July 2018: Goldy
Along came Goldy – a mini poodle under 9 lbs! I did some research on smaller breed in preparation of 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, the duration & the frequency of the exercises. There is nothing magical, I found some simple exercise on YouTube, 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 & he/she will bring so much joy to the adopter(s). It is DEFINTIELY NOT simple dog sitting; I felt accountable to “prep” the dog so he/she is more ready to make the necessary adjustment when a forever home is found. From the fostering experiences, Woojoo & I became closer. We no longer have a Owner/Pet relationship – we became PARTNERS. Needless to say Woojoo & I were both a little sad when Jin-Su & 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!”
Written by William Yang