Maybe two weeks ago, I saw a news crawler going across the screen while I was watching The Today Show saying the Joplin Human Society was looking for people to foster puppies and kittens. Intrigued, I mentioned it to my daughter, and we then checked their website for more information. There had even been a recent feature on the local news about it. We thought it sounded like fun.
Knowing I am a cat person in a cat family, I knew we couldn't foster kittens. First and foremost, our cats would be so upset. Pete and Fletcher would probably pack up their bags and move, and Ruby would be all kinds of hurt. Besides, I also knew I wouldn't be able to give them up, and then we would go from a cat family to a crazy cat family with ten cats living in the house. But a puppy? I could do a puppy! I don't care much for dogs, but puppies are cute! Inspired by my friend Kristi, who fosters puppies to become service dogs, my daughter and I decided to give it a try.
I have never owned a dog before.
We began casually mentioning our plan to my husband and son, knowing they might not be on board so much. We visited the humane society a week ago and met with the woman in charge of fostering, who walked us through the animal area and pointed out all the dogs and puppies who were available for fostering. There was a litter of 6 that caught our eye. Half of them were black, half were blonde. They had been found on the other side of town and brought in just a day or so before and were very, very shy. We agreed to take two, one of each color, and they would be ready for pick up on Saturday.
|Olivia, left, and Audrey|
We broke our plan to my husband and son at lunch time Saturday (at which time my husband proclaimed that I was Lucy and our daughter was my Ethel), and then we were off to pick them up. We were handed two little girls, whom we named Olivia and Audrey (after a friend of my daughter's and her sister), one black, one blonde, who were sweet and shy and desperately in need of a bath. A visit to Walmart for food, leashes and collars (pink, of course), a couple of toys, and some puppy shampoo, and we were home and had them in the tub, turning them into much more pleasant smelling puppies (they still smell like dogs, which is my main drawback for having one, but at least they smelled like CLEAN dogs).
Here's what we learned about having our foster puppies within the first day:
1. There is nothing innate about walking on a leash.
2. They can and will chew everything.
3. They quickly figured out they would get a little treat for going potty outside, to the point where we're pretty sure Audrey fake-peed a time or two.
4. Audrey is like a goat and will eat any and everything she finds on the ground, including, but not limited to, ants, sticks, rocks, Hershey Kiss wrappers, cat fur, rug fringe, and flip flops.
5. They adapted very quickly from living in a kennel at the humane society to being inside a house and love to nap on my daughter as she lies on the couch and watches Netflix.
6. My husband and son, who didn't want anything to do with them, can often be found with a sleeping puppy in their laps.
7. They have no fear of cats.
8. Our cats have a serious fear of them, yet are drawn to them like magnets, especially Ruby. I believe they are trying to figure out what the hell they are, as they are clearly not cats but resemble nothing else in their world.
9. They are more trouble than my children were as infants, including having to get up with them more often in the night to take them outside to go potty (you clean out a crate with stinky puppy poo in it two times, you set the alarm and get up and take them out at 3 a.m.) than I ever had to get up and nurse a baby.
10. They are very, very cute but still do not make me want to own a dog.
It is the beginning of the Puppy Adventure. To be continued....