One thing that I’ve not blogged about over the past few months is becoming a dog fosterer for Oakwood Rescue. The problem with kennels is that they aren’t particularly good for dogs, especially when dogs are looking for a new home. Dogs in kennels often suffer from stress, and sometimes get sick and lose a lot of condition. Sometimes dogs are in pretty poor condition when they come in to kennels. It’s certainly not ideal when a dog is looking for new owners.

That’s where dog fostering comes in. Instead of living in kennels we give dogs a temporary home whilst they look for their forever home. We’re able to make sure that the dog is looked after on a one to one basis. We can train the dogs to behave and socialise them with people as well as our two pugs. It’s very rewarding to see the change that the dogs go through, and I’m certain that many of the dogs we’ve had would not have been so easily rehomed if they were living in kennels. It’s also very sad though because you can’t help be get attached to some of the dogs. My wife and I have had the “should we keep him/her” conversation a few times now, but it always comes down to the fact that if we adopted a dog we would have to stop fostering.

Anyway, here are our foster dogs so far:

Oscar was our first foster dog. Oscar was stressed in kennels, very nervous and was losing weight as he
had a poorly tummy. The people who adopted Oscar had actually already passed him by, but when they were able to see him with people that he knew and trusted they changed their minds. This was a really strong signal to us that we were making a real difference.

Oscar just chillaxing

Oscar just chillaxing

I took a real shine to Gizmo, but he had a few issues with our pugs, Molly and George. It wasn’t long before he moved on and made way for Buster.

Gizmo waiting for a treat

Gizmo waiting for a treat

We think Buster had been homeless for a long time before he arrived at Oakwood dog shelter. Despite this though he was a really friendly dog who loved to snuggling up with people as well as pugs. Buster was the first dog that we considered adopted ourselves.

George, Molly and Buster at the park

George, Molly and Buster at the park

Since we’ve had dogs we’ve sectioned areas of the house off using baby gates. When Molly barks at birds on the green or anything with four legs on the television she often has to spend some time in pug prison! These barriers were nothing to Bruce, who could jump over them effortlessly. Bruce was very thin when we got him, but he soon started putting on weight. He had some skin problems and a poorly tummy when we got him and we had him a while, all over Christmas in fact. It was really nice to hear that when he was taken to the vets just after he was adapted his condition had improved so much that the vet didn’t realise he was the same dog. Bruce also made me appreciate how little the pugs poop!

Bruce in his winter coat

Bruce in his winter coat

Dana was another really friendly dog that loves people and just wants cuddles. She got on really well with Molly and George, and loved going to the park and chasing around with George in particular. We were very sad to see Dana go. She was another one that we thought about keeping.

What do you mean "not on the couch?"

What do you mean “not on the couch?”

Next was a very handsome puppy called Max. He did what he was told and is extremely clever, and
has tons of energy. We had him for just a few days before I went to GDC and by the time I got back he has gone.

I was trying to sleep!

I was trying to sleep!

Then we had a puppy. He was so young that he didn’t have a name when we got him, so we got to pick a name for him. We called him Smudge. As he was a puppy he was a bit of a biter and we had to be sure that he always had a chew toy to hand to stop him chewing something he shouldn’t.

Smudge - just a tiny puppy with giant flappy ears

Smudge – just a tiny puppy with giant flappy ears

Fostering dogs is sometimes hard for a number of reasons, but it’s always rewarding – especially when you get to see new pictures of the dogs, looking healthy and happy in their new homes.

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