What I learned from fostering a dog

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Dogs, Family, Musings, Personal
Tags: , , , , ,

Your dog loves you.  Period…unless you do something to break that bond.  And even then, she’ll probably love you again anyway or at least try to.

Since your dog loves you, he’ll be excited to see you every single time.  Maybe if we treated people more like that, we’d have a lot less problems.

A dog wiggles not only her tail, but her entire body.  A dog can also wiggle her tail while lying cured up and snoozing, without moving any other part of her body.  Go figure.

A “hangdog” look is called that for a reason.  Only a dog can look so reproachful (even if that’s not at all what’s in his mind) or despondent.

 A Kong stuffed with whatever your dog loves (in our case, peanut butter on whole grain bread) is like the best meal in the best restaurant anywhere.  If your dog is like ours, if you need a little free time, bring out the Kong.  Our dogs would take it as far away as possible, just in case we wanted it back.

Too many people take on pets without thinking enough about the responsibilities.   Your dog will love you, but never grow up, move out, get a job, support him/herself, etc.   A dog is your forever child.

Too many people decide they don’t want a pet and then just dump the pet.  You get a pet; you get the responsibility.  And responsibility doesn’t include dumping.

Invisible fences may be fine for the people living in the house who don’t want to have a real fence in the backyard or be out with their dog.  Invisible fences are horrible for people walking by or for people walking dogs.  My dog can’t see that fence and doesn’t know that other dog will stop (hopefully.)  Truthfully, I don’t know that either.

A dog’s work is to obey and do things.  If an owner doesn’t teach a dog to obey, the dog is not only purposeless, it will get into trouble and be annoying.  Everyone needs work and so does every dog.

 If you don’t want your dog to get on the furniture, don’t ever let it on the furniture.  Ever.  One time will be so enticing that most dogs will keep trying again and again and you won’t enjoy it.

Nature’s Miracle 3 in 1 Odor Destroyer really works.  And our younger daughter says it takes out stains, too.

I haven’t been to a dog park, since we’ve only had rescue dogs that are sometimes reactive to other dogs (reactive, not ready to kill them), but from what I’ve read and observed, I wouldn’t take any dog there.  Not only are the dogs often not capable of acting correctly (and they’re only animals), the owners, again, often shouldn’t be let out in public with a dog.

If you want a dog, please, please, PLEASE, research breeds based on what they’re really like

and what they really need

and what you’re willing to do

and what you can realistically do

and whether you have children

and how much space you have and….

don’t just go by how they look,

       or who else owns one,

                or how cool you think they are.  It’s not fair to you or the dog.

 A crate isn’t a bad thing.  A crate is a safe place for a dog while you’re gone, a place to keep a dog away from temptation.  A crate is a nice cozy cave.  Use it as one.  If you can let your dogs free in the house without a problem, great.  But crates aren’t inherently bad.

Don’t hate me, but even though you love your dog like crazy, your dog is still an animal and needs to be thought of that way for safety, if for no other reason.  Dogs do NOT think like people, nor do any other pets.  To deny that is unfair to the dog because even if you treat him like a person, he can’t respond that way.  He may respond to something in an animal way because….well…he is one.  Doesn’t make him bad.

Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding things you can do, both for the dog and for you.  Fostering is also one of the most difficult because unless you adopt your foster dog, eventually the dog will either go to another foster (if your situation changes) or to a forever home.  Either way, a piece of your heart will go with your dog.


  1. billgncs says:

    long way from “What’s on second” ( smile )

  2. cabecada says:

    my babyyyyyyyyyyyyy