In my last post I remembered my first foster – Lady Darla. She had emotional and medical challenges to work through. And she did, with style! When the “goat dogs” arrived on that cold February morning things got a little crazy.
When I heard about the “goat dogs” – two fawn adolescent Great Dane pups that had been strays and then given shelter in a goat pen (with real goats) before being taken to animal control – my heart melted. Of course they were welcome at my house! The word “goats” should have been a clue for me.
The couple that transported the boys to my house had graciously bathed them and trimmed their nails. I can only imagine what they smelled like after living with goats. There we were – me, my two adult dogs, my adolescent blind/deaf pup and the “goat dogs.” My adult dogs quickly let the boys know who was in charge, whose bed they were never allowed to lounge on, and which crates were strictly off limits. My deaf/blind pup thought the party was on – TWO more dogs to play with…to chase…to dig holes in the yard…to drive the humans to the brink of insanity. Puppy heaven!
My deaf/blind pup and her new buddies, the “goat dogs,” became fast friends. Every morning – and I do mean EVERY morning – the routine was the same:
My pup woke me up. She raced down the stairs and into the dog room, waking up the boys on her way to the back door. I followed her, sleepy eyed and cold. I opened the boys’ crates, barely getting out of the way as they ZOOMED to the door. I managed to get through the energetic adolescent pups to open the back door. Sometimes I got out of the way before they ZOOMED out…sometimes I didn’t. They pottied and then they ran, they played, they pounced, they zoomed, they played, they pounced in the winter snow. Meanwhile I got their food.
My adult dogs meandered down the stairs and into the dog room for breakfast. They yawned, they stretched, they went out to potty (quickly – it was very cold out there in the snow), they came in and waited for breakfast.
I put the dog bowls down and opened the door. Three adolescent, snow covered, excited Great Danes ZOOMED into the house, skidding to a halt in front of their food bowls. Breakfast complete, the adults went off for their morning naps. But not the “goat dogs” and their friend – it was time for new adventures.
Goats. Goats chew on things. Goats chew on everything. The pups had lived with goats. They learned from goats. They chewed on things. They chewed on everything.
It took a few weeks to find chew toys that would last longer than 30 seconds. Kongs? No problem, destruction in moments. Shoes? YUMMY! Leather couch? Delicious! Bathroom wall? A little dry, but tasty. Backseat of the car on the way to the vet? Let’s not go there! Meaty bone fresh from the butcher? Wow! Best thing ever! That meaty bone from the butcher probably saved my house and my marriage. Now when I’m preparing for a young foster dog’s arrival I always have fresh meaty bones waiting.
Homes can be repaired. Couches can be replaced. Shoes? I love shoe shopping, so “the dog ate my shoes” is just a good excuse for a shopping trip. Car upholstery? Well, how often do you ride in the back seat of the car, really? I don’t look in the back seat – problem solved. It just doesn’t matter so much when I stop to remember that those “goat dogs” left my home and are now living in loving homes.
One of those “goat dogs” was adopted by a woman who lived nearby and we remain good friends. He blossomed from that scared, sick pup who first arrived at my house that cold, snowy February afternoon. The other goat dog? He goes to work with his humans and canine companion and enjoys soft beds and regular meals – a far cry from that goat pen. Sweet success!
Fostering, it’s all about standing in the gap for those without a voice, it’s about seeing the possibility when others only see a problem…sometimes it’s about furniture shopping. Fostering is not dull. It is not without risk…but it is all about seeing the potential in the eyes of an orphaned pup.
Crossroads Campus is currently in need of foster homes. We offer training and support for our foster homes. We take care of medical expenses, temperament test all dogs prior to placing in foster care, and make all arrangements for adoption. If you would like more information about fostering for Crossroads Camus, please contact our Foster Liaison at email@example.com