Thursday, November 26, 2015


Blurry photo, but it's the best I could do. There was absolutely no way of getting Snoopy into the picture with them.
We currently have two foster dogs, Rex and Snoopy, as well as our furever dog, Kane, and our cat, Elly. The transition of adding members to our home has been very reminiscent of bringing home a new baby: a little bit of a learning curve for all involved.

Rex received special dispensation to sit on the couch while I photographed him.

Rex was certainly the toughest to integrate, given his loud whining and howling whenever he was put in his crate. It took us weeks to train him not to panic whenever he was placed in the crate, but we got there. He still whines sometimes, but it's more "fear of missing out" than panic. He'll whine if he thinks someone else is being fed (he loves food) or is going for a walk without him. But it's not the obnoxious wall-cracking howling of that first night. A night I will never forget.

He's also an 8-month-old puppy, so he's boisterous and would love to just romp around the house and chew on his foster-siblings if I let him. Which I don't. He wakes early, but he also goes to sleep early, so I've had to adjust my schedule to that.

Rex is now available for adoption through Rocky Road Rescue. After our unfortunate experience with the first adoption, I'll be sure to help with a smooth transition this time.

Sweet, sweet Li'l Miss Snoop.

Snoopy is just the tenderest wee dog. She reminds me greatly of Scooter, the dog we had before Kane. She's 8 years old, in stark contrast to Rex's eight months. She is shy and becomes anxious (whining and trembling) if Kane and Rex get too boisterous, but she really springs to life when we get outdoors. She loves to snoofle around and bounce. She's small, but she can certainly keep up with the big boys.

The only adjustment I had to make with regards to Snoopy has been to spend more time on the floor giving snuggles. She used to be a couch-surfer, which I don't allow here -- the larger dogs would trash the house, and it doesn't seem fair to allow one. So each evening, after I put the larger beasties into their crates for bed, I spend a little time snuggling Snoopy. She starts out a little nervous each time (I can feel her shaking), but she really wants the affection, so she gradually melts into me.

Snoopy is also available for adoption through Rocky Road Rescue. She's such an easy dog that I'm sure this adoption will go smoothly, though I do recommend some training to help her walk more politely.

I think this picture captures Kane;s handsomeness better than any other I've taken.
(I don't usually let him stand and stare out the window -- it just amps up his guarding instincts.)

With all this, you might wonder how Kane is doing. He's actually very happy to have some doggy siblings. (Elly has never been much for snuggles or playing with him.)

Kane and Rex get along very, very well. In the house, they snuggle and play (mostly) quietly -- I do have to interrupt them occasionally. In the back yard, things get a little more feisty and Kane sometimes pushes Rex's limits.

When they're out there individually, they are generally pretty sedate, but when they're together, they wreak havoc on my gardens, so I don't leave them out there unsupervised.

Snoopy doesn't join the fray very much. She likes to be outdoors, but prefers not to have to worry about other dogs lunging at her. (She's a lot like me.) Rex, on the other hand, did not like to be outside alone at first. Probably abandonment issues again.


Over the weeks, I've developed a routine that seems to work for me and the dogs. In the morning, I let the dogs out into the back yard one at a time while I feed them individually. It's just quieter and easier this way. Each dog has a different diet, and I'm still working on some training issues with Rex (occasionally nipping my fingers when I hand-feed him) and Snoop (she lunges at her food).

I've learned how to walk all three dogs at the same time, though I don't relax very much. Although they're all well-behaved in the house, I make sure they all have "crate time" in the morning and the afternoon, just to keep that good habit alive.

There has been much speculation about whether we'll "keep" Rex as a companion for Kane, but I don't think we will. There is no question in my mind that an extra dog is extra work and extra expense. Kane will be happy with the next foster, and another family's life will be augmented by Rex's presence. If we kept Rex, I'm not sure that I would be able to continue fostering -- three really is over the top for me.

So that's where things stand.

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