Our First Attempt at Fostering

As regular readers of my blog know, I’m a big advocate of rescue. I volunteer as much as time allows, but I always wish I could do more….

Noelle 009 (2)Since we first adopted Cora and Dusty, my husband and I have mulled over the idea of fostering. We have a great, very smooth routine with our three, and we think we could offer a homeless dog the benefit of that routine and, in turn, a sense of security. We figured one day, when the time was right, we’d offer our home as a foster home.

Then, on January 19, at the TAGS dog park, I met a little Jack Russell terrier mix named Noelle. (I have a weakness for JRTs.) She’s only a year old, and I saw that she was a firecracker but also really affectionate. Plus, she and Dusty played really well together, as you can see in this video:

So when Noelle’s foster mom took in a third foster dog, we offered to foster Noelle.

Well, things didn’t go as we had hoped. Noelle was a little too much for our three, wanting to play nonstop and, much more of a challenge, asserting dominance over Dusty and Hogan. Interestingly, timid Cora growled (and even barked!) at Noelle, and Noelle backed off from her, giving her space from then on. But she wouldn’t back down from a growling Hogan, instead climbing on his back to try to be the boss. They ended up having a few fights, and because we didn’t want to see the pack order (and the peace) in our house changed, we intervened rather than letting Hogan and Noelle sort things out themselves.Noelle 013

Ultimately, after only 54 hours, we sent Noelle back to her previous foster mom.

Noelle is going to be a GREAT dog for someone. She’s supersmart and will learn her commands really easily if she doesn’t have the distraction of other dogs. She’s also a really cuddly sweetheart, but she wants 100 percent of a human’s attention, so I think the best home for her will be one in which she’s the only dog and in which she will get a lot of playtime. In fact, I think Noelle would be a fantastic competitor in agility or flyball! And she’d be great fun to train…if she were the only dog in the house.

I really hope that perfect home for Noelle comes along soon. She is truly deserving of the happiness a loving family can give her!

And as for fostering, it’s out of the question for now, while we try to get Hogan back to his old self (he’s more reactive now than he was pre-Noelle), but we hope that down the road, we can give a less dominant homeless dog that initial sense of security and love that every dog deserves.

2 Responses to Our First Attempt at Fostering

  • Nick Iordanis says:

    It definitely has to be the right fit. Noel in particular is extremely bright and can really wrap people around her little paw. JRT’s usually are pretty firmly planted dogs, lol, so it’d be tough to find one that would fit in with your pack. Noelle wanting to play with Dusty may have gotten Hogie in a bit of a bad mood. As they say, the ‘alpha’ is always being challenged by the ones lower on the totem pole, JRT’s specifically are ones to persist in that activity.

    Get Cora a boyfriend! A more submissive dog who doesn’t require playing with others, I think, would fit in pretty well and really benefit from your loving positive re-enforcement household. Basically, a dog who just wants to be on the totem pole, not necessarily the top.


    • Cathy Witlox says:

      Yes, I think you’re right that someone more like Cora would work much better here.

      After fifteen years living with a Jack Russell, I should’ve known better, but my heart overruled my head on that one!

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