Guest article by William Yang
Along came Goldy – a mini poodle under 9 lbs! I did some research on the smaller breed in preparation for Goldy’s arrival – there is never enough research one can do because once again, every dog is unique/different. Goldy was an attention seeker and had some separation anxiety. I felt it was my duty to do as much as possible – I started the process of “adjusting” these behaviours. I made detailed notes daily – what did I do, how I did it, and the duration & frequency of the exercises. There is nothing magical, I found some simple exercise on YouTube, and tested it out – “Consistency” was the key. It was almost too easy to give in – come on…who can resist a mini poodle with his cute little face? I tried the “fake leaving home exercise” with increasing time duration (from 5 mins >> 10 mins >> 20 mins >> 30 mins etc.) to address Goldy’s separation anxiety. After all, this is the “House of Rules” with many checklists & schedules. Unlike Jin-Su, Goldy is very food-motivated, so training was a breeze. I was able to showcase how great Goldy was when I brought Goldy to visit his adopter. I had a very honest discussion with the adopter – the consistency/training must continue in order to sustain the desired behaviour. FKD did a great job in finding an adopter who was semi-retired & worked from home; therefore, Goldy’s minor separation anxiety was not even an issue to the new adopter!
My Key Learning
Fostering is very rewarding when you know that the doggie is going to a good home and he/she will bring so much joy to the adopter(s). It is definitely not simple dog sitting; I felt accountable to “prep” the dog so he/she is more ready to make the necessary adjustments when a forever home is found. From the fostering experiences, Woojoo and I became closer. We no longer have an owner/pet relationship – we became partners. Needless to say, Woojoo and I were both a little sad when Jin-Su and Goldy left us; all the sudden, my little apartment became much quieter – Will was not constantly repeating phrases like:
“No – Woojoo, don’t eat Jinsu’s food!” or “Calm down – Goldy, I will be back in 5 mins!”
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