Sunday, January 17, 2021


 Since you're sitting where you are reading these words about fostering it's safe to assume you know a bit about fostering, even if your knowledge goes no further than giving thought to taking it up.

Therefore I think you'll get why I ended up over the moon yesterday despite a rotten start to the day.

Yesterday was a Saturday. We're in lockdown so, like many homes, our house is a bit low. We are feeling the sadness mingled with all the other negatives, one of which is being cooped up. Luckily we have a dog who needs walking, so even though the weather was absolutely wrong (freezing cold, blowing a gale and raining that painful rain which is almost but not quite sleet).

I togged up with a waterproof jacket, thick jeans and my favourite trainers (they are comfy and I wasn't planning to go on wet grass.

I kitted up with the dog lead, some poo bags and some dog treats for when she sits when asked.

Not forgetting my face mask, just in case.

I set off at 9.30am, no-one else in the house was stirring but my dressing-gowned other half was left in charge.

I realised 100 yards on from our house that I'd forgotten a hat, gloves and a scarf. Not only that, my 'waterproof' coat was soaking up the rain like a sponge, so I decided it would be once round the block and home for a cup of tea.


We turned the corner and there it was; the biggest and loudest drain clearing truck ever. Stood still, lights flashing with a bunch of people in hi-viz waterproofs. It looked scary. So scary that the dog froze.

One of the men saw us and kindly pointed out the gate to the meadow. He seemed to be saying they were going to be where they were for some time and the only way we could go on was to take the gate.

I acquiesced. I did as he suggested. I can be pathetic like that, but at the time it seemed the best idea.

The meadow was a sea of mud, and on the far side was another dog walker with two labradors. Our dog begged to have a play with them. I didn't want her off the lead but I flipping well acquiesced again. Before she set off she did a quick poo. By the time I'd scooped it into a bag she was half a mile away and rolling in a muddy puddle the size of a duck pond. 

I wanted to have a nice chat with the other dog walker, but all we coud manage was shouting;

"Lovely day for it!"

By now I'm soaked and freezing so I grabbed the dog, her put on her lead and we headed home.

But when we got to the road the drain-cleaning monster machine had moved and was now right between us and our house. There was no way the dog would go past it.

This meant going the long way home, butat least it took us past a dog-poo disposal bin so I could…

….wait a minute! Where's the bag of dog poo?

I'd dropped it inadvertently somewhere out on the meadow! 

I'm one of those dog walkers who gets riled up when she sees bags of discarded dog poo on the ground. So I had little option but to…go back and find it.

Which took half an hour, by which time I'm aching with cold and wet to my skin.

Luckily when we came off the meadow a second time the truck had gone, so we hauled ourselves home and in. But it wasn't over. The dog was a mudball but I was so cold and wet she could wait for a towelling down, I gave her a dog chew and settled her on the doormat and staggered upstarirs to dry myself with the hairdryer and put on dry clothes.

When I came downstairs the dog was nowhere to be seen. Egad! She must be upstairs! She was, sitting proud as punch on our bed, oozing mud and dribbling bits of dog chew on the duvet.

Cross with myself, I chased her downstairs and into the garden for a hose down.

It was still raining so I got soaked a second time.

Okay, you've been there haven't you? When all the little things that might happen but usually don't happen all happen one after another and you end up cursing the very universe.

Then this happened;

I was sat shivering at the kitchen table hands wrapped round a mug of builders tea, when eldest foster child came downstairs.

I said;

"Morning. Would you like me to make you some breakfast?"

"No, it's alright," he replied.

"I'll make myself some."

See, it's the tiny things in fostering that make you feel warm about the world.

It was the first time he'd made himself a meal.

I acted casual, y'know, you don't want to make them feel self-conscious, in fact I said something cheeky like;

"I'll have whatever you're having."

Which got the usual snort of mock-derision which has become our affectionate way with each other at the moment.

And the dog-walk was forgotten. 

The world was back in my good books, all thanks to our wonderful, brilliant, mixed-up but doing his best to repair himself foster boy!


  1. Did you steal this from my life? I have a dog who is total mud magnet, every walk involves a shower after, well two showers, one for him and one for me as I'm always soaked and muddy when he's done!

  2. Hello Smirkle. You've got yours well trained if you can get yours into a shower. I have to fill a tub with warm water and sponge mine down on the step.
    Wouldn't swap it for the world though, she reminds me that the simple things (mud, play…more mud) are crucial to happiness.