This is a guest blog post written by one of our awesome fosters. Nate has been fostering for us since April 2016. If you would be interested in writing a guest post for our blog, please contact us! If you are interested in becoming a foster, please fill out our foster form.
First, a little about me and my experiences with dogs growing up. When I was around four, I picked out a Miniature Pinscher that always lived at my grandma’s house whose name was Mousey. Some of my earliest memories are of Mousey. Along with him, my family had all sorts of other dogs ranging from Chihuahuas to boxers. As I prepared to move for college, Mousey finally passed after having arthritis and seizures for years.
A few years down the road, the next dog I had is my blue heeler Clyde. He is basically the first dog I’ve ever fully trained. I chose a blue heeler for a handful of reasons; first of all, my dad had praised them very highly. Secondly, I found videos of the famous heeler Skidboot and really fell in love with the idea of owning such an intelligent and well mannered dog. The last and primary reason was that I was just getting home from boot camp and I wanted a runner to keep me in shape. Anybody who knows much about Clyde knows he greatly fails in this category.
After Clyde was about a year and a half, I was really interested in another dog but my mom, who was staying with me at the time, said it probably wasn’t the best idea. So, we were on the hunt for a way to get another dog without the commitment. We found other rescues but couldn’t get a reply.
I was friends with Lauren on facebook and had probably seen one of her posts about needing fosters and decided to message her. Up to this point in my life, I had honestly probably never seen a dog the size of a Rottie nor dealt with any “dangerous” breed-- which is most likely why GypsySoul wasn’t the first rescue we tried. After several messages, Lauren decided that I’d first try Pistol. I was concerned because obviously he is a rather big dog but decided I’d give it a shot.
The moment when we met Pistol was life changing. He was already adopted and we would only have him for two weeks, so just to keep him safe and to see if we could train him any. At the moment when I took the leash and realized this could be a great experience, Clyde runs up and bites Pistol, who is twice Clyde’s size, right in the neck repeatedly. Pistol being Pistol just kept walking as if nothing happened.
I managed to train Pistol the basic commands, which seemed to be the first commands he’d ever heard. He would sit and with a lot of encouragement and sometimes pushing, he would lay down.
It wasn’t all highs… there were a handful of lows. His name was Pistol because he would pee on everything, every morning. This got better as time went on to the point where about every other morning he would pee on the ottoman and was done. My mom’s dog was absolutely terrified of him at first even though Pistol seemed to think he was a baby. The biggest problem was actually Clyde, though. Clyde knew it was his house and would attack Pistol and then Pistol would defend himself. So a few times I had to save Clyde from himself even though, in all honesty, Pistol was so gentle he probably wouldn’t hurt Clyde more than needed.
In the two weeks we had Pistol, everybody fell in love with him... but that seems to be the way these things work. There will be ups and downs and plenty of them and the dogs will make you feel every feeling in the book but by the time they leave, you already love them.
Now, nearly a year later, I’ve had more than 10 foster dogs in my home and every single one of the dogs holds a special place in my heart. I can honestly say I love even the biggest pain-in-the-rear dogs that have stayed. I’ve felt every feeling I can imagine can be felt from these dogs and I feel that I have grown as a person. Clyde also has changed and isn’t nearly as grumpy with other dogs.
If you’re on the fence about fostering, I say take the leap! These dogs will amaze you and grow on you but I believe that everybody should give these dogs a chance and save more dogs in the process. If you are on the fence about adopting one of these great beasts, I say maybe try and foster one in looking to adopt them.
Don’t let just one Rottie ruin your view of them. If I had any idea of how great Rotties are when I got Clyde, he probably would of been a Rottie instead. These dogs sometimes have issues but all dogs do, you just have to give them a chance.
I’ve often been asked why I don’t just adopt one of the dogs, especially when they have a dog that I just love like Ruby, and the answer is simple: I want to keep fostering. I love spending time with these dogs and trying to better them. I’d do anything to get more dogs adopted, even contemplated doing youtube videos featuring the rescues or making a facebook page for Clyde (because everybody who sees him seems to love him) and feature rescues on it. As for now, just a lot of pictures and an instagram that I mainly just use for saving the pictures of the dogs.