Sometimes dogs just never do reach the stage when they are comfortable around the dogs in the foster home, and those foster homes must "crate and rotate," which means the foster is in a private room or in a crate while the resident dogs are in the house for a while, then the resident dogs are crated and the foster gets to spend time with the family. At some point, dogs may be allowed to be loose in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, or guest room, but the door is babygated off, and then the babygate is covered with a blanket to keep the dogs from seeing each other.
Recently, one of our foster dogs had a breakthrough. This is what her foster mom wrote about the experience:
|Both a little tentative about what to do next.|
|I know you're thinking Cleo has Sirius pinned at the leg. Not true.|
The positive thing about Sirius is that I've learned her cues and she's pretty consistent. So she's graduated to being out of the crate at the same time Cleo is out of hers for at least part of the day. They play bowed to each other about two weeks ago and did have a couple of play sessions. One ended on a not-so-great note but we were able to stop anything before a big escalation.
This morning, I walked the two of them by myself. I live on the edge that way. They're good together on walks now and Cleo has taken the role of teacher, for the most part, when it comes to Sirius. When we got home, the three of us went into my office. I was watching them closely and was stunned when they both got in Sirius' dog bed. Not only because they both got in it but because Sirius had no clue that dog beds were fun and comfy until about a week ago.
It makes my heart happy to see them do this. Do I trust them now? Absolutely not. But Cleo is a snuggler more than a player, and she's loving this. Sirius is learning that she can be calm and safe with another dog around and with people moving around.
I love slow intros. They work wonders.
Our foster families are the ne plus ultra of foster families. Patient, skillful, generous almost to a fault. It's not easy to be this careful and consistent.
|They got up for water and went right back to it.|
But it is nice to see a dog grow more comfortable in the company of her own kind, thinks
The Frog Princess