I have always said that parenting is the most difficult job in the world and no one trains you how to do it. Fostering is similar – you learn by listening, watching, assessing, asking for help and following your instincts.
Here are some things that I have learned in 6 days.
It is harder than I thought. Not sure what I expected. I knew that the dogs would be nervous, maybe upset, have issues, etc. It is all of that PLUS my dogs – who actually are doing great – but they have had their issues with the newcomers and we need to make sure they get attention too. One grumpy dog can upset the apple cart.
It is easier than I thought. When things go well, like they did last night, it was a piece of cake – everyone was happy – some playing between fosters and my dogs is starting. Three dogs on the couch, one playing fetch and one in the recliner.
You need to watch your feet. Those little dogs are always right there!
You become a problem solver. Simba was having a hard time sleeping through the night. We had him downstairs in the kitchen, so he could roam and be safe. He would wake up, bark and pace. Last night my husband and I talked about the fact that he use to sleep in his owner’s bedroom. So we brought his bed up, put it near my side of the bed, and he slept like a lamb. And so did we!
An open door is an escape route – even for a second. I learned this one this morning – I was leaving for work, didn’t watch my feet, and my little gray shadow Lady left with me. Luckily she is all about following me so we came back in but the Maggie ran out. Got her at the neighbors – not a great way to start the day.
Pack Mentality. 5 dogs and 5 personalities HAVE to act as a healthy pack, otherwise you have chaos. I love the Dog Whisperer and I think we have used all of his tips this week – and they work.
Here we have 3 little minis eating breakfast – no one has issues – everyone knows what is expected of them – good behavior!