While we were waiting to regain some trust from Shadow and Midnight after their traumatic lice treatment dip, another foster request email arrived. A dog, Morgan, needed foster while recovering from a surgery that she had to remove a mass from her hind leg. She was a beautiful brown boxer mix senior, about 70 pounds and 11 years old. This was her second surgery; she had chewed open her incision the first time. The shelter was hoping that under the close supervision of a foster home, Morgan would leave her wound alone and heal up quickly. Could we?! Should we?!
I am a thinker. I do very little impulsively and sometimes, my caution leads to missed opportunities. I thought for about whether or not to respond that we could take Morgan for about a day. While she was exactly the kind of dog who I hoped to help (friendly with people, okay with other dogs), I was nervous too. After the day of pondering, and speaking to the family, I decided to move forward. I emailed Ann and said we could take Morgan if someone had not already offered.
We took Livie, our resident dog, to meet Morgan at the shelter the next day. The shelter requires a dog interaction between any potential foster dogs and resident dogs before sending the foster home. First, a shelter staff member and I walked the dogs around the parking lot with about 10 feet of distance between us. Livie led, and then Morgan led. Next, we let them sniff each other. Finally, we took them into the education room and let them roam around while we observed their behavior. Livie hung out close to me and Morgan sniffed all around. They weren’t best buds, but there wasn’t any tension either. These girls had passed the test and we were all set to take Morgan home! But it’s never a good idea to put two unfamiliar dogs in the car together so I took Livie home and then came back to get Morgan.
At home, I brought Livie out so she and Morgan could get reacquainted outside. I took them for a quick walk around the cul-de-sac and then brought Morgan in. She sniffed all around, discovered the water bowl and took a sip, and then collapsed on the couch where she fell into a deep slumber. Livie is not allowed on the living room couch (though she is allowed on a couch in another room…she knows the boundaries!) and I hadn’t considered how the rules might shift for foster dogs who had been denied soft places to sleep for a while. Watching Morgan snoozing so hard through the hub bub of our household, I knew that I didn’t have the heart to ask her to move. Livie was pretty understanding and kept on with her normal routine of following me around the house.
We had our first canine foster and we were off to a great start!