Friday, February 22, 2008

How not to fail fostering 101 when you see things like this!

As a greyhound foster "mom", I get asked a single question often- "How do you give them up?" So, in the best way I know how, I am going to tell you the secret of not failing fostering 101 while bragging a bit on my current fosters (Yep, Jelly and Bean are still here and as you can see are very settled with each other)! For any of you with multiple greys, you understand the concept of playing the hallway game. You know, the one where you walk down the hall with all of the greys walking in front of you, but they keep stopping to turn around to make sure you are still with them? Unless you have a new house with handicap accessible hallways, you probably now realize that hallways are built with a standard measurement of two greyhound bodies wide (3 if they are newly off the track dogs that are still thin). Armed with this knowledge brings us to RULE #1 of fostering and not failing- Set your limits before you bring the foster dog home. My hubby and I established our limit to be no more than 2 dogs in the house at a time. We have broken the rule 3 times (Ginger and Fancy- 2 littermates; Mischief and Nan- who had been together for 3 years; and now Jelly and Bean- who have been together almost 7 years). RULE #2 of fostering and not failing- Inform the rescue group president of Rule #1 and your established limit. This helps because every time you have one that really tugs at your heart strings (See Jelly and Bean in the picture above), she (Yes, Denise, I am talking about you!!!) will refuse to let you adopt the dog because she knows you will not foster anymore! RULE #3 of fostering and not failing- Okay, if you read my profile, you will know I am a retired Marine. To survive Marine bootcamp, you have to play mental games with yourself. Otherwise, you go insane. Believe it or not, this is the same technique you must apply to fostering. The mental game is to do a little math and realize that adopting this one (or two- See Jelly and Bean above) greyhound will help only this one greyhound. If you continue to foster (which can not happen once you reach your established limit), you can help many more greys find their forever home. If all else fails, get a house built with hallways in the standard measurement of your newly established limits of greyhounds! (Does anyone know a contractor that builds in terms of greyhound measurements?)

Now, I said I would brag a bit on Jelly and Bean. I have already mentioned they are the perfect dogs, but I definitely have more to say about them. Jelly is a solid, unchanging dog. This is good because her only vice is that she believes every stuffed animal in the house is hers and will take the human's stuffies as well. She will wash your face with kisses if you let her and will roach to get her Belly rubbed (Rule #1, Michelle, Rule #1). Bean is what I call a success story. We started him on glucosamine because he is almost 10 years old and was a bit stiff. I think it is working as he started a race in the back yard yesterday and ran an entire lap! He was grinning from ear to ear! He is such a happy, well-adjusted dog and is just a sweet, cuddly guy. (What was rule #3 again?) I am going to stop typing now and go call Denise to enforce rule #2 or I just may lose on the fostering and not failing game!!

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