A few days after Betty left for her new home, a rescue from a high-kill shelter in WV brought a delivery of over a dozen dogs to Homeward Trails and one puppy out of a litter of 3 had not secured a foster home in advance. Puppies, especially, need time in a foster home to learn the ropes, as boarding kennels are not much of a development venue for a puppy. We jumped at the chance to socialize Harvey to a puppy.
Rooney, the only red-head in the litter, was about 12 weeks old. We picked him up, trembling and terrified, and cleaned him up, and started on the fun and challenging task of acclimating him to the world. After he’d been with us only 4 days, thanks to Harvey, Rooney was coming out of his shell and learning already. Harvey treated him much like a fraternity initiate but Rooney followed him diligently. Harvey showed Rooney that he could trust humans. And he showed him how to fetch.
Rooney’s house-training came along nicely, and he learned to climb stairs, to come when he’s called, and that family life isn’t so scary. In just a week, he built up his strength and grew into a great little guy, and Harvey liked him. Quickly, we realized we loved him, I couldn’t wait to rush home to see the little guy (my husband works from home, or a puppy would be impossible), and we started to wonder if we could give him up.
Before we knew it, applications to adopt Rooney started showing up in the Inbox. One such application was a young couple with a grown chocolate lab named Monty. It made a lot of sense to us that Rooney would do best with an “older brother” to show him the ropes and keep him company, much like Harvey had, so we lined up a meeting. Monty and Rooney immediately showed playful interest in each other, and it was clear he was going to be at home with the new family.
After about a 100 kisses on the head, we let Rooney loose in his new home. Updates from his new parents reveal that Rooney is playing long hours with Monty, with plenty of mischief going on while Monty naps. He’s happy and growing in his new home, and well-loved. Meanwhile, Harvey slept constantly for 3 days, missing the little guy, but has recovered his senses since.
Although we certainly miss “Lil Roo” my husband and I have regained some normalcy in the house and are resting up for a new foster after the holidays.
And, with hundreds of dogs euthanized in surrounding states every day, we know we’ll have another chance right away to help another rescued dog get ready for a new family. Every dog we help find a new home makes room for one more to get rescued before impending death, which is a great gift to us – to know we can help a little bit. We’re learning much about parenting along the way, too.
Coming soon: Adventures in Fostering, Part 4
Good things come to those who foster.