with the PA’s roommate. So hoping Spence will like her. He came to the shelter with a female dog so I’m hoping he accepts her.

I love watching Spencer play on his back with his toys. It makes me feel like he is a very happy boy.

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. He’s not mean to them but he likes tug of war and doesn’t like to give his toy up. 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

Foster Day 25: Spencer Learns “Down”.

My sweet little foster boy is really adjusting to the non sheltered life. The last four days Spence has been able to come upstairs (or when I hang out in the basement with him) to relax. He is no longer trying to play 24/7 tug of war. He is realizing it’s ok to just lay down on the floor and go to sleep, chew on a bone, or chew on his toy. He isn’t trying to forever engage me anymore. He’s learning that life isn’t all about the tug.

He does however spend a lot of time with his upper body in my lap. He’s becoming quite the mommy’s boy. He is so loyal to the people he loves. He tries to jump in foster daddy’s lap but because he can’t just lay down without giving kisses and wanting to play, daddy says no. But he gives him tons of love and pets on the floor hahahaha.

When we play ball, I will tell him I’m not throwing it until you drop it. He has gotten so good at dropping it now and allowing me to pick it up without grabbing it back. He does from time to time regress to the old way but I will firmly tell him to leave it and the ball becomes mine. Yesterday he finally got the concept of “down”. Oh my gosh I was so proud of him. Down is a very important command for him because he will get the zoomies and I have to say down and sometime put him in that submissive side position for him to settle. He’s still a puppy in so many ways but he is learning. You just have to be patient and firm with him.

Learning “Down”

The closer he gets to me the more he doesn’t like when I leave him downstairs or in his crate. He will bark a few time but usually stop. Sometimes I will speak to him from the camera and last night and the day before, he laid down on command. He’s a perfect boy after that and will stay asleep until I come get him in the morning.

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. He’s not mean to them but he likes tug of war and doesn’t like to give his toy up. 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

Foster Day 20: Loving Spencer

I really wish someone would come along and adopt this precious boy. He deserves to be 100% with his humans and not separated like I have to do now. He’s is the sweetest, most loving dog, loyal dog. He loves walks and gets so excited when we go. I wish he could find a human that would like to walk as well and had the time to do it. I wish for him to find someone who wouldn’t mind letting him come up on the bed to snuggle and nap with.

I wish he would find a person who would take him on rides and to the park and I bet Spence would love to hike. I just wish my sweet boy could find his forever home and as hard as it will be for me to give him up, it will also be a day of rejoicing because I wish for him more then what I am giving him now. Darn tears!!!!!!

I can’t believe it’s almost been 3 weeks since this precious boy came home with me. Every day I see him settling in and learning that it’s ok to relax and not have a ball or tug toy to play with, although settling would not be his first choice. I have to keep remembering that he is still very much a puppy and wants to play like a puppy.

He has turned into quite a lap dog but hasn’t quite got the full concept of laying peacefully in my lap. He wants to lavish me with kisses and then wants to play. My favorite moments are when he just lays on the floor and sleeps because then I know he is feeling content. It was so hard for him in the shelter to ever feel those quiet restful moments. At night or when I leave the house, I leave on soft music for him as they do at the shelter.

I really wish we could mix him in with our dogs so he could really feel like he is part of the family. I think he would get along with my youngest boxer. My older would show interest but pretty much stay away. She doesn’t like other dogs to get aggressive with her and Spence can be snarky when another dog gets in his space. Jewels wouldn’t care. She has a very submissive temperament…well until the mailman, fed ex guy, ups guy, prime person, etc comes in our yard…ah but that’s another story.

Spence is becoming both an inside and outside dog. He seems content outside laying on his rug and basking in the sun. In the morning I leave him out there after breakfast to do his business and just get some good old vitamin D. I will step out to play some ball or frisbee with him and just give him some loving. As soon as the shade dissipates I bring him inside to hang out with me. On days when my grandkids aren’t here I take him for a walk so he can do his 2nd poop. There is always a second hahahahah.

On school days my grandson stays in the office to do his virtual school until two or lunch time. Spence has shown a little interest in him when he comes out to get help or has to use the restroom. I think he would like my grandkids but because he has tugging issues, he just can’t be placed in a home with kids as he could accidently bite as he was trying to grab his toy. My granddaughter is usually napping when he’s inside. My grandkids don’t even play with my dogs.

We are still working on the tugging. Spence has a tendency to think everything is a tug toy and doesn’t like to give it up. Sometimes I can simply say leave it and he will drop but other times I have to say it a couple of times, like when he thought the sprinkler was tug worthy. We almost have “down”, down. Today I had to touch his front leg and move it forward but he finally went down. Sometimes at night when he gets the zoomies, I have to hold in in a down position so he is learning that way as well. I think that dog would let me do anything to him except grab his cute cheeks!!

I notice that Spencer really does want to please his humans. When he has had an accident in the house and I have said, “Spence that’s bad” he will tuck his tail and move back. He has had one accident this week in the basement and none in his kennel or upstairs. I think in the basement it’s hard cause he can’t tell me he has to go. Inside the house he has this look he gives me and he kind of backs up so I have been taking him out immediately to teach him that if he looks at me like that, he will get to go potty. He never fails me.

We took the ball out of the house at night for the most part but last night I let him have it and he didn’t bug me to throw it. He contently chewed it on the floor. He just loves to chew things and fortunately has only chewed one of my pillows. Except for the pillow, he has done very well at not destroying household things. He loves the chew bones. I accidently left one in his kennel one night and at 1 am I heard him on the camera chewing it. He usually sleeps right through the night and has gotten accommodated to the sounds above him in the early morning hours as hubby gets ready for work. There are times he doesn’t like to be crated and will bark but it’s less then two minutes and he will settle down and go to sleep. He really is a human contact dog. He wants to be with us all the time and sometimes will bark when I leave him to play in the basement unkenneled but it only lasts a few seconds or so before he finds something to do or naps.. He loves loves loves when I come down and hang out with him there on my days off or when hubby works late.

He was ignoring my neighbors dogs for the longest time. My neighbors dog is a bit of a bully. Always in pounce position and ready to attack. I think he is barrier reactive. My boxer is the same way but she doesn’t attack, she just wants to play but his dog has bit her neck a couple of times so now we don’t leave them out together. I keep Spence on a yard leash so there is no physical contact but he started running up and down the yard with the neighbors dog this morning. I just brought him in early. He has been very patient and tolerant with the other dog. I’ve noticed it’s mostly if I am out there with him. I think he’s just trying to protect me. He is very loyal to me.

To know Spencer is to love him!

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

Foster Day 14: My Whole Life Depends on When Spencer Poops Ha Ha!

Can you put in place a schedule while you’re fostering? Ummmmm well no but then yes and sometimes maybe. Just when I have things moving along great, it rains! Rain totally messes up my schedule. I can’t leave Spencer outside and it’s hard walking him in pouring down rain which means…poop on the floor. It’s not his fault but it’s not mine either. You see I kind of know Spences poop schedule. Yeah you can laugh but just put yourself in my shoes. Like I said in my other blog; I am trying to figure out a routine where my dogs, my grandchildren my husband and Spencer are getting equal time from me. Since Spence has to be kept separated from my dogs and kids, it’s been a challenge.

I get Spence up between 8:30 and 9:00 just after getting my grandson set up for his virtual school and my granddaughter with coloring or a good clean learning show on TV. I run downstairs feed Spencer, wait til he’s done, then lead him outside to do his business. He has not once soiled his crate. His crate is both his and my safe place. Spence has two poops in him in the morning. If I can get out and walk him, I will get them both on my walk but……if grands are here I can’t walk so I let him hang out in the yard til he goes. If he does both, he gets to go hang out in the basement outside his crate but if he only does one, and I walk him around the backyard twice and he still doesn’t go he has to go back into his crate until my granddaughter has finished lunch and is down for a nap which is around 11. Once she is down, he gets to come up and hang out with me for a while and my two girls get to go hang out in my bedroom..yeah they like that, she says sarcastically. My grandson is safely tucked in the office doing his virtual school until he gets kicked off, wants a snack, gets a break, or wants some white paper.

Spencer then goes back outside to hang for a while. I will usually come out throw the ball or some toy for him for a few minutes and head back in to let my dogs out for some mommy time. Then they have to go potty so I run Spence back downstairs either crated or uncrated depending on his poop situation, If he still hasn’t gone, I will walk him around the back yard another couple of times. Usually he has pooped by then and gets to hang out in the basements uncrated. I have to text my neighbor when my dogs go out and in because his dog and my dogs don’t get along. Now, I add to it when Spencer is out because his dog will try and egg mine on and it’s just a pain. But it all works out but my poor neighbor is getting double the texts now hahahahaha.

Granddaughter wakes up so Spence goes back outside for a while. I’m am so grateful that he loves being outside. I lay a rug out there for him to lounge on and have big basin of water for him and sometimes a chew bone to keep him occupied but he mostly just lays down and chills. The kids usually leave around 2:30 and I will go get Spence let him do his business and let him hang upstairs again. But for the next two days the kids are here til 6:30 so again my “schedule” is messed up hahahahaha. But if they weren’t, I would go down feed him again, wait til he’s done and take him back outside to go poop again and let him have free time in the basement. Sigh…..He goes back out about 6 til 7:30 and then comes back up stairs for foster mommy and daddy time (if daddy is off work. If not I will just stay down in the basement with him. He’s quite happy to be wherever I am.). Between 8:30 and 9 is bed time.

So you can see my whole life is revolved around poop! Hahahaha

In other news…Spence met my other daughter-in-law and walked right up to her for some love. When my sons come over now, he will come up and then back up but then go right back. He rough housed a little with my oldest and had a ball. The dog loves to play!!! He welcomes everyone at the door and only barks if he’s surprised which has been on rare occasions.

He does not like to go in his crate at bed times and will bark a few minutes, accept it and go to sleep. I think he just wants to always be with his humans. I wish so much for him to have a family that didn’t have to divide their time. He is such a wonderful, loving, playful dog. Last night when he came up, he was really mellow for the first time. No zoomies! He is becoming more and more cuddly with me and would love to cuddle my hubby but hubby isn’t the dog cuddling type. He will let our boxer mix lay in his lap though.

I’ve beat him at tug of war three times now. When I win, he has to leave the toy alone for a few minutes before he can play again. He is learning “leave it” and we are still working on “down” and “shake.” Once he learns “down”, I think it will help with his zoomies and a good prelude to other training.

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