Archive for February, 2009

Bringing home a new puppy

This is Ebbie

This is Ebbie

My sister lives in California and is feeling ready to invite a dog into her life. She found this little guy, Ebbie. Here’s a link to his rescue organization.

Anyway, as we were talking I told her the advice I tell all new dog owners. And this applies to you whether you are adopting a rescue dog, a rescue puppy, buying a pet store dog/puppy (but you wouldn’t do that now would you?) or buying from a breeder:

First, bring your dog home and give him a walk around your neighborhood. For a small dog it can be a small dog walk – around 30 minutes. For a larger breed, a larger walk, at minimum an hour, better to be longer. Keep the walk controlled meaning the dog should be at your side or behind you. Remind him of his place as often as necessary, either by a gentle tug on the leash and a correction word/sound, or by stopping in your tracks whenever he starts to pull on the leash. If this doesn’t get his attention (more…)

February 26, 2009 • Tags: , • Posted in: dog ownership, essentials, pups • 6 Comments

Another to the rescue and random thoughts

Whew. That was a close one. Thankfully another rescue organization agreed to foster Nisha and her pups. And, I didn’t post this but there was ANOTHER pregnant mama looking for a place to raise her pups at the same time as Nisha and thankfully she too was rescued by someone else. I am relieved because I have so much I am doing now to get the house together. I knew that my head wouldn’t be in the game so to speak – I really need to have the rest of my life on auto pilot when I’m fostering. So now my job is to work on what is before me (painting and painting and painting ceilings…does anyone like painting ceilings?) and get that job completed.

Here are some dog related thoughts that have been bouncing around inside my head: Why do people hold so strongly to a set of beliefs, to the point that they become obstacles to understanding other’s beliefs? This doesn’t make sense to me. So many trainers hold so firmly (more…)

Why I Foster Dogs

A PupPeople always say to me “you are so generous/wonderful/giving for fostering these dogs. I don’t know how you do it”

Well, here’s the real truth: Do any of you have that sort of life that takes up a lot of your time but doesn’t fill you up all that reliably? Fostering mama dogs gives me a sense of identity, purpose, and accomplishment. It meets my need to nurture little ones, LOTS of little ones. And it makes me feel important and needed. These things, while present in my life when the pups and mama dogs aren’t around, aren’t present in a large enough quantity to satisfy me. So, I foster dogs because I get so much from it. Because it is a lot of work. Because it is emotionally challenging. Because it is all consuming. So, the secret’s out. I get more from the experience than I likely give. But maybe it is equal. Either way, I’m fine with it.

A new mama dog in need?

Nisha is a mama in waiting

Nisha is a mama in waiting

I got an email I was expecting to get. You know how you get a feeling that something is going to happen and then when it does it isn’t that surprising because you were expecting it? Anyway that’s what I felt when I got an email from Michelle (from H.E.L.P.), telling us about another dog that needed a home. She is a cute dog and the usual size, around 50 lbs. I’d take her in a heart beat. The time with Annie and her pups has faded into memory and the puppy room is just gathering dust anyway.

But here’s the catch – we are DEEP into remodeling our kitchen. And I mean DEEP. Like, today my neighbor and I sledge hammered our tile floor out, kind of deep. The thought of taking on another mama and her pups at this point seems exhausting and impossible, which means it will probably happen. See, I told Michelle that I’d prefer to have another foster (more…)

February 12, 2009 • Tags: , • Posted in: fostering dogs • No Comments

Getting charged while walking


My pack, all belted up

I received an email today from my new buddy. She’s as crazy as I am…well maybe a little bit less crazy – she walks three dogs at once, I walk five. Anyway, she asked about what to do when passing by a yard with an unleashed dog who charges when he sees you. This has happened to me. Usually what happens is you are happily walking by and a dog flies out of no where, barking and charging. Sometimes it stops and barks from a short distance away, sometimes it comes right up and starts roughing your dogs up. Both are examples of territory dominance and I deal with them in similar ways.

First of all, I make sure I am alert to my surroundings at all times. If you are going to walk multiple dogs at once you will not be able to listen to the radio or ipod or talk on the cell phone. (more…)

The Petcast Interview

The PetcastI was interviewed for a pet-oriented podcast called The Petcast by two very nice people (Steve & Emily) who wanted their listeners to learn more about fostering dogs. My interview is in Episode #193 titled The Dog Fosterer(!), available for MP3 download.

After the interview I had millions of things I wish I would have said. For one, I wish I would have said how DOABLE it is to foster a dog given the right mind set – it is work and more on the front end and easier as it goes on…opposite to raising a little of puppies who for the first two weeks literally nurse and sleep. They are no work at all – just a load of laundry twice a day and taking care of the mama. It is also important to understand some very basic things about dogs – they are social pack animals and assuming the foster dog had some positive experiences with people in her past