Dogs that are brought into our homes as fosters are sometimes lost, in every sense of the word. Everything is new - the people, the food, the routine, the scent. Some have rarely, if ever, been allowed to put their paws inside of a house. They do not know how to trust, or how to give and receive affection. They do not understand that their next meal is Guaranteed. We humans try our very best - we give them space and time. We are gentle, understanding the need to take things slowly. However, we are often surprised to find that our foster dogs' biggest advances have little to do with us. Many times, it is our resident dog who takes the New Guy under his wing and shows him that this place, and these people, are okay. Our resident dogs are patient and kind in their willingness to share their human family, their toys, and their treats. So often (and justifiably so) we give the admiration to the humans who help these once-homeless dogs break out of their shell. But today, let's also give recognition to the resident dogs who, in their own quiet way, show our foster dogs how to truly be a Dog. Today, let's reward them with some one-on-one time with their human and save some extra-special treats just for them. They truly are the link between our foster dog's past and his wonderfully bright future.
Resident dog "Aubie" with Foster "Noah"
Aubie is a NEADS-certified Service Dog who traveled the country with a US Marine to introduce the "Canines for Combat Veterans" program. Noah was a very special foster dog, very fearful and covered with mange and burns when PMAR first rescued him. Noah has since been adopted and is thriving in his new home.
Resident dog "Rocky" with Foster "Riley"
Rocky, a black German Shepherd-mix, was adopted from a shelter in Jan 2014 and struggled with separation anxiety for many months after arriving in his new home. With time, love and plenty of dog classes to keep his mind stimulated, he has gained confidence and learned that his family will always come home for him - he will never be abandoned. Now, Rocky is teaching the foster dogs how to trust. Rocky is pictured with current foster dog Riley (white Cattle Dog-mix).
Resident dog "Pedro" with Foster "Carly"
After many months as a foster, Pedro was adopted by his foster family in 2014. It took Pedro quite some time to learn to trust his humans, but he has made tremendous progress thanks to the love and patience of his family. Now, he is paying it forward. Here is Pedro (front), sharing his blanket with current foster (and former scaredy-dog) Carly. Carly finds comfort in the company of other dogs, and Pedro is also helping her to understand that humans can be kind.
Resident dog "Sadie" (left) with Foster "Winnie Belle"
Sadie knew what it was like to once be homeless, and Winnie Belle found such comfort in snuggling with her. The warmth and tranquility of another dog is what many foster dogs need in order to relax. Winnie Belle has since been adopted and is deeply loved by her family.