Sky has been doing great. She is a great little companion and more of her funny personality emerges daily (like today when she got the zoomies and had to bounce off the wall because my place is too small to make a turn). She can now keep walking while cars pass, although when loud ones approach from behind she drifts to the end of the leash (that’s a huge improvement over freezing, laying down, or becoming a 40 pound fish on the end of the leash). She’s also started showing interest in toys other than the Nylabone, so maybe there’s hope for fetch yet.
Sneaking to get the tennis ball
Since she has that heeler desire to be the center of attention, and therefore tries to hijack Galen’s petting time by getting between us (which I don’t allow for the sake of pack structure and not creating fights), I have started giving her “Sky time” when Galen is looking out the bedroom window before bed. She loves neck scratches so much, as you can see, and this way she gets her reward for being respectful of personal space.
What a busy morning! We started with a trip to the dog park, where Sky was awesome. She mostly stuck by me like the loyal cowdog she is, but she did leave to chase Galen around a little bit. There was another dog there, but they ignored each other. Her first big success today was jumping into the car on her own. Historically, she’s had to be picked up, so this is a big victory. She struggled for a sec, but with polite and passive persistence practiced in the proper position (google “45 p’s parelli” for that reference), she hopped right in!
After a quick breakfast we headed out again, because MARC was the featured non-profit at the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market today, and it was amazing! Three dogs were adopted, including one of Sky’s babies, along with two kittens. Sky and Alexa, another adoptable dog, had some serious interest, so fingers crossed that they’ll be adopted soon too. Hopefully we also pulled in some new fosters.
Pretty in pink
Sky did great with the crowds, and eventually started laying down right in the middle of it, where she was most likely to get stepped on. I played traffic cone so she didn’t trip anybody…guess she’s not so unsure about tons of people and dogs milling around anymore. I’ve got an awesome plan in store if she doesn’t leave me before I can complete it, so stay tuned!
She’s got a great smile!
Age: 9 mo – 1 yr
Nicknames: so far just “mama”
In two words: unsure, submissive
MARC has amazing photographers!
Mama Sky came into the shelter with her 6 babies in mid-July. The pups have been weaned and all but 2 have homes waiting to go to once they’re spayed/neutered, and now mom’s looking for a home too. She seems fairly unsocialized in terms of living in the human world. She doesn’t seem to know much about “the good life” of the house dog, but I think she’ll figure it out.
My plan is to get her into our routine of exercise, etc. and she how she does. Then it will be a matter of building confidence and exposing her to as many new things as possible. That’s the plan, but we’ll see how things unfold. For now she’s hanging out in my kitchen, not totally relaxed but at least quietly laying down.
Happy Labor Day everyone!
So the Princess left our castle last Thursday, and it was a little weird for a couple minutes. Her absence made me think about some things, so I’d like to share some thoughts on my mentality when it comes to fostering. But first of course, an adoption photo:
Look at how flippin’ cute she is!
Alright, so now for some philosophy. When I suggest that people foster one of the most common responses is “I would get too attached.” My primary motivations in fostering were to show Galen how to act with various different energies (and thus make him more balanced), to challenge myself and grow my abilities to read and respond to a variety of personalities and issues, and of course to help save lives and serve my community. So the thought of getting too attached didn’t really cross my mind.
The way I see it, my “job” as a foster is to get each dog as balanced as possible in the time that I have with them. So far (in my whole 3 fosters’ experience), none of my fosters have felt like “my dog,” but rather like I’m preparing them for their future homes. I’m kinda like purgatory between the shelter and a forever home- they’re not meant to stay! I have an idea of what energy and personality I’d like in my next dog, and if I run across that, I think it will be hard for me to let go. It’s a little quiet when they leave (now I know how my mom felt when school started) and my reflex is to dwell on that. But then I look at Galen, who just continues going about his business like nothing has changed, and it’s easy to move forward.
Now I’m preparing myself for our next adventure- more on that very soon!