Tag Archives: foster dogs

5 Ways to Love and Let Go of Foster Dogs

People tell me all the time they admire me for fostering dogs. “I could never foster,” they say. “I’d get too attached.”

My secret is a heart of steel.

I know they mean to praise me, but the compliment sometimes feels backhanded. They love too much, therefore I must have something wrong with my heart.

The truth is, I’m passionate about dogs and naturally clingy. Yet, somehow, (so far!), I’ve let all my fosters go–even the ones with whom I deeply bonded.

Here’s how I love and let go of them. I compare them to other strong but temporary attachments in my life. I tell myself:

  1. Lisa’s Dog School includes swimming lessons.

    They’re my students. University students are in your class five months at a time, high school a whole ten months. As an educator, I got attached to some of my students; there’s a reason favorites are called the teacher’s “pet.” I tell myself I run a school in my home where lost dogs learn how to be lovable family pets again. When they they get adopted, they “graduate.”

  2. They’re relatives from out of town. I tell myself things like, “These three puppies are my nephews. This is Grandma Gilly. Here’s Cousin Barkley!” KEEP READING…
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Unleash the Spirit of Generosity, Be a Hero to a Homeless Pet.

Unleash the Spirit of Generosity, Be a Hero to a Homeless Pet.

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 Adopting a dog from a shelter is an exciting, feel-good event. For many families, it’s a special moment, sure to become part of the family lore. For the dog, however, assimilating into family life can be difficult. Sadly, many dogs are returned to the shelter for behavior problems, which is heartbreaking for the family and a disaster for the dog. Experienced dog trainers can help smooth the transition, spare family heartache, and save dogs’ lives.

Every animal shelter should have an area for training.

“The Griffin Pond Animal Shelter is undergoing a highly anticipated renovation to build a much-needed area for on-site training. Won’t you make a donation, no amount too small that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of sheltered dogs?”

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If it wasn’t for a shelter and rescue network along with training, I dread to think what would have become of one dog in particular. His name was Tulley.

TULLEY’S STORY

 One day, I received a call from a trainer in New Jersey. He said he had been working with a three-year-old Border Collie that needed to be re-homed.  “Can you help? Over the last year, he’s gotten aggressive with his owners, their child, and other animals. He’s bitten a few times.”

I agreed to meet this dog. As I slowly approached I observed a beautiful black and white border collie. His body stiffened, and he averted his eyes. He became increasingly uncomfortable the closer I got. I slowly kneeled down next to him. He took a deep breath and let out a very long, low guttural growl. His fur stood on end, and his lips curled tightly, baring every one of his teeth. And yet, I didn’t feel threatened. He never made eye contact nor did he lunge to bite.  I felt empathy for the dog and decided to help him.

First, we needed to learn to trust one another. The training started with teaching Tulley the “touch” technique. It was so heartwarming when he wiggled with excitement whenever we played the game. When I took him to the obedience classes that I taught we worked him in his “comfort zone,” kept the sessions short and full of rewards, praise and fun! He learned quickly how to relax and trust. Fun With agility followed after obedience classes. Agility class was a weekly favorite of Tulley’s, where he moved, joyful and carefree, through the equipment, one obstacle at a time.

I was so proud of his accomplishments; he was truly bonding with me and my family.

After working diligently with Tulley and witnessing him become the dog he was born to be, my husband and I officially adopted him into our family.  He integrated beautifully with our children and our other dogs. Tulley was a joy and a blessing to our family for the next ten years.

Godspeed to our beloved Tulley (2001-2014).

“Tulley” – from Irish Gaelic roots, meaning “mighty people,” “living with God’s                        peace,” “devoted to God’s will.” 

 See Tulley’s full storyhttps://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2013/07/27/mean-dog/

For the sake of so many dogs like Tulley won’t you please consider making a donation to a much-needed on-site training area at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter?  You will be helping so many dogs who are looking for their forever home, but are in need of extra love, support and training in order to thrive and flourish.  Your gift will help these dogs get the training they need in order to move on to a better life.

Tulley

(Terri pictured with Tulley)

Our goal is $300,000.00 let’s spark a movement, Please share far and wide. Our animals’ futures depend on it.

Many thanks for your generosity and kindness.

Terri Florentino, Writer, Editor, Canine Behavioral Instructor.

http://www.griffinpondanimalshelter.com/capital-campaign/

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