We’ve just started our fostering journey! Check out our first experience!
|Age||1 year old|
|Breed||Mixed breed (we don’t know)|
Day 1: Excitement And A Nervous Dog
We were both so excited to foster a dog. Finally, we were ready and saw a dog on social media who needed a foster home. So we applied straight away. We sent pictures of our backyard, inside our house and everything we had prepared for a dog to join our home. We had bowls, kennels out the back, and a dog bed beside our bed.
We drove to the rescue place, about 20 minutes from where we live. The person surrendering the dog was an hour late, so we sat around for an hour twiddling our thumbs. This wasn’t the rescue’s fault, as they try to organise times between foster carers and whoever’s surrendering the dog. This time it didn’t work out as planned. But that’s something we’re starting to realise happens with fostering – nothing goes to plan!
Finally, a 3:00pm our foster dog arrived! His name was Bolt. He was a real beauty. BUT he didn’t like us at all. He barked at us and was extremely afraid to approach us. We weren’t able to touch him. And his bark was LOUD!
We were told to not make any eye contact with him at all and to not touch him until he initiated contact with us. We were also told that we didn’t have to take him if we felt unable to deal with him. But we took him anyway.
This picture of him in the car looks nice, but neither of us had actually touched him or looked him in the eye at this point.
When we got him home, he was terrified. He wouldn’t come out of the car and growled at us if we approached. We tried tempting him out with biscuits, but he was way too scared of us. It took him a LONG time to get into the house.
When he finally did come inside, we tried to get him used to us by hand feeding him biscuits and getting him to run between us. We still hadn’t touched him at this point, apart from him eating from our hands.
Next, we started asking him to give us his paw.
That’s all we did for the day. We didn’t want to push him too much. We showed him his bed at the foot of our bed, and he was happy sleeping there all night. It turns out he was toilet trained and had no accidents. But we kept waking up all night every time he moved to check if he was going to go to the toilet.
Day 2: Bonding and Goodbye
On the second day, we managed to get his harness back on after a long time of trying. He was excited to go for a walk and was really strong on the lead. But it seemed to cement his trust in us and we were able to pat him and cuddle him by the second day!
He warmed up to me first. It took him a bit longer to be comfortable around Morgan. But by the afternoon, he was lying on the floor getting belly rubs. We were all bonding really nicely and we were so happy with the progress.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you want to look at it, the people who surrendered Bolt decided that they didn’t want to part with him after all. So we got a message from the rescue group saying the people were going to come and pick him up again. We were sad, but also happy that Bolt would get a home.
Bolt was definitely happy to see them, which made us feel a lot better about saying goodbye to him so soon. It was hard. And even after only one night, it was so weird having the house empty again. We missed him even after such a short time.
Our first experience left us feeling happy with our achievements and more confident in our ability to take on all sorts of dogs, but it also left us a bit deflated. We had spent a lot more time than we expected in just driving to meet him, waiting an hour longer than we were supposed to, and then giving him time and attention to warm up to us.
Having put all that effort in just for him to go back to where he came from the next day was not easy. But we were happy for the experience as it showed us just what highs and lows foster caring can bring.
We definitely don’t want to stop foster caring, but we also realised just how much time and energy it takes to be a foster carer.
Onwards and upwards from here! 🐾