Thursday, September 19, 2019


A while ago I wrote a post called; "Can I get a dog?" Eldest foster child had not let up for a couple of months.

Long story short; I went and said "Yes."

She arrived a couple of Fridays ago, and she's called... Friday.

OMG is she gorgeous. Not just on the outside; Friday's beautiful on the inside. She's gentle, loving, kind and incredibly clever. She's peaceful, loyal and incredibly even-tempered. She's house-trained herself (okay after a few accidents) and she finally sleeps (mostly) through the night.

We had to drive across country to pick her up. Me, eldest foster child (buzzing like I've never seen before), and his best mate. We arrived at the farm on time, Friday was the last of the litter, probably the last-born. I'm not going to say she was the r**t (I'm not even going to use the word in case one day she reads this blog and recognises herself), but she was noticeably small and timid.

We fell for her straight away. It was hugely heartwarming to see eldest foster child go into parenting/caring mode. He's a rough and ready lad, a bit of a bruiser, but he picked her up ever so gently and cradled her like a baby, rocking her gently from side to side and whispering in her ear. Yes, almost mothering her.

We paid up, carefully loaded her into the safety cage and belted up the cage (I'd done some research - turns out dogs have to be secured in cars these days which is great). On the drive home she celebrated her good luck in finding top owners by letting out the most fabulous fart, and followed it up with a mighty poo. We drove home with the windows down.

The first evening was chaos, as expected. Eldest foster child's friends showed up so he could show off his dog, fair enough. Friday managed a tinkle in the garden and several in the house, mainly but not exclusively where wooden floors wouldn't mind. Everyone eventually went up to bed and the Secret Foster Carer arranged sofa cushions on the kitchen floor and settled down for a long night, also fair enough. Friday settled quickly in the safety and security of her cage.

Anyone who's owned a dog, or even merely lived in a home that had a dog, knows more than they realise they know about fostering.

The process of helping the new family member fit in and feel at home is not very different. The level if care, which eases back once the new arrival starts to feel their feet, is not dissimilar. The responsibility is there too, as are the linked rewards.

I'm not going to push the similarities between fostering and acquiring a new pet too strongly - a distressed human child is vastly more complex and needy.

But the arrival of Friday in our home has flagged up some interesting parallels.

1 comment:

  1. We took in a Spaniel that had been passed around a few times, 8 months old and we were home number 5. A big range of behavior problems, mostly from neglect, poor socialisation, no training and a lack of consistency. Sure that sounds familiar to any foster carer. We worked with a dog psychologist and trainer to deal with the worst habits and just provided a safe and stable home, with consistent expectations. Much like you do with children. It was hard going at times.

    Pup is about 3.5 years old now, he’s still a cheeky lad who will steal a lick of any food he can get to, and loves to chew up dirty socks. But he has grown to be a good boy, the most loving dog we could hope for and the greatest friend and guardian of our children, even happily tolerating an excess of rather rough love from our autistic foster son.

    Congratulations on your new family member, you’re never fully dressed without a bit of fur!