What is the day to day of fostering like? Here’s a little glimpse:
For New Year’s Eve, we took in a new foster. We already had a young puppy named Laney living with us. Bear arrived and Laney went crazy for him. They played and played and played. It was so cute because she is so tiny, and he is so big. He especially has giant paws, and he would just gently bop her on her tiny head with them. ADORABLE.
I would have expected all the playing with Bear to tire Laney out and give her (and more importantly, me) a good night’s rest. I was wrong. Like an overstimulated toddler, Laney was a disaster all night. She was in love, and she howled and cried pathetically and loudly any time we separated her from him. She had a rough night.
On the other hand, Bear was totally worn out from all the playing and got stiff and sore. He arrived at the rescue badly injured, in fact he has healed enough that tomorrow he goes in for surgery. Along with being in recovery, he needed to take meds. I had to give him 11 pills that night.
When V dropped him off alone with a bunch of bottles and instructions, she gave me a package of American Cheese. She said that he refused to take pills hidden in pill pockets, and it was a pain to shove so many down his throat, but thank goodness, he would take them in cheese.
Ha! I’m not a neophyte to giving animals meds that they do not want to take. I’m not hesitant or squeamish about such things. I can give injections too. I am typing that so you can understand that I am serious when I say: Wow, I’ve never met a dog so difficult to pill.
The cheese was a total no go. First I tried with a little cheese, and he licked all the cheese off and left a mushy pill. I tried again with more cheese. Same result. I tried other cheese wrapping techniques. No. I tried a bunch of other kinds of treats. Same result, but with the pill getting mushier and more disgusting with each go. I tried shoving a couple down and holding his mouth. Whoa. No. He wasn’t mean, but he sure was stubborn. I think all of his weight is in his jaw muscles, and he had no interest in allowing me to be doing what I was trying to do. So, I positioned myself better for battle and tried again, and of course I’m worried about his injury, and history of abuse, so I want to be gentle. I shoved some pills way back in his uncooperative mouth, and tried to clamp his snout shut and massage his throat.
Well, he was having none of that, struggled away from me, spit out the pills, gagged a bit, spit the pill goo out, gagged harder and…
He threw up a little onto the pills.
He then quickly rushed forward and ate up the vomit, while being careful to daintily leave the pills behind! I am not kidding.
Anyhow, I wasn’t about to be outstubborned by this dog, so we struggled a bunch more until I finally got all the pills more or less down him, although there is no way he had a full dose of anything with the amount that got dissolved away and smeared on my hands and floor. Oh yeah, and then I had to clean a bunch of the purple coloring off his snout, so some of it went there too. Pills do not need dye.
When it was finally time for bed, I got him upstairs and crated next to my bed. He did not want to get into the crate, but it wasn’t too much of a struggle. He was great in the crate and slept well, which is way more than I can say for Laney.
I woke in the morning to Indy completely frantic and needing to go outside. She usually can hold it forever, but when she lets me know she needs to go, I always know she needs it. This got Bear all antsy, so I tried to get him out too so we could all go downstairs together. Laney heard us and started freaking out again. We get to the top of the stairs and Bear totally refuses to go down.
No how, no way.
We try treats. We try showing him that we go down them. We show him Indy going up and down. We show him Laney. Nope. He just digs in his heels at the top of the stairs and totally refuses to have anything to do with it. So, I make my daughter let Indy out before she explodes, and we put the frantic Laney in the pen downstairs, and I continue to try to coax Bear down. This whole time I am waiting for him to start peeing everywhere because he has been holding it all night and he drinks A LOT, and one just never really knows how well housebroken a foster is, but I always assume not well at all. Eventually my fear of all the pee led me to give up on convincing him, and I was forced to just half carry, half drag him down.
In the meantime Laney, who is beside herself with upset that she isn’t with Bear, has pooped and has tracked and smooshed it everywhere and is just a little poo puppy.
I get Bear outside, and no surprise to me, he has to pee like Niagra Falls, and he does and does and keeps going and going. Indy has to go over to sniff at it, and she slips in the snow and tips into him, and under him, and can’t get up. He just keeps peeing and peeing all on her head and neck. I’m standing shivering on the deck and hoping that it looks worse than it actually is.
I’ve decided to let little poo puppy out rather than cleaning her first, so she is running around like a maniac and Bear starts chasing her when he is finally done peeing on Indy.
I’m just wearing pajamas, because I was sleepy and distracted. No hat. No coat. At least I remembered to put on some boots, but it is FREEZING out. Below freezing, really. I just want the dogs to hurry up and come in. I am calling, but nobody is paying attention to me.
Finally Laney comes tearing up the stairs with Bear following close behind. It is a real life cartoon. She runs across the deck. He hits the deck and loses traction and slides right over the top of her and then all 4 legs shoot out different direction and he falls spread eagle… right on top of Laney. OOMPH. Laney is gone. I hear a muffled yip from under a pile of Bear. He struggles to get to his feet, gets part way up, and she tries to scramble out. His feet slide out and he falls again, but she has gotten halfway out, so he just lands on her rear end this time, which sends her shooting out across the deck, like popping a pea out of a pod.
I scoop Laney up, and Bear runs off again. I send trembling freezing poo puppy inside with my husband, who has come out to hand me a hat. I bet he never tries to be helpful and do that again. Thanks for the hat, here, have a puppy of poo. I instruct him to give her a bath in the bathroom sink, and I trudge my cold pajama wearing self (now, with hat!) out to chase down Bear and Indy both of whom have gone conveniently deaf.
I get to Indy and discover it was just as bad as it looked from on the deck. Her whole shoulder was covered with frosted pee. Seriously. Little yellow icicles. You might think I am kidding about the icicles, but I am not. Yellow frost and icicles hanging off my dog’s fur.
This house is totally not set up for bathing dogs, tiny puppies works fine, but not dogs. So, I struggled through trying to get rapidly defrosting pee Indy into a tub and cleaned up a bit. By the time I was done I was in serious need of cleaning myself.
So, that was how 2011 started for me.
Happy New Year!