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 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

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

Foster Day Four, Five and 6: What I’ve Learned About Spencer

He does not demand much. Give him some love, play time and food and he’s in heaven

He is not reactive to my neighbors dogs who constantly tries to engage him. The first day he ran towards him but the yard leash didn’t reach so he went the other way and totally ignores him now. My two boxers are usually watching him from behind the glass doors and there has been no reactivity there. He did growl at them when he was looking out the window of his doggie den and my Jewels went up to the window. I think she startled him. It was a short growl and he just stared at her after that. He didn’t scratch at the window or try to get out.

He enjoys cuddles and kisses. He plays hard but will stop every few minutes to come and put his paws in my lap and turn his body sideways for a hug and to give kisses. I call it a Spencer hug. Forget taking naps cause he will bring his ball over to you to play or jump on the couch with you and drop the ball on your hip so it will roll to the floor and he can go chasing after it. Oh and if he gets tired of ball then it kisses and smooches time.

He’s possessive with his toys. We have been working on that. He is learning that if he wants me to throw his toy, he has to drop it next to me and let me pick it up or we don’t play. Yesterday he gave me his toy four times. Today he’s given his ball to me all day so far. I tell him thank you and have him sit then say ready, I throw and say get it!! We’re making progress. I don’t play tug very often because he doesn’t like to lose. I limit it to once a day and yesterday I won!!! The training staff has been working with him and are going to give me more tips to keep reinforcing what they have done. He will play with the tug rope by himself and keeps himself entertained. He does like to be close to his human while he plays. And he loves to roll on his back and play and get tummy rubs.

He does not cry, whine or bark when left alone or put in his crate. In fact sometimes I let him run free in the doggie den and will find him in his crate sleeping.

He does great with routine. I try to balance my time with my dogs and him and my grand-kids and he has been so great with our love times, whether in my house or out in his doggie den. Every morning I get him up and let him have some outside time to do his business and if my grand-kids aren’t here, he comes inside for a little bit. If kids are there he goes back to doggie den and he has free run of the den. I have a camera inside and so far he’s had no accidents or destroyed anything in the den. He did have an accident in the house though yesterday. But when I told him it was bad, I could see he understood.

He hasn’t jumped on the furniture in my house but in the doggie den he will jump on couch when I’m sitting on it. Most of the time he’s just rolling on my black carpet or sleeping in his crate. He is crate trained and that is where he sleeps at night.

He loves to play in the sprinklers. He will try to pull it out of the ground tho and that’s when I usually end water play.

He loves to go on walks and is muzzled trained because of his shyness. He has given me no trouble putting muzzle on because he knows he’s gonna get a walk but you can tell he’s happy when I take it off. He saw my neighbors across the street and tried to go over but I kept a distance between us as he didn’t know them. He didn’t seem aggressive at all. He was really good on his leash while I talked to them about him. He’s always curious.

He has warmed up to my family quickly. He follows my husband around the house now and gets excited when he walks through the door. He sometimes shies away but then comes right back. He has greeted my whole family at the door when they come in. He mostly sniffs them and walks away unless they offer him treats. After treats he will let himself be petted. He actually jumped up to be pet by my son.

And last but certainly not lease…he chases the vacuum cleaner but will back away when I say ut uh!

,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 aazing video at https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS

Foster Day Two and Three: Spencer’s Perfect!

Day two and three started at 8:00am with potty/poop time and then breakfast. When I walk into his bachelor’s pad, he is always in his kennel in a state of relaxation and smiles when he sees me. That boy sure loves to eat!! I have treats and toys up on the shelf and when he wants a treat he will sit and stare up at the box. He’s so smart. He knows exactly how to work me.

We’ve continued to work on sit, stay, ready, go get and ut uh. He is doing so good at it. There are times I have to tell him sit a couple of times but for the most part, he’s quick to obey. He gets better every day at dropping his ball at my feet and letting me pick it up now. Yesterday He didn’t jump at it when I reached to grab the ball. I try to play ball with him every day and give him water play. He sure loves the sprinkler. I had to cut that time a little shorter as he pulled the sprinkler up out of the ground. Stinker!!!

Spencer loves toys but he will eventually destroy them. It takes him a whole day but he’s pretty determined. He will climb up into my lap to try and engage me in some tug but I avoid that for right now. I am trying to teach him to let me have the toy and to touch it. He will let me touch it now but still wants to play tug. A couple of times yesterday he dropped it at my side which is progress. He also pretty much entertains himself when I won’t tug with him and when he’s by himself. I have a camera in the pad and keep and eye on him.

Every day Spence is becoming more and more affectionate not only with me but my family as well. He warms up quickly especially if they give him treats. He climb right up on the couch and let my son(adult) pet him. Made my heart so happy to see him accepting some love. He likes my hubby too but will still shy away if he reaches out to pet him so he is letting Spence come to him on his own time. He does wag his tail though when he speaks to him. Once he comes to them on his own though, my family is able to give him some love. When my daughter-in-laws comes through the door he goes right up to her to sniff but he doesn’t bark or act fearful. She doesn’t engage him as she is not really a big dog person. Lol. I think he has barked one time since he’s been here and that was in the bachelor pad when he heard something outside. Oh and the boy loves to shower me with kisses!! When outside filling and hanging hummingbird feeders, he came right up to my husband for some pets and my husband walked him around the backyard. It was really cute.

He seems to enjoy is outside time. I have him on a 25 ft yard leash because the boy can jump pretty high. He’s become my little shadow and although I don’t think he will jump the fence, because this is new to all of us, I don’t want to risk it. He will lay in the sun for a bit then explore or do his business, all the while though watching for me through the window. He would rather be with me but he’s so good. He doesn’t bark, whine or cry just waits patiently for mommy and son time. My dogs watch him through the window and there has been no reactivity on either side. When my neighbor lets his dogs out, Spence will head in that direction but the leash doesn’t allow him to get to the fence. He does not bark at them and pretty much ignores them when he realizes he can’t get close. My boxer mix is really interested in him and would probably want to play with him and he seems ok with her from the other side of the window.

When he wanders into the kitchen all I have to do is call him and he comes running. So far he hasn’t tried to get into anything but the toy box. He does enjoy exploring though. Spencer is an amazing dog and I just can’t hardly wait to see who he picks as his forever parent. I’m so glad he is allowing me to be his temporary mommy.

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 aazing video at https://kcpetproject.org/animal-details/?aid=44882776&cid=11&tid=Dog#.Xz1oGWyS