Pretty soon many things will be changing here at the foster home. Recently something happened that made us re-evaluate how things were being handled in our house & as a family we have come to the decision that we can no longer keep fosters in our actual house. At the present time our cats have access to the 3 bedrooms & a hallway (portioned off with double baby gates/cat door opened when we are home); our seniors have access to either the living room or kitchen/dining area depending on where Ciera is( portioned off with baby gates); Pauley can go back & forth (with our help) with either dogs (dogs are rotated so that everyone gets attention); Shirley and her puppies are in the family room(portioned off with 2 deep double baby gates making it necessary to enter room from outside of home). As you can imagine it is very difficult to go from room to room in our house & cooking & cleaning & especially doing laundry (in family room) is pretty much exhausting! Sometimes just getting to a bathroom is a work out. We would still be willing to live with this arrangement except for the fact that Pauley has been exhibiting unsavory behavior recently & when we requested that a trainer make a home visit to see what might be causing the behavior, it was apparent to the trainer right off the bat that Pauley is feeding off of Ciera’s fear of strangers & then in turn, Ciera is feeding off of Pauley’s excitement making both of their behaviors worse. We are also guilty of being push overs & that makes it double worse.We are working with a wonderful trainer who is helping us better understand what is going on with our love bug, Pauley. To sum it up briefly, he is getting too big for his britches, but with training (on our part), we know that all will work out. We love Ciera and are committed to helping her until she can find her very own perfect for her forever family, but we have to put our personal dogs first (believe it or not it still is a tough decision). The grouchy old ladies have also informed us that after 2 years & over 70 fosters, they are sick of it. Our solution is that we are presently having a small house-like structure built just for our foster dogs! The dog mahal (as my step-dad calls it) will have 3 permanent enclosures (with beds & toys) & then will have one common area that we will (set up like a living room) be able to spend time with the pups in. The foster dogs will have their own fenced yard to play in & will also be able to play in the large yard when we are home & our dogs are inside. We are going to make the place as homey and comfortable as we can on our very small budget. If it was not for my step-dad donating his time, patience & talent, none of it would be possible as we are in NO way capable of building anything. Ciera and Pauley will still be allowed to play with each other, but will no longer be spending their nights together. Oh how those two love each other! Not only will this allow my family & I to go back to having a somewhat normal (normal for us anyways) house with only 3 dogs & 3 cats inside (the other 2 insist on staying outside & have gone through windows to prove it), but the animals will be able to access a larger part of our home & therefore not get on each other’s nerves as much AND the fosters will not have to worry about either of the grouchy old ladies putting them in their place for playing & having fun. We will also be able add another foster to the bunch! Another plus is that the fenced area for the fosters is adjacent to the wooded lot next door opposed to being adjacent to the house with the toddler meaning that we will not always have to be outside with the dogs when they are outside as we have been doing. Have I mentioned how tired I am?. If anyone has any suggestions for fun things we can put in the foster house, send them our way. How does Pauley feel about all of this?We think he will be okay!
The Foster Family