Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fostering: The System

Benefit of fostering #1: Unearthing two-year-old newspaper articles, realizing you're a slob.
Alice is good at cleaning up under sofas. She has discovered items beneath my sofas that I never knew existed.

So far, that's about it. Alice likes to: chew on walls, chew on hands, chew on tables, chew on electrical wires, chew on sofas, chew on hands some more, chew on pretty much anything her teeth think might be edible.

On the other hand, Alice is super smart. She's so smart that she already knows sit, watch me, down, touch/target, and is pretending she knows how to heel. She knows "go potty" and is super excellent at alerting me when she needs to poop or pee outside. To date, she has had one accident due to my ineptitude at reading dog language. Oh Alice, how endearing you are leaping, whining, jumping on me in utter adoration. Five seconds later, poop! Oops, my bad.

Finally, Alice my third foster = system of fostering in place!

In the morning: Ask Mina and Celeste to stay on the bed while I unleash (but with a leash, making a liar out of me) Alice out of her crate. We rush excitedly to the backyard where peeing and pooping ensue. Bust out a bowl of food and bam! Miss Alice is in her crate with enthusiasm and contentment. Ask Mina and Celeste to go outside to pee too. Endure glares from both Mina and Celeste over the fact there is an interloper in a crate in the kitchen. Fact is, endure glares because of TWO crates - one in kitchen, one in bedroom, is there no justice in the world?

Before leaving work: Play 15-20 minutes of fetch and training with Miss Alice. Offer kong filled with goodies, leave Alice in crate. Ask Mina and Celeste if they want to go to work, try not to get run over by stampeding Mexi-mutt and Pit Bull.

Lunch time: Bring Mina and Celeste home, ask them politely to stay in the living room while lunch hour is turned into FOSTER DOG HOUR. Endure groans of annoyance from dynamic duo. Play for forty minutes with pup of awesome who is sometimes pup of sharp shark teeth and the dog who leaves red paw prints on your nice skirt. Entice foster pup into crate with kong, abandon ship with M & C.

Evening time: Snuggle with Mina, reassure her she is still number one. Training time with Celeste to let her know she's still mostly number two. Mix it up with Alice and her toys and things she chases and discourage her from eating hands and chasing birds, even if it's sorta cute.

Bedtime: Lure Mina and Celeste out for their evening romp outside wherein peeing, pooping, and playfesting occurs...maybe some time fence fighting with the JRTs next door. Shove Alice into the garage and let M & C back in, let Alice out the garage door into yard for final pee and poop of the evening. Try to convince her eating trees and plants and shrubbery is actually rude. Sneak inside to let M & C out of kitchen and into house, rush back outside to let Alice into kitchen. Escort Mina and Celeste to room, ask them to get on bed and stay. Escort Alice on leash into room, ask her to crate, get refused, offer something tasty, get refused, tell her she has to get in crate or THERE WILL BE REPERCUSSIONS, get refused, throw in favorite rope toy, slam door shut quickly. Go to bed.

Rinse and repeat.

I mean, there's variations on the theme and all, but I'm so glad to have a second crate and baby gates to partition off the kitchen for foster pup. And happy she can't leap haphazardly over baby gate too. And also happy neither Mina nor Celeste have shown much interest in doing anything but glaring melodramatically at the foster pup (and growling for shits and giggles, courtesy of Celeste, who growls at all other dogs but Mina).

Alice will be meeting Mina in a week, maybe after I learn how idiotic she is at her first training class. Maybe not. She may be too stupid for Mina. And by stupid, I mean too rude. Mina puts up with a lot from puppies, so to save her sanity, their introduction will go much slower than the previous two foster pups. Celeste has made it clear that, in no uncertain terms, will she EVER like Alice. She may have to go to training class with her in the same vehicle, but she will be protesting loudly and grumpily about it.

This is why breaks between fostering is important. It's a lot of work.

I am so worth it, yo!

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