While Oliver was in his last few months I took a break from fostering. After he crossed the rainbow bridge, Kiara and I slowly found our routine without him, with occasional visits from Livingston (my boyfriend’s Doberman and Kiara’s best friend), agility, and snuggling. I was not ready to get back to fostering, not yet. Then last week, while our vet was full for spring break, I decided to bring Alex home to give him a change to get out of boarding.
He is a sweet guy but the first day here he was pacing, whining, unsure of what to do. Kiara would try to play with him and he would not react, so much that Kiara got depressed. The first night was rough, I will confess. He could not find a place to sleep where he would feel secure and he would whine every hour until I would talk to him. He was also probably in pain after HW treatment. I confess that when he woke me up for the 6th time at 5am I started questioning my sanity. I have a demanding full time job, lots of daily work for LFS, agility training, and, hopefully, a glimpse of social life. Why did I add another stress to my life? I went to work tired and grumpy, ready to give up on him. Then I came home and he was as happy to see me as if he had known me all his life. 24 hours of love for a rescue dog are a life time. He greeted me, we went outside to pee (he was getting that routine down too) and then he lied down next to my desk and took a big nap. I guess he was also sleep deprived. He followed Kiara to the toys basket and discovered that carrying around a stuffed toy is very fun.
The second night was better already and he asked to come on the bed with me. I gave in in the hope of a good night of sleep. The three of us slept well until morning. After breakfast he even played with Kiara. The panting was gone, the whining was slowly disappearing. He was always wiggly but now he was also relaxed. The third night he found the famous “magic chair” in my living room, the chair that every dog loves. He got himself comfortable and we all watched TV. At bedtime he settled on a dog bed next to my bed and slept all night. He is now a happy, relaxed, playful dog. Tomorrow we will attempt our first leash walk. Yes, fostering has its stressful moments and, 90% of the times there is not much sleep on the first night. But watching a dog feel safe, probably for the first time in a while, is so rewarding that I will take a few nights of no sleep anytime. I am making a difference in his life and I am giving him a chance to show me, us, and everyone who has been following him on Facebook, what an amazing dog he is. I don’t question my sanity anymore as Alex just reminded how an amazing experience fostering is.