After my tentative email offering our home for Gerralynn’s foster during her heartworm treatment, I got an email back from the foster director, Ann. I had hesitantly offered our home because it wasn’t the perfect, calm household that a dog recovering from heartworm needs, but Ann responded back that it was indeed the perfect home…because it was the only one offered outside of the shelter environment.
I would become familiar with the wording (and the sentiment) in the coming years as I offered our “not quite the right fit” house for other animals seeking foster.
I packed up Livie and drove to the shelter for her second dog interaction with a potential foster. She would meet Gerralynn in a controlled environment at the shelter. A behavior professional and I would be on hand to observe their interactions and make sure there wasn’t any tension between them.
Livie and Morgan had passed this test easily, and that relationship certainly hadn’t bloomed into true love. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I felt a bit jittery as we introduced the dogs.
Gerralynn was, as advertised, a peppy pup! She was all wags and licks with me, and with Livie. Livie was a little uncertain and stayed right by my side, but Gerralynn’s body language put me at ease and we made the arrangements to bring her home later that day.
At home, I brought Livie outside and took the two girls for a quick walk to reintroduce them. They trotted along, happily sniffing and eliminating. I followed the instructions to the letter and kept the walk under 10 minutes to protect Gerralynn’s worm infested heart.
Back at the house, we let Gerralynn explore for another 10 minutes. She quickly checked out all the nooks and crannies of the house while Livie followed her at a distance, sniffing the air behind her. We kept Gerralynn’s leash attached to her collar in case we needed to break up any scuffles quickly. But her body language was relaxed and friendly and, after a few minutes, even Livie seemed at ease with her being in the house.
Her name though… Gerralynn was a mouthful for a four year old (and, well, for all of us!) and this sweet, goofy, oblivious pup didn’t seem to pay any particular attention to it at all (though she did enjoy ANY and ALL attention and sweet talk!), so we decided to shorten it to just Lynn for her stay with us.
After the exciting car ride home, a 10 minute walk, and a 10 minute home exploration, I thought it was probably prudent to put Lynn in her crate for some rest. After all, her care instructions clearly stated that she should be crated except for very short, 5-10 minute, breaks.
We had her crate set up in our guest room. We thought we would keep it behind closed doors to reduce the stimulus and keep her calm.
Lynn very happily and willingly followed me upstairs and into the guest room. She went into the crate and wagged at me as I offered her a treat and a toy. I smiled. Well, this should be relatively easy.
Less than a minute after I left Lynn, the shuffling and then banging started. I thought Lynn should be resting, but she had other ideas!
Learn more about volunteering at and fostering for the Humane Society of Huron Valley at HSHV.org!